U-20 World Cup Preview: Portugal’s Team


Portugal head coach Hélio Sousa has a wealth of talent at his disposal. Photo: FPF

Portugal head coach Hélio Sousa has a wealth of talent at his disposal. Photo: FPF

In a little over a week, the Portuguese U-20 Team will kick off their much anticipated U-20 World Cup campaign with their first match against Senegal. The U-20’s participation in this summer’s tournament will be the third consecutive finals appearance, after a runners-up finish in 2011 and a second round exit in 2013. Expectations are high for the Portuguese, with many of the players included in the squad touted to be stars of the future. But, as has been the case with Portugal’s involvement in the U-20 World Cup, many players are not as well-known as some of their older counterparts. So let’s take a look at the team: Continue reading

Hélio Sousa Announces U-20 World Cup Squad


Rony Lopes in action last summer for the Portugal U-19s

Rony Lopes in action last summer for the Portugal U-19s. Lopes is possibly the most well-known name to be included in Sousa’s team.

Portugal U-20 head coach Hélio Sousa announced today Portugal’s 21-man squad for the U-20 World Cup, which begins later this month. The team is largely comprised of players who featured for the Portugal U-19 at last summer’s U-19 European Championship. Continue reading

Youth Round-up: U-21s Draw, U-20s Defeat Uzbekistan


With much of the media coverage pointed towards the Portuguese senior team’s match against Serbia tomorrow, Portuguese youth matches have flown largely under the radar. On Thursday, the Portugal U-21 team faced Denmark in a friendly match, and just a day later, the Portugal U-20 team faced Uzbekistan. Both teams are preparing for participation in major tournaments this summer. The U-21 team will be in the U-21 Euro for the first time since 2007, while the U-20 team will compete in their third consecutive U-20 World Cup. Both teams are oozing with talent, and while these friendly matches don’t mean anything on paper, the opportunity for team growth and improved cohesion was invaluable. Continue reading

What to Look Forward to in 2015: Portuguese Football Edition


With Fernando Santos in charge of the National Team, the future looks promising

With Fernando Santos in charge of the National Team, the future looks promising

It was an interesting year in Portuguese football, as always. For the Portuguese National Team, 2014 saw hope slashed by a disappointing World Cup run, which was followed by a fresh renewal following the appointment of Fernando Santos. Domestically, 2014 saw Benfica lift an historic treble, while a resurgent Sporting side edged out a lethargic Porto side in the league. Teams such as Estoril and Nacional also enjoyed successful seasons. The beginning of the 2014-2015 season saw the expansion of the Primeira Liga from 16 teams to 18 teams, with Boavista rejoining the top flight after a seven season absence. Outside of Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid won the Champions League, while Tiago’s resurgent form helped Atletico Madrid to their first La Liga title in almost two decades. With 2014 behind us, it’s time to look forward to 2015; a year that will be sure to excite.  Continue reading

Mario Rui Thriving in Italy


Mario Rui in action for Empoli. Photo: Getty Images

Mario Rui in action for Empoli. Photo: Getty Images

Few of the players in Portugal’s squad which finished as runners-up at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup have experienced success. Out of the squad of 21, only two have earned caps with the senior national team, and only Cedric Soares has really shown the promise of a bright future. One player, however, is beginning to show his true colors, despite not being one of the more talked about players in the 2011 team. Mario Rui has enjoyed a successful start to the season at Empoli in Italy’s Serie A, winning a starting spot at left-back. His performances have established himself as one of the most important members of the squad. Continue reading

Aladje: Portugal’s Discovered Gem Lost Again


Aladje (center) in action against Cuba at the 2013 U-20 World Cup.

Aladje (center) in action against Cuba at the 2013 U-20 World Cup.

Everybody remembers Portugal’s run in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Laden with precocious talent in the form of Bruma, Joao Mario, and Andre Gomes, Portugal’s attack was flashy and effective. Almost all the players on the team played their club football in Portugal, with the exception of two Barcelona B players, Edgar Ie and Agostinho Ca, and Aladje. At the time of the tournament, Aladje was a virtual unknown in the team. Having just finished a season in the Italian fourth division, Aladje’s performances in pre-tournament friendlies and the Toulon Tournament were enough to cement a place in the team, and ultimately the starting lineup for Portugal. His performances at the tournament continued to impress, and during the tournament, he was purchased by Serie A side Sassuolo. Since that time, Aladje has fallen by the wayside. One of Portugal’s most surprising and exciting talents has just disappeared once again. Continue reading

U-19s Qualify for Elite Round


Renato Sanches - Portugal U19

Renato Sanches is one of the stars of the team. Pictured here after scoring against Albania. Photo from FPF.PT

Following three successive wins, the Portuguese Under-19 team has qualified for the Elite Qualification round for next summer’s UEFA U-19 European Championship. Led by rising stars such as Renato Sanches, Gil Dias, and Goncalo Guedes, the team qualified with relative ease, which shows just how strong Portugal’s youth system is at the moment. Should Portugal qualify for next summer’s tournament, it will be the fourth year in a row that the team has managed an appearance in the competition. That statistic is encouraging, and with players such as Marcos Lopes, Bernardo Silva, Andre Gomes, Joao Mario, and Bruma in recent years, there is every reason that this current group of U-19s is destined for success.  Continue reading

U-21s Qualify in Rollercoaster Match


Portugal U21 - After Playoff with Netherlands for 2015 U-21 Euro qualification

Portugal 5-4 Holland

2015 U-21 Euro Qualifying Playoff Leg 2

The Portuguese Under-21 team defeated the Netherlands yesterday 5-4 in the second leg of a playoff for qualification to the 2015 UEFA U-21 European Championship. With the 2-0 victory in the first leg, Portugal qualified comfortably by a margin of 7-4. Goals yesterday came from Ricardo (2), Ruben Vezo, Ruben Neves, and Bernardo Silva, and although the scoreline appears close at 5-4, the match was much more one-sided (as was the case in the first leg). Continue reading

U-21s Roll Past the Dutch


Photo: Portuguese Football Federation

Photo: Portuguese Football Federation

Netherlands 0-2 Portugal

2015 U-21 Euro Playoff 1st leg

The Portuguese Under-21 team claimed a potentially priceless away victory over the Netherlands, defeating them 2-0 in the Netherlands. This win puts the Portuguese in the driver’s seat ahead of the return leg, which will be played on October 14th in Portugal. Goals tonight from Sergio Oliveira and Carlos Mane, one in each half, were enough for Portugal to earn the victory. Continue reading