Tony Muñoz: “Simeone was not shocked by my invitation to go to Atletico”

Tony Muñoz (Córdoba, 1988; 55 years old) does not like the spotlight, being the protagonist. He prefers to go unnoticed, even if, inescapably, he is a basic type. He was also in that duet of which he was a leader with Solozabal. As in the history of Cholo and Atliti on the benches. because It all started with Tony in 2011 with a call from Michelangelo. It is a pleasure to hear him speak. Football. From Louis. Is that him.

“What do you intend now?”

“Watching a lot of football games. Training, youth, which amuses me. I watch Atlético whenever I can. To Getafe…

“For an agency?”

“No, nothing. Quieter.

– I started playing in the Los Narangos neighborhood, but when you were 12 you started working…

“Yes (Laughs).

“No sleep at night?”

“Yes. And then I was going to train. Until I was 18 years old, I merged it, when I was in Juvenil del Córdoba.

“And how did he hold?”

“Youth… Your body allowed you to. I gave it to you. Illusion. Sometimes I would come at three in the morning, at five, at four. Then I fall asleep and go to training. And then, school.

– Football comes from his birth, from his father, who worked in the Netherlands and played goalkeeper.

“Yes, yes. The thing is, unfortunately, I lost my father when I was nine years old. He died in a car accident. Life circumstances. We were five brothers, my mother… I’ve played football since I was eight years old. My brothers too, one of them, Thomas, who was very good, played with Córdoba. And this is where I was, in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in the children’s teams, in the youth, in one of the best teams in Córdoba at that time, the Zuco de Football Club, which always competed with Córdoba.

“I was a midfielder there.

“Inside! And I played with the number 10. In infants and cadets (laughs). Until the event. Well, in Madrileño there were matches that I played in the future. We had Josu Ortondo when they signed me.

“And who put it on the side?”

“Luis, who was a genius, turned midfielders with a lot of depth, winger and speed into full-backs.

“When?”

“In 1990. When he started working with a line of five, with the attacking wing-backs.

Was it “Hey, Tony, I’ll see you behind you”?

– Yes, because in the end, because of the personal profiles, because of the characteristics of the players, we play better against the team. It happened to Aguilera too. Well, and a lot of full-backs who now play there and are already converted into midfielders or wingers. Because you have a very good way out of the ball and control and crosses and then you have to be very deep.

“Riquelme is now a converted full-back as well. How do you see it?

“He’s in great shape and he’s at an extraordinary level. The vertical boy, has a goal, goes to the goal, creates dangerous situations …

What’s the hardest thing in the game for an inside player when you’re converted to a fullback?

At the end of the day, the winger full-back has almost all the football in his face. You must have good physical and mental fitness, and know that you have to make some mistakes in defense, because in the end this is what punishes you the most. Then there’s your offensive contribution with your circumstances. Ability Shuffle If you have, your running is deep…

– He spent thirteen years at Atléti as a player.

“Many, many. (Sweet smiles). As a player, I think there were eleven. She played for one season in Madrid and the following year she moved to the first team.

– Won three Copa del Rey titles and a league double.

“I’ve played five finals, three I’ve played, three I’ve won. (smiles). In the year of the dual, coinciding with a generation that brought together veterans and many young people, with a very good age to perform at a very good level, and we found a coach (Antique who did everything well).

What was Simeone like at the time?

“My roommate.” I had it for three years! (Laughs).

– Fresnidoso was in Segovia in the summer of 1996 and says he won’t be allowed to nap because he was looking for football on TV, whatever it was.

“That was me!” I was never allowed to take a nap. He was already talking to me about which opponent he had to determine, how he was going to play them, looking for the advantage… As now, let’s go… (laughs) You can already see it with a brutal mindset, on some levels … Just like a coach. I have seen few companions with obsession, mentality, personality and personality in some field.

“Did he always end up talking to you about football at dinner, moving plates and cups around the table?”

“After the game, we would go to dinner. Keiko, Solozabal … And it always ended with cakes. And we would say: “Man, the game is over, let’s have a glass of wine” (laughs). Yes yes. He didn’t finish his game. He was always here (pointing to his temple). Football. In the mind.

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<span class="mm__au">Danny Sanchez</span><span class="mm__src">Diario AS</span>

“Was it clear he was aiming for the bench?”

“The good thing about Chulu is that it recognizes the entity. He played, he enjoyed the club, he had success. El Cholo knows the house, directors and fans well. I know. It’s a completely different period than now, but he knows what it’s like to wear an Atletico shirt. Demand, pressure, character, commitment and love for this shirt. He is a monstrous messenger for any player.

