Nélson Oliveira

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This article is about the footballer. For the cyclist, see Nelson Oliveira.
This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Castro and the second or paternal family name is Oliveira.
Nélson Oliveira
Nelson Oliveira - Croatia vs. Portugal, 10th June 2013 (crop).jpg
Oliveira with Portugal in 2013
Personal information
Full name Nélson Miguel Castro Oliveira
Date of birth (1991-08-08) 8 August 1991 (age 25)
Place of birth Barcelos, Portugal
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Norwich City
Number 9
Youth career
1999–2002 Santa Maria
2003–2006 Braga
2003–2004 → Bairro Misericórdia (loan)
2006–2009 Benfica
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2016 Benfica 12 (0)
2010 Rio Ave (loan) 10 (0)
2010–2011 Paços Ferreira (loan) 23 (4)
2012–2013 Deportivo La Coruña (loan) 30 (4)
2013–2014 Rennes (loan) 30 (8)
2015 Swansea City (loan) 10 (1)
2015–2016 Nottingham Forest (loan) 28 (9)
2016– Norwich City 6 (1)
National team
2006–2007 Portugal U16 9 (3)
2007–2008 Portugal U17 11 (3)
2009–2010 Portugal U19 27 (9)
2010–2011 Portugal U20 19 (8)
2011–2013 Portugal U21 4 (2)
2012– Portugal 16 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 25 October 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 6 July 2016

Nélson Miguel Castro Oliveira, CavIH (born 8 August 1991) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a striker for English club Norwich City in the EFL Championship.

He began his career at Benfica, spending most of his tenure out on loan at various clubs in five countries.

Oliveira earned 70 caps for Portugal across all youth levels combined. He made his debut for the senior side in 2012, and later that year was part of the Portuguese squad which reached the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2012.

Club career[edit]

Born in Barcelos,[2] Oliveira finished his youth career at S.L. Benfica having arrived at age 15 from S.C. Braga, and was a prolific scorer for both clubs. He made his first-team debut in a 2008–09 pre-season friendly against G.D. Estoril Praia, courtesy of manager Quique Flores, and was even called to a UEFA Cup match against S.S.C. Napoli, but eventually returned to the juniors.

Loans in Portugal[edit]

The same happened to Oliveira in 2009–10. However, in January 2010, he made his professional – and first division – debuts, being loaned until June to Rio Ave FC; his first game came on 7 February, as he played the last 10 minutes of the 2–0 home win against Leixões SC.

Oliveira's loan was initially extended for the entirety of the 2010–11 season but, on 12 August 2010, he moved to F.C. Paços de Ferreira, in the same predicament.[3] He scored on his debut on 12 September, a 1–1 draw at C.S. Marítimo and, the following month, helped Paços come from behind at Associação Naval 1º de Maio (2–1) by netting the winning goal from a direct free kick.

On 14 October 2011, Oliveira made his official debut for Benfica, playing 45 minutes in a 2–0 away win against Portimonense S.C. for the season's Portuguese Cup.[4] On 18 January of the following year, he played the entire game against C.D. Santa Clara for the League Cup group stage, and scored in a 2–0 home win;[5] the following month, for the same competition – the Portuguese Football Federation ruled that, for the tournament, at least two national players would have to appear in a game for 45 minutes – he opened the score against Marítimo (3–0, home).[6]

Oliveira being presented at Deportivo in July 2012

On 6 March 2012, Oliveira made his Champions League debut, playing only ten minutes but scoring the final goal in a 2–0 home win against FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, with Benfica qualifying to the last-eight 4–3 on aggregate.[7]

Deportivo La Coruña (loan)[edit]

On 31 July, he moved to Deportivo de La Coruña in Spain in a season-long loan, alongside several compatriots.[8]

On 20 August, in the La Liga opener against CA Osasuna, Oliveira scored his first goal for the Galicians, netting from a counter-attack in the 90th minute to make it 2–0 for the hosts.[9] During his spell, he acted as backup to veteran Riki.

