‘I had to wait until Figo and Rivaldo were suspended or tired before I could get some game time’

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Former Barcelona winger Simao Sabrosa has revealed that with the quality of talent that the Catalan club possessed during his stay at the club, he could only manage very few opportunities on the field of play.

Simao left for Portugal to join SL Benefica in 2001 after failing to establish himself in Louis Van Gaal’s Barcelona team.

“If we look at this team, almost all of them are coaches,” Simao told Benfica TV as he reminisced about the past.

“Playing with Figo, my big idol, was fantastic.

“My biggest difficulty was playing where am I going to play.

“On the one hand Figo, on the other hand Rivaldo… I had to wait until they were suspended or were tired.”

Simao revealed how Guardiola was demonstrating his tactical capabilities even then.

“He already had tactical sense,” he explained.

“He took a piece of paper and told me the moves I should make without the ball.”

“On the plane I sat between Figo and Guardiola and he already had football books, lots of golf books… ‘Can I talk?’ I thought between the two of them.”

Simao then talked about his compatriot Joao Felix.

“He can win the Ballon d’Or. He has it all,” Simao admitted.

“He’s going through an adjustment phase and it’s not easy.

“Atletico’s way of playing is different from Benfica’s and the first few months weren’t easy.

“The fans want goals and he’s not scoring.

“I know that it probably bothers Joao to always be substituted, but he takes the opportunity to win and thinks about the team.

“He must always be fresh for [Diego] Simeone.”




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