Oliveira with Portugal in 2013
|Full name||Nélson Miguel Castro Oliveira|
|Date of birth||8 August 1991|
|Place of birth||Barcelos, Portugal|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2003–2004||→ Bairro Misericórdia (loan)|
|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)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 May 2015.
He began his career at Benfica, spending most of his tenure out on loan at various clubs in Portugal, Spain, France and Wales.
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.
Born in Barcelos, 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
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. 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. 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; 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).
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.
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. During his spell, he acted as backup to veteran Riki.
Stade Rennais loan
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. He scored his first goal in only his second appearance, but in a 1–2 loss at OGC Nice.
Swansea City loan
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
On 22 May 2011 Oliveira was selected by the under-20s for the 2011 Toulon Tournament, 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 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).
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. He replaced Nani for the last ten minutes of the 0–0 draw in Warsaw, and eventually made it to the list of 23 for UEFA Euro 2012.
Oliveira played 20 minutes in the group stage opener against Germany after coming on for Hélder Postiga, in an eventual 0–1 loss. He made three other substitute appearances in the tournament, in an eventual semi-final exit.
- As of 2 May 2015
|Rio Ave (loan)||2009–10||Primeira Liga||10||0||2||0||0||0||—||—||12||0|
|Paços Ferreira (loan)||2010–11||Primeira Liga||23||4||0||0||7||1||—||—||30||5|
|Deportivo La Coruña (loan)||2012–13||La Liga||30||4||1||0||—||—||—||31||4|
|Rennes (loan)||2013–14||Ligue 1||30||8||5||0||1||0||—||—||36||8|
|Swansea City (loan)||2014–15||Premier League||10||1||1||0||0||0||—||—||11||1|
- Appearances in UEFA Champions League