Welcome to Last Word on Football’s ‘Returning Players’ series. In this edition, we look at left-back, Filipe Luis.
The defender enjoyed two spells at Atlético Madrid between a frustrating season at Chelsea. In total, the Brazilian made 333 appearances for the Spanish side, where he provided 30 assists and netted 12 goals.
Returning Players – Filipe Luis
First Spell at Atlético Madrid
Filipe Luis first joined Atlético Madrid in 2010 following four impressive seasons at Deportivo. The left-back made his debut against Real Zaragoza and he provided an assist for Diego Costa in the games only goal. He would go on to make 36 appearances in his first season in the capital, scoring once in a home game against Real Sociedad.
Although Luis didn’t score in the following season, he turned out 53 times in all competitions and had become a key player under Diego Simeone, who had arrived in December 2011. He also ended the season by winning the Europa League.
But it would be just over a year into Simeone’s stewardship before the Brazilian netted his second Atléti goal. It came in a 2-0 defeat against Real Betis in the Copa del Rey – a competition Luis would win at the end of the season with victory over rivals Real Madrid in the final.
His final season at the Vicente Calderón was also one of success. The defender turned out 49 times in all competitions with one goal coming in a Champions League victory over Austria Wien – although Los Colchoneros would lose in the final against Real. Atléti also ended the season as runners up in the Copa del Rey before securing their first La Liga title in 18 years, having conceded just 26 goals in 38 games.
Teams That Filipe Luis Played for in Between
In July 2014, Filipe Luis made the switch to Stamford Bridge after Chelsea signed the left-back in a deal worth £15.8 million. Luis made his Blues debut in a 6-3 win at Everton while his first start came in the Champions League in a 1-1 draw against Schalke.
The Brazilian only netted once from 26 appearances when he scored from a free kick in a 3-1 win away at Derby County in the League Cup. Chelsea reached the final and won the competition, although Luis was an unused substitute.
Despite spending just one season in the Premier League, Luis secured a domestic double after Chelsea won the Premier League title, but failing to dislodge Cesar Azpilicueta resulted in Jose Mourinho allowing him to leave.
Return to Atlético Madrid
The 29-year-old returned to Atlético Madrid for an undisclosed fee. His second debut came in a 1-0 win over UD Las Palmas on the opening day of the season before netting his first goal for the club in the return fixture in January. The left-back turned out 45 times in all competitions, missing just three through suspension after picking up a red card against Barcelona. Again, Luis and Atléti missed out on the Champions League with defeat in the final against Real Madrid.
Over the next three seasons, Luis would make a further 108 appearances, scoring six goals. Although Los Colchoneros wouldn’t claim another La Liga, they would reach the semi-final of both the Copa del Rey and Champions League before securing the Europa League the following season in their first campaign in the new Wanda Metropolitano.
Capped 44 times by Brazil, the left-back missed the 2018 World Cup after picking up an injury while playing for Atléti. He left in the summer of 2019 and returned to Brazil, where he now plays for Flamengo.