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Darwin Nunez Biography

This article is about Darwin Nunez biography, a professional football player from Uruguay. Nunez started playing football in Penarol’s youth academy and was promoted to the first team in 2017. He then joined the Spanish club Almeria in August 2019, setting a club record for the transfer fee.

In 2020, he was transferred to Benfica for a club-record fee of €24 million, becoming one of the most expensive signings in Portuguese football history.

In his second season with Benfica, he won the Bola de Prata award for the top scorer in the Primeira Liga with 26 goals in 28 games and was named in the Primeira Liga Team of the Year and Primeira Liga Player of the Year. Liverpool signed him in June 2022 for a transfer fee of €75 million (£64 million).

Nunez has represented Uruguay at various youth levels and made his debut for the full international team in October 2019, scoring a goal against Peru. Although he was unable to participate in the 2021 Copa America due to injury, he was selected to represent Uruguay at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Everything about Darwin Nunez

You can see Darwin Nunez stats in 2023 down below, and then we will start telling you about his career and play style.

  • Darwin Nunez Real Name: Darwin Gabriel Nunez Ribeiro
  • Darwin Nunez Age: 23 years old
  • Darwin Nunez Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Darwin Nunez Nationality: Uruguayan
  • Darwin Nunez Current Team: Liverpool, Uruguay national team
  • Darwin Nunez Position: Forward
  • Darwin Nunez 2022/2023 Season Appearances: 33
  • Darwin Nunez 2022/2023 Season Goals: 14
  • Darwin Nunez 2022/2023 Season Assists: 4

Darwin Nunez Club Career

Darwin Nunez life story includes the Uruguayan starting to play football when he was a kid, and that’s going to be our starting point in this section.

Life at La Luz and San Miguel de Artigas

Darwin Nunez biography - Life at La Luz and San Miguel de Artigas
credit: twitter

The first thing you need to know in Darwin Nunez biography is that he was born into a poor family in Artigas, Artigas Department, with his father working as a builder and his mother selling milk bottles, an interesting fact to know about Darwin Nunez’s family.

He began playing football for local clubs La Luz and San Miguel and was scouted at the age of 14 by former Uruguay international Jose Perdomo. He then moved to Montevideo to join the youth team of Penarol.

However, Nunez struggled with homesickness and returned to his hometown to be with his family. He later returned to Penarol, but at the age of 17, he suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury that required two operations and kept him out of action for over a year.

During this time, his older brother Junior quit football and left the club in order to support their family, encouraging Darwin to continue pursuing his football career by saying that he had more potential than he did.

Early Performance in Professional Football

Early Performance in Professional Football
credit: twitter

In Darwin Nunez biography, it is noted that he made his first appearance in the Primera Division on the 22nd of November 2017 for Penarol, coming on as a substitute in a 2-1 away loss against River Plate Montevideo. However, he suffered a knee injury and required surgery the following month.

Nunez scored his first professional goal on the 13th of October 2018 in a 2-0 home win over Fenix. He went on to score a hat-trick in a 4-0 victory against Boston River on the 14th of July 2019. In August 2019, he was signed by Almeria for a reported club record fee of $4.5 million plus $1.5 million in variables and made his debut in October as a substitute in a 4-2 league defeat against Sporting Gijon.

On the 27th of October 2019, Nunez made his first start for Almeria and scored his first goal for the club with a penalty in a 3-2 home win against Extremadura. In his only season with Almeria, he scored 16 goals and finished as the league’s joint-fourth top scorer, behind his compatriot Cristhian Stuani.

Joining Benfica

Joining Benfica
credit: marca.com

Nunez joined Benfica on the 4th of September 2020, signing a five-year contract for a club-record fee of €24 million. Almeria also received a 20% sell-on fee for the player, making it the Segunda Division’s largest transfer.

He made his debut for Benfica on the 15th of September 2020 in a 2-1 loss against PAOK for the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, coming on as a substitute for Pedrinho in the 65th minute.

Nunez started off his Benfica career strong, achieving five assists in his first four league games, which was the best in the league.

On the 22nd of October, he scored his first hat-trick for the club in a 4-2 away victory against Lech Poznan in a UEFA Europa League group stage match. He scored his first Primeira Liga goal in a home victory over B SAD on the 26th of October.

After recovering from a COVID-19 infection, Nunez returned to action on the 3rd of December against Lech Poznan, scoring the second goal in Benfica’s 4-0 home victory. However, he struggled with the effects of COVID-19 and various injuries and did not score for four months, an interesting fact in Darwin Nunez biography.

