Joao Félix, the diamond that Xavi is beginning to polish

Reach out and kiss the saint.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
16 September 2023 Saturday 16:22
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Joao Félix, the diamond that Xavi is beginning to polish

Reach out and kiss the saint. The Spanish proverb was not thinking of Joao Félix when he wrote one of his most famous phrases but the Portuguese striker has brought it back to the foreground. Debut as a starter. Debut before his new audience. And a win. And his first goal.

A more than happy night for Barça on Saturday in Montjuïc, where Betis was beaten by a cyclone and, especially, where Joao Félix completed his first connection with the stands with a great game and a goal.

There was no one who could wipe the smile off the Portuguese's face after the match. He was chosen MVP of the game and had to get in front of the camera. "Clearly I'm happy here, the change has been good for me," he said.

Joao Félix was not comfortable at Atlético, that was not lost on anyone. His chemistry with Simeone was non-existent and that had become a problem in the red and white dressing room, so the loan to Barça was a perfect solution for all parties.

The footballer does not seem like a person who hides his feelings. Already at his presentation at the Joan Gamper sports city, with the presence of his father and his brother, he could not hold back some tears of happiness. Barça opened the doors back to the elite and gave him a new opportunity to demonstrate his full potential. Nor did Joao Félix hide anything from the cameras after the win against Betis. Veiled and not so veiled messages to Simeone, confirming that their relationship was anything but good.

Although it was not among Xavi's first preferences, the Barça coach is not willing to waste the opportunity to polish the diamond that has been placed in his hands. At the moment he already made his debut in the first game he was available, against Osasuna last day, when he had ten minutes and left some worthy action.

Although his big debut came this Saturday. Xavi gave him the start against Betis and Joao Félix responded by playing a brilliant game. He participated a lot in the game and generated a lot of danger. The Portuguese also scored the first goal of the game with a high-quality maneuver to dribble past the goalkeeper and kiss the net almost from no angle. But, in addition, he gave one of those passes without touching the ball, opening his legs to leave the goal on a plate for Lewandowski.

Step by step, Joao Félix tries to put the past aside and enjoy the present. Last season was a very gray and quite sad season for him. Simeone stopped counting on him and forced his departure to Chelsea in January. He scored 4 goals in 16 Premier games but at no time did he shine as expected of him. Although it is still early, in Barcelona he will try to change that dynamic and return to the media and, above all, football front. The Portuguese left Benfica as a great star project and was fading. Barça hopes that it will turn back on.