Renato Júnior Luz Sanches is a professional footballer from Portugal. Born on the 18th of August, 1997, in Amadora, Sanches plays as a midfielder. He currently plays for the German club, Bayern Munich.
Sanches faced many difficulties in his early days. His parents split up months after his birth and his birth was registered only in 2002.
The young lad started training at the age of eight at Águias da Musgueira. In 2006, he convinced Benfica to take him by displaying his talents for just 15 minutes. The team paid €750 and 25 footballs for his signature.
The midfielder started playing for Benfica B-team from 2014-15. He made his first appearance in the competition on 5 October 2014, starting and playing the first half of the 2–2 away draw against Feirense.
Sanches continued his progress as he was called up for the senior team just a year later. After monitoring his progress, Benfica rewarded him with a contract until 2021 at a release clause of €45 million.
Sanches has represented Portugal at all youth levels. However, he made his senior debut in Euro 2016 on the 14th of June, 2016, against Iceland.
He played the final 19 minutes of the game and it ended in a 1-1 draw. He kept improving as the tournament progressed having registered the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory against Croatia.
This performance made him the Man of the Match and Sanches was being praised for his excellent abilities with the ball.
Rise to Glory
Sanches became the youngest player to start a game for Portugal. In Euro 2016, he started against Poland and also became the youngest player to score in a knockout game of European Championship.
The versatile and physically strong player was making a mark early in his career. Sanches received the Young Player of the Tournament Award for his performances.
The midfielder featured for Benfica in the Champions League in 2015 at the age of 17 against Astana. This proved that in the coming years, Sanches was a player to watch out for.
On the 10th of May, 2016, Sanches made headlines again when he signed a 5-year deal with Bayern Munich in a deal totalling €80 million, with the additional €45 million depending on objectives. This made him the most expensive Portugal player to leave the domestic league.
He was also the recipient of the Golden Boy award in 2016 due to his excellent performances for Benfica and Portugal in Euro 2016.
Sanches has often landed himself in trouble with questions being raised over his age. This is attributed to the time gap between his birth and registration.
However, in 2016, the hospital in which Sanches was born published the document which proves his birth date.
The young player failed to make a mark with Bayern Munich. He played only 25 games across all competitions in his debut season and was rated as one among the three worst players for Bayern Munich.