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Player Profile: Luis Boa Morte

Luis Boa MorteFull name: Luis Boa Morte Pereira
Position: Forward
Date of Birth: 4 August 1977
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal

A product of Sporting’s highly successful youth academy, it is in England that Luis Boa Morte has played almost his entire professional career and established himself as a quality performer.

The Lisbon-born wide man progressed through the ranks at Sporting, but having struggled to make a breakthrough into the first team under manager Augusto Inacio, Boa Morte accepted an offer from Arsene Wenger to move to English giants Arsenal in 1997, shortly before his 20th birthday.

Arsenal won the double the following season, but Boa Morte saw little action for the Gunners during his two seasons at the club, and moved on to Southampton in 1999, before dropping a division to join ambitious Fulham on loan in the summer of 2000.

Flourishing Fulham years

It was at Craven Cottage that Boa Morte began to flourish. An impressive haul of 18 goals in 39 appearances helped fire the side to automatic promotion as First Division champions, with fans at the west London club wowed by the winger’s pace and trickery on the left wing.

After signing permanently with Fulham, Boa Morte went on to spend six-and-a-half years at the club, improving hugely as the Cottagers found their feet in the Premiership, and becoming a household name amongst English football fans.

As well as his speed, silky skills and accurate crossing, Boa Morte has also earned a reputation in England as a fiery character, often racking up a considerable number of cards each season, and his desire to win has made him popular among supporters.

Boa Morte’s role in helping establish Fulham as a consistent Premiership side led to strong interest from some of the country’s bigger clubs, with Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur both lodging bids to sign the winger.

Captain’s role

In order to keep their prized asset, Fulham made Boa Morte club captain in 2005. However, things did not go to plan over the following 18 months as he struggled to recapture his best form. Some suggested that the extra responsibility of being the side’s skipper had a negative effect on his form, with Boa Morte’s eagerness to inspire his team-mates often leading to erratic showings.

In January 2007 Fulham accepted a substantial offer from London rivals West Ham for Boa Morte, who quickly agreed to a move across town to begin a new chapter in his career.

International Career

Boa Morte made his international debut for Portugal in 2001, shortly after helping Fulham to promotion to the Premiership, and has been on the fringes of several squads ever since.

Despite an impressive season at club level, Boa Morte was disappointed to be left out of his country’s squad for the 2004 European Championships on home soil. However, the winger was part of Portugal’s 2006 World Cup campaign in Germany, playing in the 2-1 victory over Mexico in the group stage.

by Sean Gillen (28/05/2007)

West Ham United**581

* League appearances only

** Up to 31 March 2009

Comments (1)
Luis Boa Morte
1 Sunday, 15 December 2013 19:39
Gerry Kachmarski
First, let us pay our respects to a player who managed to survive in English first division football for as long as he did. Second, let us acknowledge that Boa Morte never had the skills required to play at the international level for Portugal or to flourish in the Premiership for one of the contending sides.

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