Joao Felix is tied to a long-term contract at Atletico Madrid, on the back of a €120 million (£107m/$134m) transfer, but admits he is already planning a return to Benfica at some stage.
The 20-year-old committed to seven-year deal after completing a big-money switch to Spain in the summer of 2019.
Atletico are hoping to be the ones to benefit from Felix’s undoubted potential, with the Portuguese having enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence.
He has landed the prestigious Golden Boy award, while also helping his country to Nations League glory. A positive start has been made to his spell in Madrid, with four goals recorded, and there is the promise of a lot more to come. Felix is dedicated to becoming a global star with Atletico, but concedes that he will look to return to Lisbon further down the line.
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 became a star at Benfica while still in his teens, with just one season spent as part of the first-team setup.
He enjoyed many memorable moments in 2018-19, including an effort against arch-rivals Porto – the club he first linked up with back in 2008.
“A lot was said on social media in the Benfica vs Porto match build-up about the fact that I had left the club, I know the players didn’t like it,” Felix added.
“We were losing 1-0, it was an important game, if we won we would be first, I got a draw.
“I started celebrating the goal with arrogance, looking at their faces. This was my moment. A beautiful feeling. To be honest, it was a shame it didn’t last longer.”
After netting against Porto in March, Felix went on to record a first senior hat-trick in a Europa League clash with Eintracht Frankfurt.
He said of that achievement, which came during a testing period for him as an individual: “The third goal I scored, I cried. It was a weight off my mind.
“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.”