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Joao Felix talks Barcelona future, Xavi, Cubarsi, Yamal, Mbappe, Messi vs Ronaldo

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Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

As we get closer and closer to the summer transfer window, the future of on-loan Barcelona forward Joao Felix continues to be a hotly discussed topic.

The 24-year-old joined Barcelona on loan from Atletico Madrid with the deal not including a purchase option. Both the player and the club want to extend the arrangement beyond the current season, but Atleti are pushing for an outright sale.

As such, there are question marks about whether Joao Felix will stay or not, but the Portuguese made it clear in an interview with Gerard Romero that he wishes to continue in Catalonia.

Barcelona future

Indeed, Joao Felix admitted that he and his family are happy at Barcelona and he would like to continue, although it is out of his hands.

“We’ll see what happens next year, my family is happy and I’m happy. I would like to stay but it doesn’t depend on me,” he said.

The forward also stated that he wishes to play at Camp Nou in the future, saying: “Obviously, I would like to play at the Camp Nou. It’s a pity we can’t play this year, the stands at Montjuïc are too far away.”

Talking about his deadline-day move to Barcelona materialised last summer, Joao Felix said:

“The signing for Barça was the last day, there was nothing planned. I had to go to the stadium in the morning to unblock contractual issues that I had to renounce. It was either I renounced or they wouldn’t let me come to Barça.”

“We will see what will have to be done to stay at Barça, many things can change, it doesn’t depend only on me.”

On his game-time taking a hit in the second half of the season, Joao acknowledged: “At the beginning, I played a lot of consecutive games. The competitiveness in Barcelona is very big. They are very good players.”

Discussing his preferred position and the current role he finds himself in Barcelona, Felix added:

“I’ve only played as a second striker behind the centre-forward at Benfica. That’s where things work best for me. With this formation, playing on the wing, I try to do the best I can.”

On whether he would like to don the vacant No. 10 jersey at Barcelona, Joao remarked: “It’s a big responsibility to wear the number 10 for Barça. It’s always been my favourite number, but I’ve never been able to wear it. We’ll see if I can stay and what happens.”

La Masia and Xavi

Joao Felix was also full of praise for the talents that are surfacing from Barcelona’s La Masia academy, hailing the likes of Pau Cubarsi and Lamine Yamal and the mentality and maturity they show despite their young ages.

“Barça is the club in Spain where the best players come out of La Masia. I am very surprised by the new talents like Cubarsí and Lamine. Five years ago 16-year-olds didn’t think the way they do now,” he said.

Joao Felix impressed by Yamal. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

“There are players who fall apart when they make mistakes. However, Lamine or Cubarsi rise to the occasion. That says a lot about the personality of these kids.”

Joao Felix also discussed Xavi’s announcement to leave Barcelona at the end of the season, stating that the decision left everyone surprised.

“We didn’t expect Xavi’s departure. It was a surprise,” he remarked.

On whether the team is more motivated after the announcement, he added: “We are still just as motivated and with the same dynamic. We used to concede a goal for every shot but that’s football.

“We have played well, but we have not felt like it because Xavi has announced his departure.”

The Portuguese international then insisted that he wishes Xavi to continue, saying: “I would like Xavi to reconsider his situation. He has great ideas and he is a very young coach. The people in Barcelona love him a lot.”

PSG clash

Barcelona will face off against PSG in one of their most important matches of the season next week.

Building up to the game, the Blaugrana have had a prolonged ten-day break due to no La Liga football this week, but Joao Felix insisted he wishes to play games without such an extended halt.

“I prefer to play matches two days apart. In this case, as it’s an important match, this break is good for us to prepare well for the game. We are at ease and very motivated with this big game. We are in a great moment,” he said.

On the game itself, he added: “The games we play against big teams we have a huge motivation. That’s where the best players come out, those are the big days.

“We are aware of their team’s weapons: Mbappe, Dembélé… We know their dangers and we hope to win.”

Now playing at Barcelona, Joao Felix was asked where he stood in the rivalry between club legend Lionel Messi and his compatriot and Real Madrid icon Cristiano Ronaldo.

In response, the 24-year-old said: “Messi and Cristiano should not be compared, they should be enjoyed. Choosing one is very complicated, they have both done very good things that will not be repeated.”

During the chat, Joao Felix also urged Barcelona to sign his compatriot and Manchester City superstar Bernardo Silva.

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