The coach of Atlético de Madrid the Argentine Diego Pablo Simeone, asked for "time and tranquility" for the 20-year-old Portuguese forward Joao Félix, who will not be able to play this Tuesday against Celta de Vigo due to injury: «Very few footballers at the age of 20 are absolute stars, there is growth, time, maturation And he is in that process, because he has talent, undoubtedly, we all see that. Then there is the other, who is in a team that makes an important footballer, and he is humble, hard-working, well-educated, respectful, gets along well with the whole group … So time, "claimed Simeone.
The Portuguese attacking midfielder will be discharged in Balaídos due to a traumatic bone edema in one of his ankles, which came from a blow to the game against Alavés ten days ago, and after having started with Mallorca on Friday, 54 minutes in which he did not give his best version and missed two clear occasions. «He went to the game of Mallorca with an important blow that he had been given against Alavés, he had trained with pain, he supported the training with enthusiasm, he started by making an interesting first half with goal situations, which always has them , because in all the matches he has had goal situations, and others that he has to keep improving ", analyzed Simeone.
The Atlético coach asked for "time and tranquility" for the young Portuguese striker, signed a year ago from Benfica in exchange for 126 million euros, to whom he recommended "not to leave the group", "to be involved" and "be patient". Thus, he compared his situation with that of the Brazilian winger Renan Lodi also a young footballer, 22 years old, who also came a year ago to the Atletico team from the Brazilian Athletico Paranaense.
«We always focus on Joao, but we have to focus on a lot, like Lodi who is a young boy who has come and has started to evolve, he has extraordinary games and others who cannot maintain balance. They are young boys, one comes from Brazil and the other from playing months in Portugal. Let's give them time, peace of mind, "argued the rojiblanco coach.
The Champions League, almost sealed
Atlético, which reached the restart of LaLiga after the coronavirus pandemic in a complicated situation, being sixth, out of the positions that give access to the Champions he has channeled the classification to the maximum European competition by adding 17 points out of 21 possible in the restart of the competition and is third with eight goals of income over the fifth, Villarreal.
«I think we did a good job in the quarantine, we have talked a lot with them via 'Zoom' working game situations so that when we go back to training we would find more quickly what was being lost, and a Good physical work at home managed with a good rotation of footballers, we were the team that has played the most every three days, seven games, six every three days, if I'm not mistaken, "said Simeone.
The Argentine coach also praised the "absolute involvement" of the players, the rotations that have allowed "good continuity for the majority" and recalled that "nothing has yet finished".
«The championships are defined at the end and we are facing a match against an opponent who needs to establish his league on the table, with a great game, a coach with clear ideas of what he is proposing and good footballers ahead », He added, referring to Óscar García Junyent's Celta de Vigo, who marks salvation with 35 points.
In those rotations, in addition to the Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak, the midfielder Saúl Ñíguez is one of the footballers who is having the most presence and Simeone confirmed that he is "very important to the team". «He interprets everything, he has a very important position on the field for the defense and the start, he works the stopped ball well, he reads very well what happens in the game. He is a player that the numbers speak for themselves, and obviously his physical condition allows him to try to sustain this many games he has been playing, "he added.
In the last two games, Atlético have missed two penalties, one by Diego Costa against Barcelona and the other by Álvaro Morata against Mallorca, although in both cases they returned to shoot for different reasons and were scored by Saúl at the Camp Nou and by Morata himself last Friday. “Atlético is one of the teams that in history has failed the most penalties, so I have to refer to those years ago, we will try to continue improving something that is obviously very important and is becoming increasingly difficult, because goalkeepers are better, there is more preparation. It is a situation that has happened in many years at Atlético de Madrid, we hope to continue minimizing and improving it, "he said.
Asked about the lack of minutes in the last games of the Mexican Héctor Herrera Simeone explained that his position, the center of the field, is one of the places where it is «most difficult rotate "because there are" fewer sprints "and" stability and pace of play "are valued more, than" they are winning ".
«We are not in the first three days, we entered the last four where, as I said in previous days, the rotations are going to be lower, since the stability of the footballers is already normal as we usually play, even if we have five changes, "concluded the Atlético coach.