Los Rojiblancos finally snapped up young Portuguese teenager, Joao Felix in what is reported to be the fourth most expensive signing of all time. Benfica received a total sum of 127.2 million Euros for the 19 year old sensation. This fee includes his 120 million Euros release clause and 6 million Euros paid as interest for paying in installments. His previous club, Porto gets 1.2 million Euros as well.
Heading into the new season fans will be trooping into Estadio Wanda Metropolitano to watch their new starlet who has been bought to spear head the launch into a new era. There is obviously a big task lying ahead. The young chap was just introduced into the lime light last season. He scored an impressive 15 goals with 7 assists in 26 League appearances. He also scored 3 goals in 5 starts in the Europa League.
The fact that Athletico Madrid had highly reputable world class strikers like Diego Forlan, Ramadel Falcao, Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa and most recently Antoine Griezmann go through the ranks in the past and the club believes that Joao Felix has what it takes to fill in those shoes is a huge morale booster to him. But the pressure that comes with such expectations cannot be under estimated. This is even more difficult because he will be starting this next phase of his career without the huge experience that was in abundance in the dressing room as most notably, former Captain Godin and Griezmann have moved on to their new clubs.
It is also good to note that La Liga is a step up from the Portuguese League. Here, he will come up against more decent oppositions. Then there is the UEFA Champions League with bigger expectations of playing regularly to win. These competitions have always been a huge test for footballers who intend to make a name for themselves in football history.
Going forward, he is most likely to be the club’s poster boy. He will take huge credit for their successes and failures equally. We have seen a good number of players who struggle to live up to their price tags after big money moves. This tells a lot about the implications of big money moves.
At 19 years of age, he still has a good number of years ahead of him to repay the faith put in him. But he should be mindful of the down times. How he reacts is key. This is normal with all professional footballers. Situations like this presents a true test of character and professionalism. The media attention will be much now. His fan base will definitely be on the increase. They will be much hopeful he lives up to expectations.