Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone feels that his Inter Milan opposite number Simone Inzaghi “always had a hunger for football.”

The Colchoneros boss praised Inzaghi – a former Lazio teammate – speaking to Italian broadcaster SportMediaset, via FCInterNews.

This evening’s Champions League clash at the San Siro will not just pit two of Europe’s elite clubs.

It will also see two of the most well-regarded coaches on the continent go head-to-head

Both Inter’s Inzaghi and Atletico’s Simeone have stellar reputations for their work over the last decade.

And both mens’ reputations go back beyond their time coaching. Both also enjoyed successful playing careers.

In fact, Inzaghi and Simeone spent four seasons playing together. They were both Lazio players between 1999 and 2003.

And so the two coaches know each other well. Their relationship stretches back decades into the past.

And the Atletico coach feels that his Inter counterpart has always had the quality needed to be a top coach.

Diego Simeone: “Simone Inzaghi Always Had A Hunger For Football”

Of Inzaghi, Simeone said that “I can remember him well because we spent a lot of time together at Lazio.”

“We talked a lot about football,” the Atletico coach said. “He had a hunger for football that was incredible.”

“He passed that on to Lazio. And now to Inter. They play in a way that’s anything but casual.”

“They showed that in the Champions League last year by reaching the final,” Simeone said.

“And now this season they’re showing it in the league as well. And they’re also doing well in the Champions League. They have great players.”

“Without great players it is more difficult to make a great coach,” Simeone said.

As far as the danger that he expects from Inter, Simeone said that “They have a very specific way of playing.”

“They get forward on the flanks. And then they get the ball into the area with a lot of players forward.”

“Thuram is a point of reference for the team,” the Atletico coach added. “But they always arrive in the penalty area with numbers.”

“I believe that Inter will play the way they always do,” Simeone added.

“They always start matches very strongly. And then, if they have to sit deeper and counter, they’ll do so, and they can do it very well.”

“They’re always very strong at the back,” Simeone said of this evening’s opposition.”

Simeone Happy To Return To San Siro To Face Inter

SImeone, also a former Nerazzurri player, said that “I’m very happy to return to Milano to play against my old Inter,.”

“Where the fans were always very close to me during the two years I played here.”

“I gave everything I had to this club in that moment,” the former midfielder said.

“Now we come here to play against a team that’s very good, who play a style of football that I’m a huge fan of, and play in a simple way.”

“Sometimes people believe that football is complicated,” Simeone mused. “But it’s simple. And they interpret it in the best way.”

“They have a coach, Simone, who I know. And he’s doing very, very well.”

“I’m very happy with everything that’s happening to him at Inter,” Simeone said of his old teammate.