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Ronaldo Vieira (footballer, born 1998)

Ronaldo Augusto Vieira Nan (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁoˈnawdu viˈɐjɾɐ] (born 19 July 1998) is a professional footballer who plays for Italian side Sampdoria, mainly operating as a central midfielder.

Ronaldo Vieira
Personal information
Full name Ronaldo Augusto Vieira Nan[1]
Date of birth (1998-07-19) 19 July 1998 (age 21)[2]
Place of birth Bissau, Guinea Bissau
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 4
Youth career
2009–2011 Benfica
2015–2016 Leeds United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2016–2018 Leeds United 63 (1)
2018– Sampdoria 14 (0)
National team
2017– England U20 13 (0)
2018– England U21 3 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:54, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:12, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

Born in Guinea Bissau, and also holding Portuguese nationality, he is an England U21s international.[3]


Club careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Vieira was raised in Portugal, where he signed for the academy at S.L. Benfica, the club he supported. He left Portugal in 2011 in search of more job opportunities for his family in England.[4]

Vieira began playing football in England for Whitley Bay Boys Club, a local team near Newcastle. Vieira then moved to Yorkshire and played two seasons in the Huddersfield Junior Football League for Batley Phoenix under the tutelage of coach Tony Shuttleworth. Vieira also had unsuccessful trials at Premier League sides Manchester City and Hull City.[5]

Vieira then signed for York-based i2i Football Academy whilst studying at York College. He joined Leeds United on trial in September 2015, after being recommended by i2i Coach and former Leeds Striker Richard Cresswell, Vieira signed for the academy after impressing.[1]

Leeds UnitedEdit

After impressing for the academy, Vieira signed a two-year professional deal with Leeds on 5 May 2016.[6] Highly rated by then Head Coach Steve Evans, Vieira was named on the bench for Leeds on 7 May 2016 against Preston North End, and made his debut in the same game coming on as a substitute for Stuart Dallas in a 1–1 draw.[7]

2016–17 seasonEdit

Vieira became a regular starter for the first team during the 2016–17 pre-season under new head coach Garry Monk, including in the final pre season friendly against Serie A side Atalanta, where Vieira received the man of the match award in a 2–1 win.[8][9]

On 5 August 2016, Vieira was given the squad number 25 shirt for the upcoming 2016–17 season.[10] On 7 August, on the opening day of the 2016–17 season Vieira made his first Leeds start against Queens Park Rangers in a 3–0 defeat, with Vieira also giving away a penalty.[11]

On 1 September 2016, with Vieira now part of Leeds' first-choice central midfield pairing with Liam Bridcutt, it was announced that Ronaldo had signed a new three-year deal with the Elland Road club.[12] It was also confirmed on the same day, that twin brother, Romario Vieira had signed a one-year contract with Leeds after signing from Tadcaster Albion, joining up with the development squad for the 2016–17 campaign.[12]

On 26 October, Vieira scored the winning penalty for Leeds in the club's penalty shootout victory against Norwich City in the English League Cup, after a dramatic 2–2 draw in normal time.[13]

On 5 November, Vieira scored his first goal from open play, once again against Norwich City. His 90th-minute strike from long distance was enough to see Leeds edge out a 3–2 victory at Carrow Road.[14]

After becoming a first team regular and a key player at the club, playing 37 games during the 2016–17 season on 30 April 2017 Vieira was named the Young Player Of The Year at Leeds United's end of season awards.[15] During the course of the season, Vieira was described as a 'wonderkid' by The Sun[16] and International Business Times.[17]

2017–18 seasonEdit

On 24 May 2017, Vieira was rewarded for his impressive form and signed a new long term deal at the club signing a 4-year contract to keep him at the club until the end of the 2020–21 season.[18]

He scored his first goal of the 2017–18 season on 22 August 2017, scoring a goal in Leeds' 5–1 EFL Cup victory against Newport County.[19] On 22 November, Vieira received his first professional red card when he was sent off against Wolverhampton Wanderers.[20]

On 31 January 2018, Ronaldo's brother Romario Vieira was named on the substitutes bench for Leeds for the first time against Hull City in Leeds' 0–0 draw, in the process Ronaldo and Romario became the third set of brothers to ever feature in a match day squad for Leeds United after Eddie and Frank Gray, and Ray and Rod Wallace.[21]

