Jose Mourinho believes new signing Joao Felix, has a heavy burden to shoulder despite his young age. Due to the resources Atletico Madrid have spent in signing him from Benfica.
Joao Felix was one of the many major names linked with an exit prior to the summer. However, Benfica’s massive €126 million (£117m/$141m) demand left several clubs rather bemused and evidently unable to participate in the player’s bidding.
The 19-year-old was linked with moves with Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona, amongst others. But practically, few saw the shock move coming, as Atletico Madrid surprisingly poured in a massive wealth of resources to sign Felix, as a supposed successor to Antoine Griezmann who left for rivals Barcelona.
Joao Felix, is still apparently too young, and less experienced than his predecessor. But has surely left a pleasant mark so far in the Atleti’s pre season tour. However, former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho does not believe his young age will be an excuse. If the youngster does not justify his massive price tag with goals and trophies.
“He has a challenge due to the extent of his talent and because of the investment the club have made on him,” Mourinho told the Portuguese Football Federation’s (FPF) television channel, Canal 11.
“I believe that he can’t escape this responsibility. It doesn’t matter if he’s 18, 20 or 25.
“What matters is his talent and the responsibility he has.”
Atletico Madrid were at the heart of an intriguing summer rebuild, which saw a massive amount of players join, as well as leave the club. As Diego Simeone set up a side completely different from the squad that featured last season.
For Jose Mourinho, Atletico Madrid’s summer investment, means the club will now be expected to go head to head with world heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid in the new season. With the Rojiblancos now particularly ready to challenge, according to the Portuguese.
“Atletico Madrid’s level of investment leaves them with responsibility to fight for the Champions League and La Liga,” Mourinho said.
“It’s clear that Barcelona and Real Madrid have to be there because of their power, financial capability, culture and quality.
“Atletico in recent years have been without this responsibility, but the level of investment they’ve made is incredible.
“It’s time to say, ‘We’re here, we’re big, we want to be big and we are here to win’.”
After a dazzling and rather encouraging pre season. Atletico Madrid return for the new season, with an opening fixture against Getafe at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium on Sunday.