Renato Sanches proved during this summer’s European Championships that he’s going to become one of the world’s best midfielders.
The 18-year-old - yes, it’s been proven that is his real age - produced a series of performances that defied his tender age and finished the tournament as a champion.
Bayern Munich’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitted on Friday that his club probably couldn’t afford to sign Sanches after his displays in France. Lucky for the German club, they wrapped up a €35 million deal before the tournament began.
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Sanches was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United before he eventually signed for Bayern and the Red Devils - Jose Mourinho, in particular - must be kicking themselves after missing out on such a special talent.
United scouts must have been acutely aware of how gifted the stocky midfielder was; his goal against Academica last December has, according to football writer Jan Hagen, been just named as the Portuguese league’s goal of the year.
Video: Sanches' goal of the season
It’s easy to see why.
Sanches picks the ball up, at an angle, around 25 yards from goal and unleashes a fizzing effort into the top right-hand corner of the net.
A truly special effort from a special player.
Remarkably, this was Sanches' first ever Benfica goal and it came on his debut at the Estádio da Luz.
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