Xavi addresses criticism of Portuguese star ahead of Barcelona vs Atletico – report

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona inspects the pitch prior to the LaLiga EA Sports match between Rayo Vallecano and FC Barcelona at Estadio de Vallecas on November 25, 2023 in Madrid, Spain.
Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

A moment of hardship falls upon Barcelona, as they look to take on one of their toughest opponents yet. The Catalan giants take on Atletico Madrid at the Montjuic Stadium in less than 24 hours from now.

Moreover, their rivals come in red-hot form. Scoring goals for fun, Diego Simeone’s side has suffered only one defeat in their last 14 games. Currently on 31 points, tied with Barcelona, they also have a game in hand over the Catalans.

Adding even more fuel to the fire, Antoine Griezmann recently criticized Joao Felix for an attitude of problem. Both of the two stars have represented both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, and they will be reunited once again

However, as highlighted by AS, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez even addressed this. Speaking ahead of the game, he was asked about the recent criticism from Antoine Griezmann of Joao Felix and if it could motivate the latter:

“It should be an extra motivation to play against Atletico. I see him motivated, content, and happy. He’s been consistent. I am delighted with his performance and how he has adapted to the group.”

The Barcelona coach was then asked if what is being said about his Portuguese forward is a ‘setback’, to which he replied:

“It’s a setback for Joao, but here we are very happy with him. I haven’t been at Atletico. The Joao we’ve seen here is a happy, playful Joao. I have no complaints; he works for the group and fulfills his obligations.”

So far, Felix has managed to score once and provide two assists in 11 La Liga appearances. Over in the Champions League, he has three goals and one assist in 5 appearances. He will be hoping that he can return to the scoresheet once again when Atletico come to the Montjuic.

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