Machado and Silvio Earn Portugal Call


Paulo Bento named a 23 man squad today for the team’s upcoming game against Gabon, on November 14th. Two surprise inclusions were Paulo Machado, who has been impressive for Olympiakos both in the Greek Superleague and the Champions League, and Silvio, who has found playing time hard to come by at Atletico Madrid. Bento has overlooked Eliseu for the second time in a row, which has baffled many supporters of the team, as the winger is in arguably the form of his life at Malaga. Another surprise exclusion is that of Manuel Fernandes, who has established himself as one of the finest midfielders in Turkey. Nani was originally called, but has been replaced by Helder Barbosa, due to an injury. Here’s the full squad:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting), Eduardo (Isanbul BB), Beto (Braga)

Defenders: Bruno Alves (Zenit), Pepe (Real Madrid), Neto (Siena), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Silvio (Atletico Madrid), Joao Pereira (Valencia), Nelson (Real Betis)

Midfielders: Custodio (Braga), Joao Moutinho (Porto), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Paulo Machado (Olympiakos), Ruben Micael (Braga), Ruben Amorim (Braga)

Forwards: Nani (Manchester United), Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Braga), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Helder Postiga (Zaragoza), Pizzi (Deportivo), Varela (Porto)

Danny Dropped, Varela his Replacement


Danny has dropped out of the Portuguese squad for their upcoming crunch games against Iceland and Denmark, attributing his absence to personal reasons. Following the Ricardo Carvalho debacle, many are speculating whether Danny indeed left for personal reasons, or if it is an elaborate story to cover up some more disputes. The vice-president of the Portuguese Football Federation, Amandio de Carvalho, denied any controversy whatsoever, stating that the winger simply left for personal reasons. Regardless, Silvestre Varela has been called up as his replacement. This decision has baffled many, who feel that Varela’s poor form this season does not merit an international call-up, and players such as Helder Barbosa and Vieirinha deserve one more. Frankly, I agree with them, but I also see Bento’s reasoning. Varela has been with the squad for some time now, already having played three times for the Seleccao, as compared to Barbosa and Vieirinha, who have yet to debut. Bento is searching for consistency and team chemistry for the two upcoming games, which are crucial.

Portuguese in Europa League


There were many Portuguese players involved last week in the opening Group stage games of this season’s Europa League. Hugo Almeida, Manuel Fernandes, Helder Barbosa, and Vieirinha were the ones who caught the headlines, so here is the entire coverage of every Portuguese player in the Europa League.

Group A

PAOK’s 0-0 home draw against Tottenham Hotspur put the two teams tied for second place. Vieirinha played a full 90 minutes and was one of the game’s brightest players, according to Goal.com. The winger has been in fine form for the Greek team over the past couple of years, and many have called for a Senior Team debut. It hasn’t happened yet, but it surely will in the future.

Group B

Many were surprised when Hannover 96 drew Standard Liege at home 0-0. With the German team one of the favorites to win the group, the 0-0 draw came as quite a surprise. Sergio Pinto started and played for 75 minutes, while Carlitos is still out injured.

Group C

Rapid Bucharesti took away a narrow win from Israel after they defeated Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-0 to secure top spot in the group. Rui Duarte played the entire match, and Filipe Teixeira came on in the dying minutes.

Group D

Hugo Luz was nowhere to be seen for Valusi in their 2-2 draw with Italian giants Lazio.

There were, however, five Portuguese players involved in the Sporting Lisbon-Zurich encounter. Sporting ended the game winners after scoring two unanswered goals in the first half. Jorge Teixeira played the full 90 minutes for Zurich. For Sporting, Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, and (surprisingly) Bruno Pereirinha played the entire game. Andre Santos was substituted in on the hour mark.

Group E

The Portuguese contingent was strong for Besiktas as they recorded a thumping 5-1 victory over Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv. Hugo Almeida, Manuel Fernandes, Simao, and Quaresma all started for the Turkish team. Hugo Almeida picked up a brace, Quaresma an assist, and Manuel Fernandes two assists. Bebe looks set to miss at least the first half of the season with an injury, and Julio Alves was nowhere to be seen.

Group G

Yago Fernandez was an unused substitute in Malmo’s 4-1 away loss to AZ.

Group H

Four Portuguese players were involved in Braga’s 3-1 win over Championship side Birmingham. Quim, Hugo Viana, Nuno Gomes, and Helder Barbosa all started for the Portuguese team. Quim and Hugo Viana played the entire game with Nuno Gomes and Helder Barbosa being substituted out in the 73rd and 89th minute, respectively. Helder Barbosa continued his fine form with a brace, and was certainly Braga’s finest players on the night.

Group I

Tiago played the last six minutes for Atletico Madrid as they defeated Celtic 2-0. Pizzi was an unused substitute, while Silvio was nowhere to be seen.

Group J

Geraldo Alves, brother of Julio and Bruno Alves, played a full 90 minutes for Steaua Bucharesti as they drew Schalke 0-0.

Group K

Orlando Sa was an unused substitute for Fulham in their 1-1 draw with Dutch giants Twente. Orlando Sa has also been handed the heralded “number 9” jersey at Fulham.

Group L

Following their 3-2 win over Zenit, Lokomotiv Moscow defeated Sturm Graz 2-1 away from home. Manuel da Costa was nowhere to be seen for the Russian side.

Transfer News – 5/27/10


The news just keeps pouring in, so here’s the latest.

1. Helder Barbosa: Porto to Nacional – The Portuguese winger has been owned by Porto ever since he started to play football professionally, but like other players (such as Andre Castro, Ukra, and Candeias) has showcased his skills at other teams. I have no idea how much the transfer was worth, but I am going to venture a guess and say that Nacional didn’t go cheap.

2. Marsielle strongly linked with Raul Meireles – The Portuguese midfielder has been linked with Sevilla and Fiorentina in recent days, but Marsielle has started to show more interest. Meireles, however, will move for no less than 8 million pounds, according to FC Porto.

3. Aston Villa Chasing Valencia’s Miguel – Valencia right-back Miguel has enjoyed a decent season for the Los Che, which is why Aston Villa are looking to bolster their squad with him.

4. Malaga Eyeing Quim – The Portuguese international goalkeeper is currently being courted strongly by Spanish side Malaga CF. Quim has played an integral part in Benfica’s recent Portuguese Championship campaign, so it comes as no surprise that other clubs will be following him.