Wenderson Galeno: Porto’s Newest Brazilian Gem

Wenderson Galeno has recently become a household name following his stellar performances in the Champions League for Porto, and ironically although his name means physician or “one who heals”, Galeno has been a weapon of destruction against opposing defenses in Europe this season. The 26-year-old Brazilian winger looks primed to be yet another great asset coming from the Portuguese northern coast.


Player Profile 


Born and raised in northeastern Brazil, Galeno made the move to Porto in 2016 as an 18-year-old and initially joined their B team. He arrived in Europe as a very raw talent, physically and especially tactically, a fish out of water who gave off the impression that he was a limited attacker. This perception led to a number of loan spells, with him ultimately being sold off to league rivals Braga in 2019. This time, though, he finally had a platform that elevated his characteristics.


Galeno’s time at Braga saw him gain more maturity in executing his actions out wide exemplified in his ability in 1v1s without relying too much on his pace. His body orientation/shape when carrying angled more towards dribbling on the outside (verticality bias), hence his primary responsibility was to provide width and stretch opposition defensive lines, and this also explains why he wasn’t a prolific scorer then and now.



2022, three years after moving away from Porto, the two were reunited, a decision what was perhaps informed by the sale of Porto’s former leftwing talisman, Luis Diaz in the window prior. Fortunately for Porto though, Galeno would be returning to the club a much refined player than the raw talent he was in the three years prior. 


One of his most improved qualities was his dynamism, and unlike in the aforementioned, Galeno’s ball orientation has become more dynamic, he’s no longer just an outside winger, this version of Galeno is much more of a box threat, both in creating chances for himself and others. His body shape now at Porto when playing 1v1 out wide or when making diagonal carries into the middle final third, and this results in Galeno performing to the level he has.


Galeno applies his directness in more ‘profitable’ zones


Body shape aside, Galeno has a culmination of characteristics such as his pace, dribbling and directness. These traits add up to the make-up of a player whose ability to improve season after season has seen him emerge as a star performer in the UEFA Champions League. Galeno though is on an upward trajectory in terms of performances, his stats suggest that there’s a lot of room for improvement, particularly on-ball abilities, and perhaps the frequency of his box threat as well.


Photo: FBRef


Photo: Sofascore


Conclusively, Galeno has been an exciting phenomenon in this year’s edition of the Champions League, but the expectations shouldn’t exceed his quality, and although his performances are to high level so far, there should be an expectation for a drop off eventually hence why no team should be too trigger-happy for his signature without careful consideration of his profile, but for now, we can savour yet another European football star.


It has been nothing short of a stellar run of form for Galeno, grabbing a goal and an assist in Porto’s 2-0 win vs. Estrela da Amadora before launching a rocket from long-range and securing a last-second victory against Arsenal. He would follow that up by scoring the go-ahead goal at the hour-mark and securing Porto’s comeback 2-1 win at Santa Clara in the Taça de Portugal quarterfinal.


Galeno delivered arguably the finest performance of his Porto career at the weekend, scoring a brace and an assist as Porto demolished Benfica 5-0, handing the defending champions their first league defeat in 203 days. He’ll be looking to continue his stellar form on Friday as Porto travel to his former club Portimonense, before heading to North London for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.


By: @free__flowing

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Octavio Passos – Getty Images