Francisco Trincao: Wolves winger thinks he should play more despite lack of goals | Soccer News

Few players can play with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the same time. Very few manage to do so before their 23rd birthday and only two have played for Wolves.

One of them is Francisco Trincao, who spent last season alongside Messi at Barcelona and most recently with Ronaldo for the Portuguese national team. Now at Molineux on loan from Barca, he’s doing his best to take what he’s learned from the big two and implement it himself on the pitch.

“It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of quality,” he says exclusively sky sports when asked to describe the Ronaldo-Messi experience. “It’s really good to watch them play and I try to learn as much as I can. They work a lot, people don’t know how hard they work. That’s the main thing I learn from ‘them.”

As a left-footed right winger at Barcelona, ​​there was no one better for Trincao to learn from last season than Messi. The duo played 34 games together – totaling just over 900 minutes of action – in invaluable experience for the Portuguese striker – before they both left the Nou Camp last summer.

“He always gave me advice in my position,” Trincao recalled. “Waiting for the ball, pressing here and the things I have to do to pass the ball to him. The little things you learn in football.

“He knows the game better than anyone and I’m going to listen to him and try to do what I tell him.”

When asked to compare his former Barcelona team-mate to his international team-mate Ronaldo, he said: “I think the biggest thing they have in common is that they want to win, every time and in all.”

Trincao is challenged by Romain Perraud

For someone who has worked with the two greatest goalscorers of all time, it is perhaps a surprise that Trincao has failed to find the net for Wolves this season.

The 22-year-old has made 20 Premier League appearances – 14 of them – but is yet to score. This lack of fruition in front of goal resulted in Trincao’s exclusion from Bruno Lage’s starting line-up at Molineux.

Trincao’s frustrations boiled down to Wolves’ 4-0 win over Watford on Thursday night. Four goals were scored, six forwards were used – but the Portugal international remained an unused substitute.


Some analysts will look at the young striker’s goalscoring record and won’t be surprised he’s been named on the bench for four of Wolves’ last five league games – especially as other forwards such as Hee-Chan Hwang , Raul Jimenez and Daniel Podence have been in and among the goals.

But a closer look at the stats shows Trincao excelling on the wing. He sprints more per game than any of his attacking rivals at Molineux – and also creates higher xG opportunities than them. Meanwhile, only Podence carries the ball further per game than the Portuguese winger in the Wolves side.

With 10 games remaining of this Premier League season, time is running out for Trincao to make his debut Premier League campaign a memorable one. So how does he get his place?

“I work to do that,” he says. “I do my best to make the coach think that [I should play more]. It’s his decision, I have to respect it. Of course, I think I deserve more and I try to do that and show it every day.

“If you’re only looking for the end product, maybe you can say that [we haven’t seen the best of me]. But if you look at football as a whole, you can tell I’m doing great things.

“But normally people only look for the end product. But I try to improve on that because I know it will give me the tools to be better and people will look at me differently.”

Brighton's Jakub Moder and Dan Burn battling Wolves Francisco Trincão
Brighton’s Jakub Moder and Dan Burn battle against Trincao

When asked why he’s not getting the goals this season, Trincao leans towards becoming more of a team player this season – but still insists he shows the attacking quality needed to start more for the Wolves.

“Sometimes we have more pressure and I have to play as a third central midfielder,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t play so close to the goal, so I go deeper and play for the team and not the final product.

“Sometimes the game is different and I have to create more in the end product and I do that. And I do that in training. I just have to play and do that every game.”


Barcelona paid £26m to bring Trincao from Braga last season – and when he arrived at the Nou Camp he was vowed to become a leader for the Catalans within five years. Even though he is now on loan at Wolves, is that still the dream?

“Sure!” he says. “What every player dreams of is winning everything and that’s the same. I want to win everything and be the best I can be. That’s what I’m here for.”

But with a £25m option to buy clause in his loan deal from Wolves, could he see himself at Molineux again next season?

“I’m just focusing on the things I can control, which is the present and trying to do my best and that’s all I’m thinking about right now.”

First task on the immediate agenda? Getting back into the Wolves squad – starting with Sunday’s trip to Everton.

Sky Sports

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