João Félix relishing fresh start at Barcelona after first goal


João Félix says he’s loving life at Barcelona after scoring on his full debut in Saturday’s spectacular 5-0 win over Real Betis in Laiga.

Félix, who joined Barça on a season-long mortgage from Atletico Madrid this month, scored the first goal at the Olympic Stadium after which dummied an Andreas Christensen go to assist create Robert Lewandowski’s goal.

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Ferran Torres, Raphinha and João Cancelo have been additionally heading in the right direction as Barça briefly moved prime of LaLiga forward of Real Madrid’s sport towards Real Sociedad on Sunday.

“I’m very happy to be starting games again, the feelings are very good — it’s easy to play in this team,” stated Félix, who spent the second half of final season on mortgage at Chelsea.

“When you have a good structure and circulate the ball rapidly, spaces appear and so do goals. I am happy, the change has done me good, me and my family, I am very happy here.”

Félix, 23, has been backed to flourish at Barça after 4 up-and-down seasons at Atletico following his €126 million transfer from Portuguese facet Benfica in 2019.

Local media have steered Barça’s model will swimsuit him higher, though coach Xavi Hernandez didn’t need to be drawn into making comparisons with Atletico, saying he has “a lot of respect” for his or her coach Diego Simeone.

However, Xavi poured reward on Barça’s two newest signings, with Cancelo, who has joined on mortgage from Manchester City, additionally impressing on his full debut towards Betis.

“Both Joaos are really happy here and you can see that,” Xavi stated in a information convention. “No one doubts their individual quality. You see them train and you see how good they are.

“Cancelo joins us after working with, for me, the most effective coach on this planet [Pep Guardiola] and he interprets the sport so effectively. He understands what we wish.

“We worked on the positioning of the full-backs this week. We wanted to look for Cancelo in the middle and for [Alejandro] Balde to stretch the pitch. We looked for that superiority in midfield. If we are more positional, we will attack better.

“Both Cancelo and Félix supply choices that assist enhance the group. Physically, they’re sturdy. They enhance the standard within the squad. They are the place they need to be [at Barça].”

Torres scored the third goal, ending a run of over two years since Barça last scored from a direct free-kick, dating back to Lionel Messi’s effort against Valencia in May 2021.

It was Torres’ fifth goal for club and country in as many games this season and comes on the back of a summer when he doubled down on his workload and nicknamed himself the ‘shark.’

“Ferran deserves all of the credit score,” Xavi added. “He advised me very clearly in the summertime he needed to remain and that in his head he solely needed to succeed at Barça.

“He is only 23, he still has a lot of room to improve and ambition. Hardly anyone believed in him and he has shown spectacular mental strength. I am delighted for him.

“He is an efficient child. He all the time offers 100% irrespective of how a lot he performs. He has acquired a number of criticism at Barça and he has proven unbelievable psychological energy to flip the scenario on its head.”

Torres did not know about Barça’s free-kick drought.

“I did not know we hadn’t scored a free-kick since Messi,” he told reporters. “It might have been anybody, however I’m delighted it was me. I used to be truly making an attempt to put it underneath the bar, however when issues are going effectively, all the things appears to return off.

“I have a lot of self-confidence at the moment. I am working hard and I will keep doing so. [Lewandowski] will want the next free-kick again, but these decisions are made in-game, so we will see.”


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