Filipe Luis left Atletico Madrid back in the summer of 2014 in the hope of making the step up and establishing himself as one of the best left-backs in the world football. Chelsea were his chosen side but while not a complete disaster – he came away with a Premier League & League Cup winners medals – the Brazilian never established himself as first choice in England and promptly found himself back at Atletico Madrid.
It’s no surprise to hear that he believes Mourinho and Simeone to be very different, “In how they are, how they work; in their philosophy of football they’re very different.” And while there are many differences between the two coaches the one thing they do share is their ambition to win.
One thing we’ve grown accustomed to when talking about Jose is his attention to detail. “He studies the rival teams a lot and tells the team what could happen during a match so you go into it knowing what will happen and nothing really surprises you.” Another trait he shares with Simeone, apart from the desire to win, is that he demands a lot from his team. If you give everything for him, he’ll do everything to protect you.
Despite failing to establish himself at Chelsea, Filipe Luis looks back on his time at the London club in a positive light. “I consider my time with Chelsea a personal triumph. In one year I won two titles – one being the Premier League. I have a trophy at home that not many people have and in possibly the most competitive league in the world.”
It isn’t all positive for Filipe though as he admits he would’ve liked to have played more, although he doesn’t believe he was treated unfairly. “Every day, after every training session and every match, I went home satisfied knowing that I had done my best.”
He feels he didn’t have the chance to develop an understanding with his teammates, not helped by his start at the club. “I didn’t have the chance [to play] in the first match of the league season and the opportunity to play in the first game is key for players at a new club – that made everything more difficult.” Filipe would only make 15 appearances in the league and just 5 in the Champions League for Chelsea, unable to dislodge first choice left-back Cesar Azpilicueta.
Mourinho’s current problems at Chelsea frequently make the newspapers over here in Spain and Filipe believes the attitude we’re seeing to the media is simply how Mourinho is. “Sometimes he’s right and sometimes he’s not. Sometimes people think what he says is absurd and sometimes they agree with him. It’s the way he is and the way he works – I see it as normal.”
Mourinho’s ability to deflect criticism is something that doesn’t always work out well either. He’s often praised for keeping the focus on off-the-field incidents but, at times, creates more bad than good. “He has his way of talking to the press, especially when the team loses, which can sometimes be damaging to certain players. Some players benefit from criticism but for others they don’t.”
Interview by Guillem Balague/Words by Andrew Gaffney