'The press likes to talk about things they don't know' - Atletico star Felix denies reports of rift with Simeone

Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix has hit out at reports he and manager Diego Simeone do not have a good relationship.

Felix scored in Atletico's 2-0 win at Villarreal on February 28 and put his finger to his lips while facing his bench – a gesture some interpreted was aimed at Simeone.

But Felix has hit back against those claims, saying the celebration was part of a joke with his team-mate Renan Lodi.

What did Felix say?

Asked about the celebration at a press conference on Tuesday, Felix responded: "I already said on Instagram that it was a joke with Lodi.

"He was winding me up before the game, telling me I didn't score against anyone and when I got the goal I did the gesture for him.

"The press like to talk about things they don't know."

Ahead of his team's Champions League last-16 second leg against Chelsea, Felix was also quizzed on his relationship with Simeone.

"My relationship with the manager is very good," the Portugal star added. "He always tries to help me and we're here to help each other.

"I am happy here. My family is fine, I am fine, I am fine with the club and like with all players there are moments that are not so good. They can be overcome."

How has Felix performed this season?

The 21-year-old has 10 goals and five assists in all competitions so far this season while battling several minor injuries as well as a bout with Covid-19 last month.

Felix has cooled down after a hot start to the season however, scoring just three goals since netting a double against Cadiz on November 7.

What did Simeone say about Felix?

Asked about Felix on Tuesday, Simeone said: "Joao, as we have always mentioned, is a really important player. He has had a really high-quality start to the season.

"He is the talk of our team and we need this player. All footballers have different stages throughout their professional career, especially when they are young, where they dip. But, as you heard from him, there is nothing more needed from his personality.

"Ahead of the Champions League and La Liga matches ahead we have to ensure that as a 21-year-old, he has the will he needs to reach the point he needs to reach."

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