Chelsea – Atltico (X/21.00)
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 – 14:10
The Portuguese defends that his controversial celebration in Villarreal was going to Lodi. Simeone confirms his tenure at Stamford Bridge: “No more words need to be added to the personality he showed by speaking”
A mentor for Joao Flix after Costa’s departure
On the last European caliber eve for the Attic, Jan Oblak He was accompanying Diego Pablo Simeone inside the Jos Alvalade stadium. It was the afternoon before the quarter-final match against Leipzig, in the eight-point final in Lisbon. A year ago at Anfield, as an exception, it was Thomas Partey he was the one who went over some of the details of the last great European night. The usual thing in the Simeone era has been that Boil, Godn, Gabi or one of the captains escort their coach.
In the press room of Cerro del Espino de Majadahonda, where the rojiblancos did their last training session before taking on Chelsea, he appeared Joao Flix. His first great staging, on the way to the most important game (for now) of the season. At 21 years old, with some football debates about his person, and some others about his gestures (as in Villarreal), he stood in front of the screen without wrinkling. “I do not know if I lack the will, but without the will, the talent does not arrive. Many talented players did not arrive. I try to put my quality to be able to arrive,” acknowledged the Portuguese, who, except unexpectedly at the last minute, be one of the 11 players that will start in Stamford Bridge, as confirm Simeone.
At his side, Simeone listened attentively and observed every gesture of his star. “It is not necessary to add more words to the personality that he demonstrated speaking,” praised his coach, already without him in the room. “I have no doubt that the explanation that Joao gave is fantastic,” added the Argentine, regarding his questioned defensive skills. “Since I’ve been at Benfica and in the national team, I have to defend as well. And that’s what I’m going to do,” Joao had previously responded about that lack of enthusiasm when it came to teaching the nails to the contrary.
Joao did not hide himself, in his own way, clarifying some details of the last weeks, such as his controversial celebration in Villarreal. Sometimes even fighting back. “What I did after the goal at Villarreal was to Lodi. But you (the press) really like to talk about things you don’t know and that’s why the controversy was generated, “he replied with a serious gesture. According to Joao, everything was set up before the game. Lodi, his best friend in the locker room, told him about it. Pic because it had not been marked for a long time. His final lash led to that curious celebration: “Shut up your fucking mouth, caralho!”.
“A nice day for Surez to break the streak”
Despite the fact that in the first leg, on the icy night in Bucharest, Joao was far from his best version, the Champions League melody transforms him. In that European showcase, he has left his best brushstrokes of the season. His three goals, with a decisive double against Salzburg, in the Metropolitano, have allowed Atltico to find themselves in the fight to reach the quarterfinals. “I’m happy, my family is fine, I’m fine here at the club. We all go through not so good phases. I’m sure I’m going to get through,” he added.
“All the best footballers have to work collectively. Joao has not stopped trying. We want him to grow in every way and to be able to reach the place where he seeks to reach, it is necessary to be complete,” Simeone continues about the Portuguese.
He also planned the losing streak that haunts Luis Surez in Europe every time he plays away. Namely: he hasn’t scored an away goal since 2015, at the Olmpico in Rome. A good part of the fate of the Atltico depends on his success, on breaking that bad luck, for a guy as superstitious as him. “Tomorrow is going to be a nice day to break that streak,” said Simeone, before getting on the plane for London. The coronavirus forced him to break his habits of speaking at the destination.
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Source site www.elmundo.es