“You’re leaving Atléti, but you’ll be right back. Three years as director of youth football and three years as sports director. In fact, Aguero signed…

“I don’t. Miguel Ángel Gil did that, and in the end it is up to him and the club to take the step to take a player. I was in the technical secretariat. We had information about the South American U-17 championship being the one I was going to when I was 16, when I was 15. That’s when we started following it.

In the winter of 2011, Miguel Ángel called you and told you that he had to call Simeone, that he wanted you for Atletico and that he wanted you now.

“I made a little link. He knew about my relationship with Cholo. Simeone also knew about my relationship with Miguel.

“And what did you say to Cholo?”

“I told him more or less what Michelangelo wanted. Had to put them in touch for a meeting. El Cholo has been waiting for this invitation for a long time. There was that short period in which he had to train there in Argentina for three seasons to be able to do it here, in Europe, but he was ready. I didn’t surprise him. It is true that Miguel Ángel called me to sign with Diego, because he knew about our relationship and friendship, but I am convinced that if he had picked up the phone and called Cholo, Diego’s reaction would have been the same.

“He was caught riding a horse.

“Yes, that’s what he told me. Well, you know how it is: I hadn’t finished the call and was already thinking. I think that when he got off his horse, he was already with the rolls on his head! Confident. Recognized… That night he decided he hadn’t slept.

“Have you ever told him?” “Tony, what this call means…”

“Nope. The truth is that I see it a lot. Whenever we can, we gather, eat and talk about everything. With Kiko, with Solozabal. El Cholo appreciates them very much and we appreciate him.

“That nucleus formed from the duo.

“We meet a lot. Christmas dinner, lunch …

“Was that the secret of that?” pineapple that continues?

“Look, look at the year of the double, a lot of coaches have come out of the year of the double. Molina, Santi, Benev, Simeone, Pantic, Paunovich, Ricardo, Fresnidoso, who was also in the Union. and sports directors. Caminero, Vizcaino, also coach, Geli in Girona… Twelve, thirteen. Almost all of us remained closely connected to the bunkers.

“And why?”

“Let’s just say that we were a group very attached to football. Through training, learning, competition, play and the desire to stay connected.

“Did you think, when Chulu arrived, that you would be here for many years?”

“Man, even Chulu wouldn’t think about it!” (Laughs). If you evaluate how long coaches stay at the club and how long they stay at Atletico, neither he nor he really. Obviously I thought he would be a good coach and that he would be perfect for Atléti. This is also what Miguel Ángel believed, and it is also a crack, number one in management.

“And the angel Torres?” from 2008 to 2017 he was his sporting director at Getafe.

“He’s one of the presidents who understands the most about football in La Liga. As a manager, he is another one of the best.

He had Lewis as coach and Simeone as a teammate. Are they similar in situations? In passion, in the transfer …

“Louis and Chullo?” some things she has. It was a learning experience that Cholo de Luis had. Lewis’s personality magnetism was unique. The way he transferred it to you. You’re dying for it. And you knew yourself in the game, or maybe you didn’t, but you did. Luis was a genius and Diego had some things for Louis. Not only in the third after Enreno plays or in training, which is very difficult. Time is moving forward. Now they have physical trainers who plan you in a completely different way than before. But the motivational talks Lewis had before the match (Silence)… It may have been less than five minutes, but it was worth it: it didn’t have to be an hour. Or twenty minutes. You left with your eyes lit from the moment you got on the bus. And Chulu has virtue, he has a memory…

“Yes?”

“He remembers, I think, even how much he played when he was twelve, from a penalty that was taken…” A lot of things remain in his retina, moreover, he remembers it copied. I don’t have much memory (laughs).

“Win, win, win, win again.” After Euro 2008, a documentary with Lewis’ conversations and that phrase was released. Have you ever heard that in Atletico?

“Yes, yes. This documentary was great, from someone who struggled a lot to be on the national team. That he made his decisions and there was a man, a professional, who made a champion for the team, coaching him, in a perfect style with the players he had.

Was Simeone really the capalist he is now as a player?

“Yes, they were superstitious. Chulu is the same. Don’t go into a game and say, “I’m going to watch this game.” The team loses or draws. “You’re not going anymore” (Laughs). And you won’t be allowed to leave. Or training. Don’t enter a week in which they lose or returnColor. “You’re not going anymore.” And don’t even think about going. It’s his pet nuisance. (smiles).

– A few days ago, Miguel Ángel strengthened the offices with the Oscar of May. What do you think of the signature?

“Miguel Ángel is a great leader. 200% work. Its capacity is brutal. Innovation. He innovates in a lot of things. Thus he can compete with adults. I think one of the best investments he made was coach Cholo. and maintain it. I’m really happy. And the tandem they make …

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About the Author: Muhammad Idham