Darwin: The fairytale rise of the Benfica

His first European Cup game was just over, since it was at least 126 million worth. October 2020, Darwin Nunez had just shot three goals in the Europa League against Lech Posen. And his then coach Jorge Jesus explained, “He was Benfica’s expensive purchasing, and when the pandemic is over, he will be the most expensive sale.” He also knew that his club had sold a certain Joao Felix a good year before. For 126 million euros.

The life of Darwin Gabriel Nunez Ribeiro, who only wears his first first name on the jersey, is now turning to such sums with whom you could buy whole small towns. As a child, it turned mainly that there was something on the plate in the evening.

I often went to bed with empty stomach.

Darwin about his childhood

Grew up Darwin in El Pirata, a poor settlement of Artigas, all in northern Uruguays. The Rio Cuarim, who marks the border with Brazil, often occurs over the shores, flower the streets and can take poor people what they still have. One should mean that from there, where the loss of family existence can only be a heavy rainfall, wants to go away. But Darwin does not want to go – and then back again.

When he leaves Uruguay in 2019 and moves to the Spanish second division UD Almeria, he does not do that according to his own statement because he definitely play in Europe, but because he wants to buy a house his parents. In Darwin’s childhood, the father works on the construction, the mother collects bottles. He wants to give them a better life. “I often went to bed with empty stomach,” he later tells the newspaper “El Observador”, “but my mother did that more often so that we will be full.” I do not forget. “

Only a victim of the brother keeps the career on running

So important the familial cohesion for his career is – he would almost have taken care of that she never begins. When Darwin was discovered at the age of 14 years from the former international José Perdomo, his great brother Junior is already playing in the youth department of the National Top Club Penarol Montevideo – at the other end of the country, 600 kilometers away. Darwin should follow. “You’ve taken me junior, you do not take me Darwin,” says Darwin’s mother at that time, according to “El Pais”, first to Perdomo.

After all, Darwin goes to Montevideo – and comes back after just one year. Homesick. At the second start of a year later, he then has a nickname: the with the homesick. The adventure of Penarol is only good, because his brother, who plays in the amateur team, sacrifices. Both sons at the other end of the country, that’s at least one too much. So Junior ends his football career and supports the parents so that the talenter Darwin can focus on his career.

But that’s soon before.

In one and a half years Darwin makes only a single game

With 17, Darwin’s cruciate ligament tears a volley shot. Almost nine months he fights back, then celebrates his league debut for Penarol’s first team. It should actually be the climax after a long time. But he comes too early. Darwin did not tell the doctors that he still has complaints to realize his dream of professional use.

Still on the square he realizes that something is wrong, the field he leaves after closing whistle under strong pain and with tears in his eyes. The patella tendon in the same knee makes problems – and the next operation necessary. Overall, the young striker can make this a game in almost one and a half years. Especially in the so important phase in the transition to the senior citizen area.

Sometimes I wanted to stop football.

Darwin about his long period of suffering

“Sometimes I wanted to stop football,” says Darwin in an interview with the Uruguayan newspaper “Futbol” later. Shortly before it was he. But the victim of his brother should not be for nothing.

Refrespagging it was worth it. Darwin is exploded. Five years after the career was almost over, he is a striker of international format. One, the manual new tunnel and the FC Barcelona teaches a style-defining defeat. One who actually approaches amazingly many attributes to his great Idol Edinson Cavani. And one who is supposed to stand at the half Premier League and the FC Barcelona on the note.

benfica fans having fun @ the dam square ajax -benfica (champions league)

Matchwinner: Darwin builds his winner in the eighth final return match against Ajax. AFP Via Getty Images

Just a year after his final injury comeback in the summer of 2018, Almeria brings the athletic and technically fogged striker to Europe, in turn only a season later Benfica makes him with just under 25 million euros for the record purchasing of the club. A lot of money for a player who shot 16 goals in the second Spanish league after all, but never played higher than there.

He becomes one of the great strikers of world football in the next decade.

Rui Costa at Darwin’s idea

“He will be one of the big strikers of world football in the next decade,” says Benfica-Sport Director Rui Costa at Darwin’s presentation. And only two months later, his coach expects a record decline for him. Nice great pressure for one who was still psychologically cared for in Uruguay’s U-20 national team because he did not ringing the negative comments in social networks.

In the meantime, there are hardly anything – despite the increased media interest. After a rather grown first season, Darwin, now a national player, triggers his promise now completely. In 24 league games, he has shot 24 goals, last Saturday against Belenenses marked the 3-1 victory all three goals – alone his winning goal in the Champions League eighth place against Ajax Amsterdam and also his goal in the quarter-final first leg against Liverpool (1 : 3) If a good part of the transfer fee should have rinsed back in Benficas Kassen.

Jorge Jesus is now no longer coach of Benfica. But his statement from October 2020 continues to float over Darwin. After all, a lack of contract knowledge can not be accused of the ex-coach. According to media reports, Darwin has an exit clause – in the amount of 150 million euros.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.