It was only four years ago that a 15-year-old Joao Felix was allowed to leave FC Porto because they thought he was not big enough to make it.
While the Porto coaches recognised he had a natural talent, they also thought his frame was too slight, and didn’t have the patience to work with him.
It appears this will prove to be a costly mistake, as he has since emerged at Benfica as one of the most exciting young talents in the world.
Even though he only made his debut for Benfica at the start of this season in August 2018, Felix is now estimated to be worth around £100 million.
Throughout this season a succession of scouts from Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have been in the stands at Benfica’s games to watch Felix.
After only eight appearances for Benfica this season, Felix signed a new contract until 2023 with a release clause set at an incredible €120 Euros (£105 million).
It seems a rather fanciful, almost silly amount, but as we approach the summer transfer market some of these watching clubs are seriously considering activating Felix’s clause.
Over the course of the last nine months, they have been enthralled by his emergence as a rare and very special talent.
In his first season in the Benfica first team, Felix has scored 18 goals, including one in the Lisbon derby last August.
Three of these goals were against Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarter-finals of the Europa League last month, which made him at 19 years and 152 days the youngest player to ever score a hat-trick in a European competition.
He is still so young that it remains too early to know where his best position is on the pitch, but he has already excelled as an orthodox striker, a playmaker in the number 10 role and an attacking winger stationed on the left flank.
He offers the complete package of being clinical in front of goal, and also having the vision to create a succession of chances for his team-mates.
He has a supreme technique; a rare calmness and confidence on the ball, and an ability to manipulate it at will with his fast feet that baffle opponents.
And that slight frame that hampered him at Porto is getting bigger and stronger due to the special programme Benfica have devised to bulk him up.
The comparisons to his Portuguese compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo have inevitably been made, but they are different players, with Felix seeming to possess a greater awareness, and the ability to thread the ball through to his team-mates in tight situations, which is more reminiscent of another Real Madrid player, the Brazilian Kaka, who was also equally adept at creating and scoring.
Across Europe clubs are now weighing up whether to make a substantial bid for Felix, but there is no desire at Benfica to see him leave so quickly.
“In relation to our youngsters, mainly those that are today part of our main squad, Benfica will do everything so that no one leaves,” the club’s president Luis Filipe Viera has said.
“I can practically say and guarantee to Benfica fans that no one will leave. I’m one of the biggest mentors of this project and I will do everything within my power to ensure that no one leaves this year or next if possible.”
But Viera is also a realist and Benfica have long been a selling club, and will be hoping to receive a bid they are unable to turn down this summer.