Portugal midfielder Andre Gomes is not surprised by Renato Sanches’ rise to prominence at Euro 2016 and believes the new Bayern Munich signing will only get better.
The 18-year-old has been one of the rising stars of the tournament, and helped guide Portugal past Poland in the quarter-finals with a stunning strike to cancel out Robert Lewandowski’s effort before the Selecao won on penalties.
Sanches joined Bayern on a deal that could be worth as much as €80million and Gomes thinks it is no surprise that he has begun to shine at the highest level.
“Everybody who has known him since his time with the Benfica youth academy knew about the potential he has. This is not something new for us,” Gomes said at a news conference.
“He is a special kid, there is no doubt about that. He has our support. He has already made a lot of progress, but he will get even better. That’s what we all hope.
“The most important thing is what he can do on the pitch. I think he is more than ready for everything that awaits him. He has proven that at the Euros.”
Gomes and Sanches both started their professional career with Benfica, but the former failed to secure regular first-team action in Lisbon and eventually left the club for Valencia.
The 22-year-old feels their situations cannot be compared, though, as the circumstances at the club were different.
“His situation cannot be compared to mine. Different coaches were in charge at a different time” he added.
“We each followed our own path. Renato got his opportunities and I got mine.
“Had I been at Benfica now, the club would perhaps have treated me the same as Renato.”
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