Despite this, he still managed to provide ten assists and score six league goals, which was the second-best in the league. His contributions helped Benfica finish third in the league and secure a spot in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

More Injuries and Success at the Same Time

Darwin Nunez biography - More Injuries and Success at the Same Time
credit: empireofthekop.com

Nunez had to undergo surgery on his right knee in May 2021, which resulted in him missing the start of the new season for Benfica. He returned to play on the 21st of August, coming on as a substitute in the 72nd minute of a 2-0 away win against Gil Vicente but also received a booking.

You should know that in Darwin Nunez biography, he was then named Player of the Month and Forward of the Month for September in the Primeira Liga after scoring two braces against Santa Clara and Boavista. He was also awarded man of the match after scoring his first two Champions League goals in a 3-0 home victory over Barcelona on the 29th of September.

On the 27th of November, he netted his first hat trick in the league during a game against B-SAD. The match was abandoned early in the second half due to B-SAD having insufficient players after COVID affected their squad, but his team was already up 7-0 at the end of the first half.

In a game against Famalicao on the 12th of December, he scored another hat trick, making him the seventh player in the league’s history to score back-to-back hat tricks. Just three days later, he scored twice in a 3-0 home win over Sporting da Covilha, leading his team to the semi-finals of the 2021-22 Taca da Liga.

However, during his absence on international duty for Uruguay, Benfica was beaten 2-1 by Sporting CP in the 2022 Taca da Liga Final, a highlighted point in Darwin Nunez biography.

Impressive Champions League Results

Impressive Champions League Results
credit: espn.com

This information adds to the impressive Darwin Nunez biography. On the 27th of February, Nunez achieved a milestone by scoring his 20th league goal for Benfica in as many matches in a 3–0 home victory against Vitoria de Guimaraes.

Later, on the 15th of March, he continued his impressive form by scoring the only goal of an away win over Ajax in the second leg of the Champions League round-of-16, securing a 3–2 aggregate win in the process. On the 9th of April, he demonstrated his talent once again, scoring his third hat-trick of the season in a 3–1 victory against B-SAD, bringing his total goal count for the season to 31 goals.

In the 2021–22 Champions League quarter-finals against Liverpool, he scored two goals: one in the first leg and the other in the second leg, becoming Benfica’s 5th top scorer in the modern Champions League with six goals, right behind Nuno Gomes and Rafa Silva.

On the 17th of April, he played an important role in defeating Sporting 2-0 in the Derby de Lisboa by scoring a goal and providing an assist. As a result, he was named the man of the match. In his final game for the club on the 7th of May, he scored a goal that was disallowed by VAR in a 1-0 loss to Porto, who clinched the league title.

He ended the season with 26 goals in 28 league games and was recognized with the Bola de Prata award as the top scorer in the Primeira Liga. He was also named in the Team of the Year and awarded Player of the Year.

Joining the Reds for a Hefty Price

Joining the Reds for a Hefty Price
credit: thisisanfield.com

In Darwin Nunez biography, we read that in June 2022, Benfica agreed to transfer Nunez to Liverpool, a Premier League club, for a fee of €75 million plus €25 million in add-ons. The deal was officially announced by the club on the following day for a total of £64 million, which could potentially increase to £85 million with add-ons at a later date.

This made Nunez Liverpool’s most expensive transfer to date. In July, during a preseason friendly match against RB Leipzig, Nunez made an impressive showing by scoring four goals in just forty minutes. He made his official debut for Liverpool on the 30th of July, during the FA Community Shield match against Manchester City at the King Power Stadium.

Nunez was responsible for winning a penalty, which was subsequently converted by Mohamed Salah. He also scored his first goal for the club with a diving header in the fourth minute of stoppage time, securing Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Manchester City.

In his debut for Liverpool against Fulham on the 6th of August, he scored his first league goal, helping secure a 2-2 draw. However, in the next game against Crystal Palace, he was sent off for violent conduct after headbutting Joachim Andersen, resulting in a 1-1 home draw. On the 12th of October, he scored his first Champions League goal for Liverpool in a 7-1 away win against Rangers.

Despite this, Nunez faced criticism in the first half of the season for missing several significant chances in matches. By the time he played his first 23 games for Liverpool, Nunez had scored ten goals, one more than both Luis Suarez and Sadio Mane in the same number of games for the club.

