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MENDONÇA AND FUTRE WERE THE FIRST TO PLAY FOR OUR CLUB

João Félix joins historic list of Portuguese Atlético de Madrid players

A total of 14 Portuguese players preceded our new signing at our club.

João Félix has become the 15th Portuguese player to ever play for Atlético de Madrid. Jorge Alberto de Mendonça was the first to do so when he joined our club in 1958.

The striker, who was born in Luanda when Angola was still a Portuguese colony, wore our shirt for nine seasons, playing 234 official matches and scoring 91 goals. He won the league in the 1965/66 season, the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1961/62 and the Copa del Generalísimo in 1959/60, 1960/61 and 1964/65. Moreover, on Sep. 15 1965, Mendonça starred in one of the most iconic moments in our club's history, when he stepped out of the pitch at the Metropolitano Stadium on the shoulders of fans after netting a hat-trick against Dynamo Zagreb in the first leg of that season’s Cup Winners' Cup Round of 32.

Another iconic image of our club’s history involved our second ever Portuguese player: Paulo Futre. On June 27, 1992, the winger scored a fantastic goal to put our team 2-0 up in the 1991/92 Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid. It was our eighth cup title, as well as Futre’s second. The Portuguese arrived at our club in 1987 and went on to play 215 official games for Atleti.

From João Felix’s Benfica came Hugo Leal (77 matches at our club) and Dani Carvalho (72), while Silvio (21) and Pizzi (16) went the opposite way. Maniche (84) and Costinha (28) arrived from FC Porto, whereas Zé Castro (40) came from Académica de Coimbra, André Moreira from Os Belenenses, Diego Jota from Paços de Ferreira and Gelson Martins (12) from Sporting CP.

The latter won the UEFA Super Cup at Atleti, like Simão Sabrosa and Tiago Mendes before him. These two even wore the captain's armband at our club. Simão played 168 games in Red & White between 2007 and 2010, winning the 2009/2010 Europa League and the 2010 UEFA Super Cup, whereas Tiago joined our club during the 2009/2010 season and went on to play 223 matches before his retirement in 2017. During his time at Atleti, the midfielder won two UEFA Super Cups (2010 and 2012), one Europa League (2011/2012), one Copa del Rey (2012/2013), one LaLiga title (2013/2014) and one Spanish Super Cup (2014). 

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