23-year-old Portuguese youth international with significant top-flight experience joins CLTFC
CHARLOTTE, NC (Thursday, August 4, 2022) – Charlotte FC today announced the Club has signed midfielder Nuno Santos to a contract until 2024 with an option for 2025. The move is pending receipt of a P-1 visa and ITC.
The 23-year-old attacking midfielder will occupy an international roster slot on the Club’s 2022 roster.
Santos has made 74 appearances with seven goals and five assists in the Portuguese first division across three different loan spells with Moreirense FC, Boavista FC, and FC Paços de Ferreira. He enjoyed his best season yet with Paços de Ferreira in 2021-22, scoring five goals and adding two assists in 31 appearances.
The 23-year-old also boasts significant experience for Portugal’s youth national teams, including as a member of the Portugual U-19 side that won the 2018 UEFA U-19 European Championship where he came off the bench in a victory over Italy in the final.
He also made two appearances at the 2019 U-20 World Cup and has racked up 44 total appearances ranging from the U-16 to U-21 national teams.
“Nuno is an intelligent attacking midfielder who chose to join Charlotte FC over European interest because he believes in our project and how this league develops young talent. He has already competed at a high level on some of the biggest stages in Portugal, European competitions, and youth international football,” said Sporting Director Zoran Krneta. “Nuno comes to us at a good age and will be entering his prime adding valuable attacking options to the team as we continue to strengthen our roster for 2022 and beyond.”
After spending time in the Porto and Boavista academies, Santos broke through in the professional game as an 18-year-old with Benfica B in the Portuguese second division in 2017-18. He went on to make 60 league appearances with 13 goals and six assists, eventually captaining the reserve side.
He also made 13 appearances across two different UEFA Youth League campaigns, the youth equivalent to the UEFA Champions League, where he scored eight goals with one assist.
After two-and-a-half full seasons for Benfica B, Santos was sent on loan to Moreirense FC for the second half of the 2019-20 season, making his first division debut at 20 years old and establishing himself at the level for his two subsequent full-season loans to Boavista FC and FC Paços de Ferreira.
While on loan with FC Paços de Ferreira last season, he matched up against his parent club, Portuguese giant Benfica, in the Taça de Portugal and scored the opener to take the lead in an eventual 4-1 loss.
Transaction: Charlotte FC acquire midfielder Nuno Santos from SL Benfica
Name: Nuno Santos
Weight: 160 lbs
Date of Birth: March 2, 1999
Birthplace: Porto, Portugal
Last Club: S.L. Benfica
How Acquired: Signed on a permanent transfer from Benfica