It was a big week for the National team heading into games 3 & 4 of Fernando Santos’ tenure. The good news now is in competitive matches he sports a 2-0 record, and overall has a record of 3 wins from 4 matches. I for one was not a fan of the hiring because with his pending suspension it puts the team in a precarious situation, but not one to cry over spilled milk, I also like to give folks a chance before I criticize them. Continue reading
Portugal 1-0 Argentina
A last-minute goal from 20 year-old left back Raphael Guerreiro was enough to give Portugal a narrow 1-0 win over Argentina in a match played at Manchester United’s home ground, Old Trafford. The build-up to the match was predictably centered around the Messi vs Ronaldo rivalry, but neither player influenced the game too heavily, and both exited play at half time. Overall, many would probably agree that the final scoreline did not reflect the way the game unfolded, but Fernando Santos and co. surely won’t complain. Continue reading
Having narrowly edged Armenia on Friday, the Portuguese national team faces much stiffer competition at Manchester United’s home ground Old Trafford as the Seleccao are pitted up against World Cup finalists Argentina in an international friendly. Cristiano Ronaldo once again saved Portuguese blushes against Armenia and the spotlight will be on the Portuguese superstar as he competes with rival Lionel Messi to steal the show at a place he once called his professional home. Continue reading
Fernando Santos named a squad of 24 today for Portugal’s upcoming games against Armenia and Argentina, giving calls to a number of either new or returning players to the team. The most notable of these was Bosingwa, who was famously exiled under Paulo Bento beginning in 2011. Initially an automatic starter under Carlos Queiroz, Bosingwa’s decline under Bento was swift. Now 32, Bosingwa is still a starter at Trabzonspor in the Turkish league, which is enough for Fernando Santos. Continue reading
Soon after the Portugal-Bosnia encounter today, Paulo Bento made clear his reasons for not choosing Bosingwa in the recent squads. Back in February, when Argentina and Portugal squared off in a friendly, Bosingwa allegedly faked an injury. The coach went on and stated that he thought that Bosingwa played well for the team in their 4-0 drubbing of Spain, just three months earlier. When Bento was asked as to whether Bosingwa and/or Ricardo Carvalho could possibly make the team for Euro 2012, the coach responded humorously: “Just as spectators.” Paulo Bento has made his stance clear. The boss has spoken.
The Portuguese Under-20 team booked a place in the semi-finals of the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup after a victorious penalty shoot-out with Argentina. The last time that Portugal advanced this far in a U-20 World Cup was back in 1995, when they achieved 3rd place in the competition. Portugal now have a realistic chance of equaling just that. Throughout this whole tournament, various player for Portugal have shown flashes of promise. These players will have to play very consistently well to overcome their semi-final opponent, France.
The game against Argentina was, for the most part, a largely boring affair. Neither team attacked with the ferocity that they are capable of. Argentina had scored six before this game and only conceded once. Portugal on the other hand, had only scored three and not conceded at all. In fact, Portugal are the only team in the competition that has yet to concede a goal, which is a testament to their defense. Both sides came close, with Argentina’s attacking movement mainly through Porto’s new signing, Iturbe. Portugal’s best chances fell to Caetano and Nelson Oliveira. Rafael Lopes also tested the opposition keeper on one occasion. After the score was still level after extra time, the game went into penalties. Argentina were up 3-1 on penalties, and the game looked finished. Mika then proceeded to save two penalties in a row, from Pirez and Ruiz. That, combined with Nelson Oliveira and Rafael Lopes scoring their penalties, sent the game into sudden death. Tiago Ferreira scored for Portugal, and Vuletic did likewise for Argentina. Sergio Oliveira then scored for Portugal. Then, Tagliafico stepped up for Argentina, and his shot was saved by Mika to send Portugal into the semi-finals.
Mika, Cedric, Luis Martins(Tiago Ferreira), Nuno Reis, Roderick, Sergio Oliveira, Pele, Danilo Pereira, Julio Alves(Sana), Caetano(Rafael Lopes), Nelson Oliveira
Portuguese National Team coach Paulo Bento has released a list of 20 players to represent the Seleccao in their upcoming match against Argentina tomorrow. This game will be the mouthwatering showdown of two of the greatest living footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. This much-anticipated game will be held in Switzerland. Some surprise inclusions into the squad were Ricardo Quaresma, who has been enjoying a superb season in Turkey for Besiktas, and Hugo Ventura, who has been Portimonense’s first-choice goalkeeper for this season. Bento’s selection of Ventura has raised some eyebrows, but Bento stated that he was only choosing players who were playing reguarly, which Ventura has. Ricardo Carvalho was originally included, but has been replaced due to an injury. Ricardo Costa has been named as his replacement. Here is the full squad:
Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Genoa), Rui Patricio (Sporting), Hugo Ventura (Portimonense)
Defenders: Bruno Alves (Zenit St Petersburg), Bosingwa (Chelsea), Joao Pereira (Sporting Lisbon), Fabio Coentrao (Benfica), Rolando (Porto), Ricardo Costa (Valencia)
Midfielders: Carlos Martins (Benfica), Joao Moutinho (Porto), Raul Meireles (Liverpool), Paulo Machado (Toulouse), Miguel Veloso (Genoa)
Forwards: Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Danny (Zenit St Petersburg), Helder Postiga (Sporting), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Nani (Manchester United), Quaresma (Besiktas)
According to the newspaper Ole, Portugal could square off with Argentina on February 9th of next year. Argentina were to play England on that date, but due to some complicated complications, Argentina is exploring other options, such as Nigeria or Portugal. If Portugal end up playing Argentina, it will be the third world-class team the Seleccao would play in the span of just over a month (the others being Chile and France).
Former Argentina coach Diego Maradona is now apparently interested in coaching the Portuguese National Team. Maradona is excited at the prospect of coaching Ronaldo and company. Alejandro Mancuso, one of Maradona’s former assistants, says “It’s true. Diego and I already talked about it, is a project that would please us greatly. He has the will and the total availability, but so far he has not been contacted.” Hmmmm….. I wonder why. Probably because he is a horrible coach. I doubt this move will amount to anything.