Juventus and Atletico Madrid wrapped up their pre-season campaigns in the International Champions Cup at the Friends Arena in Solna, Sweden. In what was a highly entertaining fixture, the Spanish side defeated their Italian counterparts 2-1, with all goals coming in the first half.
Juventus have failed to impress under new manager Maurizio Sarri in pre-season, having failed to win any of their three exhibition games. Their penalty shootout victory over Inter Milan came in the middle of defeats to Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid.
On the other hand, the Rojiblancos have been in fine form, picking up five victories – including a memorable 7-3 win over city rivals Real Madrid – from six pre-season fixtures, with another shootout victory recorded over Mexican side Guadalajara.
Here, we present five talking points from the International Champions Cup fixture.
#1 Joao Felix is proving to be the real deal
Having captured the imagination of all of Europe with his displays last season, Joao Felix has emerged as one of the burgeoning talents in the world. And Atletico Madrid sprung into action, signing him for the record-breaking fee of €126m in the transfer window which made him the fourth most expensive player of all time.
A lot of eyebrows were raised over the figure, especially given the fact that the Portuguese international is still a teenager with just one season of professional football under his belt. Many expressed doubt over his ability to perform on the biggest stage.
However, if the former Benfica man is feeling any pressure, he is definitely not showing it. He has meshed into life with Diego Simeone’s men effortlessly.
Heading into the clash with Juventus Felix had already starred for the LaLiga side, scoring three goals and assisting two, while also impressing with his all-round contributions.
It took just 24 minutes for the number 7 to lay his marker in the game, playing in Thomas Lemar with a perfectly threaded through ball which the French international slotted in to put Atletico 1-0 up.
Nine minutes later, Felix himself got on the scoresheet, with Lemar this time returning the favor for him to slot home with a right footed finish from the center of the box.
This proved to be the match winner, and after the match his manager was full of praise for Felix, enthusing: "Joao has many skills, he is adapting very quickly to what he needs to do. He has a vision that allows him to adapt to adapt to numerous positions, and the best thing is that he has the willingness to learn."
While these might only be pre-season fixtures, Felix would head into the season proper with a lot of confidence to justify the trust placed in him by Atletico Madrid.