Who Is Nuno Mendes: Biography, Net Worth, Childhood, Football Career
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Nuno Mendes’s Biography
Mendes was born in Sintra, a suburb of Lisbon, to Angolan parents on the 19th June 2002. The diminutive wing-back joined Sporting as a 9-year-old and has worked his way through the ranks all the way to the first team starting XI.
One thing that has made Mendes such a valued player is that he is one of the four Portuguese players on the 2021 men's list. His ability in creating goalscoring situations is what has made him famous. We see an example of this in their 2-0 victory against Boavista on January 26, as Adil Rami’s errant clearance falls to the feet of Mendes, who eyes up the penalty box and plays an inch-perfect cross that sears Boavista’s defense and falls perfectly for Nuno Santos to tap in.
After impressing in his full debut against Tondela, Mendes’ next ‘baptism of fire’ came on July 15, when he traveled to the Estádio do Dragão to face off against Sérgio Conceição’s Porto. The hosts would take a 2-0 victory via second-half goals from Moussa Marega and Danilo Pereira to achieve their 29th league title with two games to spare, but the teenager still impressed throughout the defeat.
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Nuno Mendes’s Childhood
When our ten-year-old boy was alone, Akil Momade who was working as a scout, paid a visit to Mendes’ house. Mendes was scaring and thinking he might be robbed so he went to the kitchen and grabbed a knife to be safe. When he opened the door he saw that it was Akil. Akil even showed him a sporting card so he had no suspect. Akil told Mendes that they want him there and he went with all his heart. For the next four years, Mendes would drive one hour each way from his house in Sintra before deciding to move into Sporting’s Alcochete-based residency program.
Mendes joined Sporting Academy at the age of 10. He was initially promoted to No. 10 and then moved to the back, although his instincts make him more suited to his current role as a full-back. He was called up to Ruben Amorim last spring by the Coronavirus and played his first game off the bench in early summer.The following week, he became the youngest player since Cristiano Ronaldo started a match for Sporting, before becoming the club's third-youngest scorer.The highest-placed of his compatriots is Fabio Silva, the striker who left Porto for Wolves in a club-record £35m ($47m) in September, who ranks at 17th. Mendes places 23rd, while his Sporting team-mates, Eduardo Quaresma and Joelson Fernandes, come in 36th and 44th, respectively.
Nuno Mendes’s Net Worth
Players of such quality at a young age come at a premium. Maybe this is why Sporting moved to extend Mendes’ contract in December 2020, improving his terms while upping his release clause from €45million to €70million. According to transfermarkt.com, the youngster’s value stands at £22.5million, ranking him as the world’s 11th highest valued u19 player.
A strong showing at Euro 2020 could see his value skyrocket, so don’t be shocked to see Europe’s elite move prior to the tournament.
Nuno Mendes’s Football Career
Mendes joined the youth academy of Sporting CP at the age of 10. He made his professional debut in a 1–0 Primeira Liga home win against F.C. Paços de Ferreira on 12 June 2020, as a 72nd-minute substitute for Marcos Acuña. After Acuña left for Sevilla FC in the 2020 off-season, Mendes became first choice for the Rúben Amorim-led side at only 18.
Mendes earned his first cap for Portugal at under-21 level shortly after having made his club debut, in a 4–0 win in Cyprus for the 2021 UEFA European Championship qualifiers on 4 September 2020. He first appeared with the full side only six months later, playing the entire 1–0 victory against Azerbaijan for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying phase Sporting’s coaches chose to convert him from his original attacking position to a left-back, and bit by bit, their foresight has bore fruits as Mendes rose up the ranks for club and country before making his debut on June 12, 2020. The following week, he became the youngest player since Cristiano Ronaldo to start for Sporting, playing the full 90 minutes as the Leões took a 1-0 victory against Tondela. The departure of Marcos Acuña to Sevilla has given Mendes the opportunity to solidify a starting spot as a left wing-back in Amorim’s 3-4-3, and the 18-year-old has taken the chance by the scruff of his neck.
