Featured - Nuno Gomes, farewell Legend
Planet Benfica brings you a special feature article on the man we call, Nuno Golos.
Hard worker, team player, and humble. Those are the three words that describe Nuno Miguel Soares Pereira Ribeiro (Born 5 July, 1976 in Amarante, Portugal) or as most fans call him, Nuno Gomes. He chose the nickname "Gomes" due to his childhood hero, Fernando Gomes.
In a country where a good, talented, forward is hard to come by, Nuno Gomes was able to rise to the occasion and become one of Portugal's most recognizable forwards during the 90's/2000's era. He represented Boavista, Benfica, and Fiorentina at club level appearing in over 500 games and scoring over 200 goals. At International level, he represented every Portuguese youth side and was able to gain seventy-seven caps and score twenty-nine goals for the senior side.
Nuno Gomes started his footballing career with Boavista FC. He spent three seasons in Porto and due to his fantastic progression, in which he played nearly 100 games and scored thirty-one goals, he announced during the late 1996/97 season that he would be joining Benfica the following season. Ironically, he ended his fine Boavista career by scoring a goal and lifting the Portuguese Cup against his future team. However, Benfica fans quickly forgave him thanks to his goal scoring prowess in which he scored twenty-two goals in forty appearances. The following season Nuno impressed even more by scoring thirty-four goals in forty-three appearances, including seven goals in UEFA Champions League play. His third season in Lisbon, he scored twenty goals in forty-one appearances which led then Portugal head coach, Humberto Coelho, to call him for the 2000 European Championship.
"Benfica fans couldn't have been more happier to see their old goal scoring hero back"
Following Euro 2000, his impressive displays earned him a €17million move to Fiorentina. Unfortunately for himself and Benfica fans he wasn't able to win a single title or even a goal scoring boot award (at that time "Super Mario Jardel" didn't let anyone win the golden boot award.) Looking to be more successful in Italian football, Nuno earned sixty-three appearances and scored twenty goals for the Viola Club, as well as, lift the Italian Cup in 2000/01 before making the move back to Benfica in 2002 due to Fiorentina's financial collapse. Benfica fans couldn't have been more happier to see their old goal scoring hero back. However, he lacked the form which led him to score twenty plus goals a season in his second stint back. The next two seasons saw him suffer a series of nagging injuries, but he was able to win his first Portuguese Cup (2003/04) and Portuguese League (2004/05) with Benfica. He enjoyed his best season back in Portugal during the 2005/06 season by scoring the game winning goal against V. Setúbal to lift the Portuguese Super Cup, as well as, score fifteen league goals (seventeen overall), including a pair in the Dragão against FC Porto and a hat-trick against U. Leiria earning him the nickname, Nuno Golos.
The next season started bright for Nuno as he scored a memorable back heel goal against Austria Wien in the first official game of the season, but another series of injuries cost him playing regularly. Things began to worsen for him the next two seasons as he faced team mates Cardozo and Suazo for a place in the starting eleven. However, during that period and time he was still able to achieve a milestone by scoring his 150th goal for Benfica on 2nd October 2008 in an UEFA Cup match against SSC Napoli with a fine headed goal. During Benfica's successful 2009/10 season, appearances were hard to come by after new head coach, Jorge Jesus, stuck Cardozo, Saviola, Weldon, Kardec, and Eder Luis all ahead of Nuno.
The following and last season for Nuno Gomes in Benfica, he suffered the lowest amount of appearances ever in his career with only seven games played, but he still showed signs that he has the game still in him by scoring five goals off the bench. After an astonishing twelve year career in Benfica which he appeared in over 400 games and scored over 160 goals, on 15 June 2011, he received word by the Benfica board that his contract will not be renewed making him free to join any club. A truly sad day for the club and all Nuno Gomes fans as they wanted to see their long serving captain finish his career in the Luz. However all good things must come to an end at some point and time.
Obrigado por tudo Nuno Gomes and good luck in your future adventures.
After representing every Portuguese youth side and winning the 1994 UEFA U-18 Championship, 1996 UEFA U-16 Championship, as well as, winning third place in the 1995 FIFA U-20 World Cup and fourth place in the 1996 Summer Olympics, Nuno Gomes earned his official senior cap for Portugal against France in 1996. He would score his first International goal four years after his first cap against England in Euro 2000. It truly couldn't have been more of a special goal as it ended up being the winning goal after Portugal were down two-nil down. He would finish the tournament with four goals, but received a seven-month International ban after pushing referee Gunter Benko following Portugal's 2-1 defeat to France, in which he scored a stunning opening goal. He helped Portugal qualify for the 2002 World Cup by scoring seven goals in six qualifying games; including a four goal game against Andorra, but he only made two substitute appearances in Korea/Japan. On 19 November he scored his second hat-trick for Portugal in only twenty-one minutes in a 8-0 crushing win over Kuwait.
"Nuno Gomes became Portugal's top forward and was able to help Portugal reach Euro 2008"
Nuno appeared in every Euro 2004 game, mostly as a substitute, and scored a crucial goal against Spain in the final group stage game to send Portugal through the quarter-finals. He would go on to play in his first major International competition final, but it turned to be a sour one as he suffered defeat in his own home, Estádio da Luz, against Greece. Often injured during 2006 World Cup qualifying, he took part in four qualifying games and scored one goal. However, just like in his last World Cup he only made two substitute appearances in Germany, but did find the back of the net against Germany in the third place match.
After the retirement of Pauleta, Nuno Gomes became Portugal's top forward and was able to help Portugal reach Euro 2008 by scoring three goals in ten qualifying games. In Austria/Switzerland, he made three appearances and scored one goal in Portugal's 3-2 lost to Germany in the quarter-finals, thus becoming the fourth player to score at least one goal in three straight European Championship games. After the departure of long time head coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, new head coach, Carlos Queiroz barely used Nuno Gomes for Portugal's 2010 World Cup qualifiers and left him out of Portugal's twenty-three man squad for South Africa.
It is still unknown if whenever or not Nuno Gomes will ever get a shot with the National Team again, but newly head coach, Paulo Bento has hinted he has his eye out for any Portuguese forward.
Text compiled by Benfiquista
This is is an original article. Wikipedia entry is mostly compiled by Benfiquista
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