Wherever you look in football there are new up-and-coming stars ready to make their mark on the beautiful game. Some of them will make it to the top, some of them won’t even be involved in the game within a few years. Today’s subject will have no such issues as we’re off to Portugal and their capital city, as we take a look at Benfica’s teenage sensation, Joao Felix.
Joao Felix is a 19-year-old Portuguese footballer who currently plays for Benfica in Portugal’s top division. He came through the ranks at the Portuguese giants, following a fairly lengthy youth career which saw him play for multiple academies.
He started his youth career at Os Pestinhas, before moving on to the academy of one of football’s powerhouses, FC Porto. He spent seven years at Porto but ended up being released due to his slender frame. Fortunately, Benfica’s scouts spotted the potential and signed him up.
In 2016, as a 16-year-old, he was called up to Benfica’s reserve team, Benfica B, who play in Liga Pro (Portugal’s second division). He made 30 appearances for the ‘B’ team, scoring seven goals. After two years, he was called up to the first team, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Style of Play
For those of you who haven’t had the absolute pleasure of watching this boy play, he’s primarily an attacking midfielder but can also play on the wing. From his preferred number ten position, where he has played for most of the season, he has bagged an impressive 11 goals in Liga NOS this season.
Dubbed the new Cristiano Ronaldo, he uses his electrifying pace and scintillating skills to bamboozle opponents before hammering the ball past goalkeepers with his frankly glorious right foot. His athleticism, while not quite at Ronaldo’s outstanding level, is quite something to behold. Despite his relatively modest 5’11” tall frame, he’s not afraid to challenge for a header and has already bagged a few goals with his head.
Season 2018/19 in numbers
21 appearances, 11 goals, 7 assists.
5 Appearances, 3 goals, 1 assist – First career hat-trick in Europa League against Frankfurt in the Quarter-final first leg.
Taco De Portugal Placard:
6 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist.
He has managed to pick up player of the month, as well as youth player of the month a single time each this season. As well as that, he has gained any number of potential suitors. There is a story doing the rounds today that Juventus will move on Paulo Dybala, potentially to Liverpool, to make room for Felix. Juventus aren’t the only ones linked either with Liverpool, Real Madrid and Wolves all being tipped with a move for the forward. It’s said that Felix could fetch as much as £172million this summer – either way, it’s highly doubtful he’ll be pulling on the red shirt of Benfica and walking out at Estadio da Luz next season.
Personally, I can’t wait to watch him play more often and at the highest level. Although there’s plenty of clubs around the world looking at him, I’m praying he ends up in the Premier League this summer – No matter the team. He is one of those players who can be a joy to watch and I urge you all to do just that whenever and wherever you can.