João Felix: the Portuguese Messi of 120 Million Euros
- Updated: 18th July 2019
The young João Felix is the new centre of attention of the summer transfer window in Europe. The promising Portuguese striker that left Benfica and signed a contract with Atlético de Madrid has become the biggest transaction in the history of the two clubs, with a value of 120 million euros.
João Felix: The biggest deal of Portuguese football
João Felix’s appearance on the international scenario was in a certain way quick and charming in the same proportion.
The Benfica attacker has become the biggest sale of Portuguese football, overcoming players that were considered huge deals for the Portuguese, such as Hulk, João Mário, James Rodríguez, Ederson and Eder Militão.
Since FC Porto counted with the player for 4 seasons after the age of 12, due to the law of the athlete’s development rights, the Dragons receive a total of 1% of this sale.
At the moment, the Portuguese football can’t compete with other great centres and extremely profitable brands. Even due to the geographical size of the country and the level of their leagues, it is understandable that these clubs are currently development clubs.
Besides being the biggest sale of a club in Portugal, it is also the biggest signing made by Atlético de Madrid. Another impressive fact is that João Felix is the 5th most expensive player in the history of world football.
For comparison, Cristiano Ronaldo was bought by Real Madrid for around 90 million euros, and he was sold to Juventus by 100 million euros, becoming the biggest sale in the history of Real Madrid.
Ahead of the Portuguese are: Neymar (222 million euros), Kyllian Mbappé (180 million euros), Coutinho (130 million euros) and Dembelé (125 million euros).
The market value of a 19-year-old is ridiculously high, and the expectation that is created from now on, is proportionate.
Talent that was desired by European giants
Besides Atlético de Madrid, there were some news that giants like Manchester United, Manchester City, PSG, Real Madrid and Barcelona were interested on him.
João Felix is considered the great Portuguese youngster at the moment, the one that is standing out the most, and that should live up to these great expectations.
He was considered the great star of the Portuguese U21 national team, and there were a lot of people hoping that he would follow CR7’s footsteps.
Portuguese sports’ journalists report that he always played above his level, because when he was U16 he was already playing for the U18 and when he was U18, he was already playing in Benfica’s B team.
Now, he has already managed to be called-up to the National team, with only 19 years of age. João has some impressive achievements, already on their first season at a professional level.
He managed to be an important player of the national team, with the departure of the former manager, he has secured his spot on Benfica’s starting line-up, and he managed to put up some expressive numbers.
On the Primeira Liga, he has played in 26 matches, scoring 15 goals and getting 7 assists. He has participated decisively on an average of 1 goal per match.
On the Europa League he has scored the first hat-trick of his career, on the first match against Eintracht Frankfurt. He has also managed to score against the other domestic giants, FC Porto and Sporting.
What to expect on a new scenario?
Getting such abrupt success ends up even being a tough task to control the elation for a youngster. The great example would be Mbappé, World champion as a stand-out player for France, one of PSG’s main players and considered one of the best players in the World.
João Felix won’t follow that path, at least not immediately. I don’t believe that Simeone will but the kid on a pedestal and treat him like Griezmann’s ideal replacement.
I believe he will probably be developed, getting his space little by little, and confirm that he is a great player. It is necessary to be said that now the level of their opponents has changed.
Portuguese football is, at the moment, well below the big leagues, and especially the ones that Atlético will play on, such as the Champions League.
The kid is good, really good, and I would say that he clearly has the potential of being a great star. Right now, he still isn’t, but he
is showing a very different skillset from the others.
Those that will lead his trajectory need to remain calm, since he still might struggle, having adaptation difficulties to a different club, a different playstyle.
But the expectation is that he will be able to adapt well in Spain football, as he gains experience, being a great signing for Atlético, that plays with a quick and sharp style, creating spaces well.
I’m excited to see him on a club of superior technical level, and I’m hopeful he will be another star to delight us with his football.