Rúben Neves

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Rúben Neves
DK-Porto15 (4).jpg
Neves playing for Porto in 2015
Personal information
Full name Rúben Diogo da Silva Neves[1]
Date of birth (1997-03-13) 13 March 1997 (age 22)[1]
Place of birth Mozelos, Portugal
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Number 8
Youth career
2005–2014 Porto
2012–2013Padroense (loan)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014–2017 Porto 59 (3)
2017– Wolverhampton Wanderers 77 (10)
National team
2012–2013 Portugal U16 10 (1)
2012–2014 Portugal U17 31 (2)
2013 Portugal U18 2 (0)
2014–2017 Portugal U21 23 (4)
2016 Portugal U23 1 (1)
2015– Portugal 10 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:18, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:00, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Rúben Diogo da Silva Neves (European Portuguese: [ˈnɛvɨʃ]; born 13 March 1997) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers and the Portugal national team.

Club career[edit]


Born in Mozelos (Santa Maria da Feira), Aveiro District, Neves grew up supporting FC Porto and joined the club's youth system at the age of 8.[3][4] During his time with the academy, he also spent a season on loan at Padroense which acted as the under-16 side;[5] on his time in the youth structures, reserve team manager Luís Castro described him as a player with "extraordinary mental qualities, to go along with technical and tactical skills".[4]

Ahead of the 2014–15 campaign, Neves was earmarked to bypass Porto's under-19s and play with the reserves instead. Following an injury to teammate Mikel Agu, however, he was called by Julen Lopetegui to be part of the main squad's pre-season preparations.[6] On 15 August 2014, aged 17 years and five months, he made his Primeira Liga debut where he started and scored in a 2–0 home win against Marítimo – in doing so, he became the youngest player in the club's history to score a goal in the competition.[7] He played his first match in the UEFA Champions League five days later in a 1–0 win over Lille, and broke another record (previously held by Cristiano Ronaldo) by being the youngest Portuguese to appear in the tournament.[4][8]

On 10 December 2014, during a Champions League group stage fixture against Shakhtar Donetsk, Neves suffered an injury to his right knee following a collision in midfield with Alex Teixeira. At the end of the game, the club explained that he suffered a sprain, with apparent damage to the internal lateral ligament.[9] After spending nearly a month on the sidelines, he returned to the pitch in a 3–1 home win over União da Madeira in the Taça da Liga;[10] following his injury, his role in midfield was filled by Casemiro and he spent the majority of the remainder of the season behind the Brazilian in the pecking order.[4]

On 20 October 2015, aged 18 years and 221 days, Neves became the youngest player to start as captain in the Champions League, helping Porto to a 2–0 win against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the group phase and surpassing previous record holder Rafael van der Vaart, who held it since 16 September 2003.[11] On 5 December, in a 2–1 success over Paços de Ferreira also at the Estádio do Dragão, he broke another record by becoming the youngest player to achieve 50 games for the club, surpassing players like Fernando Gomes and Jaime Magalhães.[12]

Neves scored his second competitive goal on 3 February 2016, opening the scoreline in a 3–0 triumph at Gil Vicente for the semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal.[13]

Wolverhampton Wanderers[edit]

On 8 July 2017, EFL Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers announced that they had signed Neves for an undisclosed fee, thought to be in the region of £15.8 million – a club and league record fee.[14] Upon joining, he was reunited with former Porto manager Nuno Espírito Santo.[15] He scored his first goal on 15 August, in a 3–2 away win over Hull City.[16]

In April 2018, Neves was nominated for the EFL Championship Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season awards, and was also included in the Team of the Season along with teammates Conor Coady and John Ruddy.[17] His team was ultimately promoted as champions with the player scoring six goals in 42 appearances, all of which were scored from outside of the box;[18][19] at the conclusion of the campaign, he claimed a hat-trick of club awards as he walked away with the Player of the Season, Player's Player of the Season and Goal of the Season accolades.[15] On 7 April 2019 it was also announced that Neves had been awarded the EFL Goal of the Year award (for 2018) for his goal against Derby County at Molineux in April 2018.[20]

Wolves announced that Neves had signed a new contract in July 2018, extending until 2023.[21] In the first match of the new season, he scored his first Premier League goal and assisted Raúl Jiménez in the latter's competitive debut, as his team twice came from behind to draw 2–2 against Everton.[22][23] His appearance in the match, alongside compatriots Rui Patrício, João Moutinho, Diogo Jota and Hélder Costa also saw the club break the league record for the most Portuguese players named in a starting line-up.[18]

