Joao Felix was instrumental in Atletico Madrid’s win over Getafe in their La Liga opener earlier this week. The Portuguese international recorded three assists at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez and was arguably the best player on the field.
After three underwhelming years in Spain, the youngster seems ready to step up his performance and gather consistency this season. It is the least he can do to repay the 36 months that the club nurtured him, protecting him from the harsh media.
According to reports from AS, Manchester United were interested in signing Felix this summer and went on the offensive with a staggering €130 million offer.
While Los Rojiblancos could accept the deal and book a profit on the player, they unsurprisingly chose to decline and maintain faith in him.
Further, Diego Simeone’s side have referred to the €350 million release clause on Felix’s contract to detract the Premier League side from their pursuit.
The manager considers the Portuguese international to be one of the most important players in the team and the centre-piece of their new project.
The 22-year-old was part of the Atletico team that faced United in preseason, and the Champions League last season, scoring in both games. Those performances ignited interest in Manchester’s offices, it was also a statement to Atletico that the player is set to shine.
Last season, the youngster scored eight goals and provided four assists in 24 league appearances for Los Rojiblancos. In the UEFA Champions League, however, he managed just two goal contributions in eight games.
Atletico lash out at referee’s decision during Real Madrid clash: “They create such pressure”
Real Madrid’s win over Atletico Madrid once again showed the European Champions’ ability to fight back even from the deepest of troughs and come back on top. The men in white were a goal down with 15 minutes to spare but forced extra time and managed to advance to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.
However, the game was not without its own share of controversy. One of the biggest moments came in the 71st minute when Dani Ceballos avoided a red card that would have changed the course of the game. Ironically, Atletico Madrid had Stefan Savic sent off in extra time to help Real Madrid progress.
To give context Ceballos was already on a yellow card for making an unnecessary challenge in the 69th minute of the game. Two minutes later, he appeared to have caught Thomas Lemar near the knee.
Atletico Madrid thus demanded that he get a second yellow and receive his marching orders. Given that the Rojiblancos were already up a goal, it could have changed the course of the game. But the referee did not show a second yellow to the Real Madrid midfielder.
Los Rojiblancos are far from happy with the refereeing at Santiago Bernabeu and have released an official statement via their CEO, Miguel Angel Gil Marin, regarding their displeasure. The statement is as follows:
“With 0-1, in the 71st minute, playing the place for the Copa semifinals in their own stadium, leaving Real Madrid with 10 players is big words.
“Real Madrid is a club with a very strong environment, with many interests around it. They create such pressure that it’s normal to affect the people who must make decisions. They [referees] are aware of what awaits them if they made a mistake.”
Clearly, the accusation from Diego Simeone’s side goes far beyond the events of the derby and makes a contentious general statement about Real Madrid’s influence on matches.