Félix with Atlético Madrid in 2019
|Full name||João Félix Sequeira|
|Date of birth||10 November 1999|
|Place of birth||Viseu, Portugal|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2014–2015||→ Padroense (loan)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 28 September 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 October 2019
João Félix Sequeira (European Portuguese: [ʒuˈɐ̃w ˈfɛliks, -liʃ]; born 10 November 1999) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and the Portugal national team as a forward. He can also play as a winger or an attacking midfielder.
Félix initially trained at Porto's youth ranks before moving to rivals Benfica in 2015. He began playing for the latter's reserve side a year later and was promoted to the first-team in 2018, making his professional debut at age 18. He then starred as a goalscorer and helped Benfica win the league title in his first and only season with them, and was awarded Primeira Liga's Best Young Player of the Year. Internationally, he became the youngest ever player to score a hat-trick in the UEFA Europa League, aged 19.
Félix's performances sparked the interest of several European clubs, with Atlético Madrid signing him in 2019 for a club record transfer worth €126 million (£113 million), the fourth-most expensive football transfer, the second-most ever paid for a teenager and the highest fee for a Portuguese player leaving the domestic league.
After being capped for Portugal's youth teams at under-18, under-19 and under-21 levels, Félix made his senior debut in the semi-finals of the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals, won by Portugal on home soil.
Born in Viseu, Félix started playing football at Os Pestinhas in 2007 before joining the youth ranks of FC Porto a year later, aged eight.[better source needed] After Félix moved to Porto, he faced some challenges such as extensive schedules that included daily shuttle hours between Viseu and Porto. He moved to his parents' house to be near Porto's training grounds and, later, he wanted to quit football due to missing his parents, but his father convinced him on pursuing his career. Félix was released by Porto in 2014 because of his slight frame and moved on to Lisbon rivals Benfica in 2015, aged 15, after a season-long loan at Padroense.
Félix debuted professionally at the age of 16 for Benfica's reserve team in LigaPro on 17 September 2016, coming on as an 83rd-minute substitute for Aurélio Buta in a goalless draw at Freamunde. In doing so, he became the youngest player to debut for Benfica B. He played 13 matches and scored three goals over the season, the first being a consolation in a 2–1 loss to his hometown team Académico de Viseu on 15 February 2017. Later, on 30 January 2018, he scored a hat-trick in a 5–0 home win over Famalicão. During that season, Félix played in the 2016–17 UEFA Youth League, in which he was a key part of Benfica reaching the final of the competition, lost to Red Bull Salzburg (2–1); he scored six goals in the tournament.
Félix was then promoted to Benfica's first team for the 2018–19 season, making his debut in a 2–0 Primeira Liga win at Boavista on 18 August. A week later, he scored his first Primeira Liga goal, thus becoming the youngest player to score in the Lisbon derby, which ended in a 1–1 tie. On 16 January 2019, he scored the qualifying goal against Vitória de Guimarães in the Portuguese Cup quarter-finals. After Bruno Lage took over as coach of Benfica, his first decision was to use Félix more regularly, partnering him with Haris Seferović in the attack. Later on, Félix was praised for his performance in a 4–2 away win over Sporting CP in the league on 3 February, subsequently sparking interest from several European clubs. A month later, he scored the equaliser in a 2–1 away win over Porto in the league.
On 11 April 2019, Félix scored a hat-trick in a 4–2 UEFA Europa League win over Eintracht Frankfurt. In doing so, he became the youngest ever player (aged 19 years and 152 days) to score a hat-trick in the competition, breaking Marko Pjaca's record by 67 days. Félix finished his first season with 20 goals for his team, including one on the final day of the league campaign, in a 4–1 win over Santa Clara to seal the title; his 15 league goals put him joint-fourth for the season. Across Europe's seven best leagues, he ranked second among teenagers for goals and assists, behind Kai Havertz and Jadon Sancho, respectively.
On 3 July 2019, Félix signed a seven-year contract with Spanish club Atlético Madrid for a transfer fee of €126 million (£113 million), the third highest ever paid in football (Benfica's biggest transfer and Atlético's most expensive signing) as well as the second highest for a teenager (after Kylian Mbappé), with the La Liga side initially paying €30 million and the rest €96 million via installments, thus surpassing Félix's €120 million release clause, and with Benfica paying €12 million in mediation services. Upon his arrival to the club he was handed the number 7 shirt, previously worn by Antoine Griezmann.
