Silvestre Varela

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This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Gonçalves and the second or paternal family name is Varela.
Silvestre Varela
Silvestre Varela.jpg
Varela training with Portugal in 2012
Personal information
Full name Silvestre Manuel Gonçalves Varela
Date of birth (1985-02-02) 2 February 1985 (age 30)
Place of birth Almada, Portugal
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Parma (on loan from Porto)
Number 26
Youth career
1993–2001 Pescadores
2001–2004 Sporting CP
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2008 Sporting CP 2 (0)
2004–2005 Casa Pia (loan) 36 (11)
2006–2007 Vitória Setúbal (loan) 45 (5)
2007–2008 Recreativo (loan) 22 (0)
2008–2009 Estrela Amadora 28 (6)
2009– Porto 115 (30)
2014–2015 West Bromwich Albion (loan) 7 (1)
2015– Parma (loan) 1 (0)
National team
2005–2007 Portugal U21 28 (6)
2010– Portugal 26 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10:20, 28 January 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 26 June 2014

Silvestre Manuel Gonçalves Varela (born 2 February 1985) is a Portuguese footballer who plays for Parma F.C. on loan from F.C. Porto as a winger.

He represented mainly Sporting and Porto during his career, amassing Primeira Liga totals of 190 games and 41 goals over the course of eight seasons and winning 11 major titles with the latter, including three national championships and the 2011 Europa League. He also competed professionally in Spain and England.

Varela appeared for Portugal at Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup, scoring in both tournaments.

Club career[edit]


A product of Sporting Clube de Portugal's youth system, Varela was born in Almada, Setúbal District, being loaned to Casa Pia A.C. and Vitória Futebol Clube in his early years as a professional. Despite being a regular with the Portuguese under-21s and having enjoyed a decent form in various tournaments, he was not able to secure a place in the Lions' first team, only managing two substitute appearances in the 2005–06 season.

In 2007–08 Varela, alongside two former Sporting players, Beto and Carlos Martins, played for Recreativo de Huelva in Spain (Varela on loan again).[1] After a disappointing campaign despite having received playing time in La Liga, he returned to Sporting in July 2008, only to be immediately sold to C.F. Estrela da Amadora.


Before the season was over, in March 2009, courtesy of his solid performances at Estrela, only relegated from the top division off the field, Varela signed a four-year agreement with champions F.C. Porto on a free transfer, starting in July.

In his first year at Porto he ranked second in overall goals in the team, only behind Radamel Falcao. In March 2010, however, he broke his fibula in training, being lost for the remainder of the campaign,[2] as Porto finished third.

In the 2011–12 season, under new manager Vítor Pereira, Varela – as practically all Portuguese players (the roster was composed of three nationals) – lost his importance in the first team. On 16 February 2012, in a rare start, he put Porto ahead against Manchester City in the season's UEFA Europa League round-of-32, in an eventual 1–2 home loss.[3]

On 24 August 2014, Varela signed with Premier League side West Bromwich Albion on a season-long loan deal.[4] Having arrived whilst still recovering from injury, he made his official debut on 2 December, replacing Craig Gardner midway through the second half of a 1–2 home defeat to West Ham United; he scored his first goal for the Baggies on the 20th, but in a 2–3 loss at Queens Park Rangers.[5]

On 20 January 2015, still owned by Porto, Varela joined struggling Serie A team Parma F.C. until June.[6]

International career[edit]

Varela in action against Croatia in 2013

Due to his Porto performances, Varela gained his first full cap for the Portuguese national team on 3 March 2010, appearing in the second half of the 2–0 friendly win with China in a match played in Coimbra. His first goal came on 26 March 2011 in a 1–1 friendly draw against Chile, in Leiria.[7]

Varela was selected by manager Paulo Bento for the 23-man squad that competed in UEFA Euro 2012. He played ten minutes in the group stage opener against Germany, in an eventual 0–1 loss;[8] again coming from the bench for Raul Meireles, he scored an 88th-minute 3–2 winner against Denmark in the following game.[9]

On 19 May 2014, Varela was named in the final 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[10] On 23 June, again after having replaced Meireles, he headed home in the 94th minute to earn his team a 2–2 group stage draw against the United States.[11]

International goals[edit]

Silvestre Varela: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 26 March 2011 Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa, Leiria, Portugal  Chile 1–0 1–1 Friendly
2 13 June 2012 Arena Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine  Denmark 2–3 2–3 UEFA Euro 2012
3 11 September 2012 Estádio Municipal de Braga, Braga, Portugal  Azerbaijan 1–0 3–0 2014 World Cup qualification
4 15 October 2013 Estádio Cidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal  Luxembourg 1–0 3–0 2014 World Cup qualification
5 22 June 2014 Arena da Amazônia, Manaus, Brazil  United States 2–2 2–2 2014 FIFA World Cup




  1. ^ El Recreativo presenta a Silvestre Varela y confirma el fichaje de Camuñas (Recreativo presents Silvestre Varela and confirms signing of Camuñas); Marca, 26 June 2007 (Spanish)
  2. ^ Silvestre Varela to miss World Cup after breaking leg in training; PortuGOAL, 20 March 2010
  3. ^ Agüero caps late City comeback at Porto;, 16 February 2012
  4. ^ "Porto winger Silvestre Varela joins West Brom on loan". BBC Sport. 24 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "QPR 3–2 West Brom". BBC Sport. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Parma seal Silvestre Varela, Cristian Rodriguez deals". ESPN FC. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Chile peg Portugal back after Varela strike;, 26 March 2011
  8. ^ Gomez gives Germany edge over Portugal;, 9 June 2012
  9. ^ Last-gasp Varela revives Portugal's hopes;, 13 June 2012
  10. ^ "Paulo Bento announces Portugal's 23-man World Cup squad". PortuGOAL. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Varela strikes to save Portugal". 22 June 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 

External links[edit]