Profiles - Filipe

Squad Number 09/10: 3
Date of Birth: 9 August, 1985
Place of Birth: Jaragua do Sul (Brazil)
Nationality: Brazil/Italy
Contract: 2006 - 2013
Transfer: 2.2 million Euros (2008, buyout option from Rentistas)
Career: Deportivo (2006-now), Real Madrid Castilla (2005-2006), Ajax Amsterdam (2004-2005), Figueirense (2000-2004)
Buy-out Clause: 20 Million Euros 
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 70 kg
Position: Defender/Midfielder (Left)

FILIPE has been occupying Depor’s left defensive spot since Capdevila’s departure in the summer of 2007. His spectacular performances at the wing, together with Guardado, silenced the critics who claimed the squad needed priority reinforcement for that spot. For this reason president Lendoiro decided to execute the buyout option over the left-back during the summer of 2008. Now this ex-Real Madrid player has a contract until the year 2013 and his name has been linked with the biggest European clubs.

When coach Caparrós needed someone for the left side after the goodbye of legendary defender Romero in 2006, which only left Capdevila on the squad, Filipe was contracted on a loan deal. Not much was known about him at the time, only that he had played in the youth teams of both Ajax Amsterdam and Real Madrid. Described as a technical player who possesses good offensive skills, he had started his career in Brazil at Figueirense in the year 2000. In 2004 he signed at Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam after his participation with Brazil in the U-20 World Cup. During his year in The Netherlands, the Brazilian obtained an Italian passport thanks to his mother's ancestry. Filipe was called up for a Champions League match of Ajax Amsterdam against Bayern Munich, but he didn’t enter that game.
In 2005 he attracted the interest of Real Madrid who arranged a loan spell for one year. The idea was that in Madrid’s B-team (Real Madrid Castilla) he would be shaped into Roberto Carlos' successor, something which gave him hope. Filipe said about this: “I would love to become his successor, but there are at least twenty left defenders in Brazil. Maybe I have an advantage because I am in Madrid already. But when Roberto Carlos retires, I would like to become his substitute”.

Filipe did pretty well at Real Madrid Castilla during the season 2005/2006. After defender Arbeloa, who would move with him to Deportivo, he was their second player with most Liga minutes. His offensive skills and passing capacity were the main characteristics that he demonstrated. He trained a couple of times with the first squad, but the Brazilian was ready for more. Real Madrid tried to sign a new contract with him, but they were only offering another season at Real Madrid B. This offer was rejected by Filipe because he wanted to play at Primera.

He returned to Brazil and continued training with Figueirense, his former team. Big clubs in Brazil were interested in him: Cruzeiro, Sao Paulo and Gremio. But suddenly, at the end of August 2006, there was the interest of Primera club Deportivo and Filipe didn’t think twice. Fifty percent of his transfer rights were in the hands of his agent, Juan Figger, and the other half were for Figueirense. His value was arranged at €2 million and Deportivo obtained the option to buy him for this amount until May 15 2007. He would play the season 2006/2007 on a loan deal. Filipe explained to Spanish sportspaper AS why he had picked Deportivo: “It’s a dream coming true because Deportivo is a club which I always have admired. My idol has played there: Bebeto. Besides, my friend Arbeloa is at he club and they have one of the best coaches in Spain”. Filipe rejected an offer of Recreativo.

Filipe, who arrived just a few days before the season started, wasn’t used in the first game of the season but entered the matches against Mallorca, Villarreal and Levante. On October 1st 2006 he started his first match at Primera during a 2-0 home win against Real Sociedad. He repeated this during the away game at Betis Sevilla (1-1) when he was sent off for receiving two yellow cards. He then entered the match against Atlético as a substitute and started during the 2-0 defeat at Getafe. Felipe now had played in seven of Deportivo’s eight Liga matches and started three of them.

But the next months would be harsher to him. Between that Getafe match at the end of October 2006 and a 1-0 win against Osasuna on April 22nd 2007, he just played 364 Liga minutes in five months. These included the horrible defeats of Deportivo at Osasuna (4-1), Valencia (4-0) and Sevilla (4-0) at the end of the year. Felipe started all these matches, and might have become a scapegoat for this. It seemed that Felipe wasn’t a left winger or defensive enough to be a left-back. Still, Felipe said at the time that “My game has grown since I arrived at Deportivo. And with some continuity I am sure that I can improve more. I feel like a Primera player now and each time I am committing fewer mistakes. Until now I am happy with the minutes I have been given”. When asked whether he preferred the left wing or left defender position, he said: “I don’t mind, as long as I play. But I always have been a left defender”. At the end of the season he figured in six of the final eight matches including three starting places. He scored one goal that season: on 28 February 2007 at Valladolid (1-1) in the Copa Del Rey tournament.

There was a nice anecdote that season before the home match against Sevilla (1-2) in which Bodipo scored a great volley. The Guinean striker told after this match that it was Filipe who had predicted that he would cross to Bodipo who would score a goal... Exactly as it happened. “Later we could laugh about it”, Bodipo said. Those weeks the Brazilian also made some tough statements in the media about Real Madrid and Celta de Vigo. Before the match at Real Madrid he said that he wanted to “take away the title from them, especially now that I am an anti-Madridista”. About Celta he said that “the first joy of the season would be to see them relegated”… wish that became a reality for the pleasure of some Depor’s fans.