Xavi praises 'greatness' of Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo as Barcelona home debutants both score in Real Betis rout

  • Felix and Cancelo were signed on deadline day
  • Both scored against Betis
  • Xavi impressed with their contribution

WHAT HAPPENED? The Portuguese duo made their home debuts and first starts for Barca and hardly put a foot wrong in a 5-0 rout against Betis on Saturday evening. While Cancelo was stationed at his favoured right-back position, Felix was handed a start on the left wing. The forward opened the scoring in the 25th minute, while his compatriot hammered the final nail in the coffin with the fifth strike of the night for the Blaugrana with nine minutes left on the clock.

Xavi was impressed with the two loanees and hailed them for their "individual quality" following their respective moves from Atletico Madrid and Manchester City.

WHAT THEY SAID: "We are talking about two players whose individual quality is beyond doubt. You see them train and you see their greatness," the Barca manager said after the game.

"Cancelo comes from a coach (Pep Guardiola) who for me is the best and he interprets everything very well. We have spoken to him and he has understood. With Joao Felix we watched a video with him yesterday. They both give variants that make the team better. Physically, they are strong. They raise the quality of the team, which in general has been very good."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The comprehensive victory over Betis helped Barcelona capture pole position in the Liga table, leapfrogging arch-rivals Real Madrid with 13 points from five matches. However, Los Blancos can reclaim the top spot if they win against Real Sociedad on Sunday evening.


Joao Cancelo Barcelona 2023Getty ImagesXavi Barcelona 2023-24GettyJoao Felix Barcelona 2023-24 goalGetty Images

WHAT NEXT? Barcelona will now shift focus to their 2023-24 Champions League opener against Royal Antwerp at the Lluis Companys in Montjuic on Tuesday evening.