Atlético Madrid

Joao Felix's record-breaking hat-trick against Eintracht Frankfurt

Robbie Copeland
Apr 11, 2021, 4:00 PM GMT+1
Felix netted an historic hattrick for Benfica
Felix netted an historic hattrick for Benfica | Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Joao Felix is already well on his way to greatness.

He's won the Primeira Liga with Benfica, the Nations League with Portugal, and he's currently sparkling in Atletico Madrid's La Liga title challenge.

Nothing has fazed him during his startling rise to prominence, not even the glare of a £100m+ transfer that made him by far and away the most expensive player in the history of Portuguese football....aged just 19.

But in a time when Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe are scoring goals at a biblical rate and threatening to become this generation's Messi and Ronaldo, it's fair to say he gets slept on a little.

So let's take ourselves on a trip down memory lane to a time when Felix was the talk of the town more than any of his contemporaries.

11 April 2019 was the day Joao Felix announced himself to the world.

He'd been on fire for Benfica prior to that point. Already into double figures for domestic goals, the 19-year-old was enjoying a phenomenal breakthrough season and was on the radar of some of the biggest clubs on the planet.

He didn't really need to go and score a hat-trick in the Europa League against Eintracht Frankfurt, making himself the youngest hat-trick scorer in the competition's history. But he did it anyway. Because he's Joao Felix.

He took the Frankfurt defence to task by himself, opening the scoring from the penalty spot and netting again on the stroke of half-time with the pick of the bunch.

He slalomed through the helpless visiting defence before unleashing a powerful long-range finish that arrowed into the bottom right corner.

And within nine minutes of the restart, history was made. Aged just 19 years 153 days, Felix became the youngest player to score three times in a Europa League match.

With a cool right-footed finish across the despairing Kevin Trapp, he became the youngest player to hit a treble in European competition since Sergio Aguero against Kayseri Erciyesspor in 2007.

With the momentum he already had behind him, Felix didn't exactly need another launching pad. But his historic treble gave him one anyway.

He netted five more times on Benfica's way towards the league title, enough to convince Atletico that he was worth going all in on. In doing so, he got his hands on the Portuguese league title - a fitting sign-off for a player who threatens to be Benfica's best ever export.

Joao Felix signed off from Benfica with silverware
Felix signed off with silverware | Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

To date, that Frankfurt hat-trick is the only one of his professional career. But the way things are going, you sense it won't be the last.