Not all Spanish football clubs have indelible relationships with their managers. Real Madrid rarely give managers more than three years in charge, and Barcelona has been searching for a Pep Guardiola replacement for over a decade.

Enter Diego Simeone, the greatest manager in Atletico Madrid's history. He’s defined the club and reignited a connection with the fans. What other Atleti managers have done the same? Read this Betway Insider top 10 to find out.

Who is the current Atletico Madrid manager?

The current manager for Atletico Madrid is Diego Simeone, who has been in charge since 2011.

Atletico Madrid Managers History

Want some Atletico Madrid manager history? One man defines its modern era: Diego Simeone. The man they call “cholo” has brought a swag and style to the club not seen for generations.

Famous Atletico Madrid Managers

Other famous coaches for Atletico Madrid include Luis Aragones (who managed the club on eight separate occasions) and Helanio Herrera (one of the most famous football coaches of all time).

Ranking the Top 10 Greatest Atletico Madrid. Managers of all time

**All awards are listed in their current name

  1. Domenec Balmanya, 1965-1966

Nationality: Spain
Awards: 1x La Liga 

Atletico Madrid were one of the most competitive Spanish teams of the early 1960s -- they finished third or better on four occasions from 1960-61 to 1964-65. However, they couldn’t quite get over the hump and snap a title drought dating back to 1951.

Enter Spanish coach Domenec Balmanya, who was yo-yoing around La Liga clubs for most of the decade. In 1964-65, he helped Malaga achieve promotion to the Spanish first division. He did one better in his lone season as Atletico Madrid's head coach -- he won La Liga.

Balmanya’s success saw him named manager of the Spanish national team.

  1. Quique Sánchez Flores, 2009-2011

Nationality: Spain
Awards: 1x Europa League, 1x Super Cup

Former Atletico Madrid manager Quique Sanchez Flores earned the Atleti gig after guiding Valencia to multiple top-4 finishes and helping Benfica win the Taca de Liga. He struggled with the red and white in the league, only able to guide the club to a ninth-place finish in 2009-10 and a seventh-place spot in 2010-11.

So why does Flores crack this list? His Atleti squad ended the club’s 30+ year European trophy drought by defeating Fulham to win the 2010 UEFA Europa League final. He was buoyed by strong performances from talismanic Uruguayan ST Diego Forlan to bring European silverware back to Madrid. 

  1. Max Merkel, 1971-1973

Nationality: Austria
Awards: 1x La Liga, 1x Copa del Rey

Former Atletico Madrid football manager Max Merkel had the fortune of coaching club legend Luis Aragones in his absolute prime. The Spanish forward helped the Austrian coach win multiple pieces of silverware in the nation’s capital, capturing the League title in 1972-73 after winning the Copa del Rey (known as the Copa del Generalissimo) in 1971-72.

Merkel also had stints as the head coach of Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, and the Dutch national team.

  1. Ricardo Zamora, 1939-1946

Nationality: Spain
Awards: 2x La Liga, 2x Supercopa

Atletico Madrid was known as Athletic Aviacon during WW2 when Spanish footballing legend Ricardo Zamora coached the club. Zamora, a star for both Barcelona and Real Madrid during the 1920s and 1930s, was also a rare Catalan to be a staunch supporter of the Franco regime.

Even though the league was in flux (especially on the heels of the Spanish Civil War), Zamora still guided Atleti to 2 League titles and 2 Supercopas (or the equivalent of the Supercopa).

  1. Juan Carlos Lorenzo, 1973-74

Nationality: Argentina
Awards: 1x European Cup runner-up

No, former Atletico Madrid manager Juan Carlo Lorenzo didn’t win any trophies while at Atleti. His lone season with the red and white, he led the club to a second-place finish in the league and to a European Cup final against Bayern Munich.

The final would feature a replay after the first match finished 1-1, with Bayern drawing on a dramatic 120th-minute equalizer. The replay would be a blowout -- the Germans prevailed 4-0. Lorenzo left following the season, and Atleti has still never lifted the European Cup.

  1. Helanio Herrera

Nationality: Argentina
Awards: 2x La Liga, 1x Copa Eva Duarte

Former Atletico Madrid manager Helanio Herrera is likely best remembered for his time as the Inter Milan boss -- Herrera won 3 Serie A titles and 2 European Cups in the Italian capital.

Before that, Herrera claimed 2 La Liga titles for Atleti. The man credited for inventing the “Catenaccio” also brought a mix of tiki-taka football to Barcelona, helping the Blaugrana also win two league titles.

  1. Radomir Antic, 1995-1998, 1999, 2000

Nationality: Yugoslavia
Awards: 1x La Liga, 1x Copa del Rey

Yugoslavian Atleti coach Radomir Antic won the Don Balon Award as the league’s best manager in 1995-1996. Why? Antic helped Atletico Madrid snap a 29-year title drought dating back to 1977. Oh, and he also won the Copa del Rey that same season.

Antic's team slipped to fifth the following season and seventh in 1998, which saw him sacked. He would not be out of a job for long, as Atleti’s wobbly form the following season saw him called upon to guide the team once again. He returned in 2000 on a rescue mission but could not save the red and white from relegation.

  1. Jose Villalonga, 1959-1962

Nationality: Spain
Awards: 1x UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, 2x Copa del Rey

Who managed Atletico Madrid to their first-ever European trophy? The answer is former Spanish manager Jose Villalonga, who joined Los Colchoneros after a stint as the Real Madrid boss (where he won the first-ever European Cup).

At Atleti, Villalonga defeated Real Madrid in successive Copa del Rey (known then as the Copa del Generalisimo) finals in 1960 and 1961. That earned the club a spot in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. In 1961-62, Atletico Madrid defeated the likes of Leicester City, Werder Bremen, and Fiorentina to bring home the silverware.

  1. Luis Aragones, 1974-1978, 1978, 1979-1980, 1982-1986, 1987, 1991-1993, 2001-2003

Nationality: Spain
Awards: 1x La Liga, 3x Copa del Rey, 1x Supercopa, 1x Segunda Division, 1x Intercontinental Cup

Former Atletico Madrid manager Luis Aragones has too many stints in charge of Atleti to cover in this blurb -- by our count, he was in charge eight separate times. He coached the club to the highest of highs -- winning 3x Copa del Reys and a La Liga, helping Atletico capture the 1974 Intercontinental Cup -- and the lowest of lows.

Aragones helped Atletico Madrid achieve promotion back to La Liga after the club’s shocking relegation in 2000. The former Atleti legend will go down as equally an accomplished manager and player. Luis Aragones is also arguably the greatest Atletico Madrid player of all time.

  1. Diego Simeone, 2011-Present

Nationality: Argentina
Awards: 2x La Liga, 1x Copa del Rey, 1x Supercopa, 2x Europa League, 2x Super Cup, 2x UCL Runner-Up

Why is current Atleti manager Diego Simeone the best manager in Atletico Madrid's history? The trophies speak for themselves, and Simeone has the club closer to a European Cup than any other manager in their history.

More than anything, Simeone has established a culture at the club. “The dark arts,” “Cholo”, and “parking the bus” all spring to mind when you think of Atleti over the last decade -- and Atletico Madrid fans love it.

Simeone has the most all-time manager wins in Atleti history.

La Liga Betting Odds at Betway

Find La Liga odds on the Betway. You’ll find all the latest moneylines, over/under, 1 st half results, same game parlays, soccer live betting, and many more! All your La Liga betting needs will be covered in our online Sportsbook.

Visit Betway’s La Liga betting picks page for picks and predictions throughout the season.