The Portuguese Football Federation has announced that Ricardo Carvalho has been banned from the National Team for one season, due to his unprofessional conduct. Carvalho walked out of the Portuguese training camp just days before the team’s crunch Euro 2012 qualifier against Cyprus, supposedly due to him learning that he would be on the bench. Paulo Bento stood firm, not apologizing for the incident, as many feel he shouldn’t. The Portuguese coach also called for Carvalho to apologize to the fans for his actions over the past month, but Ricardo Carvalho has not responded. Now, suspended for one year, Carvalho looks set to miss Euro 2012, not that he would play anyway, with the defender having stated that he will never play under Paulo Bento again. It is really too bad that such a fine player as Ricardo Carvalho would have to end such an illustrious career as his in such undesirable circumstances.
Beira-Mar to Cagliari
Beira-Mar midfielder Rui Sampaio has completed a 600,000 euro move to Serie A side Cagliari Calcio. Sampaio, who had been at Beira-Mar since 2008, has joined up with his teammates for training. Sampaio played for a total of 85 times for Beira-Mar, and was arguably one of their most consistent performers last season, as the club succeeded in retaining top-flight status.
Genoa to A.C. Milan
Following his impressive displays for Portugal at the recent Under-20 World Cup, Pele has made the switch to A.C. Milan. Genoa snapped him up in the off-season, but Milan have now acquired half of his rights and get to use him next season. Pele played over 600 minutes for Portugal at the recent U-20 World Cup, and formed a solid partnership with Danilo Pereira. Those performances have caught the eye of the Italian champions, and Pele looks set to become a Milan player shortly. There is no mention of the move on Milan’s website, but sources all across Portugal are confirming it.
Fernando Meira has completed his move from Russian powerhouse Zenit to La Liga strugglers Real Zaragoza. Meira has found playing time very hard to come by at the Russian club, especially upon the arrival of compatriot Bruno Alves. Fernando had been linked with a number of clubs, most notably Juventus, but the moves never materialized. The central defender will now ply his trade in Spain as he attempts to end his career on a high note.
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.
The Portuguese National Under-20 Team settled for a draw tonight against Uruguay. Both Portugal and Uruguay controlled the game from time to time and were, overall, even. Portugal showed more possession in the first half of play, but Uruguay stepped up their game in the second half and shackled Portugal’s play. Both teams came close at times, most notably when Sergio Oliveira hit the post with a marvelous free-kick, and when Uruguay’s captain, Diego Polenta, rattled the crossbar with a long-range effort.
Overall, Portugal played a defensive, possession-first game. The service to the forwards was not always the best, with Sana to be partially at fault. Danilo Pereira and Pele both excelled in their defensive midfield duties, but they would often leave Sana and Sergio Oliveira to do most of the creative attacking work in the midfield, due to their defensive approach. By far the most important aspect of the team was the defense. Nuno Reis and Roderick were water-tight, shutting down Uruguayan advances all night. The outside backs (Cedric and Luis Martins) were solid also.
Mika, Nuno Reis, Roderick, Luis Martins, Cedric, Pele (Julio Alves), Danilo Pereira, Sana (Tiago Ferreira), Sergio Oliveira, Nelson Oliveira, Rafael Lopes (Alex)
Mika: 7 : Benfica’s new signing certainly lived up to his reputation with an assured display. He always looked confident in his handling.
Nuno Reis: 7 : The pairing of Roderick and Reis complement each other well. The defense was one of Portugal’s strong-suits tonight, no doubt because of him.
Roderick: 7 : As stated above, Roderick performed well in his defensive duties, constantly breaking up plays. His range of passing was also a sight to behold.
Luis Martins: 6.5 : Martins had a solid game defensively, but I would have liked to see him attack more.
