Felipe Monteiro knows that he has started his third season at Atlético at a disadvantage compared to his competitors. The defense of three formed by Savic, Giménez and Hermoso has become the ideal for Simeone and his knee injury during the Copa América left him out of action throughout the preseason and the first two days of the League.
However, it is not an unusual situation for him. In his two previous rojiblanco campaigns he had faced enormous internal competition and, Despite starting the course as the theoretical fourth player in the position, he always ended up surpassing the 35 games played (36 and 38). Simeone advocates a rear center with few pieces, only four more specialists the possibility of placing players like Kondogbia or Vrsaljko there. But he knows that his four centrals are of maximum guarantees. And in Champions he will have to face the absence of the most immovable of them during the last year.
Savic carries four games of suspension for his expulsion in the round of 16 last season against Chelsea and He will not be able to host Porto, visit Milan or play both games against Liverpool. And there the figure of Felipe emerges, always prepared. Against Espanyol already had his first minutes of the course taking advantage of the great effort that Giménez had accumulated during the international break and that forced him to take a break. And despite being inactive for more than two months, he responded with confidence and forcefulness.
In the last minutes suffered a severe blow to the back after an unbalanced jump, but he was able to continue. And the Brazilian looks comfortable closing the line of three centrals, but even more when you become a partner with a partner, as happened in the second half with Savic after the entry of Lodi by Hermoso at halftime. His good level places him with options to repeat against Porto, a very special rival for Felipe.
The Brazilian set a course for Europe quite late for what is usual. At the age of 26 he left Corinthians to join the ranks of Porto, where it was important from the first day and ended up curdling three great seasons (45, 44 and 53 games respectively) like a fixed on the axis of the rear, shining under the command of a Sergio Conceição who will be on the rival bench tonight. Atlético paid 20 million for his services and came to LaLiga to demonstrate all those qualities that had made him a wall at Porto.
Now Felipe has become a regular in their selection And despite the fact that with his 32 years he can be considered a veteran, his late explosion leads him to want to show a maximum level for many more seasons. His story gives to write a book. At the age of 19, Felipe even gave up football after being rejected in the tests of more than a dozen clubs. He went to work distributing mushrooms for his father-in-law, in restaurants in São Paulo. Until Bragantino became interested in him after analyzing his DVD and signed him at the age of 20 to play directly in the 2011 Brazilian Second Division. After 33 he caught the attention of the then Corinthians coach, Tite, who hired him. After five years at the Brazilian club, Porto opened the doors of Europe for him and today he will be his rival for the first time, in an Atlético that knows that with such a complicated group it is essential to make their debut by winning at home.