João Félix: From prominence to periphery – Disappearance from Barça’s starting lineup

João Félix’s arrival at Barcelona on loan from Atlético Madrid last summer initially worked out well for both sides. Despite not being top of the wishlist, he quickly carved out a starting role on the left wing. However, his prominence dipped dramatically after the winter break, leading to doubts about his future at the club. Marca has taken a closer look at what exactly happened to the Portuguese star.

The 24-year-old attacker made a strong impression early on. He made an impact quickly out of the gate, showcasing his talent with a goal in his debut against Real Betis and two goals and an assist in a man-of-the-match performance against Royal Antwerp in the Champions League.

But the new year brought a significant change in fortunes. Félix found himself increasingly on the bench, his starting opportunities dwindling. In 2024, he has only started in seven out of his 21 appearances, with two of those coming in the Copa del Rey against lower-league sides.

His involvement has nosedived in recent weeks, as he hasn’t started a match for Barcelona since April 13th, when he scored the winner away at Cádiz.

Several factors have contributed to Félix’s fading role. Raphinha’s impressive form, Barcelona’s push in the latter stages of the season, the return of injured players, and Xavi’s preference for more consistent, aggressive, and vocal leaders on the pitch have all played a part.

This shift in Felix’s standing has cast a shadow over his future. With a contract at Atlético Madrid until 2029, a permanent move to Barcelona seems unlikely. He is no longer a top priority for the Catalan club, and his future may hinge on their ability to secure other attacking reinforcements.

Despite his diminished role, Félix reportedly aspires to stay under Xavi’s tutelage, preferring this outcome to a return to his parent club.

GSFN | Ciaran Currie

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