On 6 October 2018, Neves made his 50th appearance for Wolverhampton and marked the occasion by contributing in the build-up for Matt Doherty's winning goal in a 1–0 victory over Crystal Palace.[15] The following January, his 55th-minute winning goal against Liverpool at Molineux in the FA Cup, "a venomous dipping shot from 31 yards (28 m) that beat Simon Mignolet at his near post",[24] was voted the best of the third round by visitors to BBC Sport's website.[25]

International career[edit]

Neves playing for Portugal U17 in 2014

Neves represented Portugal at the 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, helping the country reach the semi-finals as team captain. For his performances, he was named among the top ten talents of the tournament by a selection of UEFA reporters.[26]

On 29 August 2014, still aged 17, Neves was called by coach Rui Jorge to be part of the under-21 side.[27] He scored his first goal on 14 October, helping to a 5–4 home win against the Netherlands for the playoff round of the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.[28]

When the finals began in the Czech Republic, Neves broke a new record by becoming the youngest player to debut for the Portuguese under-21s in the tournament, aged 18 years and three months, playing five minutes to help beat England 1–0 in the group stage opener.[29] It was his only appearance, as the country reached the final and lost it to Sweden in a penalty shootout.[30]

Neves was first called up to the senior squad on 10 November 2015, ahead of friendlies against Russia and Luxembourg as an injury replacement for João Moutinho.[31] He made his debut in the former match, featuring 17 minutes in the 0–1 loss in Krasnodar,[32] then played the entire 2–0 win against the latter at the Stade Josy Barthel, sharing the midfield area with Porto teammates Danilo Pereira and André André.[33][34]

Neves was selected by full side manager Fernando Santos to a preliminary 35-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup,[35] but he did not make the final cut.[36]

Style of play[edit]

An article on UEFA.com described Neves as a defensive midfielder who is not afraid to go forward and prompt attacks, showing great maturity combined with an accurate passing skill, great vision and an astute sense of positioning. His playing attributes also granted him comparisons to Portuguese international teammate Moutinho for his fine first touch, similar desire to press his opponents and excellent distribution.[37]

Neves also drew praise in the media for his technical, tactical and mental qualities,[4] as well as his intelligence and shooting ability.[38]

Career statistics[edit]


As of match played 12 May 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup[a] League Cup[b] Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Porto 2014–15[1][39] Primeira Liga 24 1 1 0 3 0 9[c] 0 37 1
2015–16[1] Primeira Liga 22 1 6 1 2 0 8[d] 0 38 2
2016–17[1] Primeira Liga 13 1 0 0 2 0 3[c] 0 18 1
Total 59 3 7 1 7 0 20 0 93 4
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2017–18[40] Championship 42 6 0 0 0 0 42 6
2018–19[41] Premier League 35 4 5 1 0 0 40 5
Total 77 10 5 1 0 0 82 11
Career total 136 13 12 2 7 0 20 0 175 15
  1. ^ Includes Taça de Portugal, FA Cup
  2. ^ Includes Taça da Liga, EFL Cup
  3. ^ a b Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  4. ^ Six appearances in UEFA Champions League, two in UEFA Europa League


As of 17 November 2018[42]
National team Year Apps Goals
Portugal 2015 2 0
2016 0 0
2017 2 0
2018 5 0
Total 9 0


