The Champions League

How João Cancelo and João Félix have elevated Barcelona

To this day, the primary critique of Barcelona lacking creativity remains consistent. When there are open spaces, Barça excel in finding opportunities, but they struggle when confronted with a well-organised defence, as seen in matches against Getafe, Cádiz, and Villarreal. In contrast, they capitalised on spaces in the 5-0 win over Real Betis.

The addition of João Cancelo and João Félix has significantly transformed the team’s style of play. They share not only nationality and the same agent but also a knack for improvisation. Often, their decisions differ from those of their peers, because they play freely and don’t always stick to their position, sometimes for the better and occasionally for the worse.

The two summer signings bring electric energy and dynamism to Xavi Hernández’s squad, qualities that the team has been lacking. The match against Betis provided clear evidence of this transformation. Cancelo scored the fifth goal in Barcelona’s 5-0 victory against Betis, while Félix made the most of his opportunities, scoring the opening goal and setting up Robert Lewandowski for the second without even touching the ball.

In a team known for its discipline and control, the addition of the two Portugal internationals adds that much-needed excitement factor to shake up matches for head coach Xavi.

Jake Staniland | GSFN

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