Trincao familiar to Wolves' Portuguese pals

For many of his new Wolves team-mates, Francisco Trincao needs no introduction.

Portugal's Francisco Trincao celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game from a penaltyduring the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship group D match at the Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Picture date: Sunday March 28, 2021..
Portugal's Francisco Trincao celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game from a penaltyduring the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship group D match at the Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Picture date: Sunday March 28, 2021..

The 21-year-old winger is already familiar to the likes of Rui Patricio, Nelson Semedo, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho, having played alongside them for Portugal.

His relationship with Pedro Neto, meanwhile, stretches back much further. The pair were both born in the town of Viana do Castelo, 30 miles north of Porto and first played together as schoolboys for SC Vianese.

Trincao’s development also took in a year in Porto’s academy before he was eventually reunited with Neto at Braga. There he rose through the ranks, starring for the club’s youth team and then making his senior debut in December, 2018.

His links to Wolves is not only confined to team-mates. In September, 2019, Trincao got his first taste of European football at Molineux, coming on a second-half substitute as Braga claimed a 1-0 win over Nuno Espirito Santo’s team in the opening match of the Europa League group stage.

It was then Trincao’s first senior goal, against Slovan Bratislava, which ensured Braga topped the group at Wolves’ expense.

Having played as a substitute for much of the first half of that season, his breakthrough came following the arrival of Ruben Amorim as manager.

His first domestic league goal came in a 7-1 demolition of Belenenses SAD, before a run of six goals and four assists in eight games moved Braga up the Liga NOS table and closed the gap with Benfica and Porto in the top three places.

Trincao also came off the bench as Braga beat Porto in the final of the Portuguese League Cup. By then, a summer move to Barcelona – for a fee of around £27million – had been agreed.

His debut for the Spanish giants came in September last year when he appeared off the bench in a 4-0 win over Villarreal, before his first start came a month later in a 5-1 home rout of Ferencvaros in the Champions League.

Though primarily used as a back-up to Antoine Greizmann, Trincao still managed to make 40 appearances over the course of the season.

In his first league start he netted a brace in a 5-1 win over Alaves, a week after scoring his first Barca goal to clinch a narrow victory against Real Betis.

He also featured heavily in Barcelona’s successful run to win the Copa Del Rey.

Trincao’s move to Spain also coincided with his first call-up to the senior Portugal team.

Long considered as a player of considerable talent, he had been top scorer when Portugal’s under-19s won the 2018 European Championship, including the goal which took the final with Italy to extra-time.

He joined Patricio, Neves and Moutinho in being named in the squad for last September’s Nations League matches against Croatia and Sweden, making his debut off the bench against the former.

Trincao was expected to be a key player for Portugal’s under-21s in this summer’s European Championships but was forced to withdraw from the squad after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19.

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