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Renato Sanches Is The Centre Of A Bizarre Controversy In Portugal Over His Age

Conor O'Leary
By Conor O'Leary
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Renato Sanches has been the story of Portugal's march to the Euro 2016 semi-finals. The 18-year-old midfielder had starred in cameos, before his first start of the tournament in the quarter-finals where he scored a great goal and looked assured.

The midfielder, compared by some to Paul Scholes and Edgar Davids, signed for Bayern Munich pre-tournament for a large sum of money (€35 million) - thanks in part to a Man United cock-up.

The youngest Portuguese player in a major tournament became the youngest to score at a major tournament for Portugal - beating Ronaldo in both categories. The nation's golden boy suddenly has competition.

But not everyone in Portugal is convinced. Specifically, those outside Benfica aren't sure Sanches is actually 18. Which makes all those times you pointed out that he's 18 to people who didn't know make a lot more sense - "Him? He's 18? He's a big 18 isn't he?" - (The censored version of that reaction.)


Sporting Lisbon president Bruno de Carvalho has even gone as far as calling on the hospital that he was born to confirm his birthday once and for all.

Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias conducted an investigation claiming that their was documentation confirming the player's birth date of August 18th 1997, but that the birth wasn't registered until August 22nd 2002 - a full five years later.

The report says that Sanches' father left his mother when the boy was five months old, emigrating to France - returning five years later to register the birth of his son.


But that's not the only controversy surrounding Sanches. His youth club are complaining to Benfica that they have failed to pay the promised bonus after his move to Benfica. Aguias da Musgueira were promised 25 balls and a €750 bonus should Sanches ever play professionally - but Benfica have so far failed to pay.


See Also: The Farcical Reason Why Man Utd Rejected The Chance To Sign Renato Sanches


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