Diego Simeone reserved special praise for Joao Felix following the teenager’s starring role in Atletico Madrid’s 2-1 win against Juventus.
Felix took his pre-season tally up to three goals on Saturday by bagging the match-winner in Stockholm, Sweden. He also made his fourth assist by setting-up Thomas Lemar’s opener for Atletico before Sami Khedira struck an equaliser for Juventus in the 29th-minute.
But Atletico’s record €126m signing made sure of victory by scoring just four minutes later.
It was another timely reminder for all Los Colchoneros supporters that, in Felix, they have a potential superstar on the rise.
And even head coach Simeone couldn’t help but heap praise on the Portuguese teenage forward afterwards.
“Joao has many capabilities. He is adapting very quickly to what the team needs,” said Simeone, according to Goal.
“He has a vision that allows him to adapt to many positions and is in a process of adaptation. The best thing he has is that, I said from the first day, his desire to learn.
“He wants to learn and with that the adaptation process will be shorter. Talent is innate, but the desire to learn is the shortest path that a player has to perform.”
Felix is one of eight new summer recruits to arrive at Atletico, while the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Rodri, Diego Godin and Lucas Hernandez have left.
Simeone’s side have lost a total of 10 players during the current transfer window and may lose another in Angel Correa. Apparently, AC Milan are keen on the 24-year-old forward.
“We are open to everything that can happen, transfer wise,” said Simeone.
“There is nothing that can surprise us because obviously there is always something happening until the end so we have to be prepared for that.
“Angel Correa is training in an extraordinary way since he arrived back and there’s not any situation that leads me to think about him leaving the team.”
Atletico will now prepare for next Sunday’s La Liga opener against Getafe.