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Player Profile: Luis Filipe  

Luis FilipeFull name: Luis Filipe Angelo Rodriguez Fernandes

Position: Defender

Date of Birth: 14 June 1979

Birthplace: Cantanhede, Portugal

Right-back Luis Filipe is not the fastest of full-backs, nor is he the flashiest, but one cannot deny that he gives everything he has each and every time he takes to the field. Whether he is part of the starting XI or comes on for the last ten minutes of the match, the Benfica defender does what is asked of him without complaint.

Filipe enjoyed a meteoric start to his career. After coming through he ranks as a winger at Academica, Spanish side Atletico Madrid set their sights on the prodigy and signed him soon after his professional debut with Academica.

But things did not work out in the Spanish capital for Filipe and after making just one appearance for the reserve team, Filipe was shipped back to Portugal to Sporting Braga. At Braga the player quickly rediscovered his best form, playing 52 matches and scoring 7 goals. His sparkling performances persuaded Sporting to snap up the winger.

Bittersweet season

Now a member of Lazlo Boloni’s team, Luis Filipe’s first season with the Portuguese giants was bittersweet. At 23 years of age the flanker was a member of Sporting’s championship winning team, albeit making just 10 appearances and failing to hit the net.

A brief high point then came as Filipe scored the first ever goal at Sporting’s brand new Jose Alvalade stadium in a 3-1 pre-season friendly victory over Manchester United. But when the season proper kicked off things took a turn for the worse, as the player suffered a series of injuries, limiting his contributions to just three matches.

Positional change

A loan spell at Leiria followed before Filipe was sold to Maritimo, but only in 2005 when the player returned to Sporting Braga did Filipe’s career get back on track. The player made a total of 52 appearances and was transformed from a winger to a full-back.

Filipe’s second chance at a big club came in the summer of 2007 as Benfica made a surprise swoop for the Braga player, tying him to a 4-year deal. Filipe has made 11 appearances for Benfica thus far as he wages an intense battle with Nelson for the right-back berth, which can only benefit the club.

Experience has taught Luis Filipe that in order to earn your spot, you have to work for it, and that is exactly what he planned on doing with Benfica, but once again full-back found playing time hard to come by.

Failure to adjust 

Luis Filipe had all the opportunities to convince the Benfica coaching staff that he deserved to be the team's regular right-back, but just like his time with Sporting, the Portuguese defender failed to live up to the expectations that come with being at a bigger club, and saw his playing time diminsh whenever Nelson was healthy to play.   

After one season with the Eagles, making a total of 29 appearances in all competitions, the Lisbon club had seen enough and were certain that the player was not cut out to deal with the responsibilities of the institution and their supporters. The summer of 2008 saw Luis Filipe head to Vitoria Guimaraes on loan with the club left with the option to make the deal permanent. 

by Marco Pereira (last updated 07/03/2009) 

Atletico Madrid B10
Vitoria Guimaraes**30

* League appearances only

** Up to 1 March 2009

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