Barcelona will lock horns with arch-rivals Atletico Madrid in a high-profile La Liga encounter this upcoming Sunday at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys.
Ahead of the blockbuster encounter, all eyes will be on a certain Joao Felix as he left Atletico Madrid to join Barça, with his exit not being on the best of terms.
After all, the 24-year-old Portuguese international professed his desire to join Barcelona early in the summer and knocked back other proposals to get a loan move to Catalonia.
Griezmann on why things didn’t work out for Felix
Ahead of the big clash on Sunday, Antoine Griezmann, another footballer to have turned out for both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in recent years, tried to explain why things did not click for Joao Felix at the Metropolitano.
“In the end when you arrive here you know more or less what the coach is like, what the team is like, and either you adapt and work for it or things don’t work out for you,” Griezmann said (h/t Mundo Deportivo), about Felix’s falling out at Atletico Madrid.
“There were times when Joao did very well, he worked very well, but you have to be consistent and maybe there came a time when he got tired, he didn’t see himself here and that’s why he made the effort and the club also made the effort to let him leave,” he added.
Felix was one of the best young talents when Atleti signed him in 2019 in a deal worth €127 million, precisely to replace Griezmann, who had left them for Barcelona that year.
But things never really worked out for him under Diego Simeone. Now, the two players have swapped places with Felix in Catalonia and Griezmann back in Madrid.
Having been through a disappointing goalscoring rut that ran 12 games, the 24-year-old Portuguese ace found the back of the net in Barcelona’s recent 2-1 win over FC Porto.
And, he will hope to continue in that vein of form and prove a point to Atletico when the two teams square off on Sunday.