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This is what happens when you put a Champions League player in the Championship

Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves has been tearing the Championship apart after arriving from Porto

It turns out that captaining your side in the Champions League aged 18 more than prepares you to play in English football’s second tier.

On 20 October 2015 Ruben Neves led Porto out for their Champions League win against Maccabi Tel Aviv, breaking Rafael van der Vaart’s record as the competition’s youngest captain in the process.

Less than three years later he’s turning out for Wolves in the Championship, making a mockery of the league. Just look at his latest goal.

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In fact all six of Neves’ Wolves strikes are contenders for the Championship Goal of the Season.

He’s completely refusing to score from inside the box, instead finding top corners from a minimum of 35-yards out.

Pure and utter filth.

The 21-year-old has started all but four of Wolves’ league games this season, taking a quick break to play for Portugal alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and co.

We’re racking our brains trying to think of a better player to have graced the Championship but we’re coming up blank.

So how did he end up in this league?


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It’s all down to Jorge Mendes.

The Portuguese agent to the stars (and Ronaldo’s best mate) is an advisor to Wolves’ owners.

Although he’s definitely, definitely, definitely not in charge of Wolves’ transfer policy, as that would be against FIFA laws, his influence can be clearly seen this season.

Thumbs up if you’re filthy rich

Thumbs up if you’re filthy rich

Wolves currently have eight Portuguese players in their first team squad, with Neves and Ivan Cavaleiro capped for the senior side.

They also saw off reported interest from Real Madrid to sign Spanish forward Rafa Mir from Valencia in January.

As you do.

‘Real Madrid? Nah, Wolves for me’

Getty Images - Getty
‘Real Madrid? Nah, Wolves for me’

But you won’t see Wolves fans complaining about the strings being pulled by Neves in midfield and Mendes behind the scenes.

Wolves need to beat Birmingham to secure promotion back to the Premier League after a six-year absence.

We can’t be the only people quite excited to see what Neves can do in the top flight next season.

Just make sure your top bins are secure.