• Analysis

How Simeone understood that Joao Felix needs to play free

Getty Images

We need to analyze the sudden change in Diego Simeone’s tactics with young Joao Felix, he allowed the lad to play freely.

After the match against Mallorca, it was evident that Diego Simeone finally realized something essential about Joao Felix.

The pre-season work was absolutely important for the young player, the Atletico Madrid school led by ‘Cholo’ consists of making the players understand how important defensive work is for the club.

When the Colchoneros decided to pay €126 million for a teenager, they were also aware that they would have to teach him these principles in the first month.

It didn’t take long for Joao Felix to understand his place, he was also eager to learn from Simeone and that sped up the adaptation process.

But now that several weeks have passed, it was time for the manager to take the next step.

It was the ideal moment to move forward with a player who seems destined to someday take Cristiano Ronaldo’s place as the best Portuguese player in the world.

From the very first minute in Mallorca, Felix appeared to not even bother with defensive coverage when the ball was too far from him.

It was evident that Simeone wanted to save his best player’s energy and destine it to football creation that could help the Colchoneros get the victory.

The wager was extremely effective for Simeone, Joao was a liberated player who began dropping loads of quality at Iberostar Stadium.

The lad even rounded his performance with a goal that he scored with a bit of good luck, but his overall performance made him one of the best players of the week.

When the season started, ‘Cholo’ decided to use Felix more as a winger than a striker and the results were relatively good.

When he played alone in the front, Joao was also outstanding. However, the Argentine manager also sees what the rest of the world could recognize from this player from the very beginning.

Even during his time at Benfica last season, it was evident that Joao Felix is a natural-born playmaker.

We are talking about one of those players that are currently the most endangered species in football, the ones that excite people the most when they play.

We are talking Ronaldinho, Kaka, Juan Roman Riquelme, Diego Maradona, or Zinedine Zidane.

These types of players don’t actually need to run too fast to create chances. All they need is their quality with the ball at their feet and their never-ending source of creativity.

Just by looking at how effortlessly his football looks to the naked eye, we can see Joao Felix on his way to the very elite without even breaking a sweat.

Despite his early age, we can already see young Felix going places by the time he is only 20.

Real Madrid will be his biggest test yet.

After so much preparation from Diego Simeone, it all comes down to what will happen on Saturday.

Joao Felix may have faced Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus already, but his biggest test to date will be Real Madrid’s visit to the Wanda Metropolitano.

The Mallorca exhibition doesn’t mean that Felix will turn his back on his defensive duties, it only means that he has more options to hurt Los Blancos.

It is pretty obvious that Diego Simeone will ask the youngster to do some dirty work when he plays against the biggest possible foe, but the creativity is still there.

This match will be decided by the midfielders, they are the ones who will hold the most important responsibility during the game.

If the Atletico Madrid midfielders get to suppress Casemiro’s defensive work, they will have a better chance of getting the ball to Joao Felix.

It all depends on this significant factor, the youngster will have a very interesting Saturday.

If everything goes according to plan, we will have a smiling Diego Simeone by the time we hear the final whistle.

We have a very exciting weekend ahead of us, we hope everybody will be watching and enjoying one of the most interesting games of the season so far.

How important will Joao Felix be for Atletico Madrid during next Saturday’s Derby? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.