UEFA EURO 2016 will come too soon for Paços Ferreira midfielder Diogo Jota, but the 19-year-old is reportedly bound for Atlético Madrid in the summer having had a spectacular season.
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Name: Diogo Jota
Club: Paços Ferreira
Debut: 19 October 2014 v Atlético de Reguengos (Portuguese Cup)
Date of birth: 4 December 1996
Preferred foot: right
What they say …
"I sometimes find myself thinking 'enjoy his talents while you can'. He is a player we do not see every day and I believe he will soon reach the top. He never misses training and he has a maturity that goes well beyond his age."
Jorge Simão, Paços Ferreira coach
"He is an ambitious player, eager to make the most of what he has. He understands the game and has a great attitude. He is aggressive in attack and is not afraid run with the ball. He creates space and is always looking for scoring opportunities."
Vasco Seabra, Jota's former Paços Ferreira U19 coach
Diogo Jota arrived at the Paços Ferreira academy aged 16 and was soon enough promoted to the first-team squad. He marked his debut, in the Portuguese Cup, with a goal, while it took him until the penultimate day of last season to open his account in the Liga. In fact he scored twice, becoming the youngest player to do so in the Portuguese top flight since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2002. He's found the net 14 times in all competitions this term, ensuring plenty of interest from high-profile clubs.
Playing style ...
Capable of playing as a winger or a second striker, he has creativity, he has pace, he can use both feet, he can dribble and he has great vision. He is intelligent off the ball, too, and has an uncanny knack of finding space.
Shades of ...
After scoring against Porto last month, Diogo Jota became only the second-ever player aged 19 or under to reach double figures in a single Liga season. Simão Sabrosa, in the late 1990s, was the first and Doigo Jota's appearance on the ball and his speed resemble the former Portugal, Barcelona and Benfica winger.
Eureka moment ...
Diogo Jota has been making waves since last season. The buzz around him only increased when he scored a stunning goal against Benfica, in February, bending in a delightful shot having danced past two opponents. Paços Ferreira's president announced a few days later that a deal had been agreed for the player to join Atlético Madrid.
Best-case scenario ...
In great form this term, Diogo Jota is a strong contender to go to the Olympics with his country this summer. A good performance in Brazil might help him to settle at Atlético should the move be confirmed – then anything is possible.
He says ...
"This season is going way better than I expected. When the season started I did not think I would have played more minutes for my team than anyone else, nor that I would receive an award like this [young player of the month for March]. On paper I have been playing as a winger, but I move a lot from my position. I like to go in the middle and be involved in the build-up. You might say I'm a special winger."