He scored his first competitive goal for them on 4 October of the same year, in the 2–0 away victory over Portimonense SC.
Six months after earning his first cap for Portugal’s U-21 side, Mendes made his debut for the senior team, playing the entire 1-0 victory against Azerbaijan in the 2022 UEFA Champions League qualifiers, coming off the bench in the following match against Serbia, and starting against Luxembourg in the third qualifying match. While he likely won’t start over Raphaël Guerreiro, he has proven worthy of a roster spot for this summer’s Euros ahead of veteran left-back Mário Rui.
Whilst he hasn’t quite exploded to life in terms of goalscoring numbers (1 goal and 2 assists in 28 matches), Mendes’ importance goes beyond statistics; playing as the left wing-back in Amorim’s 3-4-3, he provides a constant source of width and explosiveness whilst Pedro Gonçalves inverts from the left flank. In several plays he has dribbled past several opposing players and nearly scored a goal himself. There is no doubt that he is one of the few young best-talented players.
The Sporting CP coach, Amorim, took charge on March 4, 2020, and since has given seven Alcochete products their Primeira debut: Joelson Fernandes, Eduardo Quaresma, Tiago Tomás, Daniel Bragança, Dário Essugo, and Gonçalo Inácio. Mendes, however, has been undoubtedly a class above the rest this season, and his performances could land Sporting a monster transfer haul sooner rather than later.
It has been nothing short of a whirlwind year for Nuno Mendes. Since making his professional debut in a 1-0 victory against Paços de Ferreira, Mendes has solidified a starting spot in Rúben Amorim’s Sporting, played for the Portugal national team, and drawn attention from a host of top European clubs.
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Skilful and agile, his dribbling technique is marvellous. He has created 3.33 dribbles per 90 minutes, with 1.90 of those successful. And his passing is terrific as well - he has racked up 27 passes in the opposition half per 90, with a 69.3% success ratio.
A complete full-back, Mendes is strong and physical, but also versatile; he can play as a left-sided centre-back. He has developed a great positional sense and understanding of the game, and work rate of an engine. He is energetic, consistent and aggressive. A crossing marvel, he is extremely dangerous on the counter thanks to his pace and acceleration.
Defensively solid, the teenager provides many key interceptions, clearances and tackles for his team. Mendes makes 2.45 tackles and 3.13 interceptions per 90 minutes, proving just how vital he is, despite his age. And his vision is also amazing - with 0.14 through balls per 90 and 1.29 chances created per 90, he is a creative cog for Sporting.
|Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid have all expressed their transfer interest for Mendes among many others, but reportedly, the latter seem to be winning the race for his signature. He looks poised to be making his trade at the Bernabeu in the near future. |
His performances have not gone unnoticed. He has been tipped by some to be called up to the senior Portugal squad ahead of the rearranged Euro 2021, even after making his under-21 debut only in September.
That concludes the fifth match of our European tour. These players are astounding talents, and will probably go on to become legends of the game.
According to local journalist Jose Manuel Freitas, Manchester City will sign Nuno Mendes from Sporting Lisbon this summer for a fee reportedly up to €60M with further add ons. Speaking to SIC Noticias earlier this week, Freitas suggested that City were looking at Mendes to improve the club's left-back position. It is believed that Mendes could be Pep Guardiola's ideal replacement for the left-back position as Benjamin Mendy is showing a lack of consistency and Eric Garcia has been confirmed moving back to his boyhood club Barcelona.
With Sporting wanting €70 million for the teenage sensation the Nuno Mendes Man City transfer can be completed in several ways. Manchester City could pay €40 million or €45 million in an initial cash fee plus the loan of a player and performance bonuses on top. Doing so will bring the total valuation of the transfer nearer to Sporting's asking price.
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