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Raul Meireles

Raul Meireles

A workaholic midfield grafter with a potent long-range right-foot shot, Raul Meireles has been a mainstay of Portugal's midfield for the past five years. He won four domestic titles with FC Porto before exporting his talents to England, where he has shone at Liverpool FC and current employers Chelsea FC.

• A native of Porto, he started out at CD Aves, finishing seventh in the second division with the club two seasons running; joined Boavista FC in 2003 and enjoyed a productive debut campaign in the top flight, earning a transfer to city rivals Porto.

• Made slow progress in his first two seasons at Porto but blossomed under Jesualdo Ferreira, becoming a central cog in midfield and earning regular call-ups for Portugal; scored on his major competition debut against Turkey at UEFA EURO 2008.

• Won his fourth successive title with the Dragons in 2008/09, making 28 appearances and scoring four goals; retained the domestic cup in 2010, his last game for Porto before joining Liverpool for €13m.

• Started all 12 games in Portugal's 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign and scored the winning goal in the play-off second leg versus Bosnia and Herzegovina; on target once in four outings at the finals.

• Left Liverpool on transfer deadline day in August 2011 to join the sizeable Portuguese-speaking contingent at Chelsea, including former Porto players José Bosingwa, Paulo Ferreira and then coach André Villas-Boas.

• Appeared in 11 of the Blues' 12 matches en route to the 2012 UEFA Champions League final, for which he was suspended after being booked in the semi-final second leg against FC Barcelona. 

UEFA honours
UEFA Champions League: winner 2012

Last updated: 21/05/12 18.35CET

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