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Manuel Fernandes
Manuel Fernandes.png
Personal information
Full name Manuel Henrique Tavares Fernandes
Date of birth 5 February 1986 (1986-02-05) (age 24)
Place of birth    Lisbon, Portugal
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9+12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Valencia
Number 18
Youth career
2002–2004 Benfica
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Portsmouth (loan)
Everton (loan)
Everton (loan)
67 0(3)
10 0(0)
09 0(2)
39 0(2)
12 0   
National team2
2005– Portugal 40 0(1)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 15 March 2010.
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 31 October 2008.
* Appearances (Goals)

Manuel Henrique Tavares Fernandes (Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐnuˈɛɫ fɨɾˈnɐ̃ðɨʃ]; born 5 February 1986 in Lisbon) is a Portuguese footballer of Cape Verdean descent, playing for Valencia CF of Spain. He is the cousin of AS Saint-Étienne midfielder Gelson Fernandes.[1]


Club career

Fernandes grew up in the Lisbon suburb of Amadora, where he would regularly play street football with current Manchester United winger Nani as a child.[2]Subsequently, Fernandes joined S.L. Benfica's youth system and made his first team debut during the 2003–04 season, under then-coach José Antonio Camacho. A central midfielder, he made an immediate impression on both Camacho and the Benfica supporters and became the club's second youngest ever goalscorer in only his second game, a 2-1 win at Gil Vicente F.C..

Fernandes became a regular first-team midfield player, often partnering Petit through 2004–05. Under the guidance of Italian manager Giovanni Trapattoni, he helped Benfica to win the league title after a 11-year drought. An influential season saw Fernandes miss just five games as Benfica lifted the championship trophy for the first time in 11 years. He also made seven appearances in the UEFA Cup before the Lisbon outfit were eliminated in the round-of-32 by eventual winners CSKA Moscow.

During the 2005-06 pre-season, Fernandes underwent surgery in Munich due to an inguinal hernia. He was treated by specialist Ulrike Muschaweck.[3]

In the 2005–06 UEFA Champions League, Fernandes scored the equalising goal in a draw at Villarreal CF in the group stage,[4]before Benfica were knocked out in the quarter-finals by eventual winners FC Barcelona.

Fernandes signed for Portsmouth on loan with a deal agreed for a permanent transfer of approximately £7 million if he fully recovered from his groin injury. A transfer was first proposed in late July 2006, but could not be concluded as Fernandes was still suffering from the injury and failed a club medical twice. In an unusual move, Benfica allowed the player to be treated at Portsmouth in the hope that he would regain fitness before the 1 September transfer deadline. After five weeks at the club, it was projected that he still needed two months recovery and so, the initial loan deal with a future fee was agreed.

Fernandes made his Portsmouth debut in the League Cup away to Mansfield Town. He scored from outside the area after just five minutes and Portsmouth won 2-1.[5] He went on to make sporadic appearances for the club throughout the first half of the season, with Sean Davis and fellow Portuguese international Pedro Mendes the preferred midfield pairing. It was later revealed by Pompey manager Harry Redknapp that if Fernandes were to make three consecutive appearances, it would trigger a clause in which Portsmouth were obligated to sign the player for £12m. Because of the high transfer fee, Portsmouth revealed in December that unless Benfica were to compromise on the fee they would not make the transfer permanent. Fernandes returned to Benfica in the winter transfer window.

In January 2007, Fernandes joined Everton on loan until the end of the season.[6] He also signed a long-term contract with Benfica in January 2007.[7] The deal was complicated due to Fernandes being part-owned by a third party agency, but he eventually made an assured debut for his new club in the 1–0 win over Blackburn Rovers on February 10, 2007, and quickly became something of a fans' favourite at Goodison. He scored his first league goal for the club on 24 February against Watford.[8] On 28 April 2007, Fernandes scored his second Everton goal against league leaders Manchester United. The goal, although spectacular, was not enough as Manchester United would go on to score four times in the final half hour of the game, winning 4–2.[9]

With Everton manager David Moyes reluctant to pay Benfica's reported £12 million asking price, Fernandes returned to Benfica in 2007, where he had several good performances during the pre-season. On 8 August 2007, it was reported that Everton had made an offer of £6 million for the player.[10]

