FC Barcelona: the rift between João Félix and Atlético de Madrid has reached a point of no return


By: Manu Tournoux

Enemy number one, this is how João Félix (24 years old) was designated yesterday by Atlético de Madrid. The most expensive recruit in the history of Matelassiers where he cost €127M in 2019, the Portuguese striker never managed to establish himself as a leader of the Madrid team for four seasons. Loaned at the end of last season from Chelsea, he was sent this summer at the end of the transfer window to FC Barcelona on loan until the end of the season. Still under contract with the Madrilenians until June 2029, João Félix has however killed any future with the Colchoneros.

During the summer, he surprised everyone with a media outing in which he pushed to leave for Catalonia: “I would love to play for Barça. Barcelona has always been my first choice and I would like to join Barça. It's always been my dream since I was a kid. If it happens, it will be a dream come true for me.” Last December on the sidelines of the clash between FC Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid, he further tarnished his relationship with the club where he is under contract by openly criticizing the style of play of Diego Simeone's team: “of course I prefer this style at Barcelona, ​​me and all the players. If you ask every player, if you also ask the Atlético players, they would prefer to play more time in attack, that's for sure. If they don't answer this question, they're lying. Of course, every player wants to attack, have the ball and score goals.”

The João Félix case has once again been talked about

Scorer in the 1-0 first leg victory and celebrating his goal at the same time, João Félix clearly did not ease the tensions between him and the Colchoneros public and the return match this Sunday promised to be volcanic. Asked by DAZN before the game, he had expressed his fears: “It will be a very difficult environment for the whole team. Against me it will be a little more difficult, but I am a football player and I have to get used to this kind of thing. Before the match, his plaque (for having played at least 100 matches with Atlético) had also been vandalized by Madrid supporters who openly showed their animosity towards him. He decided to respond to them on the ground.

First scorer in a 3-0 victory, the Portuguese particularly shone in this part. Xavi did not fail to point this out after the match: “he played a very complete match, very motivated, also in the defensive work.” Asked by ESPN Brasilthe former Benfica player added another layer by pointing the finger at Atlético coach Diego Simeone: “The people in the stands don't know what happened here while I was here. What they explain from the outside is that I don't get along well with my ex-partners, that's not true, as you saw. I spoke with Samuel (Lino editor's note), with Lemar, all the players hugged me. I have nothing against them, and they have nothing against me. People on the outside don't know, so I completely understand their reactions, but maybe I'm not the bad guy in this matter…”

Back in the eleven, he who lost ground on Lamine Yamal and Raphinha, João Félix has an honorable record this season (9 goals and 5 offerings in 34 matches) without completely convincing. Having to leave at the end of the season if Barça cannot pay the sum requested by Atlético de Madrid which should amount to 50 million euros. The possibility of a departure to Saudi Arabia is even being considered on the Madrid side. “Everything that will be done will be done calmly, we are happy with Joao, but now is not the time to talk about it. We are happy with João Félix, who played an important role when the team needed him”, had also tempered the Catalan sports director Deco before the game. On good terms with FC Barcelona, ​​in open war with Diego Simeone and in great tension with Atlético de Madrid, João Félix sees his case becoming a little more complicated…

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