Tiago Ilori

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Tiago Ilori
Tiago Ilori (cropped 2).jpg
Ilori playing for Portugal U19 in 2012
Personal information
Full nameTiago Abiola Delfim Almeida Ilori [1]
Date of birth (1993-02-26) 26 February 1993 (age 27) [1]
Place of birth Hampstead, England
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) [1]
Playing position(s) Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Sporting CP
Number 73
Youth career
2002–2006 Imortal
2006–2012 Sporting CP
2007–2008Estoril (loan)
Senior career*
2011–2013 Sporting CP 12 (1)
2012–2013 Sporting CP B 20 (0)
2013–2017 Liverpool 0 (0)
2014Granada (loan) 9 (0)
2014–2015Bordeaux (loan) 12 (1)
2015–2016Aston Villa (loan) 0 (0)
2017–2019 Reading 53 (1)
2019– Sporting CP 14 (0)
National team
2010–2011 Portugal U18 2 (0)
2011–2012 Portugal U19 15 (1)
2012–2013 Portugal U20 9 (0)
2013–2015 Portugal U21 10 (1)
2016 Portugal U23 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 16 September 2020

Tiago Abiola Delfim Almeida Ilori (born 26 February 1993) is a Portuguese footballer who plays as a centre-back for Sporting CP.


He started his career with Sporting, making his debut with the first team in 2011 before signing with Liverpool two years later. He spent three seasons in the English Championship with Reading after joining in January 2017, and also competed professionally in Spain and France.

Ilori earned 36 caps for Portugal at youth level, including ten with the under-21 team.

Club career


Born in Hampstead, London [2] to a British father of Nigerian descent and a Portuguese mother, Ilori spent his childhood in the town of Albufeira in the Algarve, where he started playing football with local Imortal DC. He joined Sporting CP's youth ranks in the summer of 2006 as a striker, being loaned to Lisbon neighbours G.D. Estoril Praia at the age of 14 and returning for three more years already reconverted as a stopper. [3]

On 6 November 2011, Ilori made his official debut for the Lions' first team, playing the full 90 minutes in a 3–1 Primeira Liga home win against U.D. Leiria. [4] On 14 December he played his first game in the UEFA Europa League, starting in a 0–2 group stage loss to S.S. Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico as his team had already secured the first place in their group. [5]

In only his fourth competitive appearance for Sporting, on 16 February 2013 at Gil Vicente FC, Ilori again played the entire match, and helped to a 3–2 victory by scoring the former's second goal in the sixth minute. [6]


On 2 September 2013, Ilori was signed by Liverpool for an undisclosed fee, reported to be around £7 million. [7] [8] It was also announced that The Football Association were in talks with the player for him to switch nationality and represent England internationally. [3] [9]

On 5 January 2014, Ilori was named on his new team's bench for the first time, in an FA Cup match against Oldham Athletic. Fifteen days later, he was loaned to Granada CF in La Liga until the end of the campaign. [10] On 7 February he made his debut for the Andalusians, in a 0–1 away loss to RCD Espanyol; [11] in the following round he also started, and assisted Piti for the game's only goal at home against Real Betis. [12]

Ilori was loaned again on 18 August 2014, now to FC Girondins de Bordeaux from France. [13] He scored in his third Ligue 1 appearance, helping a to a 1–1 draw at AS Saint-Étienne. [14]

Fellow Premier League club Aston Villa signed Ilori on a season-long loan deal on 1 September 2015. [15] On 7 January 2016, the move was cancelled and he returned to Liverpool, making his first competitive appearance with the first team the following day by starting the FA Cup third round match against Exeter City, which ended with a 2–2 draw at St James Park. [16]


Ilori completed a transfer to EFL Championship side Reading on 18 January 2017, for a reported £3.75 million. [17] [18] He made his debut three days later, starting in a 2–3 away loss against Derby County; [19] he totalled eight matches for the season, including the penalty shootout loss to Huddersfield Town in the play-off final on 29 May. [20]

On 5 August 2017, Ilori was sent off in the first game of the new campaign for a foul on Paweł Wszołek, from which Conor Washington scored a penalty in a 2–0 Queens Park Rangers victory. [21] He scored his first goal in English football on 15 September 2018, in a 3–2 win at Preston North End. [22]

Sporting return

On 29 January 2019, Ilori returned to Sporting for an undisclosed fee, [23] with the player signing a four-and-a-half-year contract. [24]

International career

Ilori played for Portugal at four youth levels, representing the nation at the 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the 2013 Toulon Tournament and the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. [25] He remained eligible to play for Portugal, England and Nigeria as a senior. [26]

Career statistics


Ilori in 2012 Tiago Ilori (cropped).jpg
Ilori in 2012
As of match played 16 September 2020. [27] [28]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
ClubSeasonLeagueNational CupLeague CupContinentalOtherTotal
Sporting 2011–12 Primeira Liga 1000001 [lower-alpha 1] 0-20
2012–13 11100001 [lower-alpha 1] 0-121
Liverpool 2013–14 Premier League 00000000
2014–15 0000000000
2015–16 [29] 0030000030
2016–17 00000000
Granada (loan) 2013–14 La Liga 900090
Bordeaux (loan) 2014–15 Ligue 1 1212010151
Aston Villa (loan) 2015–16 [29] Premier League00000000
Reading 2016–17 [30] Championship 5000003 [lower-alpha 2] 080
2017–18 [31] 2903020340
2018–19 [32] 1911020221
Sporting 2018–19 Primeira Liga6030001 [lower-alpha 1] 0100
2019–20 8000104 [lower-alpha 1] 000130
Career total10031206070301283
  1. 1 2 3 4 Appearances in the Europa League
  2. Appearances in the Championship play-offs



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  4. Liga round-up: Sporting close gap Archived 31 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine ; PortuGOAL, 6 November 2011
  5. Clinical Lazio through after Sporting triumph; UEFA, 14 December 2011
  6. Young Lions prevail in Barcelos Archived 8 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine ; PortuGOAL, 16 February 2013
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  14. "Saint-Etienne-Bordeaux (1–1), Bordeaux résiste à Saint-Etienne" [Saint-Etienne-Bordeaux (1–1), Bordeaux hold on at Saint-Etienne] (in French). Goal. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
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  19. "Derby County 3–2 Reading: Rams win battle of promotion hopefuls". Sky Sports. 21 January 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  20. Woodcock, Ian (29 May 2017). "Huddersfield Town 0–0 Reading". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
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  22. "Preston North End 2–3 Reading". BBC Sport. 15 September 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
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