“I can be one of the best” - Portugal’s João Félix on competing with Mbappe, Haaland and playing with Neymar

Atletico Madrid’s João Félix has been speaking to Brazilian media outlet TNT Sports this week, discussing a range of topics including the Portugal star’s hopes for the future as he aims to put recent injury issues behind him.

Felix has remained in Madrid during the international break having missed out on a place in Fernando Santos’ recent Seleção squad. Having missed the start of the season through injury and then incurring a suspension for a red card, it has been a typically disrupted start to the campaign for the former Benfica man.

With the suspension served and a long-suffering ankle problem corrected by surgery in the summer, Felix is hoping to finally achieve a consistent run of form with Atletico Madrid. Indeed, president Enrique Cerezo tipped the 22-year-old to be one of Atleti’s best players this season in statements made last week.

Asked by TNT Sports if he believes he will compete with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland in becoming one of the new generation of superstars, Felix was confident. “I will be [in this fight]” he said. “I haven’t yet reached my best level. In recent seasons I’ve had injuries and I haven’t had a full season without getting injured. When that happens, I can take part in this dispute.”

Felix was then asked if he could see himself playing with Brazil’s biggest star: Neymar, who is currently with Paris Saint-Germain. “Yes, without doubt,” Felix replied. “I think we would make a good duo. Of course, in the end on the pitch things may not go well – you never know – but I think we would make a good team.”

Finally, with the Campeonato Brasileiro title race currently being contested by champions Flamengo and leaders Atletico Mineiro, Felix was asked which of the two clubs he would prefer to play for should he ever move to Brazil, and gave a smooth knowing answer to the Brazilian media’s question.

“Well, nobody has called me, but I’d go with the red team [Flamengo] as I’ve always liked playing in red,” he said.

By Sean Gillen