Futre: "Joao Félix does not stop surprising me"June 14, 2019
How does the Joao Félix phenomenon analyze?
He has not stopped surprising me in every game I've seen of him. From the moment in which Benfica changed coach and Bruno Lage bet one hundred percent for him. Even in the games where he did not play and his level was lower, he always left something that makes you think he is different. Crack details.
What has surprised him?
Look, it seems that he is not strong, that he is a very thin boy, but, for example, his aerial game has surprised me. He goes very well up and has made several goals like that. And, being right-handed, my left foot has caught my attention. He drives very well and shoots accurately with the bad foot from outside the area. That virtue has surprised me. Then, in the one against one is very strong and, with spaces, between lines is a brutal player. Define and have a perfect last pass. Besides, he's smart, very smart. It always causes things to happen in the attack.
If he comes to Atlético, he would be very young from his country, with only 19 years old, to be the substitute of a star like Griezmann. Would his character bear it?
Benfica is a great club, it's a big one. It is true that Joao does not have a lot of pressure here because he is a home player, but he is still Benfica. He just made his debut in the first team and has had to face all the matches with the stadium full, away and at home. Obliged to win always. When he started playing regularly on the team, Porto had a considerable advantage. It was not a time of jokes. And, with everything, he has been important for the recovery and the comeback of Benfica. I think it has fiber and race of winner.
"With Benfica he played in a complicated moment and won games, he was not scared, why would he do it at Atlético.
Physically you see him ready for a season of three competitions under the command of someone as demanding in that facet as Simeone?
He has completed virtually every game since he started playing. He has also performed in the Europa League, where he has done very well. He is a 19 year old boy. It is evident that physically it is still growing. He has two or three years to do it and build the body he will have until the end of his career. It happened to me. When you are 17, 18 or 19 years old, your body is not the one you will have during your entire career. You are physically forming. With 21 or 22 I already had the body and ideal weight that I kept until I hung up my boots.
Another one of the doubts that can have with him is how it would fit in the idea of Simeone, with a defensive discipline so iron.
I think it can be even more difficult for players like Griezmann, who came to Atlético later, with more age, with habits already acquired. For a 19 year old boy it is easier to adapt to any system than one with more baggage behind. With 22 or 23 years maybe it is something more difficult. Changing something older, such as working more for the team or defending more, can be even more complicated than for such a young guy.
"I think it's easier to adapt to a new system with 19 years than with 23 as Griezmann had when he arrived"
If you register you will find an Atlético supporter who has become accustomed to winning and fighting for all the titles. More pressure …
He comes playing in the Benfica stadium, with 60,000 people. With the Light always full and has been able to with that pressure. But not only that. In difficult moments, even, he has won the game. It is true that the pressure for a young player in the house is very different to arriving in another country in exchange for such a high amount of money. But I think he's prepared to withstand that scenic pressure from the Metropolitan Wanda. With 60,000 in Lisbon has not been scared, why would I do it elsewhere.
What is your ideal position?
Behind the point. With the freedom of movement to fall to the bands and squeeze their one against one. Between the lines, finding the spaces, it is devastating. It has a double threat. It handles the middle distance shot well and can surprise you with the last pass. Without forgetting that one against one, I insist. It has the virtues of crack. I still have not seen him play without a reference to the side, without a pure nine, but I think that even then he could play. Even nine, could.
If Atlético closes that signing, it will quickly rain the comparisons with you.
It is unavoidable. I arrived at 21 years old and he is now 19. I was also the golden child of Portuguese football. There are many points in common.
But you already brought a European Cup won on your résumé.
Yes, but he has already shown in the Europa League that he is a different player and they are other times. Watch the quarterfinal match against Eintratch, where he scored three goals and gave an assist. It has out of series features. Another detail is your self-demand. The other day he debuted in the Confederations Cup against Switzerland and I can not forget his image. His anger, he was sad, he wanted fast revenge. Things had not come out on his debut and you could tell he was looking forward to playing again to make up for it. He made me understand that if they put him against Holland he would leave. Against Switzerland a bad game came out, he was substituted, but in his face it was appreciated that he was eager to have his revenge. He did not disguise anything, it's a detail of winning character.
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