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Marcos Leonardo

Marcos Leonardo
Marcos Leonardo with Santos in 2022
Personal information
Full name Marcos Leonardo Santos Almeida[1]
Date of birth (2003-05-02) 2 May 2003 (age 21)[1]
Place of birth Itapetinga, Brazil
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Position(s) Forward
Team information
Current team
Number 36
Youth career
2014–2020 Santos
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2020–2023 Santos 130 (43)
2024– Benfica 13 (7)
International career
2019 Brazil U16 5 (2)
2021– Brazil U20 13 (15)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 21:03, 29 April 2024 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 16:42, 12 June 2023 (UTC)

Marcos Leonardo Santos Almeida (born 2 May 2003), known as Marcos Leonardo (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈmaʁkuz leoˈnaʁdu]), is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Primeira Liga club Benfica.

Club career


Marcos Leonardo with Santos in 2022

Born in Itapetinga, Bahia, Marcos Leonardo moved to Taubaté, São Paulo in May 2014,[2] and joined Santos' youth setup in August, after a trial.[3] On 23 October 2019, he signed his first professional contract with the club, agreeing to a three-year deal.[4]

On 21 July 2020, Marcos Leonardo was one of the five youth graduates registered for the year's Campeonato Paulista.[5] He made his professional – and Série A – debut on 20 August, coming on as a second-half substitute for Yeferson Soteldo in a 1–0 away win against Sport Recife.[6]

On 15 September 2020, Marcos Leonardo made his Copa Libertadores debut by replacing Raniel in a 0–0 home draw against Club Olimpia.[7] He scored his first professional goal on 4 October, netting his team's third in a 3–2 away win against Goiás.[8]

On 20 October 2020, Marcos Leonardo scored the winner in a 2–1 home success over Defensa y Justicia, becoming the sixth-youngest to score in the Libertadores, and the fourth-youngest Brazilian.[9] He spent the 2021 campaign as a backup option, initially behind fellow youth graduate Kaio Jorge and subsequently behind new signing Léo Baptistão.

On 15 January 2022, Marcos Leonardo agreed to renew his contract with Santos until 2026.[10] He became an undisputed starter, and started to score regularly for the club in the following years, becoming one of the 50 top goalscorers of their history after a winning goal against Palmeiras on 8 October 2023.[11]


On 5 January 2024, Marcos Leonardo moved to Portugal, signing a five-and-a-half-year contract with Primeira Liga club Benfica,[12] for a reported transfer fee of €18 million, with Santos having the right to 10% of the profit the Lisbon-based club receive from a future transfer. His release clause was set at €150 million.[13]

On each of his first three league games for Benfica, against Rio Ave, Boavista and Estrela da Amadora, Marcos Leonardo came on as a substitute during the second half and scored, helping seal 4–1, 2–0 and 4–1 victories, respectively.[14][15][16] On 15 February 2024, he made his UEFA Europa League debut, coming off the bench to replace Arthur Cabral in the final minutes of a knockout round play-off match at home to Toulouse; he won a penalty that Ángel Di María converted, allowing Benfica to win by 2–1.[17]

International career

Marcos Leonardo represented Brazil at under-17 level, playing in the 2019 Montaigu Tournament and UEFA Development Tournament.[18] On 12 February 2021, he and Santos teammate Renyer were called up to the under-18s.[19]

Personal life

Marcos Leonardo's father, known as Marcos Coringa, was also a footballer and a forward. He would only appear in amateur tournaments in his native Bahia, however.[20]

Career statistics

As of match played 5 May 2024[21]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League State league[a] National cup[b] League cup[c] Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Santos 2020 Série A 18 4 0 0 1 0 3[d] 1 22 5
2021 16 5 7 0 6 1 11[e] 1 40 7
2022 35 13 12 4 6 2 4[f] 2 57 21
2023 31 13 11 4 4 3 3[f] 1 49 21
Total 100 35 30 8 17 6 21 5 168 54
Benfica 2023–24 Primeira Liga 14 7 2 0 1 0 4[g] 0 21 7
Career total 114 41 30 8 19 6 1 0 25 5 189 60
  1. ^ Includes Campeonato Paulista
  2. ^ Includes Copa do Brasil, Taça de Portugal
  3. ^ Includes Taça da Liga
  4. ^ Appearances in Copa Libertadores
  5. ^ Nine appearances and one goal in Copa Libertadores, two appearances in Copa Sudamericana
  6. ^ a b Appearances in Copa Sudamericana
  7. ^ Appearance in UEFA Europa League




