Champions League

Felix leading the charge for revenge against Ronaldo's Juventus

2019-09-17 09:11
Joao Felix
Joao Felix (Getty Images)

Madrid - Young gun Joao Felix will lead the charge on Wednesday as his Atletico Madrid seek revenge on Juventus and their old enemy Cristiano Ronaldo in a potentially fiery Champions League opener.

Felix, touted as the heir to Ronaldo's throne, will make his debut in Europe's top competition when the when the Portuguese pair meet at the Wanda Metropolitano, with the La Liga outfit keen to shoot down the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Juventus dumped Atletico out of the competition last year as Ronaldo scored a sensational hat-trick that overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit and put the Italian champions in the quarter finals.

The former Real Madrid man rounded off the evening by celebrating provocatively in front of the away fans at Juve's Allianz Stadium. Now Felix is charged with bringing the old master down a peg or two.

The 19-year-old has been hailed as the new 'CR7' after his breakout season at Benfica last year, scoring 20 times as the two-time European champions won the Primeira Liga and reached the Europa League quarter finals.

Ronaldo's former manager at Madrid Jose Mourinho is convinced that Atletico bagged a "an incredible player" for a club record fee of 126 million euros ($142 million).

"I think he can cope. He seems to have a good personality," said Mourinho.

"He's in a good team, surrounded by experienced players, with a manager who knows what he wants. Probably Atletico is a good place for his development."

The noise surrounding Felix was amplified after a sublime pre-season that included a brace in a 2-1 win over Juve, but Felix has shied away from the comparisons.

A poor display in Saturday's 2-0 La Liga loss at Real Sociedad showed that. despite the obvious promise, it is still too early to speak of Felix and Ronaldo in the same breath.

Felix was hauled off at half-time by Atleti boss Diego Simeone, who said after the defeat -- which cost his side their 100 percent start and top spot in the league -- that "we have young players who have to weigh in more".

Ronaldo, meanwhile, is in a rich vein of form, with six goals in five matches this season for club and country, as he hunts a sixth Champions League title and aims to extend his record total of 126 goals in the competition.

On Wednesday, Felix has a chance to redeem himself and add to the one goal he has scored so far in Atletico colours, even if Ronaldo's achievements seem a long way off.

"I am here to write my own story," Felix said. "Cristiano is Cristiano and I want to be myself". 

 

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Lokomotiv Moscow v Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Stadium 19:55
Galatasaray v Club Brugge, Turk Telekom Arena 19:55
Juventus v Atletico Madrid, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Atalanta v Dinamo Zagreb, Atleti Azzurri d'Italia 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Real Madrid v Paris SG, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Bayern Munchen, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Valencia v Chelsea, Mestalla 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v Lyon, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Napoli, Anfield 22:00
Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund, Camp Nou 22:00
Slavia Prague v Inter Milan, Eden Arena 22:00
Genk v Red Bull Salzburg, Luminus Arena 22:00
RB Leipzig v Benfica, Red Bull Arena 22:00
Lille v Ajax, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 22:00
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Red Bull Salzburg v Liverpool, Red Bull Arena 19:55
Napoli v Genk, San Paolo 19:55
Ajax v Valencia, Amsterdam ArenA 22:00
Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg, da Luz 22:00
Lyon v RB Leipzig, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Inter Milan v Barcelona, San Siro 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Slavia Prague, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Lille, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City, Maksimir Stadium 19:55
Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta, Metalist Stadium 19:55
Bayern Munchen v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Arena 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Juventus, BayArena 22:00
Club Brugge v Real Madrid, Jan Breydel Stadion 22:00
Olympiacos v Red Star Belgrade, Karaiskakis Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Galatasaray, Parc des Princes 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow, Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Saturday, 30 May 2020
TBA v TBA, Ataturk Olympic Stadium 02:00
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