Benfica officially announced the signing of Portuguese-Canadian defender Steven Vitória to a four-year deal on Sunday. The 26-year-old Vitória spent the last three seasons with Estoril. He comes to Benfica on a free transfer.

Standing at 1,95m, Vitória is known for his size, strength in marking, and ability to score goals, particularly on penalties. He scored 11 goals in 27 matches for Estoril this year, 8 were from the spot.

Vitória is also known for taking excellent free-kicks, which is extremely rare for a defender. He scored a terrific goal against FC Porto in a Taca da Liga match in December 2012.

The Toronto-born Vitória began playing football with the Woodbridge Strikers. In 2005, he moved to FC Porto’s youth academy. In 2007, he represented Portugal at the U-20 World Cup held in Canada.

Vitória would soon find it hard to graduate to FC Porto’s senior club and was loaned to Tourizense, Olhanense and Covilhã. In 2010 he signed with Lisbon suburban club Estoril, which was at the time languishing in the second division of Portuguese football.

In 2012, Estoril were promoted to the top division and many clubs took notice of Vitória. He was a major part in the club finishing an impressive fifth in their first season back in the first division.

Vitória told Benfica TV on Sunday that he remembers listening to broadcasts of Benfica matches on his father’s radio in Toronto while growing up.

“Joining Benfica is a dream come true. I have reached the biggest club in Portuguese football and I want to win it all,” he said. “This is the first day in the rest of my life. I come to help the club win.”

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