"If I think about Maradona it puts me to shame," he said. "He was a Martian. He was so good that he could be with us still today, even at the age of 40.
"I, on the other hand, am just a warrior, a fighter who aims to give everything."
The combative nature of a self-proclaimed warrior is the familiar image of Simeone to those who have watched him since he made his international debut against Australia in 1988.
The tough-tackling midfielder was a key figure in successful Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan sides in the mid-1990s before moving on to Lazio in 1998.
It was in Rome two seasons ago that Simeone reached the pinnacle of his club career, scoring four goals in the last seven league games, including the winner in a vital victory over Juventus in Turin.
He also scored the winner in the Coppa Italia final to ensure hero status with the Lazio fans, much as he had done when helping Atletico to a Spanish double in 1996.
But for all his success at club level, Simeone has suffered numerous disappointments with the national side.
It started with a crushing 4-1 defeat at the hands of lowly Australia in 1988, and things got worse two years later when he was left out of the squad for Italia 90.