With his Club Atlético de Madrid side’s UEFA Europa League victory against Athletic Club in Bucharest, Diego Simeone has become only the third person to have triumphed in the competition as both player and coach. The 42-year-old Argentinian got his hands on the silverware again, 14 years after he first held the trophy as a player following FC Internazionale Milano’s 3-0 defeat of S.S. Lazio in the 1998 final at the Parc des Princes. Simeone’s twin successes put him in an exclusive club alongside Dino Zoff and Huub Stevens. Zoff won the UEFA Cup as goalkeeper in the Juventus side that beat Athletic in the 1977 showpiece and later, as coach, led the Turin club to glory against ACF Fiorentina in 1990. In the case of Stevens, he was a defender for PSV Eindhoven when they defeated SC Bastia in the 1978 final and as coach oversaw FC Schalke 04′s triumph against Inter in 1997. Simeone is also the fourth non-European coach to win a UEFA club competition, and follows in the footsteps of three fellow Argentinians in Luis Carniglia, Helenio Herrera and Alfredo Di Stéfano.
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Simeone joins Zoff and Stevens in exclusive club