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Nuno_Valente

Nuno Valente

Nuno Jorge Pereira Da Silva Valente, OIH, commonly known just as Nuno Valente (pron. ), is a Portuguese footballer playing for English club Everton at left back. He was born in Lisbon on September 12 1974 and has represented Portugal internationally, including several appearances at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.

Club career

Early career

Valente began his career at Portuguese second division club Portimonense. After two seasons in the lower divisions he impressed a scout for Sporting Clube de Portugal, whom he subsequently joined. Valente found his first team chances limited in Lisbon and despite success in winning the Portuguese Cup in 1995 he was loaned out 1996–97 to Marítimo. José Mourinho recognised his talent and brought him to his then club, UD Leiria.

Valente spent three years at Leiria, helping the club achieve successful seasons. In 2002, when Mourinho left to join FC Porto, Valente and club mate Derlei were the first signings he made. Valente repaid Mourinho's faith in him with some good displays as Porto romped to victory in the Portuguese SuperLiga and won the UEFA Cup 3-2 against Celtic. The following season Valente produced yet another excellent season helping his club to the 2003–04 Champions League Final. Porto won the game 3-0 against AS Monaco, and for the second time in two years Valente was able to collect a winners medal.

After Mourinho left for Chelsea, Valente picked up a succession of injuries. In total he only played eight games in the entire domestic season. He returned in time to face Internazionale in the Champions League quarterfinal but could not prevent his team losing 4-2 on aggregate.

After another poor season, which included an ultimatum by FCP president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa that ordered him to choose between club or national team, eventually leading to a suspension, he was signed by Everton from Porto on the recommendation of mentor Mourinho at the end of August 2005 when the Merseyside club lost regular left-back Alessandro Pistone to injury.

Everton

Valente took a while to adapt to the hectic pace of the Premiership but soon became a key feature in the Everton side from then on. In the 2005–06 and 06–07 seasons he was considered first-choice for Everton, but faced stiff competition from Scotsman Gary Naysmith. In February 2007, Everton took the option of a one-year extension to Valente's contract, tying him to the club until 2008.

He is now usually behind Leighton Baines in the left-back ranking at Everton, and with Joleon Lescott also able to play the position he has received little playing time so far this season.

Valente signed a 1 year contact extension in May 2008 keeping him at Everton until 2009. Valente signs contract extension

International career

In March 2006, Valente suffered a thigh strain, but recovered in time to play in the 2006 FIFA World Cup where he played a key part in Portugal's progression into the Semi-Final.

Valente was also among the 22 players selected by Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Portuguese National Football Team coach, as part of the squad to face their first Euro 2008 qualifier against Finland in early September 2006. He quickly faded from the international scene, however, and was not a member of Portugal's Euro 2008 squad. On 22/09/2008, tragedy struck. Valente had decided to retire from international football. Thousands of fans were crying at this loss to football. However, rumours are currently flying around that football fans from all over the world are willing to sign a petition for him to change his decision.

Career statistics

|- |1993-94||Portimonense||||26||1|||||||||||||||| |- |1994-95||rowspan="2"|Sporting Portugal||rowspan="2"|Portuguese Liga||9||0|||||||||||||||| |- |1995-96||9||0|||||||||||||||| |- |1996-97||Marítimo||Portuguese Liga||30||0|||||||||||||||| |- |1997-98||rowspan="2"|Sporting Portugal||rowspan="2"|Portuguese Liga||6||0|||||||||||||||| |- |1998-99||12||1|||||||||||||||| |- |1999-00||rowspan="3"|Leiria||rowspan="3"|Portuguese Liga||28||0|||||||||||||||| |- |2000-01||31||2|||||||||||||||| |- |2001-02||28||0|||||||||||||||| |- |2002-03||rowspan="3"|Porto||rowspan="3"|Portuguese Liga||21||0|||||||||||||||| |- |2003-04||27||0|||||||||||||||| |- |2004-05||8||0|||||||||||||||| |- |2005-06||rowspan="4"|Everton||rowspan="4"|Premier League||20||0|||||||||||||||| |- |2006-07||14||0|||||||||||||||| |- |2007-08||9||0|||||||||||||||| |- |2008-09||0||0||||||||||||||||235||4||||||||||||||||43||0||||||||||||||||278||4|||||||||||||||| |}

Titles

External links

(http://www.evertonfc.com/news/archive/blues-trigger-nuno-contract-extension.html)

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