Oliveira with Portugal in 2013
|Full name||Nélson Miguel Castro Oliveira|
|Date of birth||8 August 1991|
|Place of birth||Barcelos, Portugal|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2003–2004||→ Bairro Misericórdia (loan)|
|2010||→ Rio Ave (loan)||10||(0)|
|2010–2011||→ Paços Ferreira (loan)||23||(4)|
|2012–2013||→ Deportivo La Coruña (loan)||30||(4)|
|2013–2014||→ Rennes (loan)||30||(8)|
|2015||→ Swansea City (loan)||10||(1)|
|2015–2016||→ Nottingham Forest (loan)||28||(9)|
|2019||→ Reading (loan)||10||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 26 January 2020|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 31 August 2017
He earned 70 caps for Portugal across all youth levels combined. He made his debut for the senior side in 2012, and later that year was part of the Portugal squad that reached the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2012.
Born in Barcelos, Oliveira finished his youth career at Benfica having arrived at age 15 from Braga, and was a prolific scorer for both clubs. He made his first-team debut in a 2008–09 pre-season friendly against Estoril, courtesy of manager Quique Flores, and was even called to a UEFA Cup match against Napoli, but eventually returned to the juniors.
Loans in PortugalEdit
The same happened to Oliveira in 2009–10. However, in January 2010, he made his professional – and first division – debuts, being loaned until June to Rio Ave; his first game came on 7 February, as he played the last 10 minutes of the 2–0 home win against Leixões.
Oliveira's loan was initially extended for the entirety of the 2010–11 season but, on 12 August 2010, he was loaned to Paços de Ferreira. He scored on his debut on 12 September, a 1–1 draw at Marítimo and, the following month, helped Paços come from behind at Naval (2–1) by netting the winning goal from a direct free kick.
On 14 October 2011, Oliveira made his official debut for Benfica, playing 45 minutes in a 2–0 away win against Portimonense for the season's Portuguese Cup. On 18 January of the following year, he played the entire game against Santa Clara for the League Cup group stage, and scored in a 2–0 home win; the following month, for the same competition – the Portuguese Football Federation ruled that, for the tournament, at least two national players would have to appear in a game for 45 minutes – he opened the score against Marítimo (3–0, home).
On 6 March 2012, Oliveira made his Champions League debut, playing only ten minutes but scoring the final goal in a 2–0 home win against Zenit Saint Petersburg, with Benfica qualifying to the last-eight 4–3 on aggregate.
Loan to Deportivo La CoruñaEdit
On 20 August, in the La Liga opener against Osasuna, Oliveira scored his first goal for the Galicians, netting from a counter-attack in the 90th minute to make it 2–0 for the hosts. On 19 May 2013, he found himself in controversy after shushing the Ultras after his goal against Espanyol. He later apologized for his actions. During his spell, he acted as backup to veteran Riki.
Loan to Stade RennaisEdit
On 26 July 2013, Oliveira was loaned to Ligue 1 club Stade Rennais on a season-long move, with the French having the option to make the deal permanent afterwards. He scored his first goal in his second appearance, in a 1–2 loss at Nice.
Oliveira scored twice for Rennes on 24 August 2013, in a 2–1 away win against Evian. He again scored twice, this time against Toulouse in a 5–0 win on 26 October 2013. A week later he scored his seventh goal of the season in a 1–1 draw away to Marseille. After a four-month goal drought, he found the net again against Toulouse in a 3–2 loss on 15 March 2014. He took part of the 2014 Coupe de France Final coming on as a substitute in Rennes' 2–0 loss to Guingamp.
Loan to Swansea CityEdit
After receiving rarely any playing time, on 23 December 2014, Benfica announced that they had loaned Oliveira to Premier League side Swansea City until the end of the season. He was brought in to replace Wilfried Bony, who was due to miss all of Swansea's January matches due to commitments with the Ivory Coast national team at the Africa Cup of Nations. He made his debut on 10 January, replacing Gylfi Sigurðsson for the last 16 minutes of a 1–1 draw against West Ham United at the Liberty Stadium. A week later, with Bony having been sold to Manchester City, Oliveira started alongside Bafétimbi Gomis in a 0–5 defeat to league leaders Chelsea. On 25 April 2015, Oliveira scored his first goal for Swansea, equalising as they came from behind to win 3–2 away at Newcastle United.
