It has been a fine season for Filipe Luis back at the Vicente Calderon after a tough campaign in England. He has once again demonstrated why he is up there with the best left-backs in the world game and certainly this season you’d struggle to find a more consistent performer in that position.
Having helped Atleti to the league title and a Champions League final, Filipe Luis looked a good signing when Chelsea snapped him up in the summer of 2014. However it never really worked out for him at Stamford Bridge as the Brazilian took a little time to adapt to the pace of the English game and his manager seemed to quickly lose faith in him after a few slightly shaky early displays with Cesar Azpilicueta remaining the preferred choice at left back for almost the entire campaign.
He made just nine Premier League starts for the Blues which isn’t anywhere near enough to definitively state that he was not suited to English football and he would surely have got more of a look-in had he stayed put with Chelsea far less convincing this season.
However it is highly unlikely that Filipe Luis has any regrets about his move back to Atleti. Sometimes it doesn’t work out when a player or manager returns to a club where they’ve had success, but the 30 year old has slotted straight back into Diego Simeone’s trusty back four and they have looked an even more difficult unit to break down this season than they did in their title winning campaign.
He has a manager and team-mates that have the utmost trust him, something that perhaps wasn’t the case in West London and his rock solid displays have certainly repaid their faith in him and have also quickly won back the hearts and minds of Atleti fans after he left them just months after their title win.
He makes for an intriguing contender to the title of the world’s best left-back. Perhaps his attacking play is not as dynamic as someone like Jordi Alba or compatriot Marcelo but he has emerged as Brazil’s first choice left back since the World Cup and that takes some doing in a country that has always produced outstanding full-backs.
Alaba or Luis?
David Alaba has probably been the stand-out left-back in world football over the past couple of years, but has featured more in a central role for Bayern this season and is also capable of playing extremely well in midfield.
By contrast Filipe Luis is the kind of steady, consistent performer who struggles to get a mention when World XI’s are named, but he is certainly showing his worth again this season and if he can help Atletico to either league or Champions League glory then a few more people might start to take notice of his excellence.
Written by Mark Sochon
Follow Mark on Twitter @tikitakagol
Check out his brilliant blog on all things La Liga, Tiki-Taka-Gol!
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