It is inevitable. Emerging Portuguese talent in Liga NOS really only see one option if they want to blossom into the best player possible: leave Portugal for greener ($$) pastures. It is hard to argue with them; as England, France, Spain, Germany and Italy can offer tougher competition, European glory, extra exposure, and of course, more money. Still, knowing when to go, and where to go, become the ultimate factor in determining your success as a player. As we have seen, some players leave Portugal and become world greats, while others leave Portugal and become forgotten. Let us take a look at five recent Portuguese departures, and how the move has worked for them.
July 10, 2016 is a date scorched into the memory of anyone who has ever admired Portugal and its football. As Eder ran toward the bench with his fists clenched, the worldwide Portuguese community went into uproar. This week is the anniversary of that hallowed night in Paris. Also, this week is exactly one year out until the World Cup semi-finals in Russia. While the hearts of many Seleção fans are hoping to be gathering together in a year’s time for another penultimate match, our minds know there is still plenty of work to be done. With a massive contest against Switzerland looming, nothing is certain. Still, it is hard to picture this talented side at home next summer and not competing for the world title. With Fernando Santos to most certainly still be at the helm, let us look at how we might line up in Russia. While there are still many kinks for Santos to work out in the next 11 months, I still expect him to employ a 4-1-3-2 type of formation. Continue reading
With preseason upon us, many Portuguese teams are already in the thick of squad formation. The transfer window has been open for not even two weeks and already, big moves have been made. Sporting CP, one of Portugal’s “Big Three,” have been active already this window. With his take on the transfer window is guest contributor, Joshua Bunting (Twitter: @Distillerymad).
Jorge Jesus has been busy already this summer strengthening his Sporting Lisbon side. The former Benfica manager has brought in Portuguese defender Fábio Coentrão and Frenchman Jérémy Mathieu. Jesus is clearly focusing on defence first and foremost with the signings and what a signing Coentrão could prove to be on loan from Real Madrid. Coentrão however said in a press conference that he would never play for former club Benfica’s biggest rivals, which led to abuse on his twitter account. However, this is the time now for the left-back to get his place back in the national team and impress Zidane ahead on the 2018-19 season to provide competition for Marcelo. The only doubt with Coentrão is his injury record as he only made 106 appearances for the current Spanish champions however the more concerning stat is that he’s played just 25 times in the last two seasons.
This summer’s Confederations Cup confirmed what Portuguese football fans had hoped for some time: Portugal finally has a quality striker. In André Silva, Portugal has an intelligent, skillful player with maturity well beyond his young age. Skilled both in the air and with the ball at his feet, André Silva’s presence on the field clearly improves the Seleção’s play, and helps ease the goal-scoring burden from Cristiano Ronaldo.
After a successful debut 2016/2017 season at FC Porto, Silva made a big-money move to Italian giants AC Milan, a team in the midst of a massive squad overhaul. While it is exciting to see a young Portuguese prospect the subject of a monumental move to a major European team, the question always arises: Is it too soon? In this article, I will compare André Silva’s career trajectory to that of another young, promising Portuguese, Porto-bred striker in recent history: Hélder Postiga. Continue reading
Though the summer transfer window hasn’t officially begun, clubs are already making moves to strengthen their squads ahead of next season. Somewhat unsurprisingly, there have already been a handful of notable moves involving Portuguese players. With the transfer window open in much of Europe until September 1, and with transfer rumors numerous and growing by the day, many more moves can be expected – especially if Portugal performs at the U-21 Euros later this month.
With the Seleção’s surprise triumph this summer still fresh in the football world’s mind, Fernando Santos will soon begin preparations to move the team forward. To begin this transition, Portugal will play two games in early September. First, the team will face Gibraltar on September 1st in the first ever meetings between the two nations. Five days later, Switzerland and Portugal will kick off both teams’ 2018 World Cup qualification campaigns. Santos will likely choose a much different squad than what was selected for the European Championship. Post-tournament friendlies are typically used as a means for experimentation and as such typically involve new players, but Santos will have to balance experimentation with results. While the result of the Gibraltar match is inconsequential, Santos will surely be looking to get a win against Switzerland, who are on paper Portugal’s most difficult opponents in their qualification group. Here’s a list of who I would argue deserves to be selected by Santos. Continue reading
The editors of PortugalFutbol.net and FutebolFactory.com are proud to announce our annual list of 10 players to watch this season. After much deliberation, we whittled down the pool of talented domestic players to ten, but couldn’t help but add some honorable mentions. These are players who we believe have a realistic shot at making it to the senior Portuguese National Team by the end of the season. So, without further ado, here’s the 2016/2017 edition of “10 Players Who Can Break Out This Season.” Continue reading
In a sensational move, Bayern Munich today announced their capture Benfica’s 18 year old standout Renato Sanches, despite well documented interest abroad. Manchester United and Manchester City have made their interest in Sanches clear over the past months, but Bayern have swooped in to secure his signature for an up-front fee of €35 million, with the possibility of add-ons raising the fee further. A move for Sanches seemed on the cards, but few expected that one would be finalized before summer arrived. Continue reading
The Benfica-Porto rivalry is one that needs little introduction in the footballing world. Two of the country’s powerhouses over the past decade, Benfica and Porto have lately gone neck and neck for the Liga title. The fixture between the two is one to behold, and one that Mike Martyns can give us a glimpse into.
Today, in Benfica’s 2-1 come-from-behind win at Estoril, Pizzi scored what proved to be the winner for the Lisbon giants. This goal comes during a tumultuous season for Pizzi, in which poor form in the early stages of the season lost him his starting spot in the team to the young, promising Gonçalo Guedes. Lately, however, Pizzi has earned back his starting berth with a series of incisive displays for Benfica. His goal today leaves me wondering if he should be considered for inclusion on Portugal’s Euro 2016 squad this summer. Continue reading