Opinion: 10 Players Who Could Break Out This Season


We could see big things from Carlos Mane this season.

We could see big things from Carlos Mane this season.

Portugal’s performance at the FIFA U20 World Cup and UEFA U21 European Championships strengthened the perception that Portuguese football is on the ascendency once again.

Andre Gomes, William Carvalho and Bernardo Silva are just some of the players that have established themselves over the past few seasons. The editors of FutebolFactory.com and PortugalFutbol.net have compiled a list of ten players who they think could make a big breakthrough this season. Continue reading

Five-Star Portugal Coast Past Germany


Portugal's Ivan Cavaleiro celebrating his goal. Photo: Lusa

Portugal’s Ivan Cavaleiro celebrating his goal. Photo: Lusa

Portugal 5-0 Germany

2015 UEFA U-21 European Championship Semi-Final

A comprehensive performance from the Portuguese under-21 team pushed them past Germany in the semi-final of the 2015 U-21 European Championship to book a place in the tournament’s final. Goals from Bernardo Silva, Ricardo Pereira, Ivan Cavaleiro, João Mario, and Ricardo Horta gave Portugal an emphatic and entirely unpredicted 5-0 win over the Germans. The Portuguese will now face Sweden in the final, to be played on Tuesday.  Continue reading

João Cancelo’s Valencia Loan Made Permanent


Photo: Valencia CF

Photo: Valencia CF

João Cancelo

Benfica to Valencia

Valencia CF announced today their definitive purchase of Benfica’s João Cancelo. Cancelo played in Spain all season at Valencia, where he was on loan from the Portuguese giants. As part of the loan deal, Valencia had the option to purchase Cancelo outright for 15 million euros, and though the final price of the deal has not been announced, it is believed to be 15 million.

This deal represents yet another sale of a talented young player for big profit, following in the footsteps of André Gomes and Bernardo Silva. Gomes was at most a bench player at Benfica, but has since thrived at Valencia. Silva had yet to even break into the first team at Benfica, but his 15 million euro move to Monaco has proven a tidy bit of business for the French club, after some increasingly impressive performances. If this deal is to be compared to that of Gomes and Silva, we can expect big things from João Cancelo in the near future.

Of the deal, Cancelo said: “[I am] very happy to continue at Valencia CF, whom I hope to help for a long time to come. I will always carry Benfica in my heart, but now my biggest dream is to continue giving my best for Valencia CF, growing with the team and repaying the great confidence that the club have shown in me.” (Valencia CF) His deal runs until 2021.

Opinion: Bernardo Silva – Benfica Loses a Gem


Photo: AS Monaco

Photo: AS Monaco

Bernardo Silva

Benfica to Monaco

It was announced this week that Benfica had officially sold 20 year-old Bernardo Silva to Ligue 1 side Monaco for just under 16 million euros. Silva has spent the first half of the season on loan at Monaco, and has impressed in both the league and the Champions League. Some may have predicted this move from the start, as Monaco had the option to purchase the midfielder as a part of the loan agreement, but there were signs that Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira intended to bring Silva back for next season. Now, with the dust settled, all we can do is look back at what it could have been for Benfica. This is not to say that Silva’s career is over, by any stretch of the imagination. The midfielder is touted to have a bright future, and could very well be one of the most important Portuguese players of his generation, but this move has deep implications for the Portuguese game, and represents a trend currently occurring in Portugal. Continue reading

Portuguese Liga Week in Review: Round 2


William Carvalho - SportingWith the transfer window about to close shut in only a matter of days, the amount of news is beginning to ramp up. Orlando Mac takes a look at the big stories over the past week. 

Porto, Benfica, Sporting Win, Champions League Success, Carvalho Saga Nears an End, and Azzurri on the Cheap


It was a busy week for all the Big clubs in Portugal, which made for a lot of interesting reading so here is a review of what hit the headlines this week in the Liga.

FC Porto got an important win for the club qualifying for the Group Stage in the Champions League. They also helped the Liga as a whole beating out French side Lille 2-0 at the Dragao (3-0 on Aggregate), boosting the Primeira Liga’s Co-efficiency points in Europe. Brahimi was a star again.

The William Carvalho story has taken another twist as Manchester United bump ahead of Arsenal, in the race for the impressive Portuguese National Team’s World Cup star. Sporting CP has dropped their asking price (although many strings attached) causing a frenzy of headlines.

Benfica in interesting news was turned down by Palermo striker Abel Hernandez. He would rather stay in Italy or move to a lower level EPL team instead. Good riddance I would say because clearly playing in a 5th rate league or not in the Champions League is better for his career.

FC Porto’s wonder boy Ruben Neves was given global attention again as FIFA posted an article praising the 17 year old on their website. Two weeks in and the young midfielder a U-17 star for Portugal has really made a name for himself.

SLB international midfielder Ruben Amorim hit the headlines unfortunately in a bad way, as he ruptured ligaments in his knee that will see him out of action for 6 months. It was a bad break for Ruben as Defensive Midfielder Ljubomir Fejsa was out with injury and it looked like he was going to get a lot of first team action in that role. Fortunately for Benfica they have Andre Almeida in the wings that could be a big star at the position.

