Filipe looks back on second season at Atlético

The full back spoke of the pressures of playing at Atleti and of his goals for the future


Atlético left-back Filipe Luís in Bucharest
(Getty Images Europe)

In the middle of Atlético’s tri-city friendly tour in Colombia, Rojiblanco left-back Filipe Luís took a break from all the action to sit down and have a chat with AS reporter Dani Hidalgo.

In the article, published in the Madrid-based Spanish paper on Monday, The Brazilian evaluated the past season from both a personal standpoint and from the team’s perspective.

The interview can be found in its originally published online format here.

After a transitional year, Filipe Luís has come back in a big way…
It’s not the first time it happens to me. In A Coruña something similar happened. I played a lot of matches in a row. I am more comfortable the more minutes I have piled up, and with more minutes my football improves. I had a difficult start at Atleti. I felt the weight of the [ankle] injury and I didn’t feel well physically. Plus, I arrived at a club where there is enormous pressure. I feel very well-adapted, but it’s harder to play at Atlético than another club in Spain.

Those that have passed through Atlético know how hard it is to play in the Calderón. One must always do well, it doesn’t matter if you play against [Real] Madrid, which is the most important clash, or against a Segunda B side. The pressure is immense. At Atlético you have to give your all or they’ll kill you.

Atlético have had a number of outgoing and incoming players in recent years…
All you have to do is take a look to see how few remain from the 2010 Europa League. They were a team that were champions and they were disassembled, but it was necessary. I came the following season and the atmosphere wasn’t the best one. But this year, the squad was put together well. If the majority of us are kept together, we’ll do more. The team deserve to play in the Champions League.

Were you surprised by Juanfran’s adaptation to right-back?
It happens with a lot of [players], such as Jordi Alba and me at [Deportivo]. Juanfran is hungry and has pushed to find a spot for himself there.

When you arrived at Atleti, you said it was to take a step forward in your career; do you feel you have achieved that?
Yes. Not only in what I am able to fight for with the club, but I have also improved in my way of thinking and watching football. I adapted to becoming professional with regard to endurance and pressure. I have become accustomed to that of being the worst when you have a bad day and being the best when you have a good one. I know that I can still continue to grow on this team. This club have already given me a Europa League title.

You had already gone to Neptuno after the 2010 Super Cup. What was the experience like after Bucharest?
The celebration was different, it was amazing. I believe a champion team is born to become one from the beginning. From the start we already noticed something strange. In La Liga we couldn’t score so many goals, but in Europa League the team steamrolled. Something was noticeable…the squad was determined to become the champions and that made things easier.

After the final, you didn’t celebrate at the hotel when everyone sang “The one who doesn’t jump is a Madridista“. Was that out of respect for the rival?
That day I suffered a huge blow after a challenge with Susaeta and I wasn’t in a good condition to be jumping. But yes, there’s no reason for us to remember anyone else [at that moment], we only have to think about ourselves because no one gave us anything.

It looks like it will be a summer of exits having not qualified for Champions League…
Last year we did not make it into Champions League and a very good squad was assembled. That some footballers left opened the door for others to come that improved the team. It’s complicated to get everyone to stay, but a winning squad always aims for more.

Was the Champions League berth lost when Sporting didn’t take points in Málaga?
We dropped points along the way, some unbelievable ones, and a lot of other teams did as well. Valencia have been the worst third place team in the history of La Liga. We didn’t make it into Champions because of our own mistakes. Next year we have to make it [at all costs]; this club deserve it.

Simeone will be there from the start [of next season]…
Simeone has transmitted a winning spirit to the team. Since he got here, I’ve been a winner. There are no more crap games. That’s over. The coach is a star, a winner. That’s what I most learned from him. This team can do so much more.

Atleti’s opponent in Monaco is set; what are your thoughts on Chelsea?
The winners of the Champions League are always tough. Chelsea have a great team and they know how to approach this. We’ll have a lot of time to study Chelsea and bring home that trophy that is so-important for us.

What are your dreams?
To play in Champions. It’s one of my pending goals.

How would you rate Filipe’s second season at Atleti?

  • Mais

    On the whole, I’m not disappointed at all with him..he had really great moments and link ups with Arda in particular always had me cheering on my his response to the Bucharest question

  • Urban

    Most consistent performer of the team. Enough said.

  • Dircil

    And a very reliable one 🙂

  • ratchet

    In my opinion he is one of the best LB in Spain. With him on the team we are stronger, no doubt. Off topic, who will watch the euros when it starts on Friday? Personally, i believe either Germany or Spain will win it. England now have an injury plagued squad (lampard and cahill are out, to name just 2) so quater finals at best for me. Ah well, i can always dream…

  • Dircil

    I support Croatia,the only national team that I love. I aslo support Juanfran :))

  • palc

    Rooting for Polan, Ukraina, Russia, Croatia, Greece, Ireland and Czech Rep.!

