The former La Liga champions have beaten the top sides in Europe to the signature of the wonderkid and a lot is expected from the young man brought in to replace the soon-to-leave Antoine Griezmann.
Former Benfica starlet Joao Felix is the newest arrival at the Wanda Metropolitano and until 12 months ago, very little was known about a teenager whose exploits have taken Europe by storm.
What Exactly Do We Know About This Teenage Wonder?
Born in Portugal, the lad was formerly on the books of FC Porto’s prestigious youth academy. But he was released after seven years with the club because of his slender, harmless frame.
Porto’s loss has been Benfica’s gain, though, with the Primeira Liga champions smiling to the bank with 126 million euros, the club’s biggest deal ever.
What Do We Expect from Joao Felix?
Okay, let’s calm down a bit. Atletico Madrid’s biggest ever import is not the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
Joao is more a player in the mould of Rui Costa, the former Portuguese midfield maestro who terrorized Europe in the colours of AC Milan in the early 2000s. He is comfortable playing as a striker or a winger and also very adept at operating as an attacking midfielder.
The youngster arrives as the second most expensive teenager in history and the highest transfer in Portuguese football. He may have only seen one season of senior football but the 15 league goals he got to help Benfica win the 2018-19 Primeira Liga marked him out as a star in the making.
His stock continued to rise after he scored a hat-trick in a 4 – 2 UEFA Europa League win over Frankfurt in April. In so doing, he became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the competition.
He finished the season on an incredible high as he made the Europa League Squad of the Season and ranked second among teenagers for goals and assists behind Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz and Borrusia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho respectively.
A lot of pressure may have been heaped on the slight, fragile-looking shoulders of the young Portuguese attacker but he has shown that he’s got the lion heart and the talents to conquer the world with Atletico Madrid.