Wolverhampton Wanderers


Portugal U21



  1. ^ a b c d e "Rúben Neves". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  2. ^ https://www.fpf.pt/Jogadores/Jogador/playerId/811036
  3. ^ James, Stuart (21 September 2018). "Wolves' Rúben Neves and Diogo Jota: 'Porto has wine, food but here it's fine'". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Profile of Porto prodigy Rúben Neves". PortuGOAL. 24 December 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  5. ^ Pimentel, José Nuno (17 August 2014). "The rapid rise of Rúben Neves". UEFA. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Rúben Neves tem um talento mental extraordinário" [Rúben Neves has an extraordinary mental talent]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 8 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  7. ^ Almeida, Germano (15 August 2014). "FC Porto-Marítimo, 2–0 (crónica)" [FC Porto-Marítimo, 2–0 (report)] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Rúben Neves o português mais novo de sempre a jogar na Champions" [Rúben Neves the youngest Portuguese ever to play in the Champions] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Rúben Neves com lesão no joelho direito" [Rúben Neves with right knee injury]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 10 December 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Rúben Neves regressa aos convocados" [Rúben Neves returns to squad]. Record (in Portuguese). 12 January 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Porto's Rúben Neves, Iker Casillas make history". UEFA. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Rúben Neves é o mais jovem a completar 50 jogos" [Rúben Neves is the youngest to complete 50 games]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 6 December 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Nunca é fácil mudar de estratégia" ["It is never easy to change strategy"]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 3 February 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Neves arrives!". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 8 July 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  15. ^ a b c "50 games of Neves: A look back". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Hull City 2–3 Wolverhampton Wanderers". BBC Sport. 15 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  17. ^ "EFL awards: Tom Cairney, Ruben Neves & Ryan Sessgenon on Championship shortlist". BBC Sport. 4 April 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  18. ^ a b Nash, Tim (13 August 2018). "Richarlison and Ruben Neves ready to lead by example for Everton and Wolves". The Independent. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  19. ^ "FPL promotion prospects: The Wolves worth hunting". Premier League. 27 May 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  20. ^ Hatfield, Luke (8 April 2019). "Ruben Neves volley earns EFL Goal of the Year award". Express & Star. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Ruben Neves: Wolves midfielder signs new five-year deal". BBC Sport. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  22. ^ Aarons, Ed (11 August 2018). "Wolves' Raúl Jiménez pegs back 10-man Everton after Richarlison's double". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  23. ^ "Wolves 2 Everton 2: Jimenez header ensures Richarlison's brace in vain". FourFourTwo. 11 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  24. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (7 January 2019). "Wolverhampton Wanderers 2–1 Liverpool". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  25. ^ "FA Cup: Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves wins goal of the FA Cup third round". BBC Sport. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  26. ^ "Ten under-17 players to keep an eye on". UEFA. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  27. ^ "Sporting domina convocatória, Ruben Neves chamado" [Sporting dominate list, Ruben Neves called] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  28. ^ "Portugal through after nine-goal thriller". UEFA. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  29. ^ "Rúben Neves quebra recorde mas quer mais: "Não posso abrandar"" [Ruben Neves breaks record but wants more: "I can't slow down"] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  30. ^ a b Kell, Tom (30 June 2015). "Spot-on Sweden beat Portugal to win U21 EURO". UEFA. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  31. ^ Gray, James (10 November 2015). "Liverpool and Chelsea target in high demand as youngster set to make international debut". Daily Express. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  32. ^ "Rússia vence Portugal em Krasnodar" [Russia beat Portugal in Krasnodar] (in Portuguese). UEFA. 14 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  33. ^ "Luxemburgo-Portugal, 0–2 (crónica)" [Luxembourg-Portugal, 0–2 (report)] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  34. ^ "Aproveitamos o meio-campo do FC Porto" [We took advantage of the FC Porto midfield]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 17 November 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  35. ^ "Revealed: Every World Cup 2018 squad – 23-man & preliminary lists & when will they be announced?". Goal. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  36. ^ "Nearly half Portugal's Euro squad to miss World Cup". Special Broadcasting Service. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  37. ^ "UEFA.com's weekly wonderkid: Rúben Neves". UEFA. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  38. ^ Laurenti, Mirko (23 November 2018). "The Portuguese star who broke the records of Ronaldo ready to join Juventus". Calcio Mercato. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  39. ^ "FC Porto–Sporting Portuguese Cup 3rd round". FC Porto. 18 October 2014. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014.
  40. ^ "Games played by Rúben Neves in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  41. ^ "Games played by Rúben Neves in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  42. ^ "Rúben Neves". eu-football.info. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  43. ^ Anderson, John, ed. (2018). Football Yearbook 2018–2019. London: Headline Publishing Group. pp. 386–387. ISBN 978-1-4722-6106-9.
  44. ^ "Portugal regressa ao topo da Europa. Liga das Nações fica em casa" [Portugal returns to the top of Europe. Nations League stays home]. Sapo. 9 June 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  45. ^ "Technical report" (PDF). UEFA. pp. 21–22. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  46. ^ "Rúben Neves distinguido como Jovem Promessa do Ano" [Rúben Neves distinguished as Young Prospect of the Year]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 11 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  47. ^ "EFL Awards 2018: Shortlists revealed". English Football League. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  48. ^ "PFA Championship Team of the Year: Wolves & Fulham trios named in line-up". BBC Sport. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2018.

External links[edit]