João Félix became the fourth most expensive player of all time when, in July 2019 and aged 19, Atlético Madrid paid £113m to activate the release clause in his contract at Benfica to make him a direct replacement for Antoine Griezmann, who in turn joined Barcelona for £107m. Felix had made his first senior start for Benfica in August 2018 and scored his first goal a week later against rivals Sporting Lisbon, becoming the youngest ever goalscorer in a Lisbon derby, and a further record had followed when he became the youngest to score a hat-trick in the Europa League, in their 4-2 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.
“Joao has many capabilities,” said Atlético’s respected manager Diego Simeone. “He has a vision that allows him to adapt to many positions and is in a process of adaptation and the best thing he has is that desire to learn. Talent is innate, but the desire to learn is the shortest path that a player has to perform.”