He has drawn comparisons to Pirlo and Busquets by teammate Christian Tello. In Portugal he is referred to as a "predestinado" (or “born footballer”), an allusion to the fact that this youngster is blessed with innate and superior footballing skills and intelligence.
His flawless positional sense, excelent vision and speed of thought are matched with an above-average technique, especially his passing. Not only is he very accurate and possesses extensive passing range but he passes quickly as well, a trait that makes him even more valuable and a rarity in football nowadays.
His ability to read the game and tactical awareness means that he is always involved and has plenty of time on the ball.
Neves usually sits in a deep lying playmaker role and is tasked with dictating the pace of play. Assured under pressure, he has the necessary maturity and composure to consistently make good decisions. He reads play well and positions himself adeptly to intercept or otherwise break up opposition attacks, doing it in a brave way.
On top of all this, Neves is a natural leader and a vocal presence on the field.
Having bypassed both the U19s and the B team, after a season in the U17s he was called up to the first team squad by Julen Lopetegui, ahead of the start of last season. He was named in the starting eleven for Porto’s opening match vs Marítimo. Not only did he score the opening goal (becoming Porto’s youngest goalscorer ever), he also grabbed the man-of-the-match award.
Although not a regular starter in the campaign, in total the midfielder made an impressive 37 appearances, consistently upping his game.
To add to his impressive record, Neves beat Cristiano Ronaldo to become the youngest Portuguese player to play in the Champions League, aged 17 years, 5 months and eight days. And on the 20th October 2015 (FC Porto 2 – 0 Maccabi tel Aviv) he became the competition’s youngest ever captain.
Sky is the limit for this young man, who at the age of 18 already has the world at his feet.