The Atlético de Madrid receives Sunday at Real Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano (4.15pm). A duel in which proper names will be the order of the day in both teams and that a mattress footballer has marked between eyebrows: Joao Felix.
The Portuguese wants to be the protagonist in one of those special matches that half the world is watching. Something that has not been able to do so far. Look for your big night. Or his big afternoon in this case. And what better rival and what better time to achieve it.
For now Joao works to earn a spot in the eleven titler, something that is not clear at this point. Because Diego Simeone He has any doubts regarding the team he will start the competition. And that affects the Portuguese, who on Wednesday worked with the substitutes, but who on Thursday did it with the starters. The fans, for their part, have no doubts: they want him on the field.
It is true that Joao Félix already shone against Real Madrid, but it was in the friendly played in the summer of 2019 in New Jersey. There he scored the second goal of the seven that the mattress team would achieve against the eternal rival. Also in that same preseason against the Juventus , with a double. But in official duels, his quality has not come to light except in the quarterfinals of the Champions League last year against Leipzig in Lisbon, where he was a substitute and his departure to the field coincided with the best moments of Atlético.
This season, the Portuguese he has ten goals and four assists in the 29 games he has played, 20 of them as a starter. After a prolonged drought, the Portuguese returned to see the door last Sunday at La Cerámica against Villarreal. A goal that he celebrated with anger and that should serve to put the mattress attacker back in orbit.
As for derbies, Joao Félix has played three officials, with two draws and one defeat. And one of those tied ended up falling on the white side on penalties, in the 2020 Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. That is to say, it is no longer that the Portuguese has not scored against Real Madrid, it is that Atlético has not achieved it with him on the pitch either. That is, it has never won the eternal rival.
This Sunday the first triumph in a derby may come. And aware that many spotlights will be pointing at you, Joao wants to be the protagonist. He is motivated and eager. But as we said before, the first thing is to earn a place in the starting eleven. If not, he would have minutes in the second half, where he can also be decisive. Like last Sunday in Villarreal.