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Joao Felix: “Obviously I would like to be like Ronaldo”

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Joao Felix admitted he hopes to follow in the glorious footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo and revealed what convinced him to join Atletico Madrid.

Dubbed as the “new Ronaldo” back in his native Portugal, Felix already has great expectations on his shoulders for the future with many fans eagerly keeping tabs on his development as a player.

At 19, the talented youngster is the world’s third most expensive player after Atletico signed him up this summer from Benfica for €126m.

It came following a breakthrough campaign, which saw Felix provide 15 goals and nine assists to inspire Benfica to a 37th Primeira Liga title. However, the teenager’s biggest moment came when he fired home a hat-trick against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League.

These stunning performances at the Estadio da Luz convinced Portugal boss Fernando Santos to call-up Felix for the UEFA Nations League.

Despite the 19-year-old’s inexperience, he played alongside Ronaldo on route to the Navigators’ triumphant campaign this summer.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Or trophies and this is the dream of every player. Obviously, I would like to be like Cristiano,” Felix told ESPN.

The Portugal international’s transfer to Atletico was a surprise considering Juventus, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United were all keen.

But seeing the likes of fellow forwards Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan, Fernando Torres and Radamel Falcao star at the Wanda Metropolitano down the years ultimately convinced Felix.

“I watched the strikers that Atletico had and they were great players, great strikers,” said the teenage star.

“I want to be one more and this is why I came here.”

Felix scored his first goal in an Atletico shirt last week during a 7-3 thrashing of Real Madrid in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Felix’s fellow recruit Kieran Trippier spoke on he plans to adapt to Atletico after completing a reported €25m transfer from Tottenham.

“My priority is to speak Spanish,” said the English full-back.

“I want to become involved with the players and the coach to understand more.

“I’ve got a teacher in Madrid and it’s five days a week for two hours a day so maybe in a month or two, we can have this interview speaking Spanish.”

On his decision to join Atletico, Trippier said:  “There were a few clubs interested in me.

“But when Atletico Madrid came in for me, it was a great experience to play out in Spain in La Liga.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, to play abroad and I’m absolutely delighted to be here.”

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – JULY 31: Joao Felix #7 of Atletico de Madrid controls the ball against Bastian Schweinsteiger #31 of the MLS All-Stars during the 2019 MLS All-Star Game at Exploria Stadium on July 31, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)