João Félix came back to haunt his former club as he scored to earn Barcelona three points over their title rivals. In the run-up to the game, there appeared to be no love lost between the 24-year-old and his former teammates as they each took turns in criticising the other.
However, after the final whistle, the Atlético Madrid dressing room’s quarrels with Félix appear to have turned into indifference. When interviewed after the game (adapted by Marca), Marcos Llorente responded to questions about the forward’s celebrations rather laconically and with an air of nonchalance. “I didn’t see it (the celebration) and nor does it bother me,” he said. “Everyone is master of their actions, and we are old enough to know what we’re doing. I don’t care how João celebrates his goals.”
Despite their indifference to the matter, it does appear that the dressing room is rather perplexed by the actions of Félix towards the team that took a gamble on him and brought him to the club from Benfica. Diego Simeone equally brushed off questions about Félix, saying: “I don’t talk about rivals.”
Certainly, Félix appears to have no feeling for the club that he still holds a contract with and to which he has to return once his loan spell with Barcelona comes to an end. Should Barcelona not be able to pay the fee that Atlético are demanding for the permanent transfer, it is hard to envisage that Félix’s return to the Wanda Metropolitano will be a comfortable one.
GSFN | Finn Entwistle