'He wasn't lucky!' - Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo offers verdict on Joao Felix's superb start to life at Barcelona after flopping at Wanda Metropolitano

Joao Felix Barcelona Champions League 2023-24 GettyImage
  • Felix signed for Barcelona on loan
  • Has been in terrific form for the Catalan giants
  • Cerezo feels Felix couldn't adapt at Atletico

WHAT HAPPENED? After struggling to find his feet at the capital club, following reported differences with Diego Simeone, the Portuguese winger jumped ship on a season-long loan on deadline day of the summer transfer window to join the Catalan club. It seems that Felix has got a new lease of life under Xavi as he has contributed three goals and two assists in four appearances across all competitions.

When Cerezo was pressed about Felix's meteoric rise with Atletico's league rivals, the president insisted that he always knew that the forward was a top-quality player, and that he was simply unfortunate at Atleti.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I have always said that he is a fantastic player and he is showing it at Barcelona," he told reporters ahead of the Madrid derby on Sunday.

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"With us he didn't adapt, he wasn't lucky. And yet, he is a great player at Barcelona, he was a great player here too."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Cerezo admitted that the €126 million (£108m/$137m) signing from Benfica did not yield the desired results for them after Felix scored just 34 times in 131 appearances but Cerezo insists he holds no ill-will towards the ace.

"It neither hurts me nor it doesn't hurt me," he said. "With us it didn't work, he didn't bring out everything he had inside. He went to Chelsea and he didn't bring it out either. And now at Barcelona, he's bringing it out. The great players always end up showing it."

In conclusion, when he was asked if he celebrated Felix's goals, Cerezo said: "I only do it with Atletico de Madrid."


Joao Felix Barcelona AntwerpGetty

WHAT NEXT? Felix will be back in action against Mallorca on Tuesday evening, whereas Atletico will hope to win the bragging rights on Sunday with a win over cross-town rivals Real Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano.