Two weeks ago, PortugalFutbol announced Part I of the Primeira Liga’s Top 10 Under 24 from last season. In Part I, we announced who were the honorable mentions, and promised the full list to follow. These are ten of the best under-24 Portuguese players from last season playing outside of the “Big Three.” The data has been gathered and the decisions made. Here’s the list.
- Tomané – Vitória Guimarães
The striker’s solid, if unspectacular, performances this season warrant inclusion in this list. Though not prolific for Vitória, Tomané’s contributions to the team’s overall play should not go unnoticed.
- Rafa – Braga
After storming onto the scene for Braga during the 2013/2014 season, many expected this season to be the one where Rafa pushed his performances to new heights. Overall, Rafa enjoyed a successful season, leading to reported interest from Liga powerhouse FC Porto.
- Afonso Figueiredo – Boavista
Afonso Figueiredo is perhaps one of the lesser-known entities on this list. In just his first season in the Portuguese top flight, Figueiredo made Boavista’s left-back position his own, putting in some solid performances along the way. This positive play has led to reported interest from Sporting CP.
- Sérgio Oliveira – Paços Ferreira
Once Porto’s shining jewel of a prospect, Oliveira has flown under the radar over the past few seasons. After joining Paços in a pseudo-loan deal for the 2013/2014 season, Oliveira began to thrive. And this season, Oliveira blossomed into a mature player; mature enough for Porto to recall him for this upcoming season.
- Ricardo Esgaio – Academica
Though owned by Sporting CP, Ricardo Esgaio played the majority of his matches this season on loan at Academica, where he spent his time as the club’s starting right-back. A regular for the Portugal Under-21s, Esgaio’s performances this season didn’t go unnoticed, especially by Sporting, where he will play this upcoming season.
- Mika – Boavista
After winning the Golden Glove of the 2011 U-20 World Cup, Mika flew under the radar for a few years, only to reappear between the sticks this season for Boavista. This season, Mika played a huge part in Boavista’s unexpected comfortable mid-table finish, and will certainly continue to impress next season.
- Paulinho – Moreirense
A virtual unknown even still in Portuguese football, Paulinho’s performances last season for Moreirense cannot go without mention. The right-back established himself as one of the team’s most important defensive assets. Braga were said to be interested, but newly-promoted União Madeira have secured his signature.
- Tozé – Estoril
After scoring 21 goal from midfield for Porto B during the 2013/2014 season, many wondered if Tozé would be able to replicate his impressive performances in the Portuguese top flight. Though not as prolific, the midfielder nevertheless performed admirably, and is now a Vitória Guimarães player, purchased to fill the void left by André André’s departure.
- Hernâni – Vitória Guimarães
Though Hernâni is now a Porto player, and has been since January, his performances during the first half of the season warrant a place near the top of this list. The mercurial winger’s play whilst at Vitória were remarkable, remarkable enough for Porto to purchase him midway through the season.
- Danilo Pereira – Marítimo
Danilo’s solid performances during the 2013/2014 season earned him a spot in last season’s list, and his even more impressive performances this season have pushed him to the top. The midfielder was stellar last season, and he has already made a move to Liga giants FC Porto after a long and drawn-out transfer saga.