  1. ^ a b c "FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023™ SQUAD LIST: Brazil (BRA)" (PDF). FIFA. 22 May 2023. p. 2. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  2. ^ "Promessa que marcou em jogo-treino tem mais de 100 gols no Peixe" [Prospect who scored in training match has more than 100 goals at Peixe] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Diário do Peixe. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Conheça Marcos Leonardo, Menino da Vila artilheiro do Sub-15 do Santos FC" [Know Marcos Leonardo, Menino da Vila goalscorer of the under-15s of Santos FC] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Santos FC. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Santos assina primeiro contrato profissional com promessa da base" [Santos sign first professional contract with youth prospect] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Lance!. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Santos inscreve mais cinco da base no Campeonato Paulista" [Santos register five more from the youth setup in the Campeonato Paulista] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Gazeta Esportiva. 21 July 2020. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Marinho decide mais uma vez, e Santos vence o Sport" [Marinho decides again, and Santos defeat Sport] (in Brazilian Portuguese). UOL Esporte. 20 August 2020. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Na volta da Libertadores, Santos fica no zero com Olimpia e mantém liderança" [In the return of the Libertadores, Santos draw blank with Olimpia and maintain leadership] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Globo Esporte. 15 September 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Marcos Leonardo comemora 1º gol pelo Santos: "Sempre fui um sonhador"" [Marcos Leonardo celebrates 1st goal for Santos: "I have always been a dreamer"] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Gazeta Esportiva. 4 October 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Marcos Leonardo, do Santos, é o 6º mais jovem a marcar na Libertadores" [Marcos Leonardo, from Santos, is the 6th youngest to score in the Libertadores] (in Brazilian Portuguese). UOL Esporte. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Santos FC garante renovação de Marcos Leonardo" [Santos FC assure renewal of Marcos Leonardo] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Santos FC. 15 January 2022. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Marcos Leonardo entra para o Top 50 artilheiros do Santos" [Marcos Leonardo goes in the top 50 goalscorer of Santos] (in Brazilian Portuguese). UOL Esporte. 8 October 2023. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  12. ^ "Marcos Leonardo reforça o Benfica!" [Marcos Leonardo reinforces Benfica!] (in European Portuguese). SL Benfica. 5 January 2024. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  13. ^ "Marcos Leonardo junta-se a Kokçu no clube dos 150 milhões" [Marcos Leonardo joins Kokçu in the 150 million club]. O Jogo. 5 January 2024. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  14. ^ Martins, André Cruz (14 January 2024). "Estreia de sonho de Marcos Leonardo em resultado muito enganador" [Marcos Leonardo's dream debut in a very misleading result]. Diário de Notícias (in European Portuguese). Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  15. ^ "Marcos Leonardo marca de novo, e Benfica vence Boavista no Português" [Marcos Leonardo scores again, and Benfica beats Boavista in the Portuguese league]. Globo Esporte (in Brazilian Portuguese). 19 January 2024. Retrieved 20 January 2024.
  16. ^ "Já virou hábito. Marcos Leonardo volta a entrar e a marcar pelo Benfica" [It has become an habit. Marcos Leonardo once again comes in and scores for Benfica]. Notícias ao Minuto (in Portuguese). 29 January 2024. Retrieved 30 January 2024.
  17. ^ "Marcos Leonardo: «Ter sofrido o penálti deixou-me muito feliz»" [Marcos Leonardo: «Suffering the foul made me very happy»]. MaisFutebol (in European Portuguese). 15 February 2024. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  18. ^ "Marcos Leonardo comemora retorno à Seleção Brasileira Sub-17" [Marcos Leonardo celebrates return to Brazil national under-17 team] (in Brazilian Portuguese). CBF. 10 March 2020. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  19. ^ "Seleção sub-18 é convocada com santistas Marcos Leonardo e Renyer" [Under-18 national team is called up with Santos players Marcos Leonardo and Renyer] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Istoé. 12 February 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  20. ^ "Filho de campeão do Intermunicipal faz sucesso no Santos" [Son of an Intermunicipal champion makes his mark at Santos] (in Brazilian Portuguese). FBF. 17 October 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  21. ^ Marcos Leonardo at Soccerway. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  22. ^ "Casadei claims a golden double". 11 June 2023. Retrieved 12 June 2023.

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