Atlético sifted out €126 million (£122 million/$142 million) to sign Felix from Benfica ahead of Antoine Griezmann’s relegation to La Liga rivals Barcelona last year.

Joao Felix would be “at a higher level” if he played for Real Madrid

The Portugal international Joao Felix would be “at a higher level” if he had signed for Real Madrid instead of Madrid Atletico, said Carlos Carvalhal. Atlético sifted out €126 million (£122 million/$142 million) to sign Felix from Benfica ahead of Antoine Griezmann’s relegation to La Liga rivals Barcelona last year. However, the 20-year-old made only six goals and three assists in 28 matches. With ankle and hamstring injuries pushing him to the background for individual short spells. Carvalhal, who is the head coach at Rio Ave of Primera Liga side, does not believe that the style of football played under Diego Simeone suits, Felix. He believes that a move to their arch-rivals, Real Madrid would have put a Portuguese fellow in a better position to progress his game.

Joao does not seem to be the perfect player for Simeone’s squad

“Joao Felix is ​​an amazing player, and I don’t want to contradict my statements. He is a player with incredible technical abilities at an excellent level. But I’m not sure that playing for Atletico is the best for him,” said Carvalhal. “It was my doubt when he signed for Atletico. Diego Simeone is a great manager, his squads are dominant, very competitive. But Joao Felix doesn’t seem to be the perfect footballer to be there. It will be a little complicated, and it will take more time. He will have to change as a player. “If he went to a team like Real Madrid, he would be at a higher level. The context would be more favorable for him.

“It’s not a criticism of Simeone. There is no doubt what he has achieved. The work speaks for itself. I think that this marriage is not the best”. Felix was suspended because Atletico returned from a three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic with a 1-1 draw in Athletics Bilbao on Sunday. However, he is in line to make his first appearance after stopping when Simeone’s squad take on Osasuna in Pamplona on Wednesday. Atletico currently sits sixth in the La Liga standings, a point behind Real Sociedad in the race for the top 4 finish and 15 behind the leaders Barcelona, with ten fixtures remaining.