Joao Felix has hit back at criticism from former Atletico Madrid teammate Antoine Griezmann about his career under Diego Simeone.
Felix endured a mixed spell with Atletico before looking to leave midway through last season. After six months on loan with Chelsea, the Portugal forward sealed his “dream” loan move to Barcelona, where he has scored four goals in 16 games.
Griezmann recently claimed Felix “got tired” of working hard to adapt to Simeone’s demands, but the 24-year-old was adamant there was more to his struggles at Atletico than his own work rate.
“Agree or not, everyone has their opinion and I’m not going to comment on it,” Felix told Movistar when asked about Griezmann’s comments.
“There are things I could have done better. Me and everyone. There are things that haven’t gone well. It’s not just one [person’s] fault, it’s the fault of several [people].”
Felix was responding to Griezmann’s claims that he lacked the consistency needed to play for Atletico.
“In the end, when you get here, you know more or less what the coach and the team are like,” the Frenchman said. “Either you adapt and work for it or things don’t work out for you. Joao worked very well at times, but you have to be consistent.
“There were times when he got tired and didn’t see himself [staying] here. That’s why he’s made the effort [to leave] and the club has also made the effort to give him a way out.”
Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak also followed Griezmann in suggesting Felix did not do enough to prove he deserved regular minutes.
“I’m sure that [the minutes Felix is getting at Barcelona] are extremely important, not only for Joao but also for any player,” Oblak told Marca ahead of Sunday’s meeting between the two sides.
“But you have to prove it on the pitch and during training that you deserve to be in the lineup. You have to give your best so that the coach can trust you, and this doesn’t just apply to Joao.”