Loan to Nottingham ForestEdit
On 4 September 2015, Oliveira returned to the United Kingdom, joining Nottingham Forest of the Football League Championship on loan for the remainder of the 2015–16 season. He made his debut eight days later away to Queens Park Rangers, replacing Kyle Ebecilio in the 69th minute, and scored the winning goal as they came from behind to triumph 2–1 at Loftus Road.
He had a run of games in the first team but did not score again until 6 November, netting the only goal of the game against Forest's local rivals Derby County. He added to his goal tally two games later by scoring a brace against Reading. The first was a curled strike from 20 yards after a quick counterattack and the second, a volley from close range.
He took his goal tally to five after firing a low curling shot after a deft touch against MK Dons. A week later, he scored against Leeds United. He finished the season as the team's highest goalscorer with nine goals.
On 30 August 2016, Oliveira once again returned to the United Kingdom, joining Norwich City after signing a four-year deal with the club. He became Norwich's fifth signing of the transfer window, signing for an undisclosed fee. He scored his first goal for Norwich in an EFL Cup tie (2–2) against Leeds United on 25 October 2016. He scored his first league goal for Norwich on 3 December 2016, against Brentford in a 5–0 win at Carrow Road. In the next four games, he found the net on three occasions against Barnsley, Aston Villa and Reading respectively.
On 2 January 2017, he scored his first professional hat-trick in 3–0 win against Derby County. The following game, he received his first red card after he lashed out on Rotherham defender, Kirk Broadfoot. He returned from suspension, scoring a looping header against Wigan Athletic on 7 February 2017.
In early February, he sustained a foot injury which caused him to be out for five weeks. He returned from injury on 18 March 2017, coming in as a late substitute against Barnsley. He found the back of the net again in a 7–1 blowout win against Reading on 8 April 2017. He scored a brace against Leeds United on 29 April 2017. He finished the season with 15 goals in 32 games in all competitions (including Football League Trophy) for Norwich, a career high tally for Oliveira.
Oliveira ended his first pre-season in 2017 with Norwich, scoring five goals in eight games. After scoring a late equalizer against Fulham on the first day of the 2017/18 season, after coming on as a substitute on 5 August 2017, he proceeded to take his shirt off and angrily reveal his name towards manager, Daniel Farke. After the game Farke played down the controversy saying emotions got the better of him after being left on the bench. During the 2017–18 Norwich City F.C. season, Oliveira scored 8 goals in 36 appearances (10 as a substitute), finishing as the club's second top scorer behind James Maddison.
Loan to ReadingEdit
On 22 January 2019, Oliveira joined fellow Championship side Reading on loan until the end of the season. He made his début on 29 January 2019 and scored in Reading's 1–1 draw at Bolton Wanderers.
On 2 February 2019, Oliveira was badly injured during a match against Aston Villa when he was tussling for the ball with Villa defender Tyrone Mings. Oliveira fell, with Mings stepping on Oliveira's face. Oliveira suffered bad gashes on his face and a broken nose, and was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital for treatment. Mings later apologised to Oliveira on Twitter, insisting that it was not intentional; both Oliveira and the Reading coach José Manuel Gomes stated their opinion that Mings could have avoided making contact. As referee Geoff Eltringham had seen the incident and determined that it was accidental, no retrospective action was taken. After this Eltringham was demoted to League 2 matches.
On 2 March 2019, Oliveira scored an important goal in a 1–2 away win over relegation rivals Ipswich Town after being continuously jeered by the home side about the Mings stamp incident. Being a former Norwich City player he celebrated by confronting them.
