Nuno Espírito Santo

Espírito Santo in 2015
Personal information
Full name Nuno Herlander Simões Espírito Santo
Date of birth (1974-01-25) 25 January 1974
Place of birth São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Wolverhampton Wanderers (head coach)
Youth career
1985–1986 Santoantoniense
1986–1987 Quimigal
1987–1991 Caçadores Torreenses
1991–1992 Vitória Guimarães
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1996 Vitória Guimarães 34 (0)
1993–1994Vila Real (loan) 19 (0)
1997–2002 Deportivo La Coruña 4 (0)
1998–2000Mérida (loan) 69 (0)
2000–2001Osasuna (loan) 33 (0)
2002–2004 Porto 6 (0)
2005–2006 Dynamo Moscow 11 (0)
2007 Aves 15 (0)
2007–2010 Porto 8 (0)
Total 199 (0)
National team
1992 Portugal U18 1 (0)
1995 Portugal U21 3 (0)
1996 Portugal U23 5 (0)
2000–2001 Portugal B 3 (0)
Teams managed
2012–2014 Rio Ave
2014–2015 Valencia
2016–2017 Porto
2017– Wolverhampton Wanderers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Nuno Herlander Simões Espírito Santo (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈnunu (ɨ)ʃˈpiɾitu ˈsɐ̋tu]; born 25 January 1974), known simply as Nuno as a player, is a Portuguese former footballer who played as a goalkeeper, and is the head coach of Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers.

During his career he first made a name for himself in Spain, playing for three teams in five years. He later represented Porto in his native country, and also played professionally in Russia; he was part of the Portuguese squad at Euro 2008, but never won a cap for the national team.

Espírito Santo became a manager in 2012, leading Rio Ave to both domestic cup finals in 2014 before taking the reins at Valencia.

Playing career


Born in São Tomé, Portuguese São Tomé and Príncipe, Nuno started his football career with Vitória S.C. in Guimarães, battling from age 20 with veteran Neno for first-choice status. In January 1997 he was acquired by La Liga's Deportivo de La Coruña, but would spend three of his six seasons in Galicia on loan, backing up Jacques Songo'o (1996–98) and José Francisco Molina (2001–02) when he was part of the team.

In the 1999–2000 season, as he represented CP Mérida in the Spanish second division, Nuno won the Ricardo Zamora Trophy and helped the side finish sixth, but it would be relegated to the third level due to irregularities.[1]

FC Porto paid 3 million to bring Nuno back from Spain in July 2002, as part of Jorge Andrade's deal.[2] During a 2003 Taça de Portugal match against Varzim SC, he was allowed by manager José Mourinho to convert a penalty kick, scoring the club's last goal in a 7–0 home routing.[3] On 12 December 2004, he replaced club great Vítor Baía during extra time of the Intercontinental Cup final penalty shootout victory against Once Caldas; however, in January, he was sold to Russian Premier League's FC Dynamo Moscow.

Again in January, in 2007, Nuno returned to Portugal for a stint with C.D. Aves,[4] eventually relegated from the Primeira Liga. In July he returned to Porto, backing up Brazilian Helton during most of his spell.[5]

Nuno again played second-fiddle to Helton during the 2008–09 season appearing in only four games, but was the starter throughout the domestic cup campaign, including the final win (1–0) against F.C. Paços de Ferreira.[6]


Nuno represented Portugal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, playing four matches for the fourth-placed team.[7] Uncapped, he was called to the full squad competing in UEFA Euro 2008, replacing the injured Quim.[8]

Coaching career

On 21 June 2010, Porto announced Nuno's contract would not be renewed.[9] The 36-year-old said he would always support Porto as he left.[10] After his retirement he rejoined former Porto manager Jesualdo Ferreira, moving to Málaga CF as a goalkeeping coach; the pair signed for Panathinaikos FC in November 2010.[11]

In May 2012, Rio Ave F.C. sacked manager Carlos Brito and announced the appointment of Espírito Santo.[12] In his second season in charge, he qualified the team to both the Taça de Portugal and Taça da Liga finals,[13] also taking it to the UEFA Europa League for the first time in its history.

