This João Félix is ​​another story

“Pure talent”. That was the phrase chosen by Atlético to announce the most expensive signing in the club's history in the summer of 2019 (127.2 million). A João Félix who had marveled at his debut in the first division with Benfica (20 goals, 15 of them in the league) and that he signed for the rojiblanco club as a great project for the future.

At 19 years old, and after a great preseason, he debuted in the League with a play maradoniana to provoke a penalty against Getafe as a show of impressive quality. However, these details gradually appeared. Gorgeous flashes, but without continuity during matches. Two long injuries (just over a month) and the alternation between the eleven and the bench prevented a better version of João Félix from seeing in his first rojiblanco season. Although He already warned in the last game of the course that he was prepared to step forward and establish himself as an offensive soccer guide. Against Leipzig he came out from the bench and threw the team on his back, scoring the tying goal with a penalty caused with a fantastic play and being a focus for his teammates despite ending up losing.

A first big appearance in the Champions League (he had scored two goals in the group stage against Lokomotiv) to which he raised the stakes last night in front of Salzburg. Atlético needed to make up for the defeat in the first day of the competition and add three at home to avoid complications in the search to advance to the eighth. And the Austrians didn't make it easy at all, but they came across a colossal figure of João Felix. The Portuguese was the leader that he is expected to become and from the first play he offered to command the mattress attack. In the first half he left a scissor shot to the crossbar (it could be one of the goals of the year), controls, dribbles, fouls caused in the front, overflow and endless technical resources for an Atlético that reached the rival goal with continuity . In the second the best was kept, two goals, plus another occasion that went by the hair and again constant appearances with Correa as a great partner and a star character in the hot minutes.

Simeone remarked at the end of the game that “it is probably his most complete game because of the importance of the match. He had a regularity during the 90 minutes and he fed us more opportunities in attack. Not me, we all want to see this João. It had regularity and is fantastic. When he generates everything that he has generated today in commitment, game, dynamics, speed… it will continue to grow and hopefully we can help it. With a great João the team is more competitive. “And the great goal of Cholo is to find that constant participation of the Portuguese in matches. He already started the season with a fantastic version against Granada, as a channel for Atleti's offensive game, also against Huesca and again that more regular face could be seen in the match against Salzburg.

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The stone on which to build the Atlético attack

At 20 years old (he turns 21 in November), Atlético hopes that João Félix will continue to evolve to be the team leader in the coming years. Finding those appearances consistently and seeing him engaged in all facets of the game. Against Salzburg he was measured in 20 duels with rival defenders, the one with the most of the team together with Llorente (the Portuguese won 65%). In addition, he recovered six balls and was aware of his role at all times. “The Champions League is where I like to play the most, on the field you can see that happiness and that's how I want to continue” João Félix declared after his exhibition against the Austrians.

If the Portuguese manages to find that continuity in his game, it will be a huge jewel on which to base his entire project. So far this year he has been more comfortable, he has found an ideal position to influence the game of the team thrown slightly to the left wing and already adds three goals and two assists. For João Félix, all matches must be in the Champions League, show that leadership and that winning mentality that he put on the green against Salzburg, because against the Austrians he once again made it clear that he has spare talent.