Wolves Midfielder Ruben Neves Reveals the Differences Between English & Portuguese Football
Ruben Neves has revealed the main differences between English and Portuguese football after his surprise £15.8m move from Porto to Wolverhampton Wanderers this summer.
The highly-rated 20-year-old took many aback by opting to join England's second tier, although the influence of agent Jorge Mendes at the club appeared to have played a big part.
And now he has spoken of the new challenges that have presented themselves following his move to a very different division.
“It’s a more aggressive, more physical type of football, and the big difference that I’ve noticed so far is the competitive rhythm of the game,” he told the Guardian.
“The first two games here were physical and fast for the whole 90 minutes. You’re running as much as you can for the whole game. That’s a huge difference with Portugal because, unfortunately, there’s a lot of time-wasting there.”
Neves added that, although he prefers "mild temperatures", he has adapted well to living in a new location.
“I like the city," he said. “I like the environment. It’s a calm atmosphere. I expected it to be more difficult."
Back to the football, he said: “It’s quick here but wherever you play in the world, when you play at the top level, you have to make decisions quickly. So I already felt this a bit at Porto. Even if the opponents are a bit more aggressive, the aim is the same, which is to get the better of them so you can send the ball wherever it needs to go.”
Neves has also been impressed by the Wolves supporters, their dedication and decibel levels. “I’ve been surprised in a very positive way," he added. "I knew the crowds here were really good from watching on television but to be in the middle of the stadium, it’s something really impressive.
"To feel the fans are with you is so important and it’s something we have home and away. Even when we go somewhere that’s three hours away, our part of the stand is always full and that always helps us. I hope this continues and that we carry on working as a team, all together.”