Diego Simeone's new central defender has had an unusual route to the big time but has signed for the Rojiblancos for 20 million euros.
Atlético Madrid’s new signing Felipe Monteiro, 30, wasn’t even a professional footballer 10 years ago.
Porto and Atlético announced that the two clubs had reached a €20million deal for the central defender to move to the Metropolitano on Monday and the deal was confirmed a day later, the Brazil international joining Diego Simeone’s side to replace the outgoing Diego Godín.
Like Diego Costa, Felipe did not pass through any youth academy and at the age of 19 he was working for his father-in-law, delivering mushrooms to restaurants around São Paulo.
By chance, Brazilian side Bragantino offered him a trial after watching a DVD of his performances for amateur sides and he made his professional debut in the second division in 2011. After 33 games in which he displayed his technique and ability on the ball, Corinthians coach Tite made an offer and Felipe made the move to the big time.
Felipe's Porto progress
Agreement with @FCPorto over Felipe, pending International Transfer Certificate (ITC). The centre-back is to join on July 4 for the next three seasons.— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) 28 May 2019
➡ https://t.co/xovSB4txLH#AúpaAtleti pic.twitter.com/ZiKOXKqjj8
His first three season were erratic and Felipe struggled to adapt to the rigours of one of the biggest clubs in the country, but Tite believed in his potential and in 2015 he was instrumental as Corinthians won the league title.
At 26, he received his first call-up for Brazil and was bought by Porto, where he immediately became a cult hero and one of the finest defenders in the Portuguese top flight, making 93 Primeira Liga appearances in three years
Now, after a fairytale journey, he will turn out for Atlético next season in LaLiga.