Atletico Madrid have endured a tricky start to the season as they fail to look convincing in La Liga and once again, are facing a fight to the death for their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League. However, in recent days, all of the headlines surrounding the club have been dedicated to Joao Felix.
It looked as if it might be a breakout season for Felix, who had put together a brilliant run of form before his injury last season. After starting 7 of the first 8 games, Felix has found himself relegated to the bench though. Over the last four games, Felix has played just 29 minutes and as Los Colchoneros searched for a vital goal against Club Brugge, Felix was left on the bench. Much to his distaste, which he manifested publicly.
Speaking ahead of Atletico Madrid’s fixture with Athletic Club on Sunday to Marca, manager Diego Simeone was keen to clear up the matter.
“I am going to be very clear in the same way in which I explained it to Joao. I want to win with Correa, with Joao, with Griezmann, with Cunha, with Morata… The only reality is that which is. In the year that we won La Liga, he had an incredible year until he got injured and he ended up playing.”
“In the second season, in the ‘league of the 14’, he wasn’t playing, but he began to play against Osasuna, he did very well, he responded with goals, he gave everything for the team, which he has, and he played until he got injured.”
“In the following season he had a good preseason, beyond his injury, with good games against Juventus and based on his good performances, he played.”
“And now, when his performance has gotten worse, other teammates play. Because I believe Joao is equal to Correa and everyone else. As soon as he returns to performing well in training, he works, he recovers his goalscoring, which we will need, he will play. But while I am here, it goes by performances. That is why other teammates are playing. It remains clear that every time he was good, he played.”
As per Simeone’s words, Felix’s lack of minutes lie squarely at his own feet. Clearly El Cholo is not seeing sufficient performance from his Portuguese superstar and while that is the case, it is hard to argue for preferential treatment.
Source by Football Espana