Once touted as next Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix loses No.7 jersey to Antoine Griezmann at Atletico Madrid

It’s hard to deny the fact that Joao Felix is considered one of the most exciting talents in European football. His heroics at the Portuguese club Benfica, earnt him a record move of $137 million to the Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, making him the club’s most expensive signing. However, the 23-year-old superstar’s performances in Atleti colors have not been able to reflect his price tag.

After a disappointing end to last season with Chelsea, Joao Felix looks to make amends in the upcoming season. However, even before the new season kicks off, the Portuguese has been left bemused as the club’s hierarchy gave the iconic number 7 jersey back to the Frenchman, Antoine Griezmann.

Why did Atletico Madrid give Antoine Griezmann the No. 7 jersey instead of Joao Felix?

In the first half of the season, the 23-year-old attacker struggled, scoring just 4 goals in 16 La Liga matches for Atletico Madrid. As a result, he was allowed to spend the second half of the season on loan at Stanford Bridge. His spell at the London club was a disappointing one, as Chelsea finished 11th in the Premier League and Felix managed to score just 4 goals in 16 Premier League matches. 

The Portuguese inherited the number 7 from Antoine Griezmann who departed after his transfer to their Spanish rivals FC Barcelona. Joao Felix’s return to the city of Madrid was unwelcoming, as the club decided to take away the 23-year-old’s number 7 shirt. The club decided to give the number 7 to the World Cup winner who wore it during his first stint with the club. 

Joao Felix’s Atletico Madrid stint in numbers

In 2019, the young Portuguese talent signed a seven-year contract that kept him at the club until 2026. During his 4 year stint at the city of Madrid, the versatile attacker played 131 matches scoring 34 goals and providing 18 assists.

At the end of the 2021/22 campaign, Felix was awarded Atletico Madrid’s Player of the Season award for his attacking contributions. His notable achievement in Atletico Madrid colors was winning the La Liga title in the 2020/2021 season, ending a seven-year title drought for the club.

Joao Felix

In 2019, the Portuguese made his debut for the national team against Switzerland in the semi-finals of the Nations League. With the recent developments, it seems evident that the Portuguese future at Wanda Metropolitano is uncertain. Despite expressing his desire to stay at Stanford Bridge, the Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino had some other ideas for the former Benfica superstar.

Several reports suggest the mix-ups between Joao Felix and Diego Simeone resulted in the 23-year-old attacker joining Chelsea in the January transfer window on loan. With number 7 taken away, it remains to be seen if the Portuguese superstar has set his sights away from the city of Madrid.


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