Benfica star Joao Felix ‘prefers Spain to England’

Benfica teenage star Joao Felix uses fellow Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo as a role model and would rather play in Spain than in England.

The 19-year-old has risen to prominence for the Lisbon-based giants this season and has netted 12 goals for the club, who now lead the Portuguese top flight.

Felix has netted in two Lisbon derbies against Sporting CP this season and also scored against FC Porto in a key title clash last month.

That has led to the attack-minded midfielder being labelled as ‘the next Cristiano Ronaldo’ while Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United have also scouted the player.

“Ronaldo has a phenomenal work rate, he is exemplary for everyone here,” Felix told an interview with Marca.

“I am not close to him on a personal level but I am very excited about the potential of playing with him (for the Portuguese national team) and everyone knows his story, how he has had to battle all the way.

“Now you can see this season the impact he is having at Juventus and Real Madrid are suffering without him, they have not found his replacement.

“I am not thinking about my future, I only have thoughts for Benfica and helping my club to the league title, I cannot think of what everyone is saying around us.

“My dream has always been to play for the biggest clubs in Europe. Spain or England? I would prefer to play in Spain.”

Felix currently has a €120m release clause on a deal through to 2023, which Benfica are keen to improve.

The player is said to be versatile and can operate in a number of attacking positions, while he starred in the UEFA Youth League semi-finals in 2016-17 against Madrid.

Tags Benfica Joao Felix