Felix plans Benfica return

Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid have been hit by the news forward Joao Felix is facing a three-week absence after suffering an ankle injury.

Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix has confirmed he would like to return to former club Benfica at some stage of his playing career.

Portugal international Felix left the Estadio da Luz to join Atletico during the summer in a reported €120million deal and it appears his long-term future is very much in the Spanish capital after he signed a seven-year deal.

Felix has impressed during his first six months with Atleti, scoring four goals to date, while he was also named the Golden Boy for 2019 – an award handed to the best player in Europe under the age of 21.

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There certainly appears plenty of scope for Felix to continue his development over the coming years and Atleti are likely to be the main beneficiaries of that, although the 20-year-old has now confirmed that he plans to return to Benfica before his career comes to an end.

He told BenficaPlay: “Now I see how happy I was at Benfica. I plan to return one day and leave my mark on the club.”

Felix, who also helped Portugal to UEFA Nations League glory last summer, certainly has happy memories of his time with Benfica, particularly the hat-trick he scored against Eintracht Frankfurt in last season’s Europa League, with that achievement coming at a time when he was struggling for form.

“The third goal I scored, I cried. It was a weight off my mind,” the forward added. “Two days earlier, in the dressing room, I heard comments that didn’t sit well with me. I went to the bathroom to cry.

“Nobody knew, but then I got the hat-trick and I felt a weight off my shoulders, I gave it my all.”

The youngster is yet to score a hat-trick for Atleti, with his next opportunity to do so coming when Diego Simeone’s side take on Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup on Thursday – a match that is taking place in Saudi Arabia.

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