João Félix is officially a Chelsea player, after signing for the Premier League club on a loan deal until the end of the season. Félix leaves Atletico Madrid for London having extended his contract in Spain until 2027.
Chelsea are reported to have paid a hefty loan fee for Félix in the region of €11m, while the short-term deal does not include a full purchase option. The former Benfica man will wear the no.11 shirt at Stamford Bridge.
“I’m very happy to be here in Chelsea,” Félix told the club’s media. “It’s one of the great teams in the world, and I hope to help the team reach the objectives. So I’m very happy and excited to play here in Stamford Bridge.
“I played against Chelsea two years ago, but there was no fans in the stadium because of COVID. But I like the stadium. It’s [very] closed.
“Chelsea players that I remember? I can say Portuguese players: Deco, Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira, Meireles. But there are other ones I also like: Hazard, Frank Lampard, Drogba.
“I don’t know a lot of London, but it’s a big city, a wonderful city. But now I’m focused on helping the team. I met Reece James one time when I was in London, in a restaurant. An amazing guy.
“I’ll bring my football, my happiness to the game and give a lot of fun to the fans. I don’t like to speak about myself, but I will say that I’m a player that likes to have the ball and play with happiness. I want to make all the fans enjoy my football, and help the team.”
Félix has endured a turbulent season in the Spanish capital, in keeping with a mixed career with Los Rojiblancos since his club-record €126 move from Benfica. Named the club’s Player of the Year last season, the 23-year-old has yet to fully win over manager Diego Simeone, who sanctioned his departure last month.
Portuguese Blues quiz:
So, Chelsea has been a regular destination for Portuguese since the turn of the century. Félix is set to be the 12th Luso player to represent the club in a senior match. How many of the previous 11 can you name?
By Sean Gillen