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Benfica candidate Noronha blasts Vinicius Spurs move: Nothing justifies this

Benfica presidential candidate Joao Noronha Lopes has slammed the departure of Carlos Vinicius to Tottenham.

The striker has left Benfica on-loan with the option for Spurs to buy him outright.

Vinicius, 25, was joint top goalscorer in Portugal's Primeira Liga last season with 18 goals in 32 matches. The Brazilian will wear the number 45 shirt with Spurs this campaign.

The striker was a journeyman before landing at Benfica last summer, playing for Rio Ave and Real Sport Clube in Portugal, along with a stint in Italy with Napoli and in France at AS Monaco. Vinicius only made his pro debut in 2017 with Caldense in Brazil.

His departure has infuriated Noronha, who plans to challenge Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira.

Noronha released a statement in the aftermath, blasting: "In his debut year at Benfica, Vinícius was the best scorer in a championship in which he was not always a star and became a winning bet. We were even told that Vinícius was untouchable. Today, without any explanation, the same Vinícius was loaned to an English club.

"There is no sports management policy to justify this decision. Financially, his departure does not result in a clear immediate benefit for the club (3 million euros). The player is unlikely to be the regular starter, which makes it very unlikely to be sold at the end of the season.

"The decision to dismiss Vinícius was announced 24 hours after Luís Filipe Vieira promised that his absolute focus is on sports results and in the same week that the sale of Rúben Dias was announced with pomp. After all, the 'untouchables' were the first to leave.

"If in the case of Rúben Dias it is possible to mention the value of the sale, it is unclear what makes Benfica loan for 3 million euros a player for whom, according to Luís Filipe Vieira, the club has already refused, 'this year a €60 million proposal'.

"It is an amazing two in one: economic irrationality and lack of sporting ambition hand in hand.

"It's never the 30th again!"

Noronha is a former Benfica vice-president and declared his candidacy in July. He made his name in Portugal with McDonald's before branching out as a consultant and Non-Executive Director of several companies in Europe and Asia.

- updated October 5

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Paul Vegas

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