Roy Keane took aim at Atletico Madrid and Portugal forward Joao Felix on Sunday, branding him an ‘imposter’ for convincing the Spanish side to spend big on him.
Felix, who joined Atletico for £113m in the summer of 2019, came off the bench for his first 34 minutes of tournament action in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Belgium but clearly did not have the kind of impact Keane was looking for.
The 21-year-old missed a great chance to equalise late on, scuffing his shot after being set up by Cristiano Ronaldo, and Keane confessed to ITV that he’d be throwing punches in the dressing room if he was part of the Portugal team.
“I get really annoyed when they’re quality players,” he said. “There’s no excuse to be leaning back and just missing the target, just test the goalkeeper because these are top players there’s no getting around it.
“Felix, when he came on – that guy’s an imposter! He’s an imposter! Your country needs you. He comes on – hit the target!
“£100m?! If I was Ronaldo, I’d be going after him in the dressing room. Shocking!”
It was perhaps a little excessive from Keane. After all, Felix enjoyed an impressive year at club level with Atletico, racking up seven goals and six assists as Los Rojiblancos roared to the La Liga title, although things weren’t so rosy towards the end of the season.
Felix spent a lot of the last few months on the bench, ending the campaign with just 14 league starts to his name, and there are suggestions that the 21-year-old wants a move away from the Wanda Metropolitano after growing tired of life under Diego Simeone.
Atletico have already shot down rumours that Felix could leave the club this summer, but suggestions of a potential departure remain.