The young Portuguese striker had a mixed first season with Colchoneros, but can count on the support of his compatriot.
But the striker struggled to reproduce the form that got the best European teams’ attention while still playing for Benfica, where he did 20 times in just 43 games.
Atletico Madrid, João Félix talks about his meeting with Cristiano Ronaldo
Felix struck only four times in La Liga and got two more in the Champions League for Diego Simeone’s team, while he also had to deal with injuries this year. Despite his problems, former Atlético and Barcelona player Simao is confident that he will succeed in the Spanish capital and establish himself as one of the world’s best players.
“I think he can reach the Ballon d’Or. He is in an adaptation phase, it’s not easy, Simao said to BTV. The way to play Atlético differs from Benfica and the first few months were not easy.
“I know he will be replaced, but he has to think about the team that has the chance to win. You have to be cool to attack in Simeone’s team.”
Simao says he knows how the Portuguese international feels when he mingles with the top players, since the forties made a similar hope when he left Sporting to join FC Barcelona in 1999.
“Pep Guardiola, Figo, Patrick Kluivert, Ronald de Boer … if we look at this team, almost all coaches are”, he said, thinking back to his teammates at Camp Nou.
“Playing with Figo, the big idol, was fantastic. That was the biggest difficulty for me. I thought, ‘Where should I play? “On one side it was Figo, on the other Rivaldo, I had to wait until they were turned off or tired.
“These were two fantastic years, I spent a lot of time with Rivaldo and I had conversations with Guardiola. He already had a tactical sense, he took a role and told me how to get around without a ball.
“On the plane I sat in the middle of Figo and Guardiola and I already had books about football, a lot about golf. I read a lot. I was 19 years old. I stopped exercising exhaustively and Rivaldo asked me to train with him, because he wanted more, I could not say no. “