Nelson Semedo became Barcelona’s most expensive player of the summer transfer window to date when they signed him from Benfica last week.
The 23-year-old right-back moved from the Lisbon giants for a fee of €35 million, with the potential for another €5m more to come in bonuses. It is a fee greater than those used to secure both Gerard Deulofeu and Marlon Santos from Everton and Fluminense combined.
Semedo, however, has relatively little top-level experience for a player of his age moving for such a significant fee. He was 21 before he debuted in Portugal’s top flight and only played 64 times for Benfica.
As a result, he is something of an unknown commodity, so here are five things you should know about this bright young star.
#5 He was playing on the street until he was 15
Although the new signing arrived for big money, only nine years ago, he was still playing football on the streets with his friends. He had been overlooked entirely by the country’s top clubs and did not even play youth football of any notable standard until he was 15, when he was signed up by Sintrense.
Previously, Semedo had been told he was too small to make it, but like a string of other youngsters, he proved that stature is no barrier if effort and application are given in ample measure.
Sintrense are a side in Portugal’s third division and they provided the youngster with a stress-free environment in which to progress. He made his debut in the 2011-12 season before joining Benfica one year later.
His progress has been explosive.