2017/2018 Portuguese Abroad: France

Edgar Ie - Lille

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 fourth installment, Portuguese playing in France will be highlighted. To see an updated list of all Portuguese players playing abroad, visit out Portuguese Players Abroad page. Continue reading

Fernando Santos Calls on Miguel Veloso

Miguel Veloso - Portugal vs Netherlands - 2013

Veloso (left), pictured in 2013

Fernando Santos announced today a squad of 24 to face France in a friendly on September 4th and Albania in a Euro 2016 qualifier on September 7th. Bernardo Silva and Joao Mario, who both starred for Portugal at this summer’s U-21 Euro, have rightfully earned places in the team, as well as Porto new-boys Andre Andre and Danilo Pereira, who have been named for the second successive squad. Dinamo Kiev’s Miguel Veloso, who has been out of the national team setup for some time, also earned a call as a result of some solid recent performances in Ukraine. Continue reading

Portugal: A Team in Transition

Fernando Santos - Portugal

On Friday, Fernando Santos will name the Portugal squad to face France on September 4th (international friendly) and Albania on September 7th (Euro 2016 Qualification). With both the U-21’s strong showing at the U-21 Euro and the U-20 team’s impressive run at the U-20 World Cup this summer, the Portuguese National Team are in transition. With young prospects such as Bernardo Silva, João Mário, and Ivan Cavaleiro now becoming integral parts of their club teams, will Fernando Santos begin to ween them into the national team setup? Will they become stalwarts of the Seleção, or will Santos favor older, more experienced players? These questions highlight the conundrum that Portuguese football is facing; one of how to go about this transition. Continue reading

Braga Youngster on His Way to France

Gil Dias - Braga U19

Gil Dias

SC Braga to AS Monaco

According to reports, Braga youth prospect Gil Dias has agreed to a January transfer to Ligue 1 outfit AS Monaco for a fee believed to be around 5 million euros. Earlier in the season, there were hints that a deal had already been agreed between the two clubs, and that Dias would spend the first half of the season in Portugal before moving to France in January. More recent reports suggest that that rumor may turn out to be true, with Dias set to join fellow countrymen Bernardo Silva, Joao Moutinho, and Ricardo Carvalho at Monaco soon. Continue reading

Why It’s Time for Raphael Guerreiro to Phase In

photo courtesy fclweb.fr

photo courtesy fclweb.fr

Raphael Guerreiro has risen out of obscurity to become one of the most promising left-backs in French football. Entering just his third professional season, Guerreiro is a well-established squad member at Lorient, where he locked down a starting spot last season, amassing 34 league appearances in total. And all at 20 years old. Those statistics alone point toward a bright future, so much so that other teams have begun to take interest. West Ham were said to be considering a bid earlier this summer, while some fans are clamoring for Liverpool to consider Guerreiro.

It hardly bears repeating that the Portuguese National Team disappointed this summer at the World Cup. Since the team’s exit from the tournament, the conversation around the team has shifted to questions of “what went wrong?” While there are many legitimate reasons one can speculate upon (see PortuGOAL’s article), for the purposes of this article, I would like to highlight one issue that may sometimes be overlooked: Rotational Dynamism. It sounds like a bear doesn’t it? Well, let me explain what I mean.

One criticism of this Portuguese team and of Paulo Bento for some time now is a lack of new players selected to the squad. If a team finds success, there is still a need for change, so as to combat inevitable stagnation. The sport of soccer needs some level of surprise and dynamism, and one way for teams to achieve this is to introduce new players into a team. The lack of new players into the Portuguese team has long been one of the chief criticisms aimed at Paulo Bento, and is one of the factors that many speculate contributed to Portugal’s crash this summer. So…the solution is an obvious one: give new players opportunities in the team. And Raphael Guerreiro is the player to choose.

With a full season under his belt in a top division, he can at the very least provide much-needed cover for the team. Few will argue that Fabio Coentrao is Portugal’s man at left-back, and that his starting position is not up for debate. Guerreiro is certainly good enough to provide cover for Coentrao, and Portugal needs to tie him down as soon as they can. Born in France, the defender is eligible for both France and Portugal, and though his loyalties thus far have lied with Portugal, the longer he stays out of the team’s picture, the harder it may become to keep him away from the French team.

For more information on Raphael Guerreiro, take a look at this scouting report by our friends at Futebol Factory.