After a lackluster attacking effort against Manchester City, Rio Ferdinand said that Atletico Madrid are struggling to ‘get the best’ out of Joao Felix.
On Tuesday evening, Atletico Madrid lost 1-0 to Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
Diego Simeone’s side had zero shots, zero shots on target, only 29% possession, and zero corners in an attempt to frustrate the hosts with a primarily negative and obstinate defensive display.
Rio Ferdinand, a commentator, told BT Sport that Felix, who cost £114 million, would not have liked his team’s setup.’Imagine if he plays for a team that gives him the ball in the last third,’ he remarked.
‘He gets the ball on the halfway line, which is the furthest forward position, and he still has to run 50, 60 yards and defeat eight men.’
‘The last whistle,’ Ferdinand said when asked if Felix would have enjoyed any part of the game.
‘I can’t think he sits there and likes playing in the manner in which he’s been expected to.’
‘I admire Simeone’s style of play since he has brought unrivaled success to that team in the past.’
‘However, a player like Joao Felix cannot be sitting on the plane home thinking, ‘They got the best out of me, and they continue to get the best out of me as a player.’ That is not something he will say.
After a breakout season at Benfica, where he scored 20 goals to help the Eagles win the Primeira Liga, the LaLiga side signed him for £114 million, making him the fourth most expensive player in history.
The 22-year-old has 10 goals in all competitions so far this season, tying for his joint-best season in terms of goals, and fellow pundit Owen Hargreaves believes his abilities could lead to a move away from Atletico.
‘I think you see him and think, ‘He goes into the Liverpool team, City team, or Chelsea team,” he remarked. That’s how good his upside is.
‘Rodri came here (to City) and played in a defensive Atletico side, and now he’s in a key role.’ Because he is so good, he (Felix) will be able to play for a top team.