Kempes: Atletico will be lost without Simeone

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Former Argentina international Mario Kempes heaped praise on countryman Diego Simeone and claims Atletico Madrid will be lost without him.

With Simeone at the helm, Spanish outfit Atletico have become one of the best and most feared teams in Europe following their stunning LaLiga triumph in 2013-14.

Simeone has guided Atletico to two Champions League final appearances in three seasons, as well as Europa League, Super Cup, Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana glory since his arrival in 2011.

And as speculation mounts over Simeone's future in Madrid amid strong links with former club Inter in Italy, World Cup winner Kempes believes Atletico will struggle without the 46-year-old.

"Cholo grabbed an ideal outfit for him," Kempes said via La Nacion.

"The players obey him and what he says is sacred word. 

"Everything is going well and he has earned it. He has lost the likes of [Diego] Costa, [Radamel] Falcao and [David] Villa but has always been able to find players who respond. 

"When Cholo leaves these boys are going to feel lost, notice that those who leave no longer perform as they did with him."

After 17 games, Atletico are fourth in the table and nine points adrift of city rivals Real Madrid.

Atletico are also preparing for a last-16 tie against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, starting next month.