Simeone unfazed by Atletico challenge
© AFP

New Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is welcoming the challenge of pulling his former team out of their slump in La Liga.

"It was always my aim to come back to Atletico as coach," said the former Argentina midfielder at his formal presentation at the Vicente Calderon.

"I am coming with hope and with the desire to work. I am not afraid of coming to Atletico, or of the responsibility.

I am not afraid of coming to Atletico, or of the responsibility. It is something that excites me.
Diego Simeone

"It is something that excites me. I want the team to end up in a good place in the league."

Simeone was last week named as a replacement for Gregorio Manzano, who was fired following a miserable run of matches at the Atletico helm.

Simeone played for Argentina in the 1994, 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups™.

He served two spells at Atletico as a player, forming part of the team that won the Spanish league and cup double in the 1995/96 season.

Atletico currently sit tenth in La Liga, with only 19 points from 16 games, 21 points behind neighbours and leaders Real Madrid.

Simeone retired as a player in 2006 after a spell with Racing, one of several Argentine teams he went on to coach.