Barcelona’s Joao Felix scored in the first half to secure a hard-fought 1-0 home win against his valiant parent club Atletico Madrid in a compelling LaLiga clash on Sunday.
The Portuguese, on loan at Barca, netted with a fine finish over goalkeeper Jan Oblak from a counter-attack in the 28th minute and the hosts held on against Diego Simeone’s side.
Barcelona moved above Atletico into third place on 34 points, four behind leaders Real Madrid and Girona.
Atletico are fourth on 31 points with a game in hand.
After scoring the sole goal of the clash between Barcelona and the Rojiblancos, Felix hit the Bellingham pose while standing on the advertising board. The celebration came as a surprise, given that the Portuguese forward is still owned by Atletico. Furthermore, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo said ahead of the clash that the 24-year-old would be welcome back to the club if the Catalan side failed to sign him. However, Felix has since explained his celebration choice in the post-match conference.
Joao Felix said after the match: “People have been talking about me all week, but I don’t pay attention to that. I’m just doing my job. I don’t care what people say, I work every day to become better. The celebration was spontaneous. It was a release of what I had been through last summer. It was for my family.”
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez called on Joao Felix to use criticism from his former Atletico Madrid teammates to motivate him when the teams meet on Sunday in LaLiga.
The Portuguese forward, on loan at Barca from Atletico Madrid, failed to convince coach Diego Simeone during four years in the Spanish capital.
Atletico playmaker Antoine Griezmann this week said Felix lacked “consistency” or “got tired” of finding it, while midfielder Saul Niguez also said Felix had plenty to improve on.