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Saturday, 15 January 2011 14:51

Osasuna’s in-form Nelson still holds Seleccao dream

Defender enjoying upturn in form

After a slow start to life with new club Osasuna, Portuguese full-back Nelson is now fully up to speed in his new surroundings, and hopes his improving performances in Pamplona can lead to him achieving some of his bigger ambitions.

The former Benfica man made the move from Real Betis to Osasuna at the end of August, joining on a season-long loan deal. After initially struggling to break into Jose Antonio Camacho’s side, Nelson has now started in his team’s last five matches, and has impressed observers despite the team’s struggle for points.

Now finally showing signs of returning to the form that he demonstrated during his time with Benfica, the 27-year-old admits that he would relish another opportunity to represent his country. A former Portugal under-21 international, Nelson has turned out for the Seleccao just once, in a friendly match with South Africa in March 2009.

“The Seleccao is not an objective - it is a dream," he said. "I hope the new coach takes a look at me after the work I have been doing in Spain. There is not much point in me saying that I am capable of representing the national team because it means little as the decision is not up to me.

“I am at Osasuna, doing my job; I like the people and the coach. So people know where I am and if they think I deserve to be watched and observed then I will be very happy, because I want to return to the Seleccao and I believe I am worthy. We’ll see what happens; maybe people will remember that I exist.”

Should Paulo Bento take a closer look at Nelson’s progress in Spain, the player’s ability to perform in both full-back positions is an aspect of his play that could tempt the Portugal boss. Nelson has been used on the left of the Osasuna defence at times this season, and feels his versatility has been useful.

“Everyone knows that I am able to play with the same efficiency on either side of the defence. The coach (at Osasuna) Camacho trusts me. He knows my versatility, he knows that I have the ability to play on either side and that is what has happened.

“Thankfully, things are going well. I feel in good shape and able to help the team. People have liked my performances, the fans are taking to me and the critics have been positive. I am glad that I am in a good moment in my career and my career goals are in tact. I want to play for a big European club and feel I have been a long way from achieving that.”

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Comments (3)
3 Sunday, 16 January 2011 03:17
I remember that goal. Absolute stunner.. havent followed him since but great player all around. No space for him on NT right now but wish him luck.
Highlight of his career
2 Saturday, 15 January 2011 22:35
1 Saturday, 15 January 2011 15:18
Hes a very good player and would be great to have on the team as he can play on both sides.

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