Portuguese in La Liga Roundup – 10/22/12


This weekend proved to be quite fruitful for the many Portuguese players plying their trade in their Iberian neighbor country. We’ll highlight how they fared this weekend. Player ratings courtesy of whoscored.com

Malaga 2-1 Valladolid 

Malaga continued their impressive season with yet another win, this time over La Liga newcomers Real Valladolid. Central to the success of the team this season has surprisingly been Eliseu. Typically utilized as a left back, Eliseu has gained prominence through his solid performances for Malaga this season. Eliseu was in the starting lineup for Malaga, while Sereno (who is on loan from Porto) started in the center of defense for Valladolid. Valladolid has done well this season, and sits mid-table accordingly. Duda was on the bench for Malaga, and entered the fray midway through the second half. Eliseu is credited with the assist, his third of the season in all competitions, after he squared the ball to Isco for the team’s first goal.

Whoscored.com player ratings:

Eliseu: 7.7

Duda: 6.5

Sereno: 5.9

Real Madrid 2-0 Celta de Vigo

Real Madrid chalked up a much-needed victory over a stubborn Celta de Vigo side. Gonzalo Higuain scored a wonderful cross-shot first for the hosts before Ronaldo wrapped up proceedings with his second-half penalty. Pepe and Ronaldo played the full 90 minutes, while Ricardo Carvalho was an unused substitute. Fabio Coentrao was nowhere to be seen, most likely due to an injury picked up in Portugal’s 1-0 loss to Russia earlier this month.

Whoscored.com player ratings:

Ronaldo: 7.2

Pepe: 7.2

Valencia 3-2 Athletic Bilbao

Two late goals spared Valencia’s blushes, as the hosts ran out 3-2 winners against a determined Athletic side. Neither Joao Pereira nor Ricardo Costa, who are regular fixtures in the starting eleven, featured for Valencia. Both the defenders were unused substitutes.

Deportivo 4-5 Barcelona

In perhaps the game of the season, Barcelona narrowly escaped Deportivo. Pizzi scored twice for the hosts, once from the penalty spot, the other by means of a brilliant free-kick. Ze Castro played the entire match for Deportivo, while Bruno Gama was on the field for a little over an hour. Diogo Salomao was substituted on to make his first appearance of the season, while Nelson Oliveira also saw time off the substitutes bench. Roderick, Andre Santos, and Tiago Pinto were nowhere to be seen.

Whoscored.com player ratings:

Pizzi: 8.2

Ze Castro: 5.6

Bruno Gama: 6.6

Diogo Salomao: 6.0

Nelson Oliveira: 6.1

Espanyol 3-2 Rayo Vallecano

Rui Fonte was an unused substituted for Espanyol, while Simao was nowhere to be seen.

Granada 1-2 Real Zaragoza

Helder Postiga started and scored as Real Zaragoza defeated Granada. This win lifts Zaragoza further away from the dreaded relegation zone.

Whoscored.com player ratings:

Helder Postiga: 7.6

Osasuna 0-0 Real Betis

Nelson started and played the whole match, as Salvador Agra was nowhere to be seen for the visitors.

Whoscored.com player ratings:

Nelson: 7.3

Real Sociedad 0-1 Atletico Madrid 

Tiago was an unused substitute for Atletico, while Silvio was nowhere to be seen.

Transfer Roundup – 9/3/12


It was an interesting transfer deadline day last Friday, with much happening in the world of Portuguese football. Joao Moutinho was at the heart of much of the news, with his transfer to Tottenham collapsing at the absolute last moment. Although Moutinho stole most of the limelight, there were still lesser-known transfers that were completed.

Tiago Pinto

Rio Ave to Deportivo

Deportivo added to their Portuguese contingent with the capture of Tiago Pinto from Rio Ave. The left-back will most likely play second or third fiddle for the club, behind first-choice Evaldo. Pinto’s move abroad comes as no surprise after two sold seasons at Rio Ave, where he established himself as an important player for the club.

Nuno Coelho

Benfica to Aris (Loan)

After making the move from Academica to Benfica at the beginning of last season, Nuno Coelho has found playing time at Benfica non-existent. In an effort to gain more playing time, he was loaned out to Beira-Mar, in the Liga Zon Sagres, and played well all season long. Now, with his situation at Benfica much the same, he has looked abroad for opportunities. The midfielder has joined Greek outfit Aris on loan for the entire season, and will hope that the experience will be a positive one.

Sana

Free Agent to Academica

Much was expected of Sana following his impressive performances for the Portuguese team at the 2011 U-20 World Cup, but an ill-fated move abroad in Spain has proved detrimental. Now, Sana has made the move back to Academica, as they attempt to bolster their squad ahead of their Europa League campaign this season. Surely, Academica will be a great place for Sana to continue his development and realize his potential.

