As the summer transfer window dust begins to settle, European teams can finally nestle into their seasons with their filled out rosters. With 16 of the 23 members who made up Portugal’s Confederations Cup squad playing their trade outside of Portugal, it is imperative that the Portuguese abroad have a strong season as the team prepares for the World Cup next summer. For this second installment, Portuguese playing in England will be highlighted. To see an updated list of all Portuguese players playing abroad, visit out Portuguese Players Abroad page. Continue reading
Much was said about Sporting’s Champions League campaign and how well they played against the 3 other sides in their group. Home and away against Maribor, Chelsea and Schalke they performed very well and gave a fantastic account of themselves in each game. Their games were very entertaining, too, as you weren’t far away from a bundle of goals and even some controversy. They really were a breath of fresh air in the group stages of the Champions League and they showed that they can perform on the big stage. Continue reading
On Wednesday evening, Sporting travel to Stamford Bridge to take on the already-qualified Chelsea in a crunch match that will decide whether they go through to the Round of 16 of the Champions League or not. They go into the game needing just one point to qualify as the group runners-up, having beaten Schalke (4-2) and Maribor (3-1) at home in their last two Champions League games. Continue reading
It was a week where fortunes changed in the Portuguese Liga with Benfica soaring ahead in the standings as usual there were a lot of interesting stories to read. So here is a review of what hit the headlines this week in Portuguese Football. Continue reading
After a stellar season at Atletico Madrid which saw the team win the league and reach the final of the Champions League, Tiago Mendes is set to rejoin Jose Mourinho at English giants Chelsea. This will be Tiago’s second stint at the English club, after representing the team during the 2004-2005 season, also during Mourinho’s first season at Chelsea. An integral part of Atletico Madrid’s much-hailed midfield last season, Tiago found himself in arguably the finest form of his career at the advanced age of 33. He was in such fine form that he publicly regretted his decision to retire from the Portuguese National Team following the 2010 World Cup. At the time, it looked as if the midfielder’s career was on the steep decline, despite positive performances for Portugal at the aforesaid World Cup.
At the time of his international retirement, Tiago was languishing at Juventus, having only managed 7 league appearances during the first half of the previous season. A loan to Atletico Madrid was arranged in January of 2010 (still prior to the World Cup), and the midfielder showed his worth, making 18 league appearances in the latter half of the season. After a successful half season and a positive World Cup campaign, another loan was arranged for the 2010-2011 season. But this time it was a season-long loan. Tiago continued to perform well for the Spanish club, managing 31 league appearances. After the loan expired, Tiago was purchased outright by Atletico on a two year contract. Since that time, Tiago has established himself as a tactically-sound asset to the team. He’s not the player he once was, but his knowledge of the game has grown immensely-an attribute he showed to perfection this season.
Many are speculating that Tiago’s move to Chelsea is one that will see him become part of the team’s backroom staff after his playing days are over. He was signed on a two-year deal, which will see him under contract until he is 35 years old, a prime age for retirement. There have been no secrets about his relationship with Jose Mourinho, and many are speculating that Tiago may have been signed to become Mourinho’s assistant a few years down the road. Will this happen? Only time will tell. For the mean time, Chelsea have signed an experienced player who was at the heart of one of the finest underdog stories of last season.
Chelsea to Fenerbahce
Raul Meireles has moved on from Chelsea and sealed a reported 8 million euro transfer to Turkish league runners-up Fenerbahce. This move comes as no surprise, as Meireles’ playing time looked all the more threatened at Chelsea. After the arrivals of Oscar, Eden Hazard, Victor Moses, and Marko Marin, Meireles would surely be scrounging for playing time. Meireles is excited by the move, saying: “I did not hesitate when I heard the interest of Fenerbahce.”
Bosingwa – Unattached to QPR
Mark Hughes’ QPR has signed experienced fullback Bosingwa on a free transfer after his release from Chelsea at the end of last season. Bosingwa was heavily favored at the beginning of last season under the tutelage of Andre Villas Boas, but gradually fell out of favor under Robert Di Matteo. Though he appeared 27 times for the blues last season, it was confirmed that his contract would not be renewed at the end of the season. His last game for Chelsea was their stunning win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final.
Mark Hughes spoke of his delight with the capture of Bosingwa, stating: “Jose has a lot of versatility which is something I like my players to have. He can operate right across the back and can also play the holding role in midfield.”
Things are starting to heat up in this transfer window that has been largely uneventful. Maybe it will become more interesting if any of these rumors become a reality.
Sporting to Everton?
According to reports coming out of Portugal, Everton are very interested in signing Adrien Silva, who is currently on loan from Sporting Lisbon at Academica. Silva has been in rampant form this season for Academica, and his performances have not gone unnoticed. Everton boss David Moyes was in the stands yesterday during the Academica vs Vitoria Guimaraes match, with Silva most likely the reason for his trip. A move is unlikely, however, as Silva’s release clause at Sporting is set at 20 million, and Everton are typically a cash-strapped club.
Sporting to PSG?
Sporting right-back Joao Pereira is reportedly a target for French billionaire club PSG. Inter Milan right-back Maicon is said to be their primary target, but if a 15 million pound move for him does not materialize, the French club may look to either Pereira or Porto right-back Jorge Fucile.
Sertanense to Chelsea, Wolfsburg, Monaco, or Porto?
Many don’t recognize the name Diogo Ribeiro. There is no reason to. Now, however, Ribeiro is the top scorer in the equivalent of the third division in Portugal. The striker has bagged nine goals so far this season, and that tally has not gone unnoticed. Representatives from Chelsea, Wolfsburg, Monaco, and Porto were all present at the team’s last match, with Ribeiro their intended target.
Porto to Mariselle or Bologna (loan)?
Porto outcast (kind-of) Sivestre Varela is looking for a way out of the club. The winger was an integral part of the team that won virtually everything last season, but this season has been the polar opposite. Under new coach Vitor Pereira, Varela has been pushed into the shadows, and with talk of another winger, Yannick Djalo, joining the club, his playing time looked even more threatened. Though the Yannick move has not materialized, Varela is still looking out. Marsielle and Bologna are both interested in taking the player on loan.
Real Madrid to Anzhi, Milan or Fenerbahce?
With his contract due to expire at the end of the season, Ricardo Carvalho is attracting the interest of some of Europe’s biggest clubs. As with every international break, rumors have ran rampant. These rumors are usually completely false, but nonetheless interesting. Ricardo Carvalho has fit in well at Real Madrid since joining from Chelsea at the beginning of last season. In fact, he has become one of La Liga’s most dependable and best center-backs. After picking up 33 appearances for the Spanish giants last term, many doubts of his ability due to his advanced age were rubbished. He has proved that he is still one of the finest defenders playing at the moment. His contract is due to expire in June of 2012, and Russian big-spenders Anzhi, Turkish giants Fenerbahce, and Italian champions are all keeping an eye on him.
Bosingwa’s days at Chelsea aren’t looking quite as numbered as they did six months ago. After receiving the blow that he was to miss the 2010 World Cup, Bosingwa’s usual starting spot at Chelsea seemed to be up for grabs under then-coach Carlo Ancelotti. That having been said, Bosingwa amassed no less than 20 appearances in the league last term. Many of those, however, were from the bench or involved him getting substituted out in the second half. Under new coach Andre Villas Boas, life has returned to Bosingwa’s play. The right back has made the right back spot his own this season. His contract is due to expire at the end of this season, but as a result of his stellar performances, Chelsea is eager to renew it.