A former starlet at SL Benfica, with whom he won the 2004/05 Portuguese Liga title, Manuel Fernandes has struggled for much of his career with injuries, both in England and Spain, but re-emerged as a UEFA EURO 2012 candidate for Portugal thanks to some excellent displays for Beşiktaş JK.
• Broke into the Benfica first team in his late teens and scored on only his second Liga appearance before establishing himself as a fixture in the 2004/05 side under Giovanni Trapattoni, making 29 appearances as the Eagles ended an 11-year wait for the league title.
• Maintained his progress at Benfica in 2005/06, both in Portugal and the UEFA Champions League, where he opened his European goalscoring account in a group game away to Villarreal CF.
• Made his senior international debut for Portugal in February 2005 − against the Republic of Ireland − and scored his first goal, against Canada, the following month, but was restored to the Under-21 side and featured in the European finals in 2006 and 2007.
• Left Benfica for a loan spell at Portsmouth FC in summer 2006 but injury jinxed a permanent move and he had a further loan spell at Everton FC before agreeing a six-year deal to join Valencia CF instead in August 2007.
• Returned for a second loan spell at Everton in his first season at the Mestalla, but after an international recall at the start of UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying − he scored in the opening 4-4 draw against Cyprus − he came good again while on loan in Turkey, helping Beşiktaş win the 2011 Turkish Cup and subsequently signing a three-year contract with the Istanbul club.
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