Varela with Portugal U19 in 2012
|Full name||Bruno Miguel Semedo Varela|
|Date of birth||4 November 1994|
|Place of birth||Lisbon, Portugal|
|Height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Ajax (on loan from Benfica)|
|2015–2016||→ Valladolid (loan)||1||(0)|
|2019–||→ Ajax (loan)||0||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 May 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23 June 2017
Born in Lisbon and of Cape Verdean descent, Varela joined local club S.L. Benfica's youth system at the age of 11. On 22 September 2012, whilst still a junior, he made his professional debut, appearing for the reserves in a 2–0 away win against C.D. Aves for the Segunda Liga championship.
From 2013 to 2015, with the team still in the second division, Varela was the undisputed starter. His competitive input with the main squad consisted of nine bench appearances, the first of which occurred on 29 August 2011 in a Primeira Liga match at C.D. Nacional when he was just 16 years old.
On 29 August 2015, Varela was loaned to Real Valladolid in a season-long move. Barred by Athletic Bilbao youth product Kepa Arrizabalaga, he appeared in only one official game for the Spaniards during his spell, the 1–3 Segunda División home loss to RCD Mallorca in the last matchday.
On 2 July 2016, Varela left Benfica and signed with fellow top flight side Vitória F.C. until June 2021. He made his debut in the competition on 21 August on his return to the Estádio da Luz, a 1–1 draw against the reigning champions.
Return to Benfica
In July 2017, Varela agreed on a return to Benfica. He made his competitive debut on 5 August, starting in the 3–1 win over Vitória S.C. for the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira. His first appearance in the UEFA Champions League took place on 12 September, in a 1–2 group stage home loss to CSKA Moscow.
On 16 September 2017, Varela committed a blunder which resulted in a 1–2 away defeat against Boavista FC. He was quickly deemed surplus to requirements by manager Rui Vitória, with the club acquiring Mile Svilar and Odisseas Vlachodimos in the following weeks; however, after the former went down with influenza and the latter was only due to arrive in January, he was made the starter again, notably receiving Player of the match accolades in a 0–0 away draw to FC Porto.
On 26 January 2019, without a single competitive appearance, Varela was loaned to Dutch Eredivisie club AFC Ajax until the end of the season, with the option to buy. On 24 June, the move was extended for another year.
Varela represented Portugal at the 2013 UEFA European Under-19 Championship and at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, being a backup to José Sá in the latter tournament. He was also part of the under-20 squad at the 2014 Toulon Tournament, starting in an eventual third-place finish.
Varela again played understudy to Sá during the 2015 European Under-21 Championship, failing to appear for the runners-up. He was first-choice during the 2016 Summer Olympics competition, in an eventual quarter-final run.
On 21 March 2017, Varela received his first call-up to the Portugal senior side, replacing the injured Anthony Lopes for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Hungary and a friendly with Sweden to be held late in that month.
|Club||Season||Domestic League||Domestic Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other||Total|
|Benfica B||2012–13||Segunda Liga||12||0||—||—||—||—||12||0|
|Vitória Setúbal||2016–17||Primeira Liga||29||0||0||0||1||0||—||—||30||0|
- Pires, Sérgio (13 October 2015). "Nélson Semedo: e Portugal lá pescou mais um "tubarão"..." [Nélson Semedo: and Portugal fished yet another «shark»...] (in Portuguese). Maisfutebol. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
- "Aves-Benfica B, 0–2: Águias triunfam" [Aves-Benfica B, 0–2: Eagles triumph]. Record (in Portuguese). 22 September 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- Antunes, Luís (28 August 2011). "Garay e Eduardo de fora, Rodrigo e Bruno Varela integrados nas opções do Benfica para a Choupana" [Garay and Eduardo out, Rodrigo and Bruno Varela added to Benfica's options for the Choupana]. Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- "Bruno Varela llega al Valladolid cedido por el Benfica" [Bruno Varela arrives at Valladolid loaned by Benfica]. Marca (in Spanish). 29 August 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- Posada, Arturo (7 April 2016). "Kepa y Bruno, formadores por un día" [Kepa and Bruno, trainers for a day]. El Norte de Castilla (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- "El Mallorca remonta en Zorrilla y logra la salvación" [Mallorca come back from behind in Zorrilla and survive]. Marca (in Spanish). 4 June 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- Lopes, Carlos (2 July 2016). "Bruno Varela e Nuno Santos confirmados no V. Setúbal" [Bruno Varela and Nuno Santos confirmed at V. Setúbal]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- "Varela feliz sem vinganças" [Varela happy without vengeance]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 22 August 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- "Bruno Varela de regresso" [Bruno Varela is back] (in Portuguese). S.L. Benfica. 2 July 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- "Benfica vence V. Guimarães (3–1) e faz a festa em Aveiro" [Benfica defeat V. Guimarães (3–1) and get the party started in Aveiro]. A Bola (in Portuguese). 5 August 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- Castro, Ricardo Jorge (5 August 2017). "Rui Vitória: "Bruno Varela fez um bom primeiro jogo"" [Rui Vitória: «Bruno Varela had a good first game»] (in Portuguese). Maisfutebol. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- "Benfica estreia-se na fase de grupos com derrota caseira" [Home loss for Benfica in group stage debut] (in Portuguese). UEFA. 12 September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- "Benfica derrotado no Bessa" [Benfica defeated at the Bessa] (in Portuguese). TSF. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- Pedro, Alexandra (10 October 2017). "Vlachodimos está em Lisboa para assinar pelo Benfica" [Vlachodimos is already in Lisbon to sign for Benfica] (in Portuguese). Sábado. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- "Está de volta. Varela aproveita gripe de Svilar e joga na Taça" [He's back. Varela profits from Svilar flu and plays in Cup] (in Portuguese). Rádio Renascença. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- Albino Gomes, Tomás (2 December 2017). "Clássico a zeros: Varela no céu, Marega no inferno" [All-zero classic: Varela in heaven, Marega in hell] (in Portuguese). SAPO Desporto. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- Sanches, João (26 January 2019). "Bruno Varela emprestado ao Ajax" [Bruno Varela loaned to Ajax] (in Portuguese). S.L. Benfica. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
- "Ajax huurt doelman Varela van Benfica" [Ajax get goalkeeper Varela on loan from Benfica] (in Dutch). AFC Ajax. 26 January 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
- "Ajax huurt Bruno Varela nog een jaar" [Ajax get Bruno Varela loan for another year] (in Dutch). VTBL. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- "Sub-19: Rui Silva substitui José Costa" [Under-19: Rui Silva replaces José Costa]. Record (in Portuguese). 14 July 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- "Sub-20: Ilídio Vale convoca 20 para o Torneio de Toulon" [Under-20: Ilídio Vale calls 20 to Toulon Tournament]. Record (in Portuguese). 13 May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- Kell, Tom (30 June 2015). "Spot-on Sweden beat Portugal to win U21 EURO". UEFA. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- "Vitória na estreia" [Win in debut] (in Portuguese). Portuguese Football Federation. 4 August 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- "Portugal vence e garante quartos de final" [Portugal win and confirm quarter-finals] (in Portuguese). Portuguese Football Federation. 7 August 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- "Portugal assegura primeiro lugar" [Portugal confirm first place] (in Portuguese). Portuguese Football Federation. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- "Bruno Varela chamado para o lugar de Anthony Lopes" [Bruno Varela called in place of Anthony Lopes]. Record (in Portuguese). 21 March 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
- Bruno Varela at ForaDeJogo. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
- Bruno Varela at Soccerway
- "Bruno Varela – Trophies". Soccerway. Retrieved 13 May 2019.