Espírito Santo signed a one-year contract with Valencia CF in La Liga on 4 July 2014, replacing fired Juan Antonio Pizzi.[14] On 12 January 2015, he agreed to an extension to keep him at the club until 2018,[15] and he eventually led it to the fourth place in his first year,[16] highlights including a 2–1 home win over Real Madrid and a 2–2 away draw against the same opponent,[17][18] while he was named La Liga Manager of the Month three times;[19] he resigned on 29 November 2015, following a 0–1 away defeat to Sevilla FC.[20]

On 1 June 2016, Espírito Santo signed a two-year contract with Porto, replacing former head coach José Peseiro.[21] The following 22 May, however, after a season completely devoid of silverware which included a second place in the league,[22] he was relieved of his duties.[23]

On 31 May 2017, Espírito Santo was named as the new head coach of English Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers, signing a three-year deal.[24] He was voted the competition's Manager of the Month in November as his team won all four of their games, scoring 13 times.[25]

Espírito Santo led the club to the Premier League after a six-year absence, achieving promotion with four matches remaining in the season[26] and being confirmed as champions with two games to spare.[27]

Managerial statistics

As of match played 1 September 2018[28][29]
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
Rio Ave 1 July 2012 30 June 2014 78 31 16 31 039.7
Valencia 4 July 2014 29 November 2015 62 32 16 14 051.6
Porto 1 June 2016 22 May 2017 49 27 16 6 055.1
Wolverhampton Wanderers 31 May 2017 Present 57 35 13 9 061.4
Total 246 125 61 60 050.8







Rio Ave

Wolverhampton Wanderers



  1. "El primer fichaje de la factoría Jorge Mendes" [First signing of Jorge Mendes factory]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 17 May 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  2. "Venda do passe do jogador Jorge Andrade" [Player Jorge Andrade's pass sold] (PDF) (in Portuguese). FC Porto. 22 July 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  3. "F.C. Porto: Nuno é mais que um guarda-redes" [F.C. Porto: Nuno is more than a goalkeeper]. Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). 8 October 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  4. "D. Aves: Nuno Espírito Santo reforça leque de opções de Neca" [D. Aves: Nuno Espírito Santo strengthens Neca's options] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 11 January 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  5. "Nuno promete dar luta a Helton" [Nuno promises to challenge Helton]. Record (in Portuguese). 13 July 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  6. "Helton: "Quem sou eu para dar conselhos ao Nuno?" (vídeo)" [Helton: «Who am I to give advice to Nuno?» (video)] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  7. "Atlanta1996 – Os portugueses" [Atlanta1996 – The Portuguese]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 3 September 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  8. "Nuno é o substituto de Quim" [Nuno replaces Quim]. Record (in Portuguese). 7 June 2008. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  9. "Comunicado da FC Porto – Futebol, SAD" [FC Porto announcement – Football, PLSC] (in Portuguese). FC Porto. 21 June 2010. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
  10. "Nuno Espírito Santo: 'Sou e serei Porto!'" [Nuno Espírito Santo: 'I am and will be Porto!'] (in Portuguese). FC Porto. 21 June 2010. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
  11. "O técnico que já o era antes de o ser" [The manager who was one before ever being so]. Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). 30 May 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  12. "Nuno Espírito Santo é o novo treinador" [Nuno Espírito Santo is the new manager]. A Bola (in Portuguese). 15 May 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  13. "Nuno Espírito Santo feliz com 2.ª final da época" [Nuno Espírito Santo happy with second final of season]. Record (in Portuguese). 17 April 2014. Archived from the original on 17 October 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  14. "#BenvingutNuno Nuno Espírito Santo firma su contrato como nuevo entrenador del Valencia CF" [#WelcomeNuno Nuno Espírito Santo signs contract as new Valencia CF manager] (in Spanish). Valencia CF. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  15. "Nuno: "It is an honour and a pleasure to be here"". Valencia CF. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  16. "El Valencia se impone en la batalla por la cuarta plaza" [Valencia win battle for fourth place] (in Spanish). La Liga. 25 January 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  17. "Valencia 2–1 Real Madrid". BBC Sport. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  18. "Real Madrid 2–2 Valencia". BBC Sport. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  19. 1 2 "BBVA Awards: Nuno, Liga BBVA Manager of the month for February". Liga de Fútbol Profesional. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  20. "Nuno Espírito Santo resigns as Valencia coach after Sevilla defeat". The Guardian. 29 November 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  21. "Nuno Espírito Santo is the new coach at FC Porto". FC Porto. 1 June 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  22. "Porto boss Nuno steps down". Goal. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  23. "Nuno Espírito Santo deixa o FC Porto" [Nuno Espírito Santo leaves FC Porto]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 22 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  24. "Nuno Espirito Santo: Wolves appoint former Porto boss as head coach". BBC Sport. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  25. 1 2 "Championship Manager of the Month: Nuno – Wolverhampton Wanderers". English Football League. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  26. "Wolves: Championship leaders promoted to Premier League after Fulham draw with Brentford". BBC Sport. 14 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  27. 1 2 "Champions! Wolves win the league after breezing past Bolton". Express & Star. 21 April 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  28. "Nuno Espírito Santo". Zerozero. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  29. Nuno Espírito Santo coach profile at Soccerway
  30. "The BBVA Prizes for December's best". Liga de Fútbol Profesional. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
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