Date Set for Chile Friendly

It has been announced that Portugal will play Chile in a friendly match on the 25th of March, 2011. The president of the Chilean soccer federation also stated that a friendly after the 2014 World Cup is in the works. A bit strange to plan that far ahead, don’t you think?

Ilidio Vale Releases List for France Game

Portugal Under-20 coach Ilidio Vale has released a list of 18 for the upcoming friendly against France on October 7. The Under-20 team are preparing for next summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup, which Portugal are going to be a part of. Ruben Brigido, Rafael Dias, and Paulo Grilo are all new to the Portuguese National Team, never having played at all for any of the Seleccao’s youth teams. Here’s the full list:

Académica de Coimbra: Paulo Grilo
Amarante FC: Cláudio Ramos
Belenenses: Pelé
Benfica: Roderick
CD Santa Clara: Alex and Baldé
CD Fátima: Mário Rui
Cercle Brugge KSV: Nuno Reis
FC Paços de Ferreira: Nélson Oliveira
FC Sochaux: Rafael Dias
GD Tourizense: João Guerra and Ricardo Dias
Parma FC: Danilo
SC Beira-Mar: Sérgio Oliveira
SC Braga: Aníbal Capela
Sporting: Cédric
UD Leiria: Rúben Brígido
Varzim SC: Salvador Agra

Genoa to Tie Up Yannick Deal

Italian big-spenders Genoa are reportedly tabling a bid for Sporting Lisbon winger Yannick Djalo. Genoa were supposedly preparing a bid for him during the summer transfer window, but the move never materialized. Now, Genoa officials have flown to Portugal with the hope of finalizing a deal to bring him to Italy. Promising Belenenses midfielder, Pele, who is about to turn 19 this upcoming week, is also being courted by the Italian club. Genoa reportedly failed to pay for Kevin-Prince Boateng after his 5 million pound move from Portsmouth, so I find it hard to believe that they can afford Yannick and Pele.

Bebe Makes Debut for United

Portuguese Under-21 international Bebe has finally made his debut for the Manchester United first team. Manchester United defeated Scunthorpe United 5-2 yesterday evening in a very easy Carling Cup tie for United. Bebe was substituted in for park Ji-Sung, who was having an excellent game. Bebe enjoyed a superb debut, constantly running at defenders and causing problems for Scunthorpe. Even though he only played for 15 minutes or so, it was enough to impress fellow Red Devil, Chris Smalling, who Bebe had played against during the Portugal vs England U-21 showdown earlier this month. “Since he’s come in, he’s become sharper every day,” said Smalling. “He’s really improving and working on his fitness. Tonight he really caused their full-back problems, coming in from the wing, and hopefully we’ll see him produce that kind of form in many games to come.” Manchester United assistant manager, Mike Phelan also spoke of Bebe’s debut, saying: “The scoreline gave us the opportunity to give Bebe a little look at what Manchester United’s all about. I thought he responded very well.”

It looks as if Bebe is finally fulfilling his potential as a 7 million pound signing for United. If he keeps working hard, and with Valencia now out injured, we may see a lineup with Bebe on one side of the midfield and Nani on the other.

Rui Miguel Signs For Kilmarnock

Former CSKA Sofia striker Rui Miguel has signed for Scottish Premier League side Kilmarnock. Miguel terminated his contract with CSKA Sofia earlier in the summer. “It’s a new experience in a different country and environment. The conditions that I had are great. The Scottish league has a fantastic climate and a lot of visibility. I’m very motivated and excited,” said Rui Miguel, who will join fellow compatriot David Silva at the Scottish Club.

Ilídio Vale Named Squad of 23

Portuguese U-20 coach Ilidio Vale has released a list of 23 players to take part in training ahead of next summer’s U-20 World Cup. This is not the final list, mind you. These are just players who will take part in a team training for the coach to see who “fits the bill”. Some notable inclusions are Rafael Dias, who currently plays for Sochaux in Ligue 1. Dias has previously played for the French Under 16 and 17 teams, but it looks now as if he may change his allegiance to Portugal. Here’s the full list:

Amarante FC: Cláudio Ramos
A Académica de Coimbra: Paulo Grilo
Benfica: Roderick
Belenenses: Filipe Paiva and Pelé
Cercle Brugge KV: Nuno Reis;
CD Fátima: Mário Rui
CD Santa Clara: Alex and Baldé
FC Paços Ferreira: Caetano and Nélson Oliveira
FC Sochaux: Rafael Dias
GD Tourizense: João Guerra and Ricardo Dias
Leixões SC: Paulinho
Parma FC: Danilo
SC Braga: Aníbal Capela, Januário and Nuno Valente
Sporting: Cédric
UD Leiria: Rúben Brígido and Michael Domingues
Varzim SC: Salvador Agra

Meireles Now a Red

Raul Meireles has been confirmed (through the Portuguese stock market) as a Liverpool player. Yesterday, the terms between Porto had been finished, which only left Meireles to agree personal terms, which he did. The transfer comes to a grand total of 13 million euros plus bonuses. That is considerably lower than the 25 million Porto had hoped to get for him, but with the bonuses, 13 million may climb. Meireles is viewed as the ideal replacement for the now-departed Javier Mascherano. Raul will most likely be playing a more defensive role in the midfield, giving Gerrard the opportunity to play more as an attacking midfielder/second striker. Competing against him for this defensive midfielder spot are the likes of Poulsen and Lucas, so he has a mountain to climb.

Tonel Signs for Dinamo Zagreb

Sporting center-back, Tonel, has signed for Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb. With the purchase and emergence of Nuno Coelho, and with Carrico having cemented his place in the starting eleven, Tonel would have found it hard to find playing time for the Lions. So, no doubt with some encouragement by Sporting coach Paulo Sergio, Tonel decided that moving was his only chance for playing time. Tonel pledged “hard work” and said: “I am eager to start training and playing”

Oceano Releases Squad List for U-21 Games

Oceano released today a list of 21 for the Portuguese Under-21 team’s upcoming games against England and Macedonia. The U-21s are set to play England on September 3 at home and Macedonia at home again on September 7. One surprise inclusion on this list of 21 was Manchester United’s new signing Bebe, who has the chance to shut the critic’s mouths if he performs well. Here’s the list:

Belenenses: André Almeida
Benfica: Fábio Faria
CD Nacional: João Aurélio and Orlando Sá
Everton FC: João Silva
FC Paços de Ferreira: Bura and David Simão
FC Porto: Castro and Ukra
Leixões SC: Rui Pedro
Manchester United FC: Bebé
Portimonense SC: André Pinto, Candeias, Pedro Moreira and Ventura
Rio Ave FC: Yazalde
SC Olhanense: João Gonçalves
Sporting CP: André Santos, Daniel Carriço and Rui Patrício
Vitória SC de Guimarães: Pereirinha

Meireles Set to Sign for Liverpool

World Cup star Raul Meireles is set to sign from Portuguese side Porto to English Premier League side Liverpool. Meireles, who was one of the bright spots in Portugal’s largely disappointing campaign, has been linked with a host of top European clubs, such as Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Chelsea. He has yet to play for Porto this season, both in Europe and in the Liga Zon Sagres, which means that he is not cup tied, so if he happened to move to Liverpool, he could be a part of their Europa League campaign. Liverpool are struggling in the EPL currently, and with the probable departure of Javier Mascherano to Barcelona, Roy Hodgson sees Meireles as the ideal replacement. I think that this move could be a good one for Meireles. I am always excited to see Portuguese players of his caliber move abroad, especially to the English Premier League. I do think that staying at Porto would be more beneficial for him, though.