Left Menu
Development News Edition

Soccer-Fearless teenager Felix leads charge of refreshed Atletico

Reuters | Madrid | Updated: 14-08-2019 17:46 IST | Created: 14-08-2019 17:41 IST
Soccer-Fearless teenager Felix leads charge of refreshed Atletico

Atletico Madrid underwent seismic changes in the close season but after a rip-roaring warm-up campaign spearheaded by teenage hotshot Joao Felix, they look refreshed, more dangerous in attack and ready to mount a serious La Liga title challenge. The departure of veteran defenders Diego Godin, Filipe Luis, and Juanfran plus talisman Antoine Griezmann's bitter transfer to champions Barcelona initially appeared to strip the team of their backbone, as did the sales of Lucas Hernandez and Rodri.

But the considerable windfall from those deals has allowed them to invest more than 300 million euros ($335.46 million) in a new group of dynamic players that look set to transform Diego Simeone's infamously defensive side into an attacking machine. "The coach has been getting us playing in a 4-3-3 shape, he wants to be more attacking, have a little more of the ball and try to be more forward-thinking," said midfielder Koke, hinting at a change in strategy from the team with the best defensive record in the league over the last four seasons.

Atleti won five out of six of their pre-season games, hammering Real Madrid 7-3 and beating Juventus 2-1 with eye-catching displays from 19-year-old Felix, who cost 126 million euros from Benfica as a replacement for Griezmann. It was a staggering fee for a player with less than a season in professional football under his belt, but if the Portugal international's early performances are an indication of what is to come, his transfer could look like shrewd business.

Felix appears to have all the qualities of a center forward and a playmaker rolled into one. He dovetailed superbly with Diego Costa in the demolition of Real, providing two assists and a goal, while scoring two clinical strikes against Juventus. The youngster has also averaged a goal or an assist every 35 minutes in pre-season, prompting Spanish newspaper Marca to boldly declare: "Not even Lionel Messi can cast a shadow over Joao Felix."

Simeone added of his club's record signing: "He has so much capability and he is adapting very fast. "The best thing about him is his willingness to learn and when a player is like that the path to the top is always shorter."

Felix is far from the only new addition at Atletico: their defense has been replenished by 21-year-old Brazilian left-back Renan Lodi and Spain center back Mario Hermoso, 24, plus England's Kieran Trippier and Brazilian center-back Felipe. Mexican Hector Herrera has bolstered the midfield alongside former Real Madrid player Marcos Llorente, while Spain striker Rodrigo Moreno is also set to join from Valencia before their opening game at home to Getafe on Sunday.

"This is a renewed team, there are very few players left from when Simeone arrived. New players have come in with lots of hope and humility and they are prepared to work hard," said Koke. "I've never been more excited about a new season." ($1 = 0.8943 euros)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

5G will be the key driving force for COVID-19 recovery: Here's how?

... ...

Canada’s COVID-19 pitfalls highlight need for integrated health information system

In the globalized world of today where outbreaks can spread far and wide within a matter of days, a global-level integrated health information system is ideal but Canadas provincial barriers show that the country lags much behind in deployi...

Pandemic must be impetus, not obstacle, for clean water access

To make matters worse, there are suspicions that the inadequacy of wastewater treatment methods in California, the rest of the USA, and indeed around the world may help to propagate the disease even more widely. ...

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

Videos

Latest News

Aatmanirbhar Bharat at centre of Modi's Independence Day speech

Aatmanirbhar Bharat was the centrepiece of Prime Minister Narendra Modis Independence Day address as he presented a broad outline for spurring Indias growth in diverse sectors and asserted that the coronavirus pandemic cannot halt the count...

Reports: Reds player tests positive; Saturday game uncertain

A Cincinnati Reds player reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, leaving the status of the teams Saturday home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates uncertain. The Athletics Ken Rosenthal first reported the news of the positive test late Fri...

India's COVID-19 count crosses 25 lakhs, death toll at 49,036

With an increase of 65,002 COVID-19 cases and 996 deaths reported in India in the last 24 hours, the coronavirus count in the country crossed 25 lakhs on Saturday. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare MoHFW, the tally rose...

Women are not allowed to make mistakes: Pak actor Yasra Rizvi

Pakistani actor Yasra Rizvi, who currently stars in ZEE5s critically-acclaimed show Churails, says she has navigated her career battling inequality and sexism, which was both heartbreaking and discouraging. The actor is known for playing we...

Give Feedback