With the U-21’s impressive performance at the U-21 Euro now in the past, the team’s focus now shifts to qualification for the next edition of the tournament. With this shift is also a shift in personnel. Head coach Rui Jorge named a squad of 23 today for the team’s upcoming qualification match against Albania, to be played on September 8th. Continue reading
The Portuguese Under-20 team was unfortunate to bow out of the 2015 U-20 World Cup at the hands of Brazil on Sunday. The team’s level of play throughout the tournament was of a high standard, so much so that many touted them as potential victors. Unfortunately, luck was not on their side, as they were narrowly defeated by Brazil on penalties in the quarter-final. Despite this disappointing end, there are many positives to take away from Portugal’s encouraging run. Continue reading
Portugal 0-0 Brazil (1-3 Penalties)
2015 U-20 World Cup Quarterfinal
In an entertaining encounter, the Portuguese Under-20 team was defeated on penalties by Brazil in the quarterfinal of the 2015 U-20 World Cup. The defeat sees Portugal exit the tournament, despite some excellent performances earlier in the tournament. Brazil was the most difficult opposition Portugal had faced in the tournament thus far, and if this match was anything to judge off of, Portugal could have progressed further. Continue reading
A goal in the first minute of the match and two goals in the dying minutes were enough to push the Portuguese Under-20 team past Senegal in the Seleção’s opening match of the 2015 U-20 World Cup. Martins scored 26 seconds into the match, but Portugal would have to wait until the last minutes of the match to add to their tally. Substitute Nuno Santos first assisted André Silva, and then scored a wonderful attempt of his own. Continue reading
In a little over a week, the Portuguese U-20 Team will kick off their much anticipated U-20 World Cup campaign with their first match against Senegal. The U-20’s participation in this summer’s tournament will be the third consecutive finals appearance, after a runners-up finish in 2011 and a second round exit in 2013. Expectations are high for the Portuguese, with many of the players included in the squad touted to be stars of the future. But, as has been the case with Portugal’s involvement in the U-20 World Cup, many players are not as well-known as some of their older counterparts. So let’s take a look at the team: Continue reading
Portugal 0-1 Germany
2014 UEFA U-19 European Championship
The Portuguese Under-19 team was outclassed Thursday as they were defeated by Germany in the final of the 2014 UEFA U-19 European Championship. The Portuguese, who were favorites to win the tournament, did well to reach the final, but the Germans were clearly superior. Though the scoreline was a narrow 1-0 victory for the Germans, the Portuguese can count themselves lucky that they did not lose by a wider margin.
The Portuguese predictably fielded a strong team, which, apart from Raphael Guzzo replacing Francisco Ramos, was identical to the team that faced Serbia just three days earlier. That team had served them well against Serbia, but they surely knew that Germany posed a much different threat, essentially rolling over all opposition this entire tournament. Portugal, on the other hand, had scraped past two of their opponents, and were not as much of a physical threat as the Germans.
Essentially from the opening whistle, Germany controlled the match. Portugal had their moments of brilliance, but it was Germany who looked much more comfortable on the ball. The Germans played a high-pressure, physical, possession-based game, which the Portuguese struggled to cope with. The Portuguese’s style of play this tournament was much less physical, and can be likened to Spain’s quick-passing possession style of recent years. Despite Portugal’s obvious skill, the Germans were simply the better team. Their goal came in the first half, and while Portugal came close to scoring after the goal, the result was rarely in question.
The Portuguese may be disappointed to not have finished as champions, but looking back on the tournament, the Portuguese showed that they are a team to be reckoned with. Many of the problems facing the current Portuguese National Team do not appear to be facing this team. Namely, this team has an intelligent, skilled, quick striker in Andre Silva, who is capable of holding up play and both fashioning chances for himself and his teammates. The Seleccao has been desperate for a striker with those qualities for some time, and should he continue to develop at a steady rate, it should be no time at all before Andre Silva is in contention for a place on the team. And that’s the case with almost this entire team. This team possesses great individual talent, and even greater potential, both on the individual and team basis. Should these players continue to develop, Portugal could have another “Golden Generation.” But there are “ifs” associated with such as assertion, the biggest one being the subject of playing time at club level. If Benfica, Sporting, and Porto (where the majority of these players play their club football) continue the trend of choosing to give playing time to foreigners rather than young Portuguese talent, this “Golden Generation” will certainly fall by the wayside, as countless have before.
Players who starred for the past few weeks such as Andre Silva, Tomas Podstawski, Ivo Rodrigues, and Gelson Martins (among others) need to be given regular playing time, whether that’s for their club’s first team, B team, or out on loan. It needs to happen, and if this team can continue to develop, we could see another impressive U-20 team at next summer’s U-20 World Cup, or even further down the road an impressive Portuguese National Team. But that very statement hinges on the way these players’ clubs handle them in the next few years.
Andre Moreira, Mauro Riquicho, Joao Nunes, Domingos Duarte, Rafa, Marcos Lopes, Tomas Podstawski, Raphael Guzzo(Francisco Ramos), Gelson Martins(Jorge Intima), Ivo Rodrigues(Romario Balde), Andre Silva
Portugal 0-1 Ukraine
A hapless performance resigned the Portuguese under-21 team to a disappointing 1-0 defeat against a sharp Ukraine side. Though not much was expected of this game, the performance from the Seleccao was nevertheless disappointing.
Rui Jorge began in this game what must happen every two years or so. All of the U-21 players who were vital to the team in the previous qualifying campaign for the U21 Euro are dropped, and a new crop is called upon. This presents problems in terms of getting a result, because many of the players have never played on the same team together. Team chemistry is low, which may explain the result yesterday. Team chemistry will come, however.
The game started relatively brightly for the hosts, as Edu shot barely over the net. Ukraine then had a chance of their own, which Joao Pinho expertly punched away. The deadlock was broken minutes later, when Noyok scored for the visitors. Sergio Oliveira then had a free-kick fly narrowly wide of the Ukrainian goal. Portugal was pressing, but there was a distinct lack of quality in their play. The second half passed without much action, minus a last-minute header from Josue which rattled the post. That was how the game ended: Portugal 0-1 Ukraine.
Joao Pinho(Daniel Fernandes), David Bruno(Vitor Goncalves), Miguel Lourenco(Paulo Oliveira), Ricardo Ferreira(Josue), Luis Martins, William(Amorim), Tiago Rodrigues(Francisco Junior), Sergio Oliveira, Edu(Aldair), Fabio Nunes, To Mane
Unattached to Everton
Everton have signed highly-rated Francisco Junior on a permanent deal from Manchester City. The midfielder had been an integral part of Benfica’s youth setup up until the end of last season, when he joined Manchester City’s reserve team on a trial. The trial did not produce a permanent deal, and Everton boss David Moyes has now pounced on the promising youngster. Francisco Junior’s primary position is in the midfield, mainly in the center of the field. The midfielder has been given the number 30 for the team, and he hopes to win a spot in Everton’s first team. “My first mission is to try to get into the first team. Then it is to win over the fans and to win things with Everton. They’re a big team and they’re a team which is normally challenging for cups or for the European places. That is what I want to do.”