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Player Profile: Hugo Almeida  

Hugo AlmeidaFull name: Hugo Miguel Pereira de Almeida

Position: Forward

Date of Birth: 23 May 1984

Birthplace: Figueira da Foz, Portugal

Hugo Almeida is everything you would not expect from a Portuguese striker. A tall, strongly built, burly player who is extremely powerful in the air, the FC Porto youth product fits the description of a typical British centre forward of yesteryear.

However, his fearsome shot with his left foot, as exemplified by his spectacular 35-metre free-kick in a 2006 Champions League game against Inter Milan at the San Siro, and surprisingly skilful feet for such a big man are assets that show he is far more than merely a target man for balls pumped high upfield or into the box.

His goalscoring record at club level in Portugal was far from spectacular, although he can justifiably point to the fact that rarely was he given a decent run in Porto’s first-team.

Intermittent loan spells at Leiria (twice) and Boavista seemed to hinder rather than enhance his progress, as successive coaches at FC Porto agreed that the 1.90-metre tall front man was a useful member of the squad, only to subsequently restrict him to a handful of appearances, mostly as a substitute.

Portugal U21 success

Indeed, while still contracted to Porto, Almeida enjoyed more playing time and success in Portugal’s U21 team, where he found the net on a regular basis and carved out a formidable attacking partnership with club team-mate Ricardo Quaresma.

In July 2006 Almeida decided he had had enough of waiting for his chance at Porto and agreed to move to Bundasliga side Werder Bremen on a season-long loan.

An increasingly impressive first season saw him end the campaign with 9 goals, and the striker did enough to persuade the German club to invest four million euros to tie him down to a 4-year contract.

Should Almeida continue to develop his game and hone his goalscoring skills, a regular berth in Portugal’s national team could well be his for the taking.

From Besiktas to Euro 2012

By the end of 2010, Almeida was being used a substitute more and more frequently at Werder, and hence sought pastures new, this time in Turkey alongside fellow Portuguese Quaresma, Simão, and Manuel Fernandes. Almeida's start at Besiktas was a fairly rocky one, and he only managed to score four goals in league play by the end of the 2010/11 season. 

The 2011/12 season was only moderately more successful, with Almeida scoring 13 times in 29 appearances for Besiktas. Even so, he continued to find a place on the Selecção due to the shortage in quality striking talent. Though normally relegated to the role of a substitute, Almeida scored twice in Euro 2012 qualifying and has provided a brief cameo in nearly every game Portugal played following the 2010 World Cup.

Almeida possesses some of the raw attributes that Portugal are in short supply of, including size and strength, but he will need to cultivate his scoring touch if he's to have a say in how far Portugal advance in this tournament.

by Tom Kundert & Nathan Motz (updated, 21/05/2012)

Club Appearances* Goals
Leiria 28 5
FC Porto 32 3
Boavista 14 3
Werder Bremen 117 41
Besiktas  32  14
     
 PORTUGAL** 40 15

* League appearances only

** Up to 29 February 2012

Comments (2)
Você pode realizar
2 Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:22
Portugal vamos lá! Nossos corações com você. Você pode realizar.
Besiktas jk
1 Thursday, 16 December 2010 11:38
Welcome to besiktas in carsi

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