On the 15th of August 2014 a boy by the name of Rúben Neves graced the hallowed turf of the Estadio Dragão in front of a raucous home crowd of 50,000 Tripeiros.
Born in Mozelos to the north of Portugal on the 15th of March 1997, the diminutive midfield lynchpin had little to no notoriety outside the youth ranks, heeding Lopetegui’s call and taking the bull by the horns with an impressive 2014/15 pre-season. The youngster, at only 17 years and 155 days, had become the youngest player to appear and score in a league match for FC Porto; eclipsing the likes of Fernando Gomes and Paulo Futre, legends of the blue and white.
Gomes was only 17 years and nine months old when he bagged a brace on debut. Almost forty years later, midfield dynamo Rúben Neves had beaten the striker’s record by four months, opening the scoring after 11 minutes en route to securing a 2-0 victory against CS Maritimo.