On 19 February 2018, Ronaldo Vieira was named '20th' in the most promising under 20 prospects in the whole of Europe, Vieira featured in a prestigious list by CIES with the likes of AC Milan Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma featuring in 1st place and PSG Striker Kylian Mbappe in 3rd place.[22]

On 16 April 2018, Vieira was nominated as one of four players for Leeds United's Young Player of The Year award[23] but lost out to Bailey Peacock-Farrell who won the Young Player of the Year award at Leeds' annual award ceremony.[24]

2018–19 seasonEdit

With a delayed return to the start of pre-season under new Leeds Head Coach Marcelo Bielsa after Vieira participated for England U21's in the 2018 Toulon Tournament,[25] Vieira was named as captain for Leeds in their pre-season friendly 1–1 draw against York City on 20 July 2018,[26] where he played in an unfamiliar new centre-back role.[27] He also captained the side vs Oxford United[28] and Guiseley AFC.[29] On 26 July 2018, he was given the number 8 shirt for the upcoming 2018–19 season for Leeds.[30]


On 30 July 2018, Leeds accepted a bid from Serie A side U.C. Sampdoria for Vieira, with Vieira flying to Italy to complete a medical and discuss personal terms.[31] with the Italian side looking to replace departed midfielder Lucas Torreira.[32] On 1 August, the move was made official as he joined U.C. Sampdoria on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee,[33] with the Yorkshire Evening Post reporting the fee was over £7 million.[34]

International careerEdit

Vieira is eligible to represent Guinea Bissau, Portugal or England having been educated in the country for five years before the age of 18.

On 28 January 2017, when asked who he would like to represent, Vieira said that his first choice would be to play for the Portugal national side, however he was open to the idea of playing for England.[35]

On 16 May 2017, Vieira was called up to the England U20 squad for the 2017 Toulon Tournament.[3] Vieira was a regular starter in the tournament, he also played a key role for England on 10 June when he scored the winning penalty in the final against Ivory Coast U20s which saw England U20s crowned the 2017 Toulon Tournament Champions after winning 5–3 on penalties after a 1–1 draw.[36]

After his England U20 call-up, Vieira told the Yorkshire Evening Post in July 2017 that he had changed his preference from playing for Portugal because he had been living in England for a long time, and following discussions with family members who live in Portugal. He said that 'the decision was mine so I picked England'.[37]

Vieira received his first call up to England U21s on 21 May 2018 for the Toulon Tournament with England's group containing fixtures against Qatar U21s, China U21s and Mexico U21s.[38] On 1 June, Vieira scored on his England U21s debut with a long range strike against Qatar U21s in a 4–0 victory.[39] On 9 June 2018, Vieira started in the 2018 Toulon Tournament final against Mexico U21s with England winning the tournament after beating Mexico 2–1 in the final.[40]

Personal lifeEdit

Vieira moved to Portugal at the age of five, shortly after the death of his father.[41]

Ronaldo Vieira and his twin brother Romario were named after Brazil footballers, Ronaldo and Romário.[1][42] Romario is also a footballer and joined his brother at Leeds United on 1 September 2016.[43]

Ronaldo's brother Romario Vieira represents the Guinea Bissau national side.[44]

Career statisticsEdit

As of match played 26 May 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Leeds United 2015–16[45] Championship 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2016–17[45] Championship 34 1 0 0 4 0 38 1
2017–18[45] Championship 28 0 0 0 4 1 29 1
Total 63 1 0 0 8 1 71 2
Sampdoria 2018–19[46] Serie A 14 0 1 0 15 0
Career total 77 1 1 0 8 1 86 2


