João Félix today won the Golden Boy award, capping off his fantastic season with SL Benfica. He beat off competition from 2nd placed Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund and 3rd placed Kai Havertz of Bayer Leverkusen.
The award was created by Tutto Sport in 2003 and is awarded to the best U21 player in Europe for their performances in the last calendar year.
João becomes the 2nd Portuguese Golden Boy winner and the 2nd SL Benfica product to win the award, the other being Renato Sanches in 2016.
The numbers João accumulated are all the more impressive when you consider that he didn’t fully emerge until around November time. He started just 2 Primeira Liga games out of the first 15.Embed from Getty Images
After Bruno Lage’s appointment midway through the season, Félix was exposed to more and more playing time, eventually becoming an integral part of the side that went on to win the league.
João started in 21 Primeira Liga games for SL Benfica, scored 15 goals and provided 9 assists.
In the UEFA Europa League, he started 5 games, scored 3 goals and gave 1 assist.
To breakdown the statistics even further, João played a total of 1,735 Primeira Liga minutes and provided 24 goal contributions. That’s a goal contribution on average every 72 minutes. Those would be incredible numbers if accumulated by a player in their prime, which makes it all the more impressive that João was able to do this in his debut season, aged 19.Embed from Getty Images
His has impressed so far in his move to Atléti, albeit missing 6 games in La Liga and Champions League through injury. He has managed 675 minutes so far in La Liga, scoring 2 goals and providing 1 assist. Let’s hope that he continues to put in high level performances for both Atlético and Portugal and has a long an illustrious career!