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Joao Felix explains why he celebrated scoring against Atletico Madrid


Joao Felix has admitted he celebrated his winning goal against parent side Atletico Madrid on Sunday out of “relief” following a summer of turmoil.

Felix, who joined Barcelona on loan from Atletico late in the summer window, scored the only goal in Sunday’s game to down his primary employers, and he made no attempt to hide his celebrations.

Asked why he declined to show respect to Atletico after the game, Felix insisted he was simply overcome with emotion after a challenging summer transfer window.

“It was a spontaneous celebration,” he told Movistar. “In the end, you get into the heat of the game.

“It was like a relief for everything that I experienced last summer. Only the people close to me know how it was. This has been a relief for them. That is for me and for my teammates at Barca who have welcomed me.”

Joao Felix

Felix did not hide his delight / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

Barcelona head coach Xavi admitted he had urged Felix to remain calm ahead of the game and was delighted with how the 24-year-old handled the occasion.

“Joao Felix made the difference once again,” the boss said. “He understands each other well with [Joao] Cancelo in that side. I’m happy to see him well.

“You have to ask Joao Felix about his celebration. It’s what he has inside of him. That’s where the reaction comes from. Joao was eager to show his football, and that’s how he reacts. It’s human nature.

“I told Joao Felix to stay calm. He had to use the circumstances as an extra motivation for this game. He played very well.”

Finally, when pressed on pursuing a permanent deal to sign Felix next summer, Xavi added: “Signing Joao Felix permanently depends on the club’s sporting area. Personally, I am very happy with him. He’s a great kid for the dressing room, does not create problems, loves to have fun, and I’m happy to have him in my team.”

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