Winners of the inaugural UEFA Nations League and the 2016 European Championship, Portugal’s talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo, is growing older and edging closer to retirement.
So, the national side is hoping for the next generation to start coming through and replicating their recent tournament successes.
In Football Manager 21, there’s a tremendous amount of faith in the next generation of Portuguese stars, with there being plenty of wonderkids for you to sign.
Choosing the best Portuguese wonderkids of FM 21
To be classed as one of the brightest Portuguese wonderkids in Football Manager 21, the young players had to meet three criteria set out. They had to be 21 years of age or young, have Portugal as the nation that they with to play international football for, and they must have one of the higher-end potential ability (PA) rating.
The minimum PA on this list is -85 or 140, which is the most important value to consider for these Portuguese wonderkids. A negative PA reflects a PA range that the chosen player can load into the game with on any save. Here, you’ll find them in the form of -9 (150-180) and -85 (140-170).
Below, you can see all off the best young Portuguese players of FM 21. Only the five most talented of these will be featured in the article, with a table listing all of these wonderkids at the foot of the page.
João Félix (159 CA / 179 PA)
Team: Atlético Madrid
Best Position: AMC, ST
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 159 CA / 179 PA
Value: £54 million
Wages: £164,753 p/w
Best Attributes: 20 Flair, 18 Off The Ball, 18 Technique
João Félix currently holds the record as the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Europa League, which he achieved at age 18 during his time at SL Benfica. Following 43 appearances, 20 goals, and 11 assists, Atlético Madrid fielded a massive £114.5 million fee to secure the young prodigy’s signature. He’s been given a leading role in Diego Simeone’s side, scoring 17 goals and six assists for Atléti to date.
The Portuguese starlet’s success is not limited to club football, with him playing a key role in Portugal’s triumph in the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019. He has made 13 appearances for the senior team, scoring three and assisting one.
In terms of this wonderkid’s ratings on FM 21, he has 20 flair, 18 off the ball, 18 technique, 17 dribbling, and 17 passing in his arsenal at the start of the game. With a 179 PA, these ratings and his 16 decisions, 16 first touch, 16 determination, 15 finishing, and 15 composure allow him to be a starting XI regular immediately.
The young star is capable of playing behind the striker, as an inside forward, on the right, or up front, but as you’d expect, he’ll cost you an astronomical fee. Should you manage to pry this wonderkid away from Los Rojiblancos, Félix will likely ask for wages of around £210,000 per week.
Florentino Luís (136 CA / 165 PA)
Team: AS Monaco (on-loan from SL Benfica)
Best Position: DM, MC
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 136 CA / 165 PA
Value: £10.25 million
Wages: £16,824 p/w
Best Attributes: 17 Tackling, 17 Natural Fitness, 17 Teamwork
Florentino Luís has impressed a lot of people since his debut for SL Benfica, being noted for his strong, commanding performances in the middle of the park. Since joining Monaco on-loan, the Portuguese midfielder has made five appearances for the French side.
Already a Liga NOS winner, he’s yet to receive his first call-up to the senior national side. However, for both the under-17s and under-19s, Florentino won the respective Euros. He’s already embedded in the under-21s side, too, being Portugal’s go-to defensive midfielder since late 2019.
As you’d expect from one of the best Portuguese wonderkids, he has some very impressive ratings from the start of Football Manager 2021. His 17 tackling, 17 natural fitness, 17 teamwork, 16 positioning, 16 anticipation, and 16 concentration, allow you to utilise this hard-working midfielder as either a DM or MC.
With a PA of 165, the top young player has plenty of room for improvement. So, if you enforce the right coaching and development, he’ll quickly become a very important player for both your club and his country. Due to being out on-loan for the first season of your game, it won’t be possible to sign Florentino until the second year.
Vitor Ferreira (124 CA / 164 PA)
Team: Wolverhampton Wanderers (on-loan from FC Porto)
Best Position: DM, MC
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 124 CA / 164 PA
Value: £2 million
Wages: £2,045 p/w
Best Attributes: 15 Teamwork, 15 Vision, 15 Technique
Another Portuguese wonderkid playing his football away from his parent club, Vitor Ferreira is on a season-long to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Following only 12 appearances and one assist for FC Porto, Wolves managed to include an option to buy clause in the loan deal.
The player commonly known as ‘Vitinha’ already has some accolades to his name, being a Portuguese league winner, Portuguese Cup winner and winning the UEFA Youth League with Porto under-19s. However, he’s yet to be handed his first international cap, but the young midfielder has tallied 11 appearances, one goal, and one assist for Portugal’s under-21s so far.
At the start of FM 21, Ferreira has 15 teamwork, 15 vision, 15 technique, 15 vision, 14 passing, 14 dribbling, and 14 natural fitness. Being only 20-years-old, these ratings will only increase with the right development plan. Capable of playing as either a DM or CM, if there is space in your team, Ferreira should be on your shortlist.
Due to being out on-loan for the first season, and with Wolves having an option to buy clause, it may well be that Ferreira is unavailable for at least three transfer windows. However, you may be able to convince the player to join your side instead of staying at Molineux Stadium.
