Every few months, Portugal’s teenage sensation Renato Sanches faces fresh allegations regarding his age and every time, people need to be reassured that the claims are unfounded. Sanches is currently having the biggest impact of any young footballer in Euro 2016… what better time for a bitter hate campaign to drag his reputation through the mud?
As the exciting teenager prepares to face Wales in Lyon for his first ever semi-final, the accusation as to whether the most expensive teenager in Europe is really a teenager at all has surfaced once again. Fulfilling it’s life cycle online, shocking and then enraging readers.
On this occasion, it was the turn of former long-serving Auxerre coach Guy Roux, an accredited professional of the game, to allege that the 18-year-old midfielder from Lisbon is, in fact, 24.
“He says he’s 18, but I think you should look at the past,
“His date of birth was declared years after as it was never originally indicated to the registry. I can assure you that he is 23 or 24 years old.”
Supposedly, the error has been sustained because Sanches’ birth was registered five years later by his parents, who had separated by then. Obviously, this allegation is outright rejected by Sanches and his family.
Benfica representative’s have always maintained that the questions over his age are simply a smear started by Sporting Lisbon fans. Video footage released by Benfica certainly appears to disprove the accusations:
Spot the kid that’s five years older than everyone else in this clip…
Renato Sanches has been with Benfica since 2008 – if the allegations were accurate, it would mean he was pretending to be 10 when he was really 15-16. Roux seems to be assuming Sanches was born somewhere completely off the grid -he wasnt, he was born in Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city. His birth is known to the minute:
18 Aug 1997, 15:25
The teenage sensation made his Benfica debut as a substitute in October, before playing in the Champions League the following month – it’s been quite an extraordinary climb for the youngster. Sanches won his first cap for the Portugal team in March against Bulgaria before signing with Bayern at the end of the season.
This rumour has been disproven time and time again, but as a vicious rumour, it certainly fulfils its purpose. Bayern Munich are an established football club, they don’t spend upwards of £30m on a player without thoroughly researching him first.