He broke onto the scene with some sensational displays for Benfica – here’s your guide to the young player who is highly regarded in Europe
He has been tipped as a future Ballon d’Or winner, but Joao Felix may have flown under the radar for some.
While his peers Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe, who are around the same age, have been dominating the headlines in recent seasons, there has been slightly less fanfare about Felix.
In case you were wondering who he was and what sort of player he is, Goal brings you everything you need to know about Atletico Madrid’s star man.
Who is Joao Felix?
Joao Felix is a footballer who currently plies his trade with Spanish club Atletico Madrid.
Born in the central Portuguese city of Viseu on November 10, 1999, he began his career with Benfica, climbing through the ranks in Lisbon to make his senior bow in the 2018-19 season.
He scored 15 league goals in 26 appearances during his breakthrough campaign and impressed in the Champions League as well as the Europa League.
He was crowned Golden Boy after his breakthrough year in 2019 and his form attracted the attention of many of Europe’s elite clubs, including Manchester City.
Felix ultimately signed for Atletico Madrid after the Rojiblancos smashed their club transfer record to sign him.
How much did Joao Felix cost Atletico Madrid to buy?
Atletico Madrid paid €126 million (£113m/$142m) to Benfica to secure Joao Felix’s signature in 2019, when he was aged just 19 years old.
It was the third-highest transfer fee ever paid for a footballer and Joao Felix became the second most expensive teenager of all time in the process, behind Kylian Mbappe.
To put it into perspective, the fee paid for Joao Felix was more than what Barcelona paid to sign Antoine Griezmann (€120m), the player he ostensibly replaced, as well as being higher than the figures paid for the likes Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Gareth Bale.
Which position does Joao Felix play?
Joao Felix is an adaptable forward and is capable of playing anywhere across the attacking line.
He is currently playing as part of a front two – as a supporting striker – along with Luis Suarez, but can also play on the wing or slightly deeper as an attacking playmaker or No. 10.
“He is a different player, something that we did not have in the squad. He is still a young boy, he has room to grow and you have to leave him alone,” Atleti defender Stefan Savic told Goal last December.
“He has chosen the best possible club to grow. He has a great future and if he continues like this, I have no doubt that he can be a great player or a Ballon d’Or winner, but, before that, he has to win something with the club.”
So what sort of player is he exactly?
Felix has been likened to Brazil legend Kaka, though much of that comparison has grown out of the fact that he is tall and fashions a similarly floppy hairstyle.
He has also been compared to Antoine Griezmann and he certainly plays in a similar role as the France international, whose No. 7 jersey he assumed.
Interestingly, it has been suggested that Felix needs to be used in a ‘Messi role’ at Atleti, which would suggest he should be the focal point of attacks, though it remains to be seen if he can live up to such a comparison.
What national team does Joao Felix play for?
Portugal is the national team of Joao Felix and he has been a regular for the senior team since making his debut in 2019.
When Cristiano Ronaldo is available for selection, the veteran attacker is normally the focal point of the attack and, if he plays centrally, then Felix plays off him on the wing.
However, in Ronaldo’s absence, Felix has been deployed as a lone striker.