Rafael Leão (144 CA / 163 PA)
Team: AC Milan
Best Position: AML, ST
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 144 CA / 163 PA
Value: £13.25 million
Wages: £37,396 p/w
Best Attributes: 16 Pace, 16 Acceleration, 16 Balance
Rafael Leão was snapped up by LOSC Lille on a free transfer from Sporting Lisbon in 2018 – a move which has proven to be one of the French club’s smartest pieces of recent business. After just one season with Lille, making 26 appearances – scoring eight times with two assists – AC Milan came in with a £20.7 million bid for the Sporting youth product.
Since making the San Siro his home, the Portuguese forward has scored nine goals and six assists to date. While he’s yet to get a call-up to Fernando Santos’ national side, Leão has represented his country 12 times at the under-21s level, scoring once and assisting his teammates twice.
On FM 21, Leão is best suited to playing either as an inside forward or as an advanced forward. The pacy attacker has 16 pace, 16 balance, 16 acceleration, 16 natural fitness, 15 agility, 15 jumping reach, 15 dribbling, and 15 flair. With a 144 CA and 163 PA, there is a lot of development space to enhance his already impressive set of ratings.
Being valued at £13.25 million, the forward from Almada will likely command a high transfer fee, with a fee of £40 million likely to be a fair starting offer. If a bid gets through, Leão will likely request a wage of around £80,000 per week, as well as a hefty signing bonus.
João Filipe Jota (129 CA / 160 PA)
Team: Real Valladolid (on-loan from SL Benfica)
Best Position: AML, AMR
Current Ability/Potential Ability: 129 CA / 160 PA
Value: £2.9 million
Wages: £7,478 p/w
Best Attributes: 18 Flair, 16 Dribbling, 16 Agility
João Filipe Jota, more commonly known as ‘Jota,’ is a tricky winger with 34 appearances for SL Benfica already, scoring twice and assisting three times. Currently out on-loan to Real Valladolid, the youngster will be hoping for more consistent game time, only being given five mostly cameo appearances by mid-December.
Jota was awarded the European under-19s top goal scorer award in 2018, netting five times en route to the team winning the tournament. Now representing Portugal at the under-21s level, he’s hit the back of the net four times and registered three assists in 14 games.
With 18 flair, 16 dribbling, 16 agility, 16 technique, 15 first touch, and 13 finishing, as well as being able to use either foot, Jota uses his tricks to repeatedly beat his marker in FM 21. Whilst some of these ratings are on the lower end, it is important to remember that he is only 21-years-old and still has a lot of time to reach his 160 PA.
You will have to wait for a year to sign this Portuguese wonderkid. However, when an opportunity does arise to transfer in the exciting young talent, you should be able to get your foot in the door with a bid in the region of £20 million for Jota.
All the best Portuguese wonderkids in FM 21
Below, you’ll find the table listing all of FM 21’s best Portuguese wonderkids, sorted by their PA. The ones given a negative potential ability rating have been placed according to the lowest possible PA from their given range.
|Name||Age||Team||CA||PA (Range)||Pos.||Wages p/w|
|João Félix||20||Atlético Madrid||159||179||AMC, ST||£164,753|
|Florentino Luís||20||SL Benfica (on-loan to Monaco)||136||165||DM, MC||£16,824|
|Vitor Ferreira||20||FC Porto (on-loan to Wolves)||124||164||DM, MC||£2,045|
|Rafael Leão||21||AC Milan||144||163||AML, ST||£37,396|
|João Filipe Jota||21||SL Benfica (on-loan to Real Valladolid)||129||160||AML, AMR||£7,478|
|Romário Baró||20||FC Porto||125||159||MC||£3,443|
|Daniel Bragança||21||Sporting CP||123||157||DM, MC||£4,132|
|Diogo Costa||20||FC Porto||126||155||GK||£3,443|
|Luís Maximiano||21||Sporting CP||125||154||GK||£8,926|
|Nuno Santos||21||SL Benfica (on-loan to Boavista)||124||152||AMC, AML, AMR||£3,443|
|Francisco Trincão||20||FC Barcelona||136||-9 (150-180)||AMR||£140,205|
|Nuno Mendes||18||Sporting CP||133||-9 (150-180)||DL, WBL||£4,132|
|Fábio Silva||18||Wolverhampton Wanderers||115||-9 (150-180)||ST||£1,064|
|Diogo Leite||21||FC Porto||126||150||DC||£2,776|
|Filipe Soares||21||Moreirense||124||149||MC, AMC||£15,000|
|Bruno Jordão||21||Wolverhampton Wanderers (on-loan to Famalicão)||123||145||DM, MC||£15,000|
|André Almeida||20||Vitória Guimarães||114||143||MC||£2,136|
|Afonso Sousa||20||Belenenses SAD||110||142||MC, AMC||£1,197|
|Pedro Neto||20||Wolverhampton Wanderers||129||-85 (140-170)||AML, AMR||£40,000|
|Fábio Vieira||20||FC Porto||128||-85 (140-170)||AMC||£4,595|
|Eduardo Quaresma||18||Sporting CP||122||-85 (140-170)||DC||£4,595|
|Gonçalo Ramos||19||SL Benfica||117||-85 (140-170)||AMC, ST||£4,132|
|Tomás Esteves||18||FC Porto (on-loan to Reading)||113||-85 (140-170)||DR, WBR||£3,443|
|Francisco Conceiçáo||17||FC Porto||109||-85 (140-170)||AML, AMR||£1,596|
|Diogo Nascimento||17||SL Benfica||84||-85 (140-170)||AMC||£2,529|
Go ahead and snag yourself one of the best young Portuguese players by using the table of FM 21 wonderkids above.