Happy Birthday Fernando!
Our defender Fernando Varela turns 33 today, and PAOK FC would like to wish him many years of health, happiness and successes on both a personal and professional level.
Fernando Lopes Do Santos Varela was born in Cascais, Portugal, a town near Lisbon, on November 26, 1987. He began his career at Estoril, where he remained for two years, and also spent time out on loan at Rio Maior to cut his proverbial footballing teeth.
In January 2009 he agreed a deal to join Trofense. There, he had the opportunity to play in the Portuguese top flight for the first time, but the club was relegated. He stayed for one more season, playing in second tier an helping the club win promotion.
In the summer of 2011, Feirense acquired his services with the club returning to the country’s top divisions after a 22-year absence. Varela was one of the club’s top players, but the team failed to avoid relegation. It was then that he made the decision to go abroad.
On May 29, 2012, he penned a three-year contract to join Vaslui in Romania. They could only hold on to him for one season, however, as soon Steaua Bucharest came knocking at the door and signed him.
Varela lead the famous Romanian club’s backline for three seasons, wearing the captain’s armband. He won two league titles, a Romanian Cup, and a domestic League Cup before departing for Thessaloniki to join PAOK.
The Dikefalos tou Vorra’s center-back decided at a young age to represent Cape Verde at international level, and during his career with the national team, Varela made 45 appearances and scored three goals, even wearing the captain’s armband before retiring a few months ago.
The Beast, as he is known at PAOK, is in his fifth season at the club, having played 168 matches and scoring seven goals, while also contributing five assists. He has also won three Greek Cups and one league title.