Benfica sensation Joao Felix admits that he was awestruck upon meeting national team colleague and captain Cristiano Ronaldo, with the youngster revealing that the Portugal star didn't look real but rather felt like he was meeting a 'video game character'.
While Ronaldo is nearing the end of his professional journey, Felix is only starting out and the teenager has drawn admiring glances from massive clubs such as Manchester City despite still being in his teens.
Having been one of the stand-out performers in the Portuguese top-flight this term and admitting to being treated like an icon himself as a result, the attacker was still inexperienced enough to have a strange time when meeting his iconic countryman.
“It was weird!” the 19-year-old told Benfica's official website. “I had never seen [Ronaldo] up close in real life and I said to my colleagues and best friends later when I got home that it was like being in career mode on PlayStation – he looked like a video game character.
“It was strange but it was a dream come true to be with him in the same training camp. I don't even remember what he said because at first he was only thinking about what was at his feet. Anyway, it was very good.”
While it is still early days for the starlet, many in his home country are tipping him to eventually rub shoulders with some of the best in the game. As such, the Viseu-born dangerman was quizzed on his inspirations both past and present.
“Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar and Mbappe,” he said when asked who the greatest players are in the world today.
“I liked Kaka very much [when I was younger] and after watching a lot of videos of him, ones in which Rui Costa also appeared, he also became one of the players that I liked to watch. These two have always been examples to me.
“Doing what Rui Costa did, winning all that he won, is not easy, but I will go for it and try to be as good as him. Or better, if possible!”
Benfica, of course, are keen to hold on to the playmaker, whom they value at €120 million (£106m/$134m), beyond the summer window, having told potential suitors that €100m (£88m/$112m) will not be enough to convince them to sell.