Cherished once as a Lazio player, Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone made an emotional return to the Stadio Olimpico, where he spent four years – winning one Serie A, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana, and UEFA Super Cup each – at the turn of the century. Although the Rojiblancos were dealt a dagger at the death following Ivan Provedel’s last-minute equalizer, Simeone expressed his soft spot for the Biancocelesti.

Speaking after the game (via Tuttomercatoweb), the Argentine manager revealed his emotions towards Lazio.

“The fans are incredible. I felt so much emotion at the start of the game, but also just walking into the stadium. I have this affection that will never die. The banner was beautiful, it touched my heart.”

Simeone was asked if he would like to coach of Lazio in the future.

“I always say that I’d love to rediscover the old sensations I had here, but as a coach. Now there is Sarri who is a great coach, and I am having a long journey at Atletico. My return was exciting though. What you leave as a person, as well as a player, is important. I will never forget the years spent in Rome.”

He also praised Provedel for the header that etched the goalkeeper into history books and rescued a point for his team.

“It seemed to me that there was a foul on Angel Correa, but instead the referee gave the free kick to Lazio. It was a great goal, especially when scored by a goalkeeper.”

The last-minute strike by Provedel meant Atletico are now winless in six UEFA Champions League matches. While Lazio and Atleti shared spoils in Group E, elsewhere Feyenoord beat Celtic 2-0.

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