2023 with Liverpool

2023 with Liverpool
credit: liverpoolfc.com

Nunez scored his first goal of the year on the 18th of February, helping Liverpool secure a 2-0 win against Newcastle United at home. This victory made Liverpool the only team to defeat Newcastle twice in the season, following their previous 2-1 win at St. James’ Park in August.

In the first leg of the Champions League round-of-16 match against Real Madrid on the 21st of February, Nunez scored Liverpool’s first goal with a flick between his legs in a 5-2 home loss.

He then went on to score two goals against Manchester United on the 5th of March, contributing significantly to the team’s historic 7-0 defeat of their arch-rivals, an amazing feat in Darwin Nunez biography. Nunez’s passionate performances were commended for bringing “organized chaos” to the attack.

His International Career

No surprise he was invited to join the national team considering his fabulous skills on the field. Let’s have a quick look at his career with Uruguay.

The First Taste of the National Team

Darwin Nunez biography - The First Taste of the National Team
credit: sportingnews.com

Darwin Nunez biography says that Nunez has represented Uruguay at the youth level and was part of the under-20 team that placed third in the 2019 South American U-20 Championship. He also played in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, scoring in the team’s opening match, a 3-1 victory over Norway.

Nunez also scored the opening goal in Uruguay’s 2-0 win over New Zealand in the final group match, helping his team finish at the top of Group C. However, Uruguay was eliminated from the tournament after a 3-1 loss to Ecuador in the round of 16.

In addition, Nunez was a member of the under-22 team that finished in fourth place at the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru, scoring in the team’s opening 2-0 win against the hosts.

Carving his Way to the Senior Squad

Carving his Way to the Senior Squad
credit: liverpoolcore.com

In September 2019, Nunez received his first call-up to the Uruguay senior team for friendly matches against Costa Rica and the United States. He made his debut on the 16th of October, coming on as a substitute for Brian Lozano in the 75th minute of a friendly match against Peru, and scored five minutes later, which led to a 1–1 draw, another thing to know in Darwin Nunez biography.

In June 2021, Nunez was named in Uruguay’s 26-man squad for the 2021 Copa America in Brazil, but he was ruled out of the tournament due to a right knee injury that would sideline him for two months.

Later on, Nunez was selected for Uruguay’s squad in the 2022 FIFA World Cup held in Qatar. However, Uruguay failed to advance past the group stages, finishing below South Korea on goal difference.

The Way He Plays

Darwin Nunez biography - The Way He Plays
credit: liverpoolfc.com

Nunez’s playing style is characterized by his exceptional speed, both in terms of acceleration and sprinting, as well as his technical proficiency on the ball. He is predominantly right-footed and possesses an athletic build, and his ability to create separation through his explosive change of pace is a defining aspect of his skill set.

He is also noted for his spatial awareness and ability to make quick decisions while in motion, considering the ball, space, teammates, and opponents. Nunez is an effective striker who can disrupt defenses with his dynamic mobility, carry counter-attacks, make decisive runs into the box, and deliver powerful strikes on goal.

Nunez has a talent for exploiting open areas and creating opportunities to shoot from various positions. He is also capable of playing as a left winger and has the potential to be a skilled creator in the box. Nunez tends to rely on his intelligence when it comes to positioning and timing of runs.

This is particularly evident when he attacks the space between a fullback and center-back at the back post. He typically starts by curving his run away from the center back before moving back towards the goal. He also adjusts his footwork to find openings in the box and uses his body to evade defenders or to reach a cross before they do.

Playing in Different Positions

Playing in Different Positions
credit: codesports.com.au

Nunez’s time at Benfica, playing under Jorge Jesus and Nelson Veríssimo, saw him being deployed in different positions and systems. He was used as a striker and a left inside forward in both 4-4-2 and 3-4-3 formations.

His role in these positions varied depending on Benfica’s approach to the game, whether it was possession-based or counter-attacking.

Nunez’s game was largely built around his ability to drift into the box and create space for himself, with the support of another striker allowing him to move from his wide position to take up more central positions in the penalty area.

He has been compared to fellow Uruguayan forwards Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez due to his playing style.

Also, a quick note about his personal life in this last part, in January 2022, Nunez and his partner Lorena Manas welcomed their first child, a son. Apart from Spanish, Nunez is also proficient in speaking Portuguese.

Damian Cade
Damian Cade
He is an enthusiastic senior writer for Footbalium who leans towards writing and researching the history of football clubs and players' life stories.
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