Félix made his competitive debut on 19 August, in a 1–0 victory over Getafe. Despite not scoring a goal, he managed to get a penalty for Atlético after being fouled, a penalty that Álvaro Morata failed to convert. On 25 August, Félix provided an assist for Vitolo in a 1–0 away win over against CD Leganés. He scored his first La Liga goal on 1 September, in a 3–2 victory over Eibar; he was later substitued in the 84th minute by Thomas Partey.
On 14 June 2017, Félix began his international career with Portugal's under-18 team, debuting against Norway, replacing Elves Baldé in the 58th minute. In this friendly match, Félix scored two goals in a 3–0 victory in Lisbon. On 10 October 2017, Félix debuted for Portugal's under-21 team for the qualification of the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, in a 3–1 defeat against Bosnia and Herzegovina, replacing Xadas in the 56th minute.
On 15 January 2018, Félix debuted for Portugal's under-19 team as a 27th minute substitute for an injured Jorge Teixeira in a 2–1 win over Turkey. On 23 March 2018, Félix scored his first international goal for Portugal's under-21 team in a 7–0 thrashing of Liechtenstein. In the end of the qualification process, he had scored four goals, helping guide Portugal to the play-offs. In the first leg of the play-offs, Portugal faced Poland in a 1–0 away victory, but eventually lost in the second leg in a 3–1 home defeat, failing to qualify for the tournament.
During his international youth career, Félix would go on to represent the under-18, under-19 and under-21 teams, amassing 14 youth caps and scoring 6 goals overall.
On 15 March 2019, manager Fernando Santos called up Félix to the senior side for the first time, ahead of the opening UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches. During training with the national squad, Félix injured his foot and thus missed Portugal's match against Serbia on 25 March.
Félix was also selected for the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals squad on home soil. He made his international debut for the senior team on 5 June against Switzerland in the semi-finals, where he was substituted in the 71st minute of a 3–1 win. Four days later, Portugal defeated Netherlands 1–0 in the tournament's final.
Style of play
Considered by Benfica to be one of the most promising players from their youth ranks, Félix has received comparisons to Kaká and former Benfica players Rui Costa and João Pinto. While primarily an attacking midfielder, Félix has also been deployed either as a striker, second striker or a winger.
Félix's parents, Carlos (father) and Carla (mother), are both teachers. He has a younger brother, Hugo, who plays for Benfica youth ranks. Growing up, Félix's idols were Kaká and Rui Costa, the latter a player he looked to emulate.
- As of match played 28 September 2019
|Atlético Madrid||2019–20||La Liga||7||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||8||2|
- As of match played 11 October 2019
- Primeira Liga: 2018–19
- Campeonato Nacional de Juniores: 2017–18
- UEFA Youth League runner-up: 2016–17
- Primeira Liga Player of the Month: January 2019
- SJPF Young Player of the Month: January 2019
- UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season: 2018–19
- CNID Best Revelation Footballer of the Year: 2019
- Primeira Liga's Best Young Player of the Year: 2018–19
- Golden Globes: 2019 Best Newcomer
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- "UEFA Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Portugal qualification for the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship debut". UEFA. 10 October 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
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- "Brilho de uma geração deu para o playoff, para já". zerozero. 23 March 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
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- "João Félix fala de tudo. As praxes, os ídolos, a relação com Vieira, o n.º 10 e a Bola de Ouro" [João Felix talks about everything. The pranks, the idols, the relationship with Vieira, the number 10 and the Golden Ball]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 24 May 2019.
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- "Sindicato também distingue João Félix" [Syndicate also distinguish João Félix]. A Bola (in Portuguese). 14 February 2019. Archived from the original on 17 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- "UEFA Europa League Squad of the 2018/19 Season". UEFA. 30 May 2019.
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- "Os Globos de Ouro foram para..." [The Golden Globes went to...]. SIC Notícias (in Portuguese). 30 September 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
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