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Francisco Júnior
Personal information
Full name Francisco Santos da Silva Júnior
Date of birth 18 January 1992 (age 20)
Place of birth Bissau, Guinea-Bissau
Height 1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Everton
Number 30
Youth career
2006 Benfica de Bissau
2007–2012 Benfica
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012– Everton 0 (0)
National team
2011 Portugal U19 3 (0)
2012 Portugal U21 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:16, 9 April 2012 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals). ‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:49, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Francisco Santos da Silva Júnior (born 18 January 1992), commonly known as Francisco Júnior, is a professional footballer who plays for Everton as a midfielder. He has also represented Portugal internationally at under-19 and under-21 level.

Club careerEdit

Júnior started his club career in Bissau with Sport Bissau e Benfica in Guinea-Bissau at youth level, he was spotted by talent scouts from F.C. Porto and Sporting Clube de Portugal but soon transferred to S.L. Benfica.[1]

His professional career began with Benfica in 2008, and he was contracted to the club until 2013 as there was a clause in the contract that automatically converted Júnior's youth contract into a professional contract.[2] Júnior was loaned to U.D. Leiria in 2011 but never showed up to play for Leiria, and it was found that the player had been training with Manchester City F.C. unbeknownst to Benfica. Benfica's president Luís Filipe Vieira told Manchester City to return the player to Benfica and sent the English club a plane ticket for Júnior's return. Vieira also threatened to report Manchester City to FIFA.[2]

In July 2011, Manchester-based media reported that Júnior was on trial with Manchester City, playing with their Development XI team in a friendly against Altrincham.[3] Guinea-Bissauan sports agent Catió Balde and Anglo-Iranian lawyer Kia Joorabchian intervened and Manchester City were forced to release the player.[4] Manchester City compensated Benfica with €1.5million. [4]

In February 2012, Júnior signed professional terms with Everton having signed on a free transfer.[5][6] In an interview with Guinea-Bissauan website Bola na Bantaba, Júnior stated that he signed for Everton because he "was tired of the impasse between Benfica and Manchester City and businessmen who wanted to win more than they should".[7]

Júnior was given the shirt number 30 on his arrival at Everton. He made his debut for the club in a match against Leeds United in the third round of the 2012–13 League Cup.[8]

InternationalEdit

He was called up for Portugal under-19 team in January 2011 for the four-team round-robin friendly La Manga tournament. His debut came against Slovakia, having replaced Rúben Pinto in the 73rd minute.[9][10] He came on as a substitute in the 55th minute in the game against Norway[11] and he helped Portual retain their title, starting in the 3-1 over Sweden in the tournament's final game.[12]

Since joining Everton, he has rejected the chance to join the Portuguese under-20 team and told Guinea-Bissaun media in June 2012 that he wants to represent Guinea-Bissau.[7] He was called-up by the Guinea-Bissau national team in February 2012 to face Cameroon in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign, but did not receive notification in time.[13] In October 2012, he played for Portugal's under 21 side in a friendly against Ukraine.[14]

Career statisticsEdit

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Everton 2012–13 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Career total 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0

AchievementsEdit

Portugal Under 19
  • La Manga tournament: Winner 2011