Reading Academy graduate Danny Loader started and played almost 70 minutes in the opening match of the Primeira Liga.

The 21-year-old joined the Portugese giants in 2020 after leaving his hometown club- scoring twice in 35 appearances for the Royals.

Having to wait to make his debut for the 2004 Champions League winners, he scored 22 times in 63 matches for the 'B' side before making his first team debut in October 2021.

Still young, the forward featured in the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira, a Community Shield equivalent, before earning a start on Saturday in the opening fixture of the top-flight.

Comfortably disposing of Maritimo 5-1, Loader almost got on the scoresheet himself but saw his strike parried into the path of Mehdi Taremi, who gratefully accepted the gift and scored.

His brother, London Irish RFC star Ben Loader, has to wait a few more weeks to kick off the Guinness Premiership campaign, playing Worcester Warriors in the curtain-raiser next month.

Reading Chronicle:

Not the only former Royal to feature in top-flight football over the weekend, Emiliano Martinez; Michail Antonio and Nathan Ake all started for their teams in the Premier League while Jack Stacey and Alex McCarthy were unused substitutes.