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Player Profile: Miguel Veloso  

Veloso
Full name: Miguel Luis Pinto Veloso

Position: Defender/Midfielder

Date of Birth: 11 May 1986

Birthplace: Coimbra, Portugal


Long considered as one of Portugal's brightest prospects, Veloso burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion at the start of the 2006/07 campaign when he was thrown in at the deep end in Sporting’s opening Champions League match at home to a star-studded Inter Milan side.

Before the match much was made of Luis Figo’s homecoming, but by the end of the ninety minutes all the talk was of Veloso, who turned in a man-of-the-match display to completely shut Figo and company out and help Sporting to a memorable 1-0 win. A mainstay of the Sporting side thereafter, Veloso nevertheless endured some turbulent times at the club, falling out on occasion with then-coach Paulo Bento.  

A perhaps overdue move away from the Alvalade in 2010 saw him join Genoa, where he has impressed sporadically but rarely hit top form. Nevertheless, his burying of the hatchet with Bento sees him enter Euro 2012 as one of Portugal's key players. 
 

Footballing family

He is the son of António Veloso, the former Portugal and Benfica stalwart defender. Veloso junior started his career at the same club where his father made his name, but at 14 he switched to rivals Sporting upon recommendation from his father because of the club’s unrivalled reputation in nurturing home-grown players.

He spent the entire 2005/06 season on loan to Olivais e Moscavide helping the team to promotion. The following season Sporting’s first-team coach Paulo Bento had no hesitation in throwing the 20-year-old straight in at the deep end, and Veloso belied his years to become a mainstay of the team, keeping Sporting’s major summer acquisition Carlos Paredes on the sidelines.

Inevitably rumours quickly began swirling that some of Europe’s biggest clubs were preparing to make a bid for the talented youngster, but in January 2007 Veloso signed a long-term contract keeping him at the club until 2013.

“Planning for next season with Miguel Veloso is one thing. Planning for next season without Miguel Veloso is something completely different,” said Paulo Bento at the time.
 

Curiosity - Fashion and a fat behind

With Euro 2008 approaching Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari fired out a warning to players on the fringes of the squad in his inimitable style: “Those who like spending time at fashion shows and who have an overlarge butt will probably miss the bus to Austria and Switzerland.”  On both counts the comments were perceived as being directed at Veloso, who had taken a liking to the Portuguese fashion scene and gained a few excess kilos over the Christmas period. The warning was heeded, and a leaner Veloso was soon seen, with the improved maturity of his displays on the pitch making headlines rather than his incursions into the world of male modelling.


Flying the nest

After falling out with Bento over his deployment at left back, Veloso hung on at the Alvalade against all expections. Rumours of a move to England and Italy came and went, but the youngster remained at Sporting even after Bento's departure. Yet failure to secure Champions League football saw Sporting left with no choice but to allow both Veloso and João Moutinho to leave in the summer of 2010. 

This followed a World Cup where Veloso played just 36 minutes, as Portugal slumped to an insipid second-round elimination at the hands of eventual champions Spain. 

Veloso's destination was Genoa, where he joined fellow Portugal international Eduardo. His fortunes have been fairly up and down at the Marassi, as the club have ploughed through a succession of coaches. Despite his frequent appearances on the bench, the arrival of Paulo Bento in the place of Carlos Queiroz has seen an upturn in fortunes for Veloso on the international front. The two appeared to have patched up their differences, and Veloso's entrance into the midfield during the sharp end of Portugal's qualifying campaign proved decisive, and his place in the starting line-up looks assured. 

 

by Tom Kundert  and Ben Shave (last updated 31/5/2012)

Club Appearances* Goals
Olivais e Moscavide 28 7
Sporting** 97 4
Genoa  41 
 PORTUGAL 22 2

* League appearances only

** Up to May 2012

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