The Liga Orangina, which is Portugal’s second division, has nurtured many young talents in Portuguese Football over the past years. These talents have gone on to lead successful careers. Players such as Carlos Martins, Beto, Bruno Alves, and Raul Meireles have all, at one point in their lofty careers, plied their trade in the Liga Orangina. More recently, players such as Rafael Lopes, who represented the Portuguese team at the recent U-20 World Cup, and Joao Silva, who’s scoring exploits in the Liga Orangina earned him a move to Premier League giants Everton, have impressed.
Now, we will take a look at the new crop of players who show promise in the Liga; players who we will certainly hear much of in the coming seasons. First up is Abel Camara, of Belenenses.
Player to Watch
Liga Orangina side Belenenses has had a reputation for some time of their youth policy. Ruben Amorim, Goncalo Brandao, and Rolando all graduated from their youth academy, and the newest starlet to come through the ranks is Abel Camara.
Abel joined Belenenses at the beginning of the 2008-2009 season, and linked up with the youth team for the season. The following season, the striker was shipped away to Estrela Amadora, who was then languishing in the third division in Portugal. There, he enjoyed success, scoring six times in the season, still only aged 19. His performances caught the eye of Belenenses, who recalled him to the first team for the 2010-2011 season. He made his debut for the team on the opening day of the season against Aves, and marked it with a goal. He went on to score three more times that season, and also picked up a couple of appearances for the Portuguese Under-21 team, most notably scoring a screamer on his debut against Ireland.
Much is expected of Abel, not only for Belenenses, but also Portugal. The Portuguese National Team has lacked a true striker in recent years, and although that problem seems to be not as pressing as it once was, Abel could fit the bill. He is fast, has a tireless work rate, and has a men shot on him. He has already debuted for the country of his birth, Guiné-Bissau, but as his debut was in a friendly match, he has the capability of switching allegiances. In the meantime, the striker is appearing for Portugal’s U-21 team.