Benfica president Luis Felipe Vieira has described Joao Felix as the biggest Portuguese talent since Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 19-year-old forward is enjoying a breakthrough campaign at the Estádio da Luz and has subsequently been linked with a number of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Who is Joao Felix? Five things to know…
- Born in Viseu (November 10, 1999) he joined Benfica’s academy from FC Porto’s youth set-up in July 2015.
- Nominally a deep-lying forward Felix can play as an attacking midfielder or winger.
- Felix made his Benfica debut in August 2018 (2-0 win at Boavista).
- He’s since made 32 overall appearances; scoring 12 goals and creating six more.
- Félix is yet to be capped at senior international level.
Felix, who came through Benfica’s renowned academy system, only made his first-team debut this season when he came on for the final three minutes in their 2-0 win at Boavista last August.
He’s since gone on to establish himself under then manager Rui Vitória and his successor Bruno Lage. To date, the deep-lying forward, who is capable of playing in midfield or on the flanks, has made 32 overall appearances registering 12 goals and creating a further six for his teammates.
His performances have made a number of clubs sit up and take notice; two of those sides heavily linked are Juventus and Real Madrid. Naturally, it has made Benfica president Vieira proud, but he’s determined to keep hold of Felix – who he dubs as the biggest talent Portugal has produced since five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo – and increase his current release clause of £103m in the process.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel: sqwk.at/Squawka-Sub
“I am happy that all of Europe is talking about Benfica’s talents. Now it is clear that our project of betting on young players is bearing the desired results. Joao Felix the next Ronaldo? There is only one sure thing: Felix is one of the best talents produced by Portuguese football since Ronaldo,” he told Tuttosport.
“Juventus’ and Real Madrid’s interest in him? Ask them. At this moment we are not interested in selling him and soon we will increase the release clause in his contract. Joao has an incredible technique, he is fast and also very intelligent. He is a good person, he shows that he has important values that make me very proud.”
” I would prefer to play in Spain”
Felix is among Europe’s brightest stars and the rush for his signature will be eventful to watch. Already clubs from England, Italy and Spain have been watching closely but Felix, whose current focus is Benfica, has made up his mind.
“I am not thinking about my future, I only have thoughts for Benfica and helping my club to the league title, I cannot think of what everyone is saying around us,” he told
“My dream has always been to play for the biggest clubs in Europe. Spain or England? I would prefer to play in Spain.”
This will be music to Real Madrid’s ears as they begin to rebuild under returning manager Zinedine Zidane.