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Joao Felix can't escape pressure to deliver at Atletico Madrid – Mourinho

00:30 BST 13/08/2019
JoaoFelix - cropped
Age will be no excuse if the youngster does not propel his new club towards major trophies, says the former Manchester United manager

Jose Mourinho believes Joao Felix's huge price tag means he must produce the goods at Atletico Madrid despite his tender years.

The 19-year-old forward joined Diego Simeone's Atletico from Benfica in a €126 million (£117m/$141m) move last month and has turned in some dazzling pre-season displays.

In addition, he must step in to help fill a major void in attack following Antoine Griezmann's long-anticipated move to La Liga rivals Barcelona eventually coming to fruition.

As such, his famed Portuguese compatriot Mourinho believes there will be a demand for instant results regardless of his youth.

"He has a challenge due to the extent of his talent and because of the investment the club have made on him," Mourinho told the Portuguese Football Federation's (FPF) television channel, Canal 11.

"I believe that he can't escape this responsibility. It doesn't matter if he's 18, 20 or 25.

"What matters is his talent and the responsibility he has."

That responsibility extends to spearheading a challenge for the top honours in Spain and Europe, according to Mourinho.

Despite losing a bevy of big names in Lucas Hernandez, Rodri, Diego Godin and Griezmann, Atletico have reinforced impressively.

Kieran Trippier, Marcos Llorente and Hector Herrera are among those to have bolstered Simeone's squad as the club have aimed to reinvest heavily following those high-profile departures.

And as such, Mourinho feels Atletico must now look to match Spain's heavyweight duo of Real Madrid and Barca, despite a summer of transition, to cement their status on the level of their rivals. 

"Atletico Madrid's level of investment leaves them with responsibility to fight for the Champions League and La Liga," he said.

"It's clear that Barcelona and Real Madrid have to be there because of their power, financial capability, culture and quality.

"Atletico in recent years have been without this responsibility, but the level of investment they've made is incredible.

"It's time to say, 'We're here, we're big, we want to be big and we are here to win'." 

Atletico begin their La Liga campaign at home to Getafe on Sunday.