Cedric: 7 : Portugal’s number 8 had both a solid defensive and offensive game. His runs forward furthered Portugal’s attack and gave Uruguay headaches
Pele: 7 : Genoa’s new signing met all expectations. Pele is naturally a very gifted player, and it was shown tonight. He constantly got himself out of sticky situations using his skill. Along with Danilo Pereira, He anchored Portugal’s team and supplied the link between the defense and midfield.
Danilo Pereira: 7 : Much the same with Pele, Danilo fulfilled his role well, holding the midfield down with style. The only downside to his performance was his lack of attacking.
Sana: 6.5 : Virtually Portugal’s only creative midfielder, Sana was constantly on breakaways and feeding the forwards passes, only for them to make a mess of them. It must have been a frustrating night for him.
Sergio Oliveira: 6.5 : Apart from hitting the post in the second half, Porto’s midfielder didn’t do much. He hit many speculative shots, but could have helped Sana more in the midfield.
Nelson Oliveira: 6 : Overall, Nelson Oliveira did not play well. He did not play badly, but he just had a bad game. Missed an open opportunity when Sana put him through on goal in the second half, but he missed his shot.
Rafael Lopes: 5 : A very dissappointing performance from the forward, who just couldn’t find his feet. The only thing he did was make Uruguay’s players angry. He was nowhere to be seen for large chunks of time in the game.
Alex: 6.5 : The Santa Clara man came on for the ineffectual Rafael Lopes, and did better than his predecessor. He made some good passes and generally looked good on the ball. Would be a good replacement for Rafael Lopes in the coming games.
Julio Alves: 6 : Overall a very mediocre performance from Atletico Madrid’s new signing. Mind you, he did only have a handful of minutes at the end.
Tiago Ferreira: N/A : Not enough time on the field to give a rating.
Helio Sousa, the Portuguese Under-19 team head coach, has released a list of players that will be participating in a tournament in Spain next month. The team will face Slovakia, Norway, and Sweden, on the 7th, 9th, and 11th, respectively. Sporting Lisbon was the most represented club on the list, with no less than 6 players called-up from the club. Here’s the full list:
Barcelona (Spain): Luís Gustavo
Belenenses: Adolfo Leite
Benfica: Francisco Junior, Luis Martins, and Rúben Pinto
FC Porto: David Bruno, Fábio Nunes, Filipe Barros, Ricardo Ferreira, and Tiago Maia
Louletano: João Reis
Rio Ave: André Dias
Sporting: Agostinho Cá, Betinho, Bruma, Luis Ribeiro, Ricardo Esgaio, and Taira
UD Leiria: Ricardo Cardoso
V. Guimarães: João Amorim, Josué, Paulo Oliveira, and Tiago Rodrigues
Belenenses midfielder, Pele, has reportedly sealed a deal that will see him move to Genoa at the end of the season. A current Portugal U-20 international, Pele had been in talks with Genoa earlier this season, but nothing more had been reported. Now, according to reports coming out of Italy, the Italian club has tied down the promising midfielder on a 5-year deal. The midfielder tried to style his play after English legend, Steven Gerrard. Belenenses are currently sitting in the relegation zone in Portugal’s second division, after being relegated from the Liga Sagres last season.
Besiktas winger Quaresma has announced his return from injury in style. In Besiktas’s Europa League match against Rapid Wien yesterday, Quaresma scored Besiktas’s first in their 2-0 win. Here’s the goal:
Manchester United winger, Bebe, has been nominated by the Italian newspaper, Tuttosport, for their annual “golden boy” award. Players such as Wayne Rooney, Alexandre Pato, and Cesc Fabregas have won the prestigious award, and favorites to win this year are Balotelli and Bojan, just to name a couple. Bebe, who unexpectedly moved from Vitoria Guimaraes to Manchester United this summer, has settled in nicely. His first goal in the Champions League came very recently against Buraspor, even though it counted as an own goal. The real thing to take out of this is that Bebe has gone from a homeless vagrant to a sub for one of the finest teams on this planet. It is quite remarkable, you see.