On 13 August 2007, it was confirmed by both Everton and Benfica that Fernandes was the subject of an acceptable bid from the English side, believed to be £6 million for Benfica's 50% share in the player, with Everton having to negotiate with Global Sports Investment for the other half of Fernandes' playing rights. Later reports indicated Everton were willing to pay £12 million for 100% of the rights.[11]On 14 August, it was reported that he had flown to the Merseyside to complete the deal after being left out of the squad in Benfica's game, and he attended Everton's match against Blackburn on 25 August.[12]

Adding to the fact the player's rights were partly owned by an agency, the Premier League did not agree to the transfer as Everton would only half-own Fernandes' contract. Everton were not too happy about this as the league had previously let Carlos Tévez and Javier Mascherano move to other clubs under the same agreements.

However, in a late twist on 26 August, Fernandes opted to sign a six-year contract for La Liga side Valencia CF, in a deal worth up to €18 million (£12.2 million) to Benfica.[12][13]The deal included a €60 million get-out clause for Valencia in August 2007.[14]

He made his debut as a substitute during a 2–1 away win against UD Almería on 2 September 2007, and ended the season with seven league appearances, five in the starting XI.[15]

In January 2008, he was loaned back to Everton, until the end of the season, with the club having the option to sign the midfielder permanently.[16][17]

Back at Valencia for the 2008-09 season, new Valencia coach Unai Emery declared Fernandes as part of his plans. He played as a substitute in the first game of the season against RCD Mallorca, in a 3-0 home win. On 5 October 2008, Fernandes scored the only goal in a win at Real Valladolid, his first with the club. Fernandes did that season established himself as a solid central midfielder, with some great matches against teams like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Fernandes sustained an injury in Valencia's 4 - 1 league victory over Getafe CF which ended his 2008-09 season. The injury was a breakage to his fibula.

In January 2010 Fernandes was expected to sign for F.C. Internazionale Milano due to the lack of playing time, on a loan deal from Valencia. Inter had the right to buy off his contract at the end of the 2009-10 season, but Manuel Fernandes failed his medical exams on 30 January 2010, canceling the deal. He was also linked to Portsmouth FC in the same transfer window, but that move fell through after paperwork failed to clear in time.

International career

In June 2007, Fernandes played in all games at the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, scoring the opening goal for Portugal in their 4–0 win over Israel. The national outfit eventually failed Olympic qualification.

He also appeared at the 2006 edition's final stages and was an active member in the 2009 qualifying campaign.

Fernandes received his first call-up to the senior team in February 2005.[18]He scored his first senior international goal on March 26 against Canada, in a friendly match.

He played his first non-friendly appearance against Armenia on 17 November 2007, a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying match.[19][20]



  1. ^ Valencia's Fernandes wants Everton move
  2. ^ Nani's dreams come true
  3. ^ Manuel Fernandes undergoes surprise surgery, DN Online 2005-07-09 (Portuguese)
  4. ^ Benfica draws with Villarreal in Champions' League People's Daily Online, October 20, 2005
  5. ^ "Mansfield 1-2 Portsmouth". BBC. 19 September 2006. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  6. ^ Everton bypass league conflict to complete Fernandes deal The Guardian, February 1, 2007
  7. ^ "Benfica seal Derlei and Fernandes deals". 2007-01-29. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  8. ^ "Watford 0-3 Everton". BBC. 24 February 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "Everton 2-4 Man Utd". BBC. 28 April 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  10. ^ Everton offer £6M for Benfica's Fernandes
  11. ^ England - Everton anger at Fernandes snub
  12. ^ a b "Fernandes snubs Everton for Spain". BBC Sport. 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  13. ^ England - Toffees unhappy with Fernandes conduct
  14. ^ "Valencia CF signs Portuguese international player Manuel Fernandes". Valencia CF. 2007-08-26. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  15. ^ "La Liga archive" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  16. ^ "Manuel Fernandes, loan to Everton until the end of the season" (in Spanish). 9 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  17. ^ "Fernandes joins Everton on loan". BBC Sport. 2008-01-12. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
  18. ^ "Scolari selects Benfica youngster". 2005-02-03. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  19. ^ "Länderspiele (Manuel Fernandes)" (in German). Welt Fussball. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  20. ^ "Almeida takes Portugal to the brink". 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 

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