FC Barcelona loanee Joao Felix has delivered a more direct jab at his parent club, Atletico Madrid, during an interview with Mundo Deportivo.
The Portuguese star made a high-impact move to Barcelona on the summer transfer deadline day and has quickly become a standout performer since the international break.
In consecutive victories against Real Betis in La Liga and Royal Antwerp in the Champions League, Felix has notched two goals and provided two assists while playing on the left wing. This success coincided with Xavi’s return to a 4-3-3 formation featuring two pure wingers, leaving everyone delighted with the results.
After the Betis match, Felix made a comment that some interpreted as a slight toward Atletico Madrid, stating that it was “easy to play on this team.” This time, when asked why he couldn’t excel at Atletico Madrid, who had paid €127 million ($135 million) to acquire him from Benfica in 2019, Felix was more straightforward.
“It’s clear to everyone. Football is like that; when things aren’t going well, you need to change your surroundings. I’ve done it before with Chelsea, and now I’ve done it with Barcelona because I wasn’t flourishing at Atleti,” Felix explained. “I couldn’t adapt to the club’s philosophy and the coach’s ideas, but I always gave my best and had some great moments there too.”
When questioned about whether he agreed to a pay cut to make his “dream” move to Barcelona, Felix confirmed, “Yes, it’s true that I accepted a significant reduction in my salary. But, I needed a change. I needed to be in a place where I could play my style of football, and I always believed this was the perfect place. Things are going well, and I had to make that sacrifice to rediscover the joy of playing.”
In remarkable form as part of what Xavi considers a team performing at the “highest level” since his appointment in 2021, Felix is likely to secure a starting position for the third consecutive match when Barcelona faces Celta Vigo at the Montjuic Stadium on Saturday.