Last year Barcelona returned to the highest level of Spanish football. As La Liga champions, the Catalan club get to enter the Champions League group stage as a top seed. It has been years since Barca have stood on the winner’s podium in European football, but their two most recent signings could see them challenge in the knockout rounds once more.
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Romano Confirms Barcelona Signing Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo
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— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 1, 2023
Two Loan Deals for Cancelo and Felix Secured
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano covered both of Barcelona’s key acquisitions. Joao Cancelo joins from reigning treble winners Manchester City to strengthen coach Xavi’s defence. The Portuguese player spent time with Bayern Munich on loan last season and has not been able to impress Pep Guardiola enough to place him back in the first squad.
The other transfer that Romano reported was that of Atletico Madrid attacker Joao Felix. He also spent time on loan last year, with Premier League outfit Chelsea. Also from Portugal, Felix is an academy product of Benfica’s famed youth system, but the youngster has not developed like his parent club desired, and a season-long move was the best option for all parties.
Barcelona to Challenge for the Champions League Trophy?
All these signings under Xavi show that the Catalan club have no intention of playing second-fiddle to Real Madrid in either domestic or continental competitions. Already the Spanish giants have one of the world’s finest goalkeepers, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but there were some questions about the rest of their squad. The arrivals of Felix and Cancelo make the Blaugrana look a frightening prospect to face.
Barca gained a significant boost in their Champions League campaign when they were drawn into an easy-looking Group H. Porto of Portugal, Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine and Belgian champions Royal Antwerp will be the Spanish club’s opposition. No teams from Europe’s top four leagues will likely translate into an easy batch of fixtures for Cancelo and Felix’s new club to brush aside.