  • Croatia Atletista

    Jel moguče da nas ima još Hrvata sta vole Atletico?
    Odakle si brate?

  • Dircil

    @Croatia Atletista: I’m vietnamese bro, I support Croatia cuz this team is my childhood favorite national team 🙂

  • Anel

    @Croatia Atletista,ja sam pola-pola(pola Bosnjak,pola Hrvat)

  • k14

    I believe a dark horse will win it this time, and by that I mean France and Russia.

  • shay

    A. This euro has GERMANY written all over it.
    B. Felipe is as solid as he’s been from the beginning. Great player and my personal favorite atleti player..

  • Dircil

    I just got a video of Filipe, u guys can have a look at it

  • shay

    Nice.. Felipe and Adrian at Depor.. 🙂

  • Shlomgar

    I personally think Spain should start sanding two adults squads and the Olympic one to the European competitions. The level in spanish football is so far off the others, just think of all the players left behind.

    Nothing can stop Spain, again, only it’s players. By the way Shay, don’t forget Bayern players are a bit terrorized and all the others just loss 5-3 to swisarland.

    Felipe, ur awesome. Please stay enough so that we would start to think your not good enough.

  • Javi Lozoya

    I’d give Filipe a 7.5. Not to sound rubbish, but I don’t think he has recovered his level showed at Depor. That Filipe used to rock scoring some great goals. I suppose that he hasn’t reached that level again because of the terrible injury he suffered, it was most awful, thankfully he recovered successfully. He still is a good player but he is lacking that spark that he used to have at Depor. Either way, it’s true that he has been one of the most consistent players for Atleti. He deserves recognition.
    Grande Filipe!

  • Ringo

    Perhaps Atleti’s best player this year, at least defensively.
    Perhaps his offensive play hasn’t been like at Deportivo, but his defensive is better. Plus, his attacks get better every game, his crosses are very precise and he’s very wise with his coming up on the flanks.

    Plus, I hate to be ‘that guy’, but is it really that hard to write his name correctly? It’s not F[e]lipe, it’s F[i]lipe. After two years it’s getting somewhat disrespectful, in my opinion. It’s just a name, but it’s just so easy to not make this mistake. Sorry for being a douche right now, but it’s getting annoying, after two whole years.

    But I hope he stays for a long time. Terrific left back, works very hard an his best play still lies ahead. Next season he’ll play even better, I assure you.

    By the way, Chelsea bought some fine attackers! Marin, Hazard and Hulk. I’ve always been a fan of Marin’s and I think the others are clearly skilled.

    This makes the game even more exciting, but also harder, I’m guessing…

  • palc

    Smart player. Always does good things with the ball offensively and never loses possesion unneccesarily. His defending has been quite good this season. Would have been La Ligas best LB if he hadn’t suffered that terrible injury.

  • shay

    Ringo@ Your’e right. Filipe it is.
    Shlomgar@ Bayern are lost but dont forget Dortmund players.. They are on fire! I say Germany for the win!

  • Ja sam iz Srbije! 😀
    1) Filipe is I think the best LB in La Liga, such a consistent hard woring player!
    2) Re. of Ireland, Portugal, Greece or Russia for the win 😉

  • @Dircil

    bạn là một người tuyệt vời

  • Javi Lozoya

    We’re in June and we still have this annoying uncertainty of what is gonna happen regarding the team. Will Falcao stay?, there’s rumors once again that Chelsea want to sign him, Diego’s imminent exit or will he stay?, if not most likely Jurado is gonna be his replacement, I would prefer Sosa previously linked with us, Godin as well, will he stay or be sold?. Additionally we still don’t have a DM which we desperately need and also, we need a back up striker for Falcao, Diego Costa situation isn’t solved yet, he still hasn’t acquire his Spanish passport and some teams want to sign him, and yet nothing has happened regarding these news. I just want the season to start and end this annoying uncertainty.

  • Dircil

    @Randy German: did u use google translate ? lol
    @Javi Lozoya: they may have some shocking signing at the end of the transferring period :)) like the case of Diego, hopefully! Just wait and see our “awesome” boards do with their money :))

  • @Dircil
    No I used Bing Translator not google :p. lol. And my thought on Felipe as a player is he is an almost irreplaceable player in this squad. We have to keep him. He is one of the best left backs in the world. And i am backing Germany, Italy and Portugal. Portugal are my favourite side in Europe.

  • I think when we play Chelsea In the Super Cup, we will have a menace of attackers hunting us down as Ringo said before Marin, Hazard and Hulk and our local boy Torres :(.
    Chelsea has a great team but we have a better one hopefully. We should be able to win but they’re very strong and we realize that.

