Nélson Marcos

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This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Tomar and the second or paternal family name is Marcos.
Nelson Betis.JPG
Nélson training with Betis in 2009
Personal information
Full name Nélson Augusto Tomar Marcos
Date of birth (1983-06-10) 10 June 1983 (age 32)
Place of birth Sal, Cape Verde
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Playing position Right back
Club information
Current team
Number 22
Youth career
2000–2002 Vilanovense
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2003 Vilanovense 32 (0)
2003–2004 Salgueiros 27 (2)
2004–2005 Boavista 23 (1)
2005–2008 Benfica 72 (0)
2008–2013 Betis 81 (1)
2010–2011 Osasuna (loan) 29 (1)
2013–2014 Palermo 8 (1)
2013–2014 Almería (loan) 14 (0)
2014– Belenenses 27 (0)
National team
2006 Portugal U21 3 (0)
2009– Portugal 4 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 May 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 February 2012

Nélson Augusto Tomar Marcos (born 10 June 1983), known simply as Nélson, is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for C.F. Os Belenenses as a right back.

After making a name for himself at Benfica, appearing in 107 official games during three seasons, he went on to spend the vast majority of his career in Spain, representing Betis, Osasuna and Almería.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born in Sal, Cape Verde, Nélson started his professional career with Vilanovense FC. He began making a name in the Portuguese first division with Boavista FC, having joined from soon-to-be-extinct side of S.C. Salgueiros also in Porto.

In May 2005 Nélson was involved in a car crash along with fellow Portuguese footballer and former Boavista player José Bosingwa, who represented F.C. Porto at the time.[1] Bosingwa, behind the wheel of his jeep at the time of the accident, was travelling too quickly and due to wet conditions he crashed the car into an embankment which was followed by the car bursting into flames; one passenger required his foot to be amputated, whilst the other three were unharmed.


Nélson joined S.L. Benfica from Boavista for 1.5 million in the 2005 summer, on a five-year contract.[2] He made the right-back spot his own upon his arrival, making twenty-five appearances during his first season; in the 2006–07 campaign, he was equally impressive.

In the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, after having faced Manchester United in the same competition and stage the season before (Benfica won its home game, and the English finished bottom, eliminated from European competition as the encarnados reached the last eight), Nélson scored a fantastic goal with a long-range shot into Edwin van der Sar's top-right hand corner at Old Trafford, on 6 December 2006; eventually the game was lost 1–3 and Benfica had to settle for the third UEFA Cup spot.[3]


In late August 2008 Nélson signed for Real Betis in Spain for €6 million, on a five-year deal.[4] He quickly became an automatic first-choice, as the Andalusia outfit was eventually relegated.

On 31 August 2010 Nélson was loaned to CA Osasuna, with the Navarrese having an option to make the move permanent at the season's end. Battling with Damià for first-choice status throughout the vast majority of the campaign, he netted on 20 December 2010 in a 4–0 win at Hércules CF,[5] his first goal in over four years.

On 11 May 2011, in the last minute of the first half of a La Liga home fixture against Sevilla FC (eventual 3–2 home win), Nélson collided with opponent Lautaro Acosta, fracturing his left ankle in the outcome.[6] His injury was not as serious as initially expected though.[7]

Nélson spent the first part of 2011–12, with Betis again in the top level, recovering from his condition. On 4 December 2011, in one of his first bench appearances, he was caught on camera talking to his previous team Osasuna's assistant manager Alfredo, leading to rumours that he was filtering his team's lineup to the opposition, which was denied by both parties.[8][9]

On 11 February 2012, in his very first game for the Verdiblancos upon his return, Nélson scored from long distance in the 90th minute of the match against Athletic Bilbao, for a 2–1 home win.[10]


On 28 January 2013, days after being released by Betis, Nélson moved to Italy's U.S. Città di Palermo, agreeing to a contract until June 2015[11] and rejoining former Benfica teammate Fabrizio Miccoli. He scored in his Serie A debut the following week, but his late backheel goal could not help prevent a 1–2 home loss against Atalanta BC.[12]

On 2 August 2013 Nélson returned to Spain and its top division, signing with UD Almería in a season-long loan deal.[13] He subsequently returned to Palermo, but was immediately deemed surplus to requirements and was not even called up to join the first team pre-season camp; his contract was rescinded by mutual consent in August 2014.[14]

International career[edit]

Nélson was granted Portuguese citizenship in December 2005, and played in the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.[15] He received his first call-up to the senior side in the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier against Kazakhstan on 15 November 2006, but did not leave the bench.

On 31 March 2009 Nélson finally made his full debut, appearing in a 2–0 friendly win with South Africa in Lausanne, Switzerland.


  1. ^ "Bosingwa e mais quatro futebolistas envolvem-se em aparatoso acidente" [Bosingwa and four other footballers involved in spectacular accident] (in Portuguese). Record. 16 May 2005. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Miguel makes switch to Mestalla". UEFA.com. 19 August 2005. 
  3. ^ United heading into last 16; UEFA.com, 6 December 2006
  4. ^ "Nélson a Betis player" (in Spanish). Betis official website. 26 August 2008. 
  5. ^ "Giant performance shocks Hercules". ESPN Soccernet. 20 March 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Osasuna hit back for stunning win; ESPN Soccernet, 11 May 2011
  7. ^ El susto de Nelson se queda en luxación del astrágalo (Nelson scare just a talus bone dislocation); Marca, 12 May 2011 (Spanish)
  8. ^ Nelson se mete en un lío (Nelson in hot waters); Diario de Navarra, 7 December 2011 (Spanish)
  9. ^ Alfredo niega que Nelson les filtrara información del Betis antes del partido (Alfredo denies Nelson filtered information on Betis before match); Noticias de Navarra, 7 December 2011 (Spanish)
  10. ^ Nelson sinks Bilbao; ESPN Soccernet, 11 February 2012
  11. ^ "Preso anche Nelson, domani la presentazione Boselli" [Nelson in too, press conference with Boselli scheduled tomorrow] (in Italian). Palermo's official website. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Palermo 1–2 Atalanta". ESPN FC. 3 February 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  13. ^ Nelson se convierte en el séptimo fichaje del Almería para la próxima temporada (Nélson becomes Almería's seventh signing for the following season); Almería's official website, 2 August 2013 (Spanish)
  14. ^ "Viviano passa alla Sampdoria, rescisso il contratto di Nelson" [Viviano joins Sampdoria, Nelson contract rescinded] (in Italian). Palermo's official website. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  15. ^ Nélson pride at Portugal call; UEFA.com, 23 February 2006

External links[edit]