Almeida playing for Kuban Krasnodar in 2015
|Full name||Hugo Miguel Pereira de Almeida|
|Date of birth||23 May 1984|
|Place of birth||Figueira da Foz, Portugal|
|Height||1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Centre forward|
|2003||→ União Leiria (loan)||13||(3)|
|2004||→ União Leiria (loan)||14||(2)|
|2005||→ Boavista (loan)||14||(3)|
|2006–2007||→ Werder Bremen (loan)||28||(5)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Hugo Miguel Pereira de Almeida (born 23 May 1984) is a Portuguese former professional footballer who played as a centre forward.
After failing to establish himself at Porto, being loaned several times during his contract, he made a name for himself in Germany with Werder Bremen where he remained for four seasons, reaching one UEFA Cup final and scoring 63 official goals. He also spent several years in Turkey with Beşiktaş, netting 47 times in 109 total games.
Almeida, whose international career with Portugal spanned a decade, succeeded in becoming a regular after the departures of Pauleta in 2006 and Liédson in 2010. He represented the nation at two World Cups and as many European Championships, earning 57 caps and scoring 19 goals.
Born in Figueira da Foz, Coimbra District, Almeida started playing football for hometown club Naval 1º de Maio, before being signed by Porto still as a junior. He made his Primeira Liga debut in a 2–0 home win over Benfica on 21 September 2003, playing three minutes;unable to settle at first, however, he had loan spells with União de Leiria (with which he had already played in the previous season, also on loan) and Boavista.
Almeida returned to Porto for 2005–06, having a relatively important role in a side that was crowned national champions. During that campaign's UEFA Champions League he scored a spectacular goal from a 35-metre free-kick against Inter Milan at the San Siro, albeit in a 1–2 loss.
Almeida served another loan stint in 2006–07, with a solid first year at the Bundesliga's Werder Bremen,where he rejoined former Porto teammate Diego. He totalled ten goals in 41 appearances (in all competitions), including one in a 1–2 home loss against Espanyol in the season's UEFA Cup semi-finals, his shot floating over the goalkeeper and into the net in an eventual 2–4 aggregate defeat; after seeing his chances at Porto definitely cut down with the arrival of strikers Edgar and Ernesto Farías in August 2007, he decided to accept Bremen's offer for a permanent switch, penning a four-year deal worth €4 million.
With the departure of Miroslav Klose, who signed for Bayern Munich,Almeida's chances of first-team action improved dramatically, and he started the 2007–08 campaign in scoring fashion, netting seven times in his first 12 league games, including two goals in a 4–1 win over defending champions VfB Stuttgart. He would finish the season with 16 goals in all competitions – 11 in the league, as his club finished second behind Bayern – only surpassed in the team by Diego's 17.
In 2008–09, another solid season, Almeida scored nine goals in the league, adding four in just five matches for the eventual DFB-Pokal winners – his first Bremen honour. His cup tally included a hat-trick against amateurs Eintracht Nordhorn, in a 9–3 away rout.In the Champions League, he netted two more, being named the "Fans' Player of the match" in the 2–2 draw away to Anorthosis Famagusta. As Werder Bremen was "demoted" to the UEFA Cup, he contributed with one goal in eight games as the team went all the way to the final but, after receiving a yellow card in the 3–2 win at Hamburger SV in the semi-finals (3–3 aggregate win), he missed the decisive match against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Alternating starts with appearances from the bench, Almeida once again scored in double digits in the 2009–10 campaign, netting seven goals in the domestic league for a total of 11, as Bremen finished third and qualified to the Champions League play-off round, with the player assisting Claudio Pizarro in the third goal of the clash against Sampdoria (3–1 home win in the first leg, eventual 3–2 aggregate win).
Almeida started 2010–11 netting six times in the first ten league games. On 28 November 2010 he took his total to nine, after scoring three in a home win against FC St. Pauli (3–0) – in the dying minutes of the fixture, he was sent off after elbowing an opponent.
On Christmas Eve 2010, after scoring 11 goals in 21 official games for Bremen during the season, Almeida joined Beşiktaş in the Süper Lig, having agreed to a three-and-a-half-year contract for €2 million.On 11 May 2011, he converted his penalty in the shootout as the Istanbul team won the Turkish Cup against İstanbul Başakşehir (4–3, 2–2 after extra time).
During his time in Istanbul, Almeida was part of a Portuguese contingent including manager Carlos Carvalhal and five teammates including fellow internationals Manuel Fernandes, Simão Sabrosa and Ricardo Quaresma.
On 7 October 2014, free agent Almeida signed for Serie A newcomers Cesena.However, he struggled at his new club, managing only seven starts and terminating his contract by mutual consent on 20 January 2015. A week later, he joined Russia's Kuban Krasnodar.
On 8 July 2015, Almeida moved to Anzhi Makhachkala who had just returned to the Russian Premier League.After just six months, both parties parted ways by mutual consent.
On 16 January 2016, Almeida returned to Germany and signed for Hannover 96 until summer 2017, reuniting with former Werder Bremen boss Thomas Schaaf in the process.He scored in his first appearance seven days later, but in a 1–2 home loss against Darmstadt 98. In February, he received a retrospective three-match ban for an elbow on FC Augsburg's Dominik Kohr, as the season ended with relegation.
On 18 July 2016, Almeida joined AEK Athens from the Superleague Greece on a two-year contract.He scored twice in the first 15 minutes of his debut, a 4–1 home win over Xanthi on 11 September.
