Neither Barcelona nor Atlético, João Félix has no one who wants him | Soccer | Sports

João Félix, in Barcelona’s last training session before visiting Atlético de Madrid.Alberto Estevez (EFE)

To understand João Félix’s time at Barcelona, ​​it is impossible to separate his name from that of his representative, Jorge Mendes. Although president Joan Laporta and the Portuguese agent no longer share as many common interests as in the past, they remain linked in the football industry. In fact, after the hectic closing of the market, when Mendes took Ansu Fati to Brighton and facilitated the arrival of João Félix and João Cancelo to Barça, the Barça coaching staff celebrated: “Lucky Mendes helps us.” The joy of Xavi and company, in any case, pointed more to the signing of Cancelo than to that of Félix. The striker was not a priority for the Catalan coach as the full-back was.

It happened, in any case, that from the start João Félix’s talent surprised the Barça staff in training. “It is a show, it has a lot of quality. The controls, the dribbling…”, stood out in the coaching staff. And the Portuguese seemed to have found the light alongside Xavi after years of darkness under Simeone’s command. “I don’t want to say that Atlético plays badly, but I adapt better to Barcelona’s game,” explained the Portuguese. In his first 15 games in the League, Félix started in 13 (87%), including the duel in the first round against Atlético in which he sealed the Barça victory (1-0). But, little by little, both the coaching staff and the offices began to tire of the Portuguese attacker’s indifference. Something similar to what had already happened with Simeone. His numbers, for example, don’t change much either: at Atlético he had an average of 0.26 goals per game; at Barça, 0.24.

“The team has an imbalance problem. You can’t have two players who don’t press,” they complained in the sports area, regarding the attitude of João Félix and Lewandowski on the field. Xavi exploded in the match against Almería. “We had a lot at stake and I thought it was appropriate to raise my voice a little,” the coach revealed in his speech at halftime. In that match, the Portuguese was one of those identified: he did not return to the field after the break. Since then, his participation in the starting eleven has dropped to 50% and he has never completed a duel again.

While the sports management team is working on renewing Cancelo’s loan, “he is one of the best full-backs in the world,” sources from the technical secretary say; They rule out the continuity of João Félix. “With some exceptions, João has not lived up to any important match,” the coaching staff explains. The exception was precisely the match against Atlético. He had pending accounts, not yet resolved. “I am very respectful of the footballers of other teams, I have no opinion on any of them and this will be no exception,” said Simeone, regarding Félix’s return to the Metropolitano (9:00 p.m., DAZN).

“I see him calm, motivated, even extra-motivated. Return to what was his house. He already had a great game in the first round and I hope he can repeat it,” said Xavi. And Félix did not hide: “It is going to be a very complicated environment for everyone and even more so for me. “I like these important and spicy matches.” With Ansu Fati wanting to return to Barcelona after his time at Brighton (four goals in 26 games), Jorge Mendes will have to once again find an accommodation for João Félix. He knows that he will have to be away from Atlético. “For now I am focused here and I don’t think further, because everything depends on how it goes until the end,” concluded João Félix. The Portuguese has talent, what he doesn’t have is whoever wants him.

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