On 20 July 2019, Oliveira signed a two-year contract with Greek Superleague club AEK Athens. He scored a late goal as AEK lost 2–1 at home to Xanthi in the opening match of the Superleague season, after which manager Miguel Cardoso was dismissed, and scored again the following week in a 3–2 win away to Asteras Tripolis. Oliveira scored twice, including a stoppage-time winner, as AEK came back from a goal behind to beat Atromitos 3–2 on 3 November. On 10 November 2019, he scored with a simple tap-in in a devastating 3–2 away loss against Panathinaikos. On 7 December 2019, he scored an impressive hat trick, earned an thumping 5–0 win for AEK against Panionios at home in the Superleague.
On 16 January 2020, he returned from an injury and converted a penalty in a 1–1 away draw against Asteras Tripolis in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Greek Cup. Three days later, he helped with a goal and an assist, which led to a beautiful backheel from André Simões, in a 3–0 home win against AEL. The following day, several sources in Greece reported that Wolverhampton Wanderers had expressed interest in the Portuguese striker, to provide reliable backup to Raúl Jiménez. The English club submitted an official offer in the region of €4,000,000, but it was immediately turned down from the administration of AEK Athens, who informed them that Oliveira would only leave the club, if the €6,500,000 buy-out clause was to be activated. On 19 February 2020, he scored with a volley in a 4–0 home win against Panetolikos for the Greek Cup quarter finals.
Oliveira represented the Portugal under-17 team in the qualification for the 2008 UEFA European Championship. In 2009, he was named in the squad for the European Under-19 Championship qualifying tournament, but the country failed to ensure a place in the finals in Ukraine; the following year, in the same category, he represented the nation at European Championship, scoring one goal in the 2–0 win against Italy.
On 22 May 2011 Oliveira was selected by the under-20s for the 2011 Toulon Tournament, where he played three matches and netted once. He also helped the team finish second in that year's FIFA World Cup held in Colombia, scoring four goals – including one in the final against Brazil, a 2–3 extra time loss – and providing two assists. He received the Man of the match award twice in addition to the Silver Ball for the second best player in the tournament.
Oliveira made his debut for the under-21 team on 6 October 2011, in a Euro 2013 qualification match against Poland. On 11 November, for the same competition, he scored a brace against Moldova (5–0 home win).
On 24 February 2012, Oliveira was called up for the first time to the senior team, for a friendly match with Poland five days later. He replaced Nani for the last ten minutes of the 0–0 draw in Warsaw, and eventually made it to the list of 23 for UEFA Euro 2012.
Oliveira played 20 minutes in the group stage opener against Germany after coming on for Hélder Postiga, in an eventual 0–1 loss. He made three other substitute appearances in the tournament, in an eventual semi-final exit.
After an absence of nearly two years, Oliveira was called up by Fernando Santos for World Cup qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Hungary. He replaced André Silva in the eighty-first minute, and three minutes later scored the fifth and final goal of Portugal's 5–1 win against the Faroe Islands.
Style of playEdit
Oliveira plays as a centre forward, known for his hold up play, his strength, and technique, in 2012, Oliveira was referred to as 'Portugal's Cantona' due to similarities in the 'style' of play between him and Eric Cantona.
- As of 21 February 2020
|Rio Ave (loan)||2009–10||Primeira Liga||10||0||2||0||—||—||12||0|
|Paços Ferreira (loan)||2010–11||Primeira Liga||23||4||1||0||—||7||1||31||5|
|Deportivo La Coruña (loan)||2012–13||La Liga||30||4||1||0||—||—||31||4|
|Rennes (loan)||2013–14||Ligue 1||30||8||5||0||—||1||0||36||8|
|Swansea City (loan)||2014–15||Premier League||10||1||1||0||—||—||11||1|
|Nottingham Forest (loan)||2015–16||Championship||28||9||1||0||—||0||0||29||9|
- As of match played 31 August 2017
- As of 31 August 2017
- Portugal score listed first, score column indicates score after each Oliviera goal.
|1||15 August 2012||Estádio Algarve, Faro, Portugal||Panama||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|2||31 August 2017||Estádio do Bessa, Porto, Portugal||Faroe Islands||5–1||5–1||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
- Stade Rennais
- Paços de Ferreira
- Portugal U20
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