1. FC Union Berlin have strengthened in central defence with the loan signing of 23-year-old Diogo Leite from FC Porto. The Köpenick club holds a purchase option for the defender who is 1.88m tall and already has a wealth of experience.
An early success story
Porto is home for Diogo Leite. He made his first steps in football in Matosinhos, a suburb of Porto. At Leixoes SC, Leite was there only until his eighth birthday before one of Portugal’s biggest clubs made their move. Other than a stint at Padroense at U17 level, Leite was part of the FC Porto setup all the way through. Leite went on to win the U17 European Championships with Portugal and scored in penalties against Spain in the final.
One of the biggest achievements in the academy was helping Porto win the UEFA Youth League in 2019. The Portuguese outfit defeated Chelsea 3-1 to take the prize before his progression into the first-team setup at the club. A league and cup double followed before last season’s stint on loan at SC Braga where he featured 33 times.
Three Facts about Diogo:
- His full name is Diogo Filipe Monteiro Pinto Leite.
- Diogo never missed a minute in the U21 Euros, losing to Germany in the final against two familiar faces in Paul Jaeckel & Lennart Grill.
- Diogo’s talent was acknowledged already aged 19 - in August 2019 he was awarded Defender of the Month.
Comments on the transfer
“After five years of football in Portugal, I’m excited to start a new chapter of my career. In Berlin, I see an opportunity for me to personally develop as a player who is still young. With my international experience, I’m sure I can also help Union in their first UEFA Europa League season,” said Diogo on the new challenge.
“Despite his size, Diogo has good basic speed and knows how to position himself well in defensive situations. In addition, he was able to get experience in the Europa League last season with Braga, so we get another high-quality option in central defence for the season ahead,” commented 1. FC Union Berlin’s Managing Director for Professional Football, Oliver Ruhnert.