Rui Patricio has surprised the footballing world today by joining the recently promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers on a free transfer from Portuguese giants Sporting, the club confirmed on their official website.
Patricio has been capped 70 times by Portugal and is currently in Russia for the World Cup this summer. He was part of the team that won the European Championship in France two years ago and has been a regular for his country since 2011.
The 30-year-old is one of seven Sporting players – including fellow countrymen William Carvalho, Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes – to cancel his contract over safety concerns, following a training ground invasion from aggressive fans, after the club missed out on Champions League qualification.
And he becomes the club’s fifth signing of the summer after Diogo Jota, Willy Boly, Benik Afobe and Raul Jiminez, and will likely slot straight into the first team as the regular shot-stopper for the foreseeable future.
Wolves fans are understandably jubilant with the news, with many taking to Twitter to express their excitement.
Here’s the reaction:
What a signing ?
— José (@MourinhoMindset) June 18, 2018
What a statement signing….patricio will have bought into the ambitions of the club….make no mistake, any players that leave our club, will be replaced with a far better alternative ….trust in nuno #wwfc
— Phil Owen (@flowin74) June 18, 2018
Rui Patricio, Portugals number one goalkeeper, Euro 2016 Winner and Ballon d’Or nominee is going to be living in Wolverhampton. Let that sink in ??? #wwfc
— Kateeee (@kate_1702_) June 18, 2018
The first of many top signings I think what a time to be a Wolves fan! #WWFC
— Matt Elcock (@Matty_elcock) June 18, 2018
— Ally Corfield (@cork1973) June 18, 2018
We’ll sign who we like, we’ll sign who we like! We’re Wolverhampton we’ll sign who we like!! Welcome to the pack Rui! #wwfc
— Julie Renshaw (@falmouth_wolf) June 18, 2018
Waking up when John Ruddy is your keeper, going to bed when Rui Patricio is. Wolves that. #wwfc
— Ben Husband (@BenHusband) June 18, 2018
The veteran keeper – represented by Jorge Mendes – has played 56 times for Sporting last season, and conceded just 48 goals in what was another impressive season. In total, Patricio has amassed 460 appearances in all competitions, including 26 appearances in the Champions League.
Patricio made his debut for the national team back in 2010, aged just 22. And to this day he remains the number one choice, having played in his countries thrilling 3-3 draw against Spain at the weekend.
He now joins 31-year-old John Ruddy and 24-year-old Will Norris at the Molineux Stadium. Last season’s third-choice option Harry Burgoyne joined League One side Plymouth Argyle on loan for next season.