Stade Rennais (loan)[edit]

On 26 July 2013, Oliveira was loaned to Ligue 1 club Stade Rennais F.C. on a season-long move, with the French having the option to make the deal permanent afterwards.[10] He scored his first goal in only his second appearance, but in a 1–2 loss at OGC Nice.[11]

Oliveira netted a brace for Rennes on 24 August 2013, as they recorded a 2–1 away win against Evian Thonon Gaillard FC.[12]

Swansea City (loan)[edit]

On 23 December 2014, Benfica announced on their website that they had loaned Oliveira to Premier League side Swansea City until the end of the season.[13] He was brought in to replace Wilfried Bony, who was due to miss all of Swansea's January matches due to commitments with the Ivory Coast national team at the Africa Cup of Nations.[14] He made his debut on 10 January, replacing Gylfi Sigurðsson for the last 16 minutes of a 1–1 draw against West Ham United at the Liberty Stadium.[15] A week later, with Bony having been sold to Manchester City, Oliveira started alongside Bafétimbi Gomis in a 0–5 defeat to league leaders Chelsea.[16] On 25 April 2015, Oliveira scored his first goal for Swansea, equalising as they came from behind to win 3–2 away at Newcastle United.[17]

Nottingham Forest (loan)[edit]

On 4 September 2015, Oliveira returned to the United Kingdom, joining Nottingham Forest of the Football League Championship on loan for the remainder of the 2015–16 season.[18] He made his debut eight days later away to Queens Park Rangers, replacing Kyle Ebecilio in the 69th minute, and scored the winning goal as they came from behind to triumph 2–1 at Loftus Road.[19] He had a run of games in the first team but did not score again until 6 November, netting the only goal of the game against Forest's local rivals Derby County.[20] He added to his goal tally two games later by scoring a brace against Reading. The first was a curled strike from 20 yards after a quick counterattack and the second, a volley from close range.[21]

Norwich City[edit]

On 30 August 2016, Oliveira once again returned to the United Kingdom, joining Norwich City after signing a four-year deal with the club. He became Norwich's fifth signing of the transfer window, signing for an undisclosed fee.[22] He scored his first goal for Norwich in an EFL Cup tie (2–2) against Leeds United on 25 October 2016.[23] Oliveira scored his first league goal for Norwich on 3rd December 2016 against Brentford in a 5-0 win at Carrow Road.

International career[edit]


Oliveira represented the Portuguese under-17 team in the qualification for the 2008 UEFA European Championship. In 2009 he was named in the squad for the European Under-19 Championship qualifying tournament, but the country failed to ensure a place in the finals in Ukraine; the following year, in the same category, he represented the nation at European Championship, scoring one goal in the 2–0 win against Italy.[24]

On 22 May 2011 Oliveira was selected by the under-20s for the 2011 Toulon Tournament,[25] where he played three matches and netted once. He also helped the team finish second in that year's FIFA World Cup held in Colombia, scoring four goals – including one in the final against Brazil, a 2–3 extra time loss – and providing two assists. He received the Man of the match award twice in addition to the Silver Ball for the second best player in the tournament.

Oliveira playing for Portugal at Euro 2012

Oliveira made his debut for the under-21 team on 6 October 2011, in a Euro 2013 qualification match against Poland. On 11 November, for the same competition, he scored a brace against Moldova (5–0 home win).

Senior team[edit]

On 24 February 2012, Oliveira was called up for the first time to the senior team, for a friendly match with Poland five days later.[26] He replaced Nani for the last ten minutes of the 0–0 draw in Warsaw,[27] and eventually made it to the list of 23 for UEFA Euro 2012.[28]

Oliveira played 20 minutes in the group stage opener against Germany after coming on for Hélder Postiga, in an eventual 0–1 loss.[29] He made three other substitute appearances in the tournament, in an eventual semi-final exit.

In Portugal's next game after Euro 2012, Oliveira scored his first international goal, in a 2–0 win against Panama.[30]

Career statistics[edit]


As of match played 25 October 2016[31]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Benfica 2011–12 Primeira Liga 12 0 3 0 5 2 2[a] 1 22 3
2014–15 Primeira Liga 0 0 1 0 0 0 1[a] 0 2 0
Total 12 0 4 0 5 2 2 1 24 3
Rio Ave (loan) 2009–10 Primeira Liga 10 0 2 0 0 0 12 0
Paços Ferreira (loan) 2010–11 Primeira Liga 23 4 1 0 7 1 31 5
Deportivo La Coruña (loan) 2012–13 La Liga 30 4 1 0 31 4
Rennes (loan) 2013–14 Ligue 1 30 8 4 0 1 0 35 8
Swansea City (loan) 2014–15 Premier League 10 1 1 0 0 0 11 1
Nottingham Forest (loan) 2015–16 Championship 28 9 1 0 0 0 29 9
Norwich City 2016–17 Championship 6 0 0 0 1 1 7 1
Career total 149 26 14 0 14 3 3 1 180 30
  1. ^ a b Appearances in UEFA Champions League