Filipe Luis says that current Atletico Madrid talisman Diego Costa reminds him a lot of former Colchoneros hero Sergio Aguero in the way he can fashion a chance out of nothing when it is most needed.
Costa scored his 30th goal of the season as Saturday to settle a grim battle against Espanyol, and keep Atletico in second place and just three points behind of Real Madrid in the Primera Division title race.
The full-back told AS that the goal had brought back to mind the effect that Aguero used to have at the Estadio Vicente Calderon before he left for Manchester City in a 45 million euro transfer in summer 2011.
“Every time a game is a little bit difficult [Costa] manages to find a chance,” Filipe said. “He reminds me of Kun Aguero at his best, sometimes the game was very blocked up and Kun would arrive and make a play and create a chance. Diego is like that, and more, he can pull a chance out of his hat, out of nothing. The team is so happy to have him and I hope he continues like this, at this level, because he could do something big in his career.”
If Atletico could keep hanging in there the title race would go down to the wire, Filipe predicted.
“The best team in Spain, at the moment, is Real Madrid,” he said. “They have shown that, and are leaders for a reason. Us, with a lot of humility, we will try and stay up there. It is very difficult -- every game we play with added tension and opponents know how to play against us, they know we have to win, and it is very difficult. We are trying to do something big, but we know how difficult it is. Ten games seems very little, but it is almost a quarter of the league. We will know something when there are five left, or less. I believe this league will still be tight right up to the last game.”
Atletico’s concern next weekend will be their own game at bottom side Real Betis, not Sunday’s clasico between Madrid and third-placed Barcelona, said the former Bernabeu youth-teamer.
“The most difficult thing is to beat Betis, but I hope the clasico goes in the best way for us,” he said. “I do not know if, in this case, it is for Barcelona to win, but it does not matter, we have to think about our own game.”
Despite being among the most important players in a side challenging both for the Spanish title and the Champions League trophy, Filipe looks set to miss out on the World Cup, with Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari preferring Madrid’s Marcelo and Paris Saint Germain’s Maxwell as his options at left-back.
The 28-year-old, who was an unused substitute throughout the 2013 Confederations Cup and not been called up since, said he still remained hope of making the tournament this summer.
“I want to be there, I dream every day about being at the World Cup, but I have to respect my teammates who are there now, like Marcelo,” he said. “They are all great full-backs, and whoever goes will be good.”