Barça's João Félix ready to prove point vs. Atlético Madrid

João Félix: Atletico players 'lying' if they deny wanting to attack more (1:16)

João Félix says Barcelona's more attacking style is behind his return to form after joining on loan from Atletico Madrid. (1:16)

Barcelona forward João Félix has said Atlético Madrid's players would be lying if they said they didn't want to play more attacking football ahead of his first meeting against his parent club this weekend.

João Félix, 24, joined Barça on a season-long loan from Atlético in September and is expected to start when the two teams meet at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday.

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Since joining the Catalan club, he has said he "didn't adapt" to Atlético's style of football under coach Diego Simeone, adding that he feels much more comfortable with Barça's offensive approach to games.

"For sure [I prefer] this style [at Barcelona] -- me and every player," João Félix told ESPN ahead of the match.

"If you ask every player, if you ask the players from Atlético, too, they would prefer to play more time on the attack, for sure. If they don't answer that, they are lying.

"Of course every player wants to attack, wants to have the ball and to score goals."

Atlético go into Sunday's meeting third in LaLiga, just ahead of Barça in the standings courtesy of their superior goal difference, although Simeone's side also have a game in hand.

Despite having played a game less than Barça in the league this season, Atlético have scored more goals (30 vs. 27), with only joint leaders Real Madrid and Girona outscoring the Rojiblancos.

João Félix, who scored 34 times in 131 appearances for Atlético, is looking forward to Barça testing themselves against his parent club, while on an individual level he's keen to see what it's like to play against former teammate Rodrigo De Paul.

"It's a special game for me," João Félix added. "Atlético was my home for the last four years, so of course I [left] with some good moments there.

"It's always special to play against my old teammates. It will be good to see them again and to see how we play against them.

"I would say De Paul [is the player I am looking forward to playing against the most], because [on] the field he is so annoying.

"The last years, I was on his team, so it's OK, but seeing him from the outside he is so annoying. I want to see how he will deal with me and how he will react.

"I am excited to see him on the field because outside he's really good person. Now I want to see how it is to play against him."

João Félix took his tally to four goals for Barça in all competitions with the winner against Porto on Tuesday, ending a run of 12 games without scoring for his club.

That victory booked Barça's place in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since 2021.

"It was very important for the team, for the club and for the fans because the last games we were not playing our best football," João Félix said.

"It was a perfect victory for all of us, the team and the fans, and now we are motivated for the Atlético game [because] LaLiga is always tough.

"You always have Barça, Madrid and Atlético fighting for the title. And sometimes other teams are close; this year it is Girona. Real Sociedad are playing very well, too, and in some years it was Sevilla or Valencia.

"It will be a good fight until the last game. That is what we like and I think when you go to the games knowing you have to win, then the wins breed more confidence and happiness."