Year after year players come out who show great ability and expectations about their future grow, however several remain in a 'one seaso
The next star of European soccer?
Year after year players come out who show great ability and expectations about their future grow, however several remain in a ‘one season wonder’. Now the footballer who is beginning to attract attention is Darwin Núñez from Benfica, who boasts great numbers in the campaign and has great motivation.
His most recent relevant moment was in the highest tournament at club level: the Champions League. The striker was in charge of scoring the goal that classified the Eagles to the quarterfinals. As if that were not enough, they eliminated Ajax, one of the most ‘oiled’ clubs in the world, led by Erik Ten Hag.
At almost 23 years old, his career could take an important leap in the next transfer market and with a view to the next World Cup in Qatar. Although just in these months there has been a ‘boom’ in European football, the Uruguayan emigrated to the old continent three years ago, in 2019.
Where did Darwin Núñez play before coming to Benfica?
Of Uruguayan origin, he had the privilege of training in one of the biggest teams in his country, Peñarol. Being one of the most important institutions, they are highly selective even in their lower divisions and the striker’s childhood was not easy. He grew up in Artigas, a small town 500 km from Montevideo.
In various interviews, Darwin Núñez assured that his family was very poor and everything got worse when his mother fell ill. «She Many times I went to bed with an empty stomach but the one who did it the most was my mother, who worked to feed my brother and me first. I will never forget it », he came to comment.
His brother Jordan also played with Peñarol but he sacrificed himself, preferring that Darwin stay at the club while he took care of his mother. Fortunately all this effort has been completely worth it for the player and, consequently. for his family.
From the inferiors of the Dean, the footballer scored goals in bunches and was even nicknamed the ‘new Cavani’ and just a year and a half after playing with the first team, he arrived in Europe. Almería was the club that trusted Núñez and responded well with 16 goals in 32 games. He had three different coaches during the year he was in Spain and received nothing but praise.
“In addition to being young, he will have an extraordinary future. He has great potential to be one of the great players in his position. He is very fast, he has a very great definition, and a great ability to dispute aerial duels”, José Gomes highlighted at the time while mentioning that he is always looking to learn more.
They also noticed something in him that, although it may be in many professional players, there are few footballers because of the context in which he grew up. “Darwin is a very hard-working footballer, determined to grow and improve to help his family to improve their standard of living. That makes his potential great.”
The most expensive player in the history of Benfica and the plan for the future
He had only been with the Eagles for a few months and Jorge Jesús, now a former club manager, already warned what was coming: «he was the most expensive player in Benfica’s history and, with the pandemic, I don’t know, but he could also be the most expensive player to leave Benfica. This kid is going to be the best in the world and sadly for me I’m going to lose him in no time.”
Around 26 and a half million dollars were paid for him and he became the most expensive signing that reached the Portuguese league and the one that left the Spanish second division. The bet seemed risky despite the performance of the Uruguayan, however Benfica showed his confidence in his talent with his termination clause.
Although they are not official figures, it is presumed that Darwin Núñez has a clause of 150 million euros, a figure that any team would have to pay or, in his case, wait for his contract to end in 2025. However, everything indicates that the Liverpool would have negotiated him for 80 MDE plus 20 in variables, which would make him the second most expensive signing in the history of the Eagles.
Last season he boasted 34 goals in 41 games and although he is a regular starter, he is usually substituted at his club. This leaves him with 2,821 minutes played, so he averages one touchdown every 83 minutes. What team wouldn’t want a guaranteed goal for every game they play?