On 26 April 2017, in the return leg of the semi-finals of the Greek Football Cup against Olympiacos, Almeida played as an emergency goalkeeper for the first time in his career, after Giannis Anestis was sent off in the closing minutes of the game. His team eventually advanced to the final on away goals, after a 2–2 aggregate draw.
On 30 August 2017, Almeida's contract was terminated by mutual consent.The following day he signed a one-year deal with Hajduk Split from the Croatian First Football League, with the option for a further season.
Almeida returned to Portugal after an absence of 12 years in July 2018, at the age of 34. Citing family reasons, he agreed to a two-year contract at Académica de Coimbra.He made his LigaPro debut on 18 August, playing 36 minutes in a 0–1 home defeat against Paços de Ferreira and eventually acting as a goalkeeper after Peterson Peçanha was sent off.
On 6 February 2020, Almeida announced his retirement. He went instantly into coaching Académica's under-23 team.
Almeida played at every level in international competitions, from the under-15 to the main Portuguese national team. He made his full debut in a friendly match against England on 18 February 2004, in a 1–1 tie,and was also part of the squad that won the 2003 Toulon Tournament, also appearing at the 2004 and 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals.
Almeida was called for Portugal's final three UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers, starting against Azerbaijan and scoring his first international goal.He also netted in the follow-up, a 1–0 win over Armenia, and these goals eventually proved vital, as the nation clinched a tournament spot.
In Carlos Queiroz's second stint as national side coach, Almeida scored in a 4–0 triumph in Malta on 6 September 2008, in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.His importance diminished in late 2009, after the naturalization of Sporting Clube de Portugal's Liédson.
Almeida was picked for the finals in South Africa. After the first match, a 0–0 against Ivory Coast, he replaced Liédson in the starting XI for the following match, with both players finding the net in the 7–0 routing of North Korea on 21 June 2010, in Cape Town.
Almeida was selected by new manager Paulo Bento for his Euro 2012 squad, initially as third-choice after Hélder Postiga and Nélson Oliveira. After the former injured himself in the first half of the quarter-finals against Czech Republic, he replaced him,going on to start in the penalty shootout loss to Spain (0–0 after 120 minutes).
After being included in the list for the 2014 World Cup,Almeida started in the first group stage match against Germany, but was injured after just 28 minutes of play in an eventual 0–4 loss. He went on to miss the second game against the United States with Postiga, who was also stretchered off after only 17 minutes, replacing him in the starting XI.
On 31 March 2015, Almeida captained Portugal for the first time in his final appearance, a 0–2 friendly loss to Cape Verde in Estoril.
|Porto B||2001–02||Portuguese Second Division||2||0||—||—||—||2||0|
|União Leiria (loan)||2002–03||Primeira Liga||13||3||2||1||—||0||0||15||4|
|União Leiria (loan)||2003–04||Primeira Liga||14||2||1||0||—||0||0||15||2|
|Boavista (loan)||2004–05||Primeira Liga||14||3||2||0||—||0||0||16||3|
|Werder Bremen (loan)||2006–07||Bundesliga||28||5||1||0||12||4||0||0||41||9|
|Kuban||2014–15||Russian Premier League||10||2||3||1||—||—||13||3|
|Anzhi Makhachkala||2015–16||Russian Premier League||12||2||2||2||—||—||14||4|
|AEK Athens||2016–17||Superleague Greece||21||4||5||0||1||0||—||27||4|
|Hajduk Split||2017–18||Prva HNL||14||3||2||0||—||—||16||3|
|1||13 October 2007||Tofik Bakhramov Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan||0–2||0–2||Euro 2008 qualifying|
|2||17 November 2007||Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa, Leiria, Portugal||1–0||1–0||Euro 2008 qualifying|
|3||6 September 2008||Ta'Qali Stadium, Ta'Qali, Malta||0–2||0–4||2010 World Cup qualification|
|4||6 June 2009||Qemal Stafa stadium, Tirana, Albania||0–1||1–2||2010 World Cup qualification|
|5||12 August 2009||Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein||0–1||0–3||Friendly|
|6||12 August 2009||Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein||0–3||0–3||Friendly|
|7||3 March 2010||Estádio Cidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|8||8 June 2010||Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa||2–0||3–0||Friendly|
|9||8 June 2010||Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa||3–0||3–0||Friendly|
|10||21 June 2010||Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa||3–0||7–0||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|11||3 September 2010||Estádio D. Afonso Henriques, Guimarães, Portugal||1–1||4–4||Euro 2012 qualifying|
|12||17 November 2010||Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal||4–0||4–0||Friendly|
|13||10 August 2011||Estádio Algarve, Faro/Loulé, Portugal||4–0||5–0||Friendly|
|14||10 August 2011||Estádio Algarve, Faro/Loulé, Portugal||5–0||5–0||Friendly|
|15||2 September 2011||GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus||0–3||0–4||Euro 2012 qualifying|
|16||14 November 2012||Stade d'Angondjé, Libreville, Gabon||1–2||2–2||Friendly|
|17||26 March 2013||Tofiq Bahramov Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan||0–2||0–2||2014 World Cup qualification|
|18||10 June 2014||MetLife Stadium, New Jersey, United States||1–0||5–1||Friendly|
|19||10 June 2014||MetLife Stadium, New Jersey, United States||3–0||5–1||Friendly|
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