In this file photo taken February 23, 2020 Atletico Madrid’s assistant coach German Burgos gestures during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid against Villarreal CF at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid. — AFP pic
In this file photo taken February 23, 2020 Atletico Madrid’s assistant coach German Burgos gestures during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid against Villarreal CF at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid. — AFP pic

MADRID, June 3 — Atletico Madrid’s long-serving assistant coach German “Mono” Burgos has announced he is leaving the club at the end of this campaign after over eight years in order to become a head coach.

“At the end of this season I will start my journey as a first team coach. With more than 10 years experience in La Liga I think I am perfectly capable of guiding a team’s destiny,” Burgos said in a video on Atletico’s website today.

The former Argentina goalkeeper, who spent three years with Atletico and two at fellow La Liga side Real Mallorca, has worked alongside Atletico coach Diego Simeone since 2011.

He first joined up with his former team mate Simeone at Italian club Catania, later joining him at Argentina’s Racing Club de Avellaneda before following him to Atletico in December 2011.

The pair guided Atletico to the Spanish league title in 2014, their first league crown in 18 years, also lifting two Europa League titles, one Copa del Rey and reaching the Champions League final twice.

Atletico knocked out Champions League holders Liverpool in the last 16 in March before European football was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and Burgos said winning Europe’s biggest prize would be the best way to bid farewell

“I’m going to leave in the best way possible and until my last minute here I’m going to try and complete our objectives,” added the 51-year-old, who did not say which club he would be joining as a head coach.

“I want to leave Atletico as a champion, everyone needs to know that.”

Burgos, one of Spanish football’s best-loved characters, has fought off cancer, sings in a heavy metal band and was once suspended for 11 games for knocking an opponent unconscious. — Reuters