October 3, 2016 / 12:46 PM / 10 months ago

Simeone a very different proposition to his father

3 Min Read

Football Soccer - Mexico v Argentina- International Friendly - 2016 Rio Olympics - Puebla, Mexico - 28/07/16 - Argentina's player Giovanni Simeone (11) and Mexico's player Cesar Montes in action.Henry Romero

MILAN (Reuters) - The name Simeone is usually associated in football terms with grit, ruthless determination and a willingness to bend the rules to their limit in order to win.

Former Argentina captain Diego Simeone was described as playing with a knife between his teeth as he patrolled the midfield and, as Atletico Madrid coach, he has instilled the same iron will in his team.

His son Giovanni is now making his name in Italian football - but showing very different qualities.

A forward rather than a bruising defensive midfielder, the 21-year-old scored for the second game running as Genoa beat Bologna 1-0 on Sunday, although it was a goal which did not go in which suggested his true potential.

In a moment more reminiscent of Lionel Messi than his father, Simeone collected the ball deep inside the Bologna half.

He turned his marker, charged 50 metres down the left flank and found a gap between goalkeeper Angelo da Costa and his near post, only to see his shot hit the foot of the upright and ricochet across the goal.

"He's a good forward in the penalty area but with plenty of room for improvement, especially in the way he moves," said Genoa coach Ivan Juric.

"He runs a lot, he attacks from deep and we are happy with him. However, I would prefer it if we talked more about him as a player instead of the son of somebody else."

The latter is a problem Simeone has had to live with since he joined River Plate's youth academy in 2008 when his father was coach of the senior team.

Born in Madrid when his father was playing for Atletico, his career has progressed in fits and starts.

He made his professional debut in 2013 but, after a promising first season for River Plate, he was unable to hold down a regular place.

He went on loan to smaller neighbours Banfield for the 2015-16 season where he scored 12 goals and was leading scorer at the 2015 under-20 South American championship with nine goals.

After moving to Genoa, he got his first-team chance when Leonardo Pavoletti was injured 10 days ago.

"I'm proud of my father, he guides me," he told reporters. "I've inherited his "garra", which is our Argentine way of defining determination, stubbornness and anger.

"But I want to be Giovanni and nothing more. It is not easy to live with his greatness. That's why I have to become stronger than him. I have to prove that, if I'm here, it's only because of me."

Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond

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