Sports Nicknames - El Cholo

Diego Simeone is a man who is often associated with Atletico Madrid. Having played for them twice during his career and winning various trophies with the Spanish club during his time as a manager, the Argentine deserves that association. Diego Simeone picked up the nickname El Cholo during his playing days. But what does this name mean?

Interestingly, it doesn't actually mean anything. It's not a shortened way to say Diego nor was it related to the Atletico coach in any way when he picked it up. According to an interview that he gave to El Larguero's Manu Carreno, an Argentinian coach named Victorio Spinetto just started calling him Cholo. It was a nickname used for an energetic right back who played for Boca Juniors in the 70s, who was named Carmelo Simeone, but that's about as close as the relationship comes. The two players are not related.

Profile illustration of Diego Simeone, also known as El Cholo.  Atletico Madrid player and manager.  Argentina.  Drawing.

Simeone's playing career had a fair amount of success, winning league titles in Italy and Spain with Lazio and Atletico respectively. The same energy that he brought to the midfield continued to his managerial career, with his teams often maintaining a solid 4-4-2 shape that refused to let teams through. However, Simeone didn't come to managerial prominence until he rejoined Atletico in 2011, leading them to their first Europa League success. He would go on to win the competition again, La Liga, and reach 2 Champions League finals over the past decade with Atletico.

El Cholo might've come from nothing, but it has defined the hardworking player and coach that Diego Simeone has become. And it certainly doesn't look to be changing anytime soon.


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