Atletico Madrid striker Joao Felix has admitted he only now realises how happy he was at former club Benfica and vows to return to the Estadio da Luz in the future.
Felix arrived at Atletico in the summer following a blockbuster €126m move from Benfica, but has not found adjusting to life in Spain easy. The forward has scored only four goals across La Liga and the Champions League this season for the Madrid side, also having struggled with injury.
The 20-year-old has now confessed he never quite realised how content he was with life in Portugal, and the attacker has plans to return to Benfica later in his playing career.
In a series of interviews with Benfica Play (as reported by AS), Felix admitted: “Now I see how happy I was at Benfica. I plan to return one day to leave my mark at the club.”
The forward played one full season with Benfica’s senior side scoring 15 goals in 26 Primeira Liga appearances, however, the forward moved to the club from bitter rivals Porto back in 2015.
The starlet also lit up the Europa League, scoring a breathtaking hat-trick in the competition against Eintracht Frankfurt last season – a moment fondly remembered by the Portugal international.
“After the third goal, I started to cry. It took all of the pressure away from me,” Felix said. “Two days before, in the dressing room, I heard comments that I didn’t like. I went to the toilet to cry, but after I scored the hat trick, it liberated me, I gave my all.”
The player also made his mark with a crucial equaliser against former club Porto, another memory that will stay with the Atletico attacker forever.
“There was a lot of talk on social media about the fact that I left Porto to go to Benfica,” he added. “I know the players didn’t like it.”
“We were losing 1-0, it was an important game. If we won, we could go top and I got the draw, it was a good goal. I celebrated the goal with arrogance, looking at their faces. That was my moment. A beautiful feeling.”