FC Barcelona forward Joao Felix took what could be seen as a swipe at parent club Atletico Madrid following Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing of Real Betis.
The Portuguese arrived in Catalonia on loan approaching midnight on transfer deadline day, and made his debut with a short cameo against Osasuna less than 48 hours later.
Then whisked away on international duty, he finally made his starting debut at the Montjuic Stadium on Saturday and netted Barca’s opener in a demolition job that returned the champions to the top of the La Liga table.
Speaking to Spanish broadcaster Movistar post-match, the 23-year-old perhaps took a dig at Atleti, where he fell out of favour with Diego Simeone and the fans, by saying: “It’s easy to play on this team.”
“When you have a good structure, with all the players in their place and the ball circulates quickly, it’s easier for goals to arrive,” he added.
Felix explained that he is “very happy to play as a starter again” after being frozen out at the Metropolitano, and has “very good feelings”.
“The change has been good for me, I am very happy here and I hope to help the team as much as I can.
“I am working to be at the best level. There is a very good environment here, I am one more to help and with these players everything is easier,” he also offered.
Shedding light on his strike on 25 minutes, Felix inisisted that he wasn’t trying to control the ball as he tussled in the box and then fired home once it spilled out into his path.
“I shot and the defender blocked it. It was a missed shot,” he said.
Seven minutes later, he pretty much provided an assist for a struggling Robert Lewandowski by dummying Oriol Romeu’s knock forward into the box which the Pole converted to double the lead.
“I saw it and I let it pass. It is important that he scores goals, he is a striker and he lives off of that. The more goals he scores, the better for us”.
Playing a pivotal role in what has been dubbed Barca’s best display in an age, Felix is now in a strong position to start again on Tuesday in a 4-3-3 when they get their Champions League campaign underway against Royal Antwerp.