Diego Simeone Shuts Down Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo Comparisons

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2019

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - JULY 31: Joao Felix #7 of Atletico de Madrid celbrates after scoring a goal against the MLS All-Stars during the 2019 MLS All-Star Game at Exploria Stadium on July 31, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has moved to downplay comparisons between Cristiano Ronaldo and Joao Felix.

The coach's comments come after Felix himself spoke of his desire to emulate his compatriot:

Goal @goal

"Cristiano Ronaldo has won five Ballon d'Or trophies and this is the dream of every player. Obviously I would like to be like Cristiano." Joao Felix ❤ Cristiano Ronaldo https://t.co/SOpMGCl5xK

Per Goal's Joe Wright, Simeone said:

"No, I don't think Joao Felix is like Cristiano. 

"The reality is that he has a good game to observe. I've enjoyed watching him since he arrived. He has vision and good control going forward, which speaks well for his age and how he plays and how he reads the game.

"We are going to add situations to help him grow and become a better and stronger player in the way everyone thinks he will."

Given Felix and Ronaldo are both Portuguese, comparisons were perhaps inevitable once it became clear the 19-year-old is a superstar in the making.

Felix signed for Los Rojiblancos this summer in a €126 million (£113 million) deal, making him the fourth-most expensive player of all time.

Atleti snapped him up after a breakout season with Benfica, in which he netted 20 goals and 11 assists in all competitions, having made 33 starts.

He's yet to play a competitive fixture for his new side, but he has impressed in pre-season.

The forward bagged a goal and two assists in Atleti's 7-3 win over Real Madrid, and he added another goal and assist as they beat MLS All-Stars on Wednesday:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Atletico Madrid came to Orlando and shut out the @MLS All-Stars for the first time since 2011. 😳 #MLSAllStar Catch all the highlights in our 90' in 90" https://t.co/HBxwQlPF1w

He's a skilful and versatile operator with plenty of pace, and he's comfortable creating or taking chances.

Comparing him with the Juventus star isn't particularly helpful, though.

It will only pile more pressure on his young shoulders, and his enormous price tag will already be a heavy burden to bear.