Carlitos

Hannover to Estoril

While playing at Basel, Carlitos was being courted by some of the biggest names in Italy, including Roma and Fiorentina. He is now returning to Portugal to play for newcomers Estoril, after injuries hampered a two-season stay at Bundesliga side Hannover. His talent is undoubted, so he will surely add much to Estoril’s team.

Henrique

Academica to Blackburn

Blackburn have increased the number of Portuguese players in the team to six after their last-minute capture of Academica central-defender Henrique. After being purchased from Braga at the beginning of the season, Henrique was promptly snapped up by the English club, having only appeared twice for the Portuguese club.

Yannick

Benfica to Toulouse (Loan)

Yannick has found playing time at Benfica hard to come by, after completing his move there last season. The move to Benfica was surely a relief after his cancelled transfer to Nice, but competition has been fierce. Competing with the likes of Salvio, Nolito, Ola John, and Gaitan (among others), Yannick opted to go out on loan, to ensure playing time. He will play at Toulouse for the remainder of the season, with an option to buy.

Ukra

Porto to Rio Ave (Loan)

Porto winger Ukra has joined Rio Ave on loan for the entire season, as his options at Porto appear limited. The winger was in much the same situation last season, and joined Braga on loan for the entirety of last season. Though he was impressive when he played, he was injured during the majority of the time at the club. An undoubted talent, Ukra will surely shine for Rio Ave this season.

 

Salomao Already Impressing for Deportivo


Sporting Lisbon’s promising young Portuguese winger, Diogo Salomao, is currently impressing for Deportivo La Coruna, where he is currently on loan. Diogo Salomao showed his talent well last season for Sporting Lisbon, most notably scoring a crucial goal against Braga with an acrobatic back-heel effort. Diogo did not work into Domingos Paciencia’s plans this season, so the new Sporting coach has sent him on loan to Deportivo La Coruna, currently playing in the Liga Adelante after being relegated from the Liga BBVA last season. The winger has been raising some eyebrows with some of his pre-season performances. “It is an honor that in just two matches they are already happy with my work. I promise to give everything, ” Salomao said to Spanish newspaper, Marca.

Andre Andre Returns to Varzim


Andre Andre has returned to Varzim after a half-season stint with La Liga outfit, Deportivo. The midfielder moved from Liga Orangina side Varzim to Deportivo B in the summer, and has since worked his way into the first team. Although he did not play a single game for the first team, it should still be looked at as quite an accomplishment that he went from playing in the second division in Portugal to playing in one of the top few leagues in the world. Andre Andre has now joined Varzim on a year-and-a-half deal.

Ze Castro Rescinds Deportivo Contract


Ze Castro, who has seen limited playing time and happiness, has decided to leave Deportivo La Coruna. Ze Castro had a season to forget last season, seeing extremely limited playing time. The worst part was that in June 2009, before the start of his nightmare-ish season, he had made his debut for the Portuguese Senior National Team. He started the season strong, but it all went downhill from there. In the January transfer window, he was linked with a host of clubs, including Sporting Lisbon (who he was very close to signing for). But in the end, he stayed at the Spanish outfit. Now, with Ze Castro’s options looking even more grim, he has decided to rescind his contract on Monday. He does mention talks with other clubs, so we will most likely see him in a different jersey by the end of the transfer window. Here’s what he said: “I talked with the coach and we agreed that it would not logically play tomorrow [today] and eventually quit Monday [tomorrow], because there are talks with some clubs”

Aves Striker Set for Everton Move


19 year-old Joao Silva, currently Liga de Honra’s top goalscorer, has apparently reached a transfer agreement with English side Everton that would see him join them this summer. The Deportivo das Aves striker, who stands at 1.9 meters, has raised some eyebrows with his advanced goalscoring ability. Porto, Braga, and Nacional were all thought to have been following the young Portuguese striker. Everton, however, looks to have won the race for his signature, supposedly bringing him to Goodison Park this summer for a believed fee of around 0.7 million.

Sereno Debuts for Valladolid


Portuguese center-back Sereno finally made his debut for Valladolid yesterday in their league match against Deportivo. Sereno hadn’t even made an appearance for the Spanish outfit(since he moved from Vitoria in January), so it came as a surprise when he was named in Valladolid’s starting eleven. Not only did he start, but he played a full match, along with fellow compatriot Pele. Valladolid now sit just in the relegation zone, and it looks as if they are to be one of the three teams relegated into the Segunda Division.