Portuguese International Nani reported and got in action for Sporting CP helping them to a win. The bonus was that Bruno de Carvalho got Manchester United to foot most of his wage bills in the Rojo deal.

Joao Cancelo the talented Benfica fullback got a loan deal with Valencia who looks to give him some first team playing time. Cancelo was very impressive in pre-season this year for SLB and fans look forward to him taking big steps this season.

With Liverpool FC exchanging one troubled striker for another which seems fitting, AC Milan looked to replace Balotelli by poaching FC Porto’s monster attacker Jackson Martinez. They not only sent in a low-ball bid to Porto for Martinez they also wanted to make installment payments for him over a few years, in true Italian style. Someone should explain to the Italian Chiefs living in their fishbowl that the Primeira Liga is above them now, and that they will have to pay more and sell for less in dealings with the Big 3. We have 2 Big clubs (Benfica #5 & Porto #11) both hovering around the top 10 in European Club Charts they have none. MESSAGE TO AZZURRI: Enough with the tampering and lowballing Liga players.

Once again another interesting week in the Headlines for Portuguese Football, keep it locked here to PortugalFutbol.net for your Portuguese Futebol fix, and follow us on twitter as we post links to late breaking news regularly.

Orlando Mac

Joao Cancelo Joins Valencia on Loan


Photo: Valencia CF

Photo: Valencia CF

Joao Cancelo

Benfica to Valencia (loan)

Benfica’s young right-back Joao Cancelo has joined La Liga side Valencia on a season-long loan from Benfica, the Spanish club have announced. Cancelo is already training with the team and will be presented later today. It is believed that the arrival of Cancelo will spell the end of Joao Pereira’s time at Valencia, with the veteran right-back reportedly on the out.

This move comes after a summer of speculation about Joao Cancelo’s future. Pacos Ferreira were reportedly very close to securing a loan deal earlier in the summer, but that deal fell through. More recently, it was announced that Meriton Capital Limited, Valencia’s soon-to-be owner Peter Lim’s company, purchased the rights to Cancelo as well as Bernardo Silva and Ivan Cavaleiro. With little reported on this supposed purchase, it is difficult to determine its legitimacy. But if it is true, it comes as little surprise, as Peter Lim recently purchased the rights to two other Benfica players, Andre Gomes and Rodrigo.

The Spanish club’s new coach, Nuno Espirito Santo, is known from his time coaching Rio Ave to have strong ties to Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes. Mendes has brokered deals for players such as David Luis, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Angel Di Maria in the past, and much of Nuno’s Rio Ave side were represented by Mendes’ agency, Gestifute. Andre Gomes, Rodrigo, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, and Ivan Cavaleiro are all represented by Mendes, which will guarantee them big moves in the future, but not necessarily playing time.

Portugal Impress at Toulon


Portugal U-20s Third Place Toulon 2014

photo courtesy fpf.pt

Portugal Under-20 Team

Toulon Tournament

Third Place

The future of Portuguese football looks bright. The Portuguese under-20 team defeated England 1-0 yesterday to claim third place in this year’s edition of the Toulon Tournament. The tournament is set up for youth teams to participate, with most teams sending under-21 squads. Portugal typically sends an under-20 side, and has used the tournament as a way to prepare for the U-20 World Cup.

The team has had varying degrees of success in the past, finishing fourth last year and failing to leave the group in 2011 (just before reaching the final of the U-20 World Cup). This year, the team surprised everyone, finishing third. Let’s look at how they made it there.

The team was coached by Ilidio Vale, who has been at the helm since 2010, guiding the team in two U-20 World Cups and two Toulon Tournaments previous to this tournament. The coach chose commanding Sporting Lisbon defender Tobias Figueiredo as the team’s captain. Other notable players included in the squad were Ruben Vezo, who squeezed his way into Valencia’s first team at the end of the season, Joao Cancelo, who made his debut for Benfica’s first team at the end of the season and is a regular for Benfica B, Ricardo Horta, who played a vital role in Vitoria Setubal’s impressive run this season, and Bruno Fernandes, who made 23 first team appearances for Udinese this season. And indeed it was these players who performed well for Portugal at the tournament, each playing a role in the third place finish.

Portugal were grouped with Mexico, Chile, France, and China in Group A. After duly dispatching Mexico with two deflected goals from Joao Teixeira and Helder Costa, the Portuguese continued their march on with another impressive victory, this time over Chile. Goals from Leandro Silva, a beautiful individual effort from Helder Costa, and Bruno Fernandes ensured the team defeated Chile 3-1. Next, the team faced a Chinese side that tied hosts France 1-1. Not thinking twice, Portugal defeated China 4-1, with Ricardo Horta scoring twice and Ruben Semedo and Helder Costa picking up the other goals. To qualify for the final, Portugal needed to defeat France in their final Group A game, and despite their best efforts, Portugal fell 2-1 to France, thus finishing second in the group, qualifying for the third-place match.

England were the other second-placed team in the tournament, meaning that they would be Portugal’s opponents in the third-place match. Portugal and England have a long footballing rivalry, with both the countries’ senior teams meeting in Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup. On both of those occasions, Portugal came out on top of the rivalry, and this time out, Portugal managed a win again. Ricardo Horta scored the only goal of the game, which was enough for Portugal to edge out England 1-0 and claim third-place for the 2014 Toulon Tournament.