João Félix has mentioned that he by no means tailored to Atletico Madrid or Diego Simeone’s ideas after making a scintillating begin to his Barcelona profession.
Félix, 23, has scored thrice in his first two begins for Barça after becoming a member of the membership on a season-long mortgage from Atletico earlier this month.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, extra (U.S.)
– UCL speaking factors: João Félix shines on matchday 1
The Portugal ahead signed for Atletico from Benfica for €126 million ($134m) in 2019, however he by no means fairly lived up to expectations throughout 4 seasons taking part in underneath coach Simeone.
“When things are going badly in football for someone, you have to make a change,” Félix mentioned in an interview with Mundo Deportivo on Thursday.
“I did it before going to Chelsea [on loan in the second half last season] and now coming to Barcelona because it was not going well [at Atletico].
“I did not adapt to the membership’s or the coach’s ideas, however I at all times tried to do the most effective I might. I’ve had good occasions there as properly.”
Félix turned down interest from Saudi Arabia to wait on Barça’s interest, with a deal eventually going through on the final day of the summer transfer window.
In order to get the loan over the line, Felix had to agree to a substantial wage cut due to Barca’s financial problems.
“It’s true I gave up a major a part of my wage, however I wanted a change,” he added.
“I wanted to come to a spot the place I can play my fashion of soccer and I’ve at all times mentioned I feel that is the best place.
“Things are going well — I didn’t expect to start so well — and it was an effort I needed to make to be able to find joy playing football again.”
Félix scored on his first begin in opposition to Real Betis final weekend and adopted it up with a brace within the 5-0 win over Royal Antwerp within the Champions League on Tuesday.
Those outcomes prompted Barça coach Xavi Hernandez to declare his aspect are taking part in their greatest soccer since he took over in 2021.
The signing of Félix has contributed to that upturn in kind, however one other new signing, João Cancelo, has additionally performed an vital function since becoming a member of on mortgage from Manchester City.
“In terms of quality, I think he’s the best full-back I have ever played with,” Félix mentioned of membership and worldwide teammate Cancelo.
“He has the quality of a No. 10. He even likes to play as a No. 10 and says that he will end his career playing as a No. 10 back in his hometown with his local club.
“He’s a unprecedented participant. He has added quite a bit to the crew. Wherever he has performed, he has introduced a lot and at all times gained quite a lot of trophies.”
Meanwhile, Alejandro Balde signed a new contract with Barcelona on Thursday, committing him to the club until 2028.
“I arrived after I was six or seven years previous with the dream of reaching the primary crew,” the left-back told reporters. “That dream has formally grow to be a actuality. It’s been an extended journey with quite a lot of sacrifices. I solely have phrases of gratitude for everybody that has helped within the course of.
“I hope to be here for many more years. I am only 19 and still have a lot to learn and improve. I will be 24 when it expires — I will still be young.”
Balde, who mentioned inheriting Gerard Pique’s No.3 shirt is an “honour, not an added weight,” signed his new deal, which features a €1 billion launch clause, at an occasion with Barça president Joan Laporta.
Laporta thanked Balde’s agent, Jorge Mendes, who additionally represents Felix and Cancelo, for conserving his participant at Barça when he might have gone elsewhere for more cash.
“Mendes is someone who knows how to combine the interests of both parties, even if that sometimes means making sacrifices,” Laporta mentioned. “We are grateful that, in addition to defending the interests of his players, he always takes into account Barça’s interests.”