England U20

England U21



  1. ^ a b c "Leeds United sign former York College midfielder Ronaldo Vieira Nan on pro terms". The Press. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Profile". 11v11. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Vieira called up for England".
  4. ^ i2i Football Academy (7 December 2016). "EXCLUSIVE: Interview with i2i Graduates and now Leeds United stars Ronaldo & Romario Vieira" – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "This is how Leeds benefitted from Hull and Manchester City transfer snub". Express. Leeds United. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  6. ^ "YOUNG MIDFIELDER AGREES PROFESSIONAL TERMS". Leeds United Official Site. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  7. ^ "REPORT: SPOILS SHARED AT PRESTON". Leeds United Official Site. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  8. ^ "WOOD + ROOFE STRIKES SEE OFF ATALANTA". Leeds United. 30 July 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  9. ^ "VIEIRA KEEN TO KICK ON". Leeds United. 31 July 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  10. ^ "2016/17 SQUAD NUMBERS CONFIRMED". Leeds United. 6 August 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  11. ^ "QPR CLAIM OPENING VICTORY". Leeds United. 7 August 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  12. ^ a b "VIEIRA TWINS SIGN UP". Leeds United. Leeds United. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  13. ^ "NORWICH CITY: PENALTIES SEE LEEDS EDGE CLASSIC". Leeds United. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  14. ^ "NORWICH CITY: SUPER VIEIRA STRIKE GIVES LEEDS WIN". Leeds United. 5 November 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  15. ^ "PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2017". Leeds United F.C. 30 April 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Leeds United starlet Ronaldo Vieira speaks about his glorious name, difficult upbringing and how he became a footballer". The Sun. 11 February 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Leeds United reaping the benefits of 18-year-old wonderkid". International Business Times. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  18. ^ "VIEIRA COMMITS FUTURE TO LEEEDS". Leeds United F.C. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  19. ^ "Leeds 5 Newport 1". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  20. ^ "Leeds United star Ronaldo Vieira issues apology after red card against Wolves". Daily Star. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Phil Hay's Big Match Verdict – Hull City 0 Leeds United 0: Goalkeeper Wiedwald saves patched-up Whites". Yorkshire Evening Post. 31 January 2018.
  22. ^ "Gianluigi Donnarumma: AC Milan keeper named top under-20 European prospect". BBC Sport. 19 February 2018.
  23. ^ "CAST YOUR VOTE FOR THE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  24. ^ "Player of the Year 2018 winners". Leeds United F.C. 5 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  25. ^ "Baker, Klich and Ideguchi to feature for Leeds United at York tonight – but Blackman misses out again". Yorkshire Evening Post. 20 July 2018.
  26. ^ "RONALDO VIEIRA: EVERYONE IS FEELING FIT". Leeds United. 20 July 2018.
  27. ^ "REPORT: YORK CITY 1–1 LEEDS UNITED". Leeds United. 19 July 2018.
  28. ^ "Oxford United 4 Leeds United 3: Roberts strikes but Whites pay for poor first half". YEP. 24 July 2018.
  29. ^ "Guiseley 3 Leeds United 4: Edmondson at the double as Whites slay Lions in seven-goal thriller". YEP. 26 July 2018.
  30. ^ "2018/19 SQUAD NUMBERS ANNOUNCED". Leeds United. 26 July 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  31. ^ "Sampdoria, preso Ronaldo Vieira: domani le visite mediche". Gianluca Di Marzio. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  32. ^ "Leeds transfer news: Ronaldo Vieira to join Sampdoria for £6.2m, medical tomorrow – Romano". Daily Star. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  33. ^ "RONALDO VIEIRA JOINS SAMPDORIA". Leeds United. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  34. ^ "Sampdoria deal done as Leeds United confirm Vieira exit". YEP. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  35. ^ Kirwin, Thom (28 January 2017). "#ASK | RONALDO VIEIRA | PART 2". LUTV. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  36. ^ "Toulon Tournament: England 1–1 Ivory Coast (5–3 penalties)". BBC. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  37. ^ "Leeds United: Midfielder Vieira looking to build on a remarkable first year". Yorkshire Evening Post. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  38. ^ "Good luck to @Ronaldo_Vieira8 who has been called up to the @England U21s squad for this summer's Toulon Tournament". Leeds United Official Twitter Account. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  40. ^ "England win third straight Toulon Tournament title after victory over Mexico". BBC Sport. 9 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  41. ^ "Leeds United young starlet speaks of international decisions – The72".
  42. ^ "Leeds star Ronaldo Vieira speaks about his amazing name, difficult upbringing and how he turned pro". The Sun. 11 February 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  43. ^ "VIEIRA TWINS SIGN UP". Leeds United. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  44. ^ "Happy to have made my first international game for Guinea-Bissau". Romario Vieira Official Twitter. 23 March 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  45. ^ a b c "Statistics". Soccerbase. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  46. ^ "Ronaldo Vieira » Club matches". Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  47. ^ "Final fightback takes England U21S to Toulon hat-trick with win over Mexico". The Football Association. 9 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  48. ^ "Taylor crowned Player of the Year". Leeds United F.C. 30 April 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016.

External linksEdit