Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles – but how much do you know about our newest recruit?
Raul Jose Trindade Meireles was born in Porto on March 17, 1983. He shares his birthday with American actor Rob Lowe and women’s football superstar Mia Hamm.
Meireles was one of Portugal’s star performers in their four matches at the 2010 World Cup finals. He played 329 minutes in total out in South Africa and covered a distance of 41.49km, reaching a top speed of 25.99 km/h.
As well as playing in all four matches at the tournament, he started each and every one of their 12 games in qualifying and scored a crucial goal in the play-off tie with Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Meireles won his first international cap in November 2006 against Kazakhstan, while his first goal for his nation came in a Euro 2008 clash with Turkey.
He’s renowned for his love of tattoos. He had his first one done at the age of 19 and has since regularly added new ones all over his body.
Meireles already has experience of playing at Anfield – he was a 65th-minute substitute for Porto during an emphatic 4-1 win for Liverpool in the Champions League group stage clash in November 2007.
He’s also competed against Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea in the tournament – scoring a volley against the latter in 2007.
He’s no stranger to silverware having helped Porto to four consecutive league titles between 2006 and 2009, as well as three Portuguese Cups and three Super Cups.
Meireles also starred in Portugal’s success in the European U16 Championships at the turn of the century.
After moving to Porto from Boavista in 2004, he was initially deployed at left-back before commanding a more familiar central midfield role.