The Atlético-Barcelona, and vice versa, were for years the most entertaining matches of the league championship: goals, actions to remember, comebacks … Pure fun. In recent seasons they were fun especially for the Barça team, dominator of these duels (follow the game live on As.com).
Not even Simeone could end Barcelona in LaLiga. The Xavi, Iniesta, Neymar, Luis Suárez and Messi were too much for the Argentine coach. In Europe, the smile fell on the red and white side. Atlético faces a new version of now or never against Barcelona. In recent years, in the mattress compound, the meeting had more or less the same development: a good game for Simeone’s, with occasions, but in the photo of the winner Messi always appeared thanks to one of his mischiefs.
It is true that Atlético has a factor in this new attempt that it did not have last year, a 21-year-old boy who can make LaLiga history. João Félix crosses the road of Messi with strength to snatch that throne that the Argentine has occupied for so many years. The previous season João Félix offered some loose brushstroke in each game. Now it appears a dozen times and many of them decisively. He has five goals in the championship and the Portuguese can put an end to the cycle of the great Messi at Barcelona.
A victory for Atlético would be historic for Cholo and would also offer an almost unheard of situation in the tournament, as the Madrilenians would finish nine points ahead of the Barcelonans. Just the opposite of what has happened in recent years. Atlético’s triumph would have a symbolic and mathematical value. Nine points are three games and Simeone’s are not characterized by giving anything away. Suárez will not be there, which takes away morbidity from the game and also offensive potential to the local team. But besides João Félix, Marcos Llorente, Correa, Carrasco and Koke, winner with Spain, will appear. The Cholo to the attack. And Costa as a shock. It will be his last battle against Barcelona at home.
Koeman’s team clings to Messi, which is already a lot. Has Griezmann, which is not being the Atleti, but has a quality that can decide a game. Barcelona have lost another of the historic players, Busquets, in the break, but they have experience and players to come out of any challenge. Ansu Fati will not be there, another of those who can mark an era and the question is whether Coutinho, who comes out of injury (has not played since October 24), or Pedri will play in his position. The canary option seems safer.
For Koeman’s team it is not just another meeting. It is a litmus test and it will be seen if the culé team He is capable of soaring or a change of cycle is coming: the one João Félix is looking for.