    Aupa Atleti!!

  • AtleticoFanInDublin

    It would be great if atletico could have a similar starting 11 for 2 seasons in a row.
    Filipe is reliable and offers options going forward.

  • Javi Lozoya

    List of players of La Liga who’s contracts will end next month and therefore they’ll be free agents,
    I can only think of Keita, a possible return of Leo Franco, I miss him, he was a pretty solid GK for us, we could sign him to have an experienced keeper, most teams have one, and maybe Pedro Rios, other than that, I can’t think of anybody else.

  • Timo

    Botelho for free would be nice

    And I also think that we must buy Marco Fabian from Chivas, he is brilliant

  • palc

    Haha Leo Franco a solid GK? No way bro’.

  • Dircil

    we can get Keita, cant we? I just check his profile on, and the expire date of his contract with Barca is 30.06.2014

  • Javi Lozoya

    Leo Franco WAS pretty solid, don’t know what makes you he wasn’t. He wasn’t spectacular but used to got the job done. I’m thinking of him as a 3rd GK, like I said most teams have one, and he could like Mono Burgos and keep peace in the dressing room or something like that. It’s pretty obvious I’m not thinking of him as the starting keeper. Duh!.

  • Javi Lozoya

    @Dircil, I assume we can, transfermarkt isn’t always right neither marca, either way, his situation is weird, some sources claim his contract does ends in 2012 while other say what you mentioned about his contract finishing in 2014. I guess you’re right and his contract ends in 2 years. That sucks. But we got enough CM midfielders I believe.

  • Javi Lozoya

    @Timo, Botelho is pretty talented but most of the time he loses his marbles and does weird things, he is undisciplined but got skills.
    Marco Fabián is very talented but inconsistent with his club Chivas, on the other hand with the Mexican team he rocks, he won recently the Toulon Tournament with México and was the top scorer with 7 goals tying historic English player Alan Shearer despite Marco Fabián not being a striker, he is an attacking midfielder, unfortunately Marco Fabián doesn’t have an EU passport so it’s gonna be complicated that Atleti signs him.
    Keep an eye on Héctor Herrera too, he is another promising Mexican young player, he is a box-to-box midfielder and was chosen as the Toulon Tournament’s best player. Liverpool, Manchester United and some other are interested in him.

  • Javi Lozoya
  • Javi Lozoya

    Marco Fabián does have a knack to score important goals. He scored against Internacional de Porto Alegre in the 2010 Copa Libertadores final, it was a great goal, against Barcelona which we’re two bad ass goals, (Barca lost 4-1 to Chivas if i’m not mistaken), and like I said before, Fabián was the Toulon Tournament top scorer and tied Alan Shearer as the Tournament all time goalscorer without being a striker.
    Atleti may find Diego’s replacement if he leaves, and a very talented player if they sign Fabián.

  • Dircil

    @Javi Lozoya: Atleti should hire u to be their scouter :)) seem like u know heaps of things about young tatlented players.

  • Timo

    Also the Wigan trio: Diamé, Rodallega and Figueroa will be free. I like them!

  • shay

    I have been reading a lot of comments from some people here and there are a few things I dont understand:

    When Perea left, everybody was all “ohhh I will miss you” and “great player” and shit. I’m sorry, Perea should have left years ago!! he was and still rubbish!! Every time he touched the ball, my heart skipped a beat.

    @Javi loyoza: Leo Franco was solid??? Have you ever seen him play? The only keeper who was worse than Franco was Abbiati. Wake up Javi!!

    And about Diego, I am very upset that he is leaving but as far as I know, that means Falcao is gonna stay. which is way more importent for Atleti.

    Sorry for the long massage but that “Leo Franco” thing killed me.. 🙂

  • Javi Lozoya

    @Dircil, thanks man, I wish I was an scout for any team, but I still have a lot to learn about football, i don’t consider myself an expert.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Shay or whatever your name is, you’re the only one who’s rubbish.

  • Ringo

    Perea had his mistakes, but he also had the games other defenders would have been worse. Like against Ronaldo or Ibrahimovic. Leo Franco wasn’t the greatest goalkeeper but his final half year at Atleti was actually very good. But based on just that, I wouldn’t get him, although a third goalkeeper might come in handy. I think Joel will and should be loaned out again.
    Yeah, new players… Seems Costa won’t get his Spanish passport in time, so it could be best to sell him and try a youth squad striker or sign a new one. Salvio should stay, in my opinion. Now more useful than ever, with Diego probably not coming back. Money is good, but I want a good team with talented players who can grow along and contribute to the team.
    If they want to let some players go, they should be central midfielders. Raul Garcia, Ruben Micael, Paulo Assuncao, Tiago, Ruben Perez and Fran Merida are all unneeded assets to this team, besides maybe one or two of them.