Successful Short Passes
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On Monday 4th July 2022, Fulham confirmed the signing of João Palhinha from Sporting Clube de Portugal for an undisclosed fee.
The Portugal international agreed a five-year deal, with a Club option for an additional 12 months, keeping him at Craven Cottage until at least the summer of 2027.
Palhinha became an immediate favourite in SW6, excelling as Fulham finished 10th in his maiden season, with the fans duly voting him their Player of the Season.
An imposing defensive midfielder, Palhinha joined his local side Sporting a decade earlier. After a number of appearances for the club’s B team, he was given a first taste of senior football on loan with Moreirense in 2015/16, making 29 appearances as he helped preserve their top-flight status.
Palhinha was sent to a different Primeira Liga outfit the following campaign, making 13 appearances for Belenenses in the first half of 2016/17 before returning to Sporting where he was a regular in the side that finished third.
A final loan switch followed, as he spent two seasons with Braga, racking up 61 appearances and five goals as his new side finished fourth and third in the Primeira Liga, while they also won the Taça da Liga in his second season.
The ball-winner was then a mainstay in midfield upon his return to his parent club, helping them win the title for the first time since 2002 in his first season back.
He was also named in the Primeira Liga Team of the Year that campaign, and helped Sporting to the Taça da Liga title.
Palhinha made it three consecutive Taça da Ligas the following year, but Sporting could not retain their league crown, finishing second behind Porto despite winning 27 of their 34 matches.
He again sampled Champions League football in 2021/22 - having first had a taste in 2017 - helping Sporting progress to the knockout stages, and departs the Lisbon outfit with 95 appearances and seven goals to his name.
Fairly new to the international game, Palhinha was given his senior Portugal debut in a World Cup Qualifier against Azerbaijan in March 2021, but he’s been a regular in the squad ever since.
|Primeira Liga Team of the Year||2020/21|
|Player of the Season||2022/23|