The final three nominees for FIFA’s Soccer Coach of the Year have been revealed. Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti, Germany’s Joachim Loew and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone are the three men left standing in this category.
A betting man would suggest that Joachim Loew will win this title as 2014 Coach of the Year. He took Germany to a World Cup triumph, thrashing the host nation Brazil in the way. This achievement is almost always enough to get a coach the recognition as being the best in the world.
However, 2014 was a unique season in European soccer. The Spanish La Liga title was one by Atletico Madrid, a team that has always been in the shadow of their richer neighbors Real. Atletico took home the La Liga title despite stiff competition from Barcelona and Real.
Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez says that La Liga is often called a “two team league” by fans and pundits, because of the dominance Real and Barca hold over the rest. However, Simeone managed to break this dominance and take his team to the title. They also reached the Champions League final and were a couple of stoppage time minutes away from completing a league and cup double.
Simeone may not have won a World Cup, but winning La Liga with Atletico is a much bigger achievement than leading Germany to their fourth title. Atletico have a tiny budget compared to Real and Barcelona, their squad is much smaller, and they do not possess a world class player like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.