Player Profile: Duda PDF Print E-mail

DudaFull name: Sergio Paulo Barbosa Valente
Position: Midfielder
Date of Birth: 27 June 1980
Birthplace: Porto, Portugal

It used to be a rarity for footballers to start their careers abroad before they got the opportunity to showcase their skills in their own country. But increasingly nowadays clubs are scouring foreign lands to tempt away talented youngsters, and such was the case of Sergio Valente, affectionately known as Duda.

After coming through the ranks but failing to break into the first team at Guimaraes, the 5’ 9’’ winger crossed the border and joined lower-league Spanish side Cadiz. Steady progress was made, and after scoring 13 goals in 28 appearances in his second campaign, top-flight outfit Malaga were impressed enough to sign him in the summer of 2001.

His first season did not go to plan and after being sparingly used Duda was released to second-tier team Levante the following year to gain match experience. After again impressing in the lower leagues, Malaga brought the player back and at last Duda took the opportunity to carve out a name for himself in one of the World’s best leagues.

Coming of age

Duda made a total of 85 appearances between 2003 and 2006, scoring 11 goals, and the player was instrumental as the modest team picked up several pieces of silverware in regional tournaments – the Trofeo Ciudad de Torcal twice and the Trofeo Costa del Sol.

As the fortunes of the club started to wane, ending in relegation in 2005/06, Sevilla swooped to contract the player, reportedly beating the team he had supported since he was a boy – FC Porto – to his signature.

Duda helped Sevilla win the European Super Cup, defeating 2006 Champions League winners Barcelona 3-0, as well as contributing towards the Andalusians’ retention of the Uefa Cup, beating fellow La Liga side Espanyol in the final. To complete a memorable season Sevilla also won the prestigious Copa del Rey.

In a squad packed with world superstars, Duda made his contribution with 16 appearances in that magical first season. On an individual level things got even better for Duda as he was called up by Luiz Filipe Scolari and given his senior Portugal debut. No mean feat for the winger considering he plays in the same position as Crisitiano Ronaldo, Simao Sabrosa, Ricardo Quaresma and Nani.

International recognition

The 2007/08 season started where the last one ended, as Sevilla thrashed Real Madrid 6-3 over two legs to win the Spanish Super Cup. In a career characterised by non-stop perseverance Duda then saw a remarkable turnaround in his international fortunes.

A move back to Malaga signalled a run of superb form by Duda, who was promptly selected by new Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz as the man to solve Portugal's problem left-back position. He proceeded to play to such a high standard that he made the position his own.

by Marco Pereira (02/02/2008)

Club Appearances* Goals
Cadiz 36 13
Malaga 93 13
Levante 19 2
Sevilla 28 0
Malaga** 35 5

* League appearances only

** Up to May 2009


Add your comment