In the 28th minute of the match, Joao Felix made a chip shot from inside the box, securing the lead for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid with a 1-0 scoreline. Last night’s La Liga match at the Olympic Stadium witnessed Felix’s goal as the means for Barcelona to stay ahead and ultimately secure a 1-0 victory over their opponents.
However, for the 24-year-old Portuguese forward, this goal was a form of “revenge.” And that’s why, at the moment of celebration, he stood upon the advertising boards with both hands spread wide, seemingly trying to express his excellence.
Felix primarily belongs to Atletico Madrid’s squad. Despite considering the possibility of being sold in the transfer window, Atletico has only loaned him for a year to Barcelona. Thus, after June 30, 2024, Barcelona will need to discuss whether to retain him or let him return to Atletico.
However, Felix’s four years at Atletico Madrid were not entirely smooth. His relationship with the coach Diego Simeone and sporting director Andrea Berta was never good, coupled with poor form on the field. Earlier in the last year, Atletico tried to send him to Chelsea but couldn’t finalize the deal. Eventually, he arrived at Barcelona, taking a salary cut.
Despite being away from Atletico Madrid for almost a year, Felix has heard various unsettling comments from his “parent club.” Grizmann, who returned to Barcelona from Atletico, has spoken about Felix’s lack of “consistency” or “fatigue.” Midfielder Saul Niguez has also emphasized the need for Felix to further improve. Even during the pre-match press conference, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez was asked about Felix’s criticism, to which he replied that Felix himself should respond to such criticism, saying, “I want him to use these criticisms from Atletico as motivation. He seems happy and consistent with the team. I’m pleased with how he integrates himself and plays for the team.”
Xavi seemed pleased with Felix’s goal against Atletico, stating, “Felix has worked a lot. He was in a good position and found the goal. He seems content. I’m very satisfied with him.”
Felix’s goal against Atletico marked Barcelona’s solid fourth position in the league. With 10 wins and 4 draws in 15 matches, Barcelona now stands at 34 points. They are placed third on the league points table, with Real Madrid and Sevilla at first and second positions, respectively, with 38 points each.