age 20 (14.06.98), Sporting & Portugal
In a sentence
The latest in a long line of classy wingers to emerge from the youth system at Sporting, he is the heir apparent to such stars as Luis Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Quaresma and Nani.
What they say
Sporting coach Jose Peseiro: “Here’s a youngster with the sort of character we want. Whether he’s used for 10 or 20 minutes as a substitute or is not called upon at all, he’s happy to be one of us. He doesn’t run away if he doesn’t start. He waits for his chance and when he comes on, he gives everything.”
Former Sporting B coach Joao De Deus: “He has tremendous potential. He’s so well developed physically. You could say he’s a bodybuilder who plays football.”
Manu Lomba, his coach at Gremio Nhagar: “Even as a child of nine or 10, he had an extraordinary capability as a footballer and incredible desire.”
Story so far
The ultimate impact sub for Sporting this season, he earned a penalty on his league debut against Moreirense, provided an assist versus Setubal, popped up with the only goal of the game against Feirense and was on target in a Europa League victory over Qarabag of Azerbaijan.
A native of the Cape Verde cluster of islands, he was born and raised on Santiago, the largest island of the archipelago. He began playing football at the age of nine with Gremio Nhagar, and on turning 16 he travelled to Portugal for a series of trials and was taken on by Sporting. After shining for the under-17s, under-19s and B sides, he made his senior debut in 2017, coming on as a substitute in a Portuguese Cup tie against Oleiros. He made a fiveminute cameo as a sub for Cape Verde in a friendly with Luxembourg in March 2017, but has refused further call-ups and is taking up Portuguese citizenship.
The next step
Said to be on the radar of Barcelona and Real Madrid, Sporting have extended his current contract until 2023 and increased his release clause to € 60m.
With his pace, technical dexterity and uncommon powers of improvisation he is difficult to knock off the ball. Can operate on either flank and packs a fizzing shot
His decision-making leaves a little to be desired. Still raw, he can overdo the trickery and wander into dead ends.
“He has tremendous potential. He’s so well developed physically. You could say he’s a bodybuilder who plays football” Ex-Sporting B boss Joao De Deus