Hugo Viana was meant to be the next big thing when at the young age of 19 signed for Newcastle United for 12 million Euros. He now finds himself playing in Dubai club Al Ahli along with other ex-Portuguese and Chelsea winger Quaresma .

Viana started his professional career at Sporting Clube de Portugal where he won the Young European Footballer of the Year award, after an excellent debut season in the top division wowing everyone with his great technical ability and great ability from the dead ball. When Christiano Ronaldo came through the ranks he was even touted the next ‘Hugo Viana’ showing just how highly rated he was.

The fee paid for him was a show of the faith they had in Viana’s talents however I don’t think he was ever allowed to blossom as we would have all liked in the black and white shirt and was probably sold far too quickly. He was more than often played out of position on the left due too not being able to dislodge the likes of Kieran Dyer and Gary Speed from central midfield. He was then criticised for not being able to play out wide, meaning he was not playing well in a position he didn’t like resulting in a severe lack of confidence.

Hugo still had some good times in the black and white shirt, namely the more than memorable Champions League trip to Feyenoord where he scored the opening goal in what would be a crucial 3-2 win, securing Newcastle’s place in the second group phrase. He also scored past West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City in the league along with another Champions league goal against FK Željezničar Sarajevo.

It was disappointing to see him not get another chance after his loan move back to Portugal where upon his return he found his old form and enjoyed a successful spell, even helping the Lions to the season’s UEFA Cup final. He played 36 times scoring 6 goals during this spell leaving me speechless that Newcastle did not give the lad another go but instead loaned him to Valencia before selling him for a cut price a 1.5 million, showing the lad’s dramatic fall from his wonderkid status.

Viana however never has spoken a bad word about the Geordies and Is one of the greatest of admirers of Bobby Robson: “he always tried to help me a little bit more. He’s someone who has been very important in my career.”

This was a guy who was still young and very much a raw talent and was still picking up caps for Portugal. Viana went on to pick up 29 caps for his country scoring one goal playing with the greats such as Luis Figo.

by @media_steven

Viana is without doubt a wasted talent but what do you think, should he have had another go in the Newcastle shirt or was it the right time to move him on?


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  1. Girofio Papio-Lupa

    He was a decent technical footballer but he was too lightweight to play in the Premier League. Every now and again a player like that comes along where you can see they have ability but they are not made for the Premier League. Vurnon Anita is a good current example of this phenomenon.

  2. Luigi Fotano

    He had the skills but he was a little bit slow. He always seemed to want too much time on the ball and in the Premier League where the game is less possession based he wasn't allowed that. Sad it never worked out for him as he was a nice kid.

  3. Enrico Gabbiadini

    He was a really exciting prospect but he never really went on to the great heights he should have done. Aside from one good season at Sporting Lisbon since leaving has he really achieved much else?

  4. Samuele Di Fanti

    Agree with the above comments plus I think he would have found it tough after coming back as Bobby Robson originally loaned him out in 2004 and when he returned in 2005 Graeme Souness had arrived. Souness had added four new central midfielders Emre, Scott Parker, Amady Faye and Lee Clark to the squad. We already had Jenas, Dyer and Bowyer to add to that mix. It would have been hard for him to get a game. We were short in other areas at that time but he wouldn't have made a great difference I don't think.

  5. Enzo Sciglia

    He was a good player but his style wasn't suited to NUFC. He played 'in the pocket', the position on the left side of midfield in a 4-3-3 system where the midfielder picks the ball up and plays it and recycles the ball (think the role Anita or Marveaux play in the current system). At the time under Bobby Robson we played a rigid 4-4-2 with two central midfielders and Viana was not somebody who could easily fit into this system.

    In short he was a square peg in a round hole.

  6. leather

    He was not suited to English football, and should never have been purchased. He was a continental midfielder of the Veron type. Great passing and technical ability but not suitable for our game. He was slow, could not tackle or head the ball and had poor positional sense. A nice quiet lad and he was the same on the pitch.


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