Morais as a Chelsea player
|Full name||Nuno Miguel Barbosa Morais|
|Date of birth||29 January 1984|
|Place of birth||Penafiel, Portugal|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Defensive midfielder / Centre back|
|2005–2006||→ Marítimo (loan)||17||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He was signed by Chelsea in 2004, but only stayed a few months with the club, going on to spend the vast majority of his career with APOEL and win 16 major titles, including nine Cypriot First Division championships.
Born in Penafiel, Morais started his career at his hometown club F.C. Penafiel, but in August 2004 was signed by England's Chelsea for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract, after a successful trial period. He made his debut for the latter in an FA Cup win against Scunthorpe United in January 2005, playing the full 90 minutes. His first Premier League appearance occurred on 10 May, as a late substitute in a 3–1 away victory over Manchester United.
Due to the fact that Morais struggled to get first team action in his first season, he was loaned to C.S. Marítimo in 2005–06, alongside compatriot Filipe Oliveira. In that summer, he appeared twice for the Portuguese under-21s at the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Championship on home soil, with Oliveira.
Returning to Chelsea, Morais only appeared twice in the league, totalling less than 20 minutes in home draws against Manchester United and Everton and playing three times the FA Cup and the Football League Cup combined. On 11 May 2007, he signed a two-year deal with Cypriot champions APOEL FC on a free transfer.
During his time in Nicosia, Morais was converted to a defensive midfielder, and signed a new contract until June 2012. Since his debut he was an essential defensive unit as the side won, amongst other trophies, seven championships, three cups and four super cups; he also appeared in all six group stage matches of the club in its first participation in the UEFA Champions League.
In the 2011–12 Champions League, Morais was an undisputed starter for APOEL as it reached the quarter-finals for the first time ever, playing all ten fixtures – including the round-of-16 triumph over Olympique Lyonnais where he converted his attempt in the penalty shootout. On 4 May 2012, he agreed to a three-year extension to his link.
During 2013–14, Morais appeared in every group stage game in APOEL's UEFA Europa League campaign, and scored the 2–1 winner against FC Girondins de Bordeaux at GSP Stadium. The following season, he was also an automatic first-choice in his team's Champions League campaign.
On 7 May 2016, following a league match against Apollon Limassol, Morais reached 251 for APOEL and became the foreigner with the most appearances in the history of the Cypriot top division. On 16 August, after playing against F.C. Copenhagen in the Champions League play-off round, he reached a club-best 81 games in European competitions.
Morais retired in July 2019, at the age of 35. He finished his career as APOEL's highest appearance maker of all time, with 524 matches to his name.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other[a]||Total|
|Penafiel||2002–03||Liga de Honra||17||0||2||1||—||—||—||19||1|
|APOEL||2007–08||Cypriot First Division||13||0||8||1||—||2||0||—||23||1|
- Includes Cypriot Super Cup matches.
- Balreira, Filipe (7 May 2019). "Nuno Morais: Capitão que conquistou o Chipre" [Nuno Morais: Captain who conquered Cyprus]. Record (in Portuguese). Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- Chelsea snap up Morais; BBC Sport, 29 August 2004
- "Chelsea 3–1 Scunthorpe". BBC Sport. 8 January 2005. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
- Man Utd 1–3 Chelsea; BBC Sport, 10 May 2005
- "Chelsea cede Nuno Morais" [Chelsea loan Nuno Morais]. Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). 26 July 2005. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
- "Portugal perde por 1–0 com França na estreia" [Portugal lose 1–0 to France in debut] (in Portuguese). TSF. 23 May 2006. Archived from the original on 23 March 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- McNulty, Phil (9 May 2007). "Chelsea 0–0 Man Utd". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
- Stevenson, Jonathan (13 May 2007). "Chelsea 1–1 Everton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
- Chelsea 6–1 Macclesfield; BBC Sport, 6 January 2007
- Chelsea 3–0 Nottingham Forest; BBC Sport, 28 January 2007
- Chelsea 4–0 Wycombe; BBC Sport, 23 January 2007
- Chelsea's Morais moves to Cyprus; BBC Sport, 12 May 2007
- Lyon stunned as APOEL fairy tale continues; UEFA, 7 March 2012
- Ανανέωσε ο Μοράϊς [Morais boost] (in Greek). APOEL FC. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- "Alexandrou rocket helps APOEL achieve lift-off". UEFA. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- "APOEL FC". UEFA. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "APOEL star Nuno Morais breaks league appearances record". Sigma Live. 8 May 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- Ο "άθλος" του Νούνο Μοράις [The "feat" of Nuno Morais] (in Greek). Goal. 17 August 2016. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
- "Nuno Morais coloca ponto final na carreira" [Nuno Morais puts the full stop to his career]. A Bola (in Portuguese). 3 July 2019. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
- "Nuno Morais". ForaDeJogo. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- "Nuno Morais". Soccerbase. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- "Nuno Morais". Soccerway. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- Nuno Morais at WorldFootball.net
- Nuno Morais at FootballDatabase.eu