Miguel Lopes and Hugo Ventura
Porto to Sporting Lisbon
In another slightly bizarre move, Sporting Lisbon’s Russian winger, Marat Izmailov, has moved to rivals FC Porto, in return for Hugo Ventura and Miguel Lopes. Ventura, a goalkeeper, and Lopes, a right-back, will most likely add depth to Sporting. During the 2010-2011 season, Ventura was called up to the Portuguese National Team, as the team’s third-choice goalkeeper. The main explanation given for this was that he had received regular playing time, while on loan from Porto at Portimonense. This shows that Ventura can be an able deputy for Rui Patricio, and in case Patricio decides to leave, possibly take over the number 1 spot. Miguel Lopes, on the other hand, will most likely not be spending time on the bench. A substitute right-back for Porto, Lopes gained prominence through a loan at Braga at the end of last season. His performances for Braga were enough to convince Paulo Bento to include him in the Euro 2012 squad. He has amassed four appearances for the Seleccao. Both moves are smart ones for both Sporting and Porto. For Porto, they get two fringe players off the books, while for Sporting, they get two useful squad members.