Felix ignored advice to join Man City or Barca

first_imgJoao Felix went against the advice of a former coach at Benfica when making a €126 million (£113m/$142m) move to Atletico Madrid, with Renato Paiva having urged him to join Manchester City or Barcelona.Paiva worked with the exciting 19-year-old within the B team ranks at Estadio da Luz.He has seen Felix transformed from a player deemed surplus to requirements at Porto to one now considered to have the world at his feet. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Atletico are the ones hoping to benefit from that potential for the foreseeable future, with the Liga giants having won the race for a much-coveted signature over the summer.Quizzed by The Sportsman on whether he had offered any advice to Felix regarding a big decision at an important career crossroads, Paiva said: “Yes. I said Manchester City or Barcelona.“I said City because of Pep Guardiola, or Barcelona because of the way they play. I think the characteristics of Joao are better in that kind of game. “I respect… for God’s sake, I respect Atletico Madrid a lot. But the idea of City I think was better for Joao, especially with Pep.”Joao Felix Atletico MadridPaiva admits to having closely monitored Felix’s progress since he was 10 years old.When he was surprisingly released by Porto at the age of 15, Benfica moved quickly to bring him onto their books.There was no telling at that time how far the talented forward could go, but he is now being tipped to reach the very top of the game.Paiva added: “He came and was not so excited to play, but Benfica was very important and gave him a new life.“Joao though, did his work and is responsible for everything that is happening now. “In the first week of training, I was watching him working and exercising. I said to my assistant: ‘What do we have here? Are you seeing the same thing I am seeing now? ‘What we have here is a diamond. How is it possible that this guy cannot play for Porto?’“He did amazing things you never ever see – that’s what I miss.“Every training session he did things that you didn’t expect, an unpredictable player, with lots of great attributes, both the technical and tactical. Even physically he’s very smart, the way he avoids contact.“Joao is a complete player.”Felix has enjoyed a positive start to his time in Spain, with a man acquired with the money Atletico generated from the sale of Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona already boasting two goals to his name.last_img