He was just a step away from signing for Benfica, but it was confirmed this weekend that Algarve football prodigy Pedro Delgado has joined Lisbon’s other major club, Sporting CP.
The 19-year-old from Portimão spent most of his youth career in Portimonense, having played in Sporting between 2010 and 2012. He returned to his hometown club before moving to Italy’s Inter in 2013.
Now, he is back in Portugal to prove he has what it takes to succeed in one of the country’s ‘Big Three’.
“I’m very happy to return to Sporting. When I knew they were interested, I didn’t even hesitate. First of all, because I am a ‘Sportinguista’ and I hope to make other fans very happy,” he told Sporting’s official newspaper.
“Then, because these last three years were important for me to gain experience, especially in a tactical championship like the Italian.
“I learned a lot, both attacking and defending. I know that will help me prove myself in Sporting,” Delgado added.
Before his move to the ‘Lions’, Inter had said in a statement that Delgado was just a step away from signing for Benfica.
But a few days later, Benfica announced the deal was called off because Delgado made “absurd last-minute demands”.
Fast forward a few more days, and it was officially announced that Delgado is now linked to Sporting for two years, though his contract can be extended another three if both sides desire.
His rise to stardom will have to be earned, however. He is expected to be included in the club’s reserves team, Sporting B, which competes in Portugal’s second division.