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Hector Herrera praises ‘extremely intelligent’ Joao Felix

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Hector Herrera praised the talents of his new Atletico Madrid team-mate Joao Felix and is pleased to not be his opponent anymore.

Like Felix, Herrera left Portugal this summer for a move to Atletico upon completing a free transfer from last season’s Primeira Liga runners-up FC Porto.

The Mexico international starred in the Porto midfield for six seasons, with 245 appearances in all competitions to his name. He also added 35 goals and assists in the process.

At 29 and a market value of €22m on his head, Atletico quickly scooped in on the chance of signing Herrera on a three-year deal for nothing.

Diego Simeone’s side announced their capture of Herrera on the same day they completed Joao Felix’s €126m transfer from Primeira Liga champions Benfica.

The duo already know each other from their days in Portugal, with their last meeting seeing Felix’s Benfica defeating Herrera’s Porto 2-1 in March.

The result proved to have a massive impact on the title battle, with Benfica dethroning Porto after coming out on top by a mere two points.

Now they’re on the same team, though, Herrera is hoping to see Felix continue his incredible development.

“I really like how he plays,” Herrera told AS.

“What I noticed when I played against him was that he was extremely intelligent with his movement for someone so young. That’s what I like about him. He’s not the typical striker.

“And he has scored a lot of goals. He’s a great player. I didn’t want to wish him luck then, but I do now.”

Atletico have signed seven new players in the summer transfer window, including Felix and Herrera, with a total of €311m spent in the process.

The other new five recruits are centre-back Felipe (Porto), left-back Renan Lodi (Club Athletico Paranaense), midfielder Marcos Llorente (Real Madrid), forward Ivan Saponjic (Benfica) and another forward in Nicolas Ibañez (San Luis).

While Atletico have spent big, Antoine Griezmann’s €120m exit for Barcelona will likely have helped keep things balanced in the bank.

AVEIRO, PORTUGAL – AUGUST 04: Hector Herrera of FC Porto celebrates with the Portuguese SuperCup trophy after the match between FC Porto and Desportivo das Aves for the Portuguese Super Cup at Estadio Municipal de Aveiro on August 4, 2018 in Aveiro, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)