Joao Félix is the footballer chosen by Atlético to replace Griezmann. He is 19 years old and will cost 120 million, more than any other rojiblanco before. After a tug-of-war of several weeks with Benfica, which has been referred at all times to its clause, Atlético has ended up yielding and everything indicates that it will pay what its freedom is worth. With just one season in the elite, Joao Félix will arrive at the Metropolitan having enamored half of Europe with his football. The bet is the most risky of recent times, but both Miguel Ángel Gil and Andrea Berta are convinced of the operation. Jorge Mendes has served as mediating agent in the negotiations.
That of Joao Felix is the story of a meteoric rise. He began his career in the quarry of Oporto, but decided to change air soon. Then, after passing through the Padroense, he finished at Benfica, where he shone in the lower categories. He was 18 when he debuted with the first team last August. He only played three minutes against Boavista, but his coach did not hesitate to give him the alternative against Sporting on the following day. The Lisbon derby was on the side of the "lions" when Joao Félix, just entered the field, scored the equalizer in the final stretch. His first flashes in a great date. A star was born.
After that, more opportunities arrived and little by little he was making a hole in Benfica's eleven, being decisive in the end for the conquest of the league. His great exhibition took place in quarters of the Europa League. Against Eintracht Frankfurt scored a triplet, the youngest to do so in this competition, beating another legend of his country: Eusebio. It was that April 11 when the eyes of football discovered him. Since then, several clubs have been interested in their services, being the Athletic and the Manchester City, by express desire of Guardiola, the most insistent.
The rojiblanco club knows that it is urgent to cover the gap left by Griezmann, and Joao Félix is a footballer very similar to the Frenchman. He is not left-handed like seven, but he handles well with both legs. Neither is forward, but has a goal. He feels comfortable playing behind the ends, surprising with filtered passes and arrivals to the area. He has good vision of the game, a great one against one and is technically exquisite. This season has added 20 goals and 9 assists in 43 games. Few weeks ago he debuted with the Portugal national team, with whom he has proclaimed himself League of Nations champion.
Luis Filipe Vieira, president of Benfica, does not want to forgive a single euro for his promise. Yesterday afternoon, the Portuguese club issued a statement denying an agreement for his footballer. But everything indicates that it is a matter of time. Joao Felix was called to be the next idol of the Lisbon fan; it will be, on the other hand, of the rojiblanca. Atlético repeats a known formula. In 2006 he paid 23 million for an Argentine child. His name was Sergio Agüero and over the years he ended up becoming a star. Then it was the most expensive signing in the history rojiblanca. Another more recent case, that of Lemar, does not invite optimism so much. For the French 70 million were paid last summer, another record, and its performance has not lived up to the disbursement. Only time will determine whether Joao Félix, a young man with acne and toothpaste, ends up writing his name in the history of Atlético.
The most expensive signing of Atlético
Joao Felix was born in Viseu on November 10, 1999. He is 19 years old. With 16 he became the youngest player to debut with the Benfica subsidiary. With the first team he did it last summer, with 18 years. In his second game he scored the equalizer against Sporting. He was the youngest to score in a derby. He is also the youngest to score in Da Luz and to make a double with Benfica. In April he scored the most pre-eminent triplet in the Europa League. He will sign 5 seasons and will collect about 6 million for each of them. .