Portuguese mainstay Ricardo Carvalho allegedly stormed out of the training camp ahead of their must-win qualifier against Cyprus. It is speculated that coach Paulo Bento had informed Carvalho that he was not included in the starting eleven for the Cyprus game. This enraged the defender, and he stormed out. Bento has made it clear that there is no turning back for Carvalho, and has allegedly received the backing of Ronaldo, who stated that he believes that no one is guaranteed a starting spot in the team. The team are behind Bento, and it seems that the morale is still high, as it should be. The lingering thought in the back of Paulo Bento’s mind must be disappointment, now that he has lost one of the finest defenders this sport has ever seen.
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.
Atletico Madrid midfielder, Tiago, has unexpectedly announced his retirement from the Portuguese National Team. Tiago has featured for the senior squad since his debut in 2002, and has since appeared over fifty times, while scoring three goals. Tiago’s reasoning for his retirement? Here’s what he had to say: “I’m retiring for personal reasons but also because I believe it’s the end of a cycle concerning my contribution to the Seleccao. I also believe the moment has arrived to give the opportunity to new talents of Portuguese football, just like I had eight years ago.”
Tiago said it well, although not many would have expected him to retire at such a young age as 29. Possibly the highlight of Tiago’s international career came this summer in Portugal’s World Cup group stage match against North Korea. The center-midfielder scored two goals in the Seleccao’s 7-0 annihilation of the Koreans. Not only did he score two, but he was a bright spot in an otherwise muddy campaign for the team.
Current Portugal National team coach, Paulo Bento, also had something to say on the matter: “I respect Tiago’s decision, but naturally I lament it. He’s a good player who could still do positive things for the Seleccao. He has a rich past in the national team. I thank him for what he did for the Seleccao.”
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 have announced the signing of Portuguese winger, Simao, from Atletico Madrid. There has been speculation over Simao’s future at Atletico, and Besiktas have silenced that with a 900,000 Euro deal. He will join on a two-and-a-half year deal, which will keep him at the club through the 2012-2013 season. Simao joined Atletico from Benfica in 2007, and has enjoyed great amounts of success at the Spanish team, easily being one of their most consistent performers. Simao has a Europa League and a UEFA Super Cup to his name, so he will now join fellow Portuguese Quaresma at the Turkish capital. No more news has come out of the Manuel Fernandes deal to Besiktas. Although he has passed his medical, it has not officially been announced. Simao will no-doubt keep up his level of performance from Atletico, and since the Turkish league is less competitive than the Spanish league, his level of performance may be raised.
Miguel has officially retired from the Portuguese National Team. The Valencia right-back was evidently pondering retirement before the Seleccao’s games against Cyprus and Norway, but has now made the announcement official after the games. Miguel has appeared over 50 times for Portugal, scoring one goal, and has now made room for Bosingwa, Silvio, and Joao Pereira. Ever since he made his debut in 2003, Miguel has appeared at every major tournament since Euro 2004.
Chelsea right-back has joined Simao and Deco in calling it quits for Portugal after eight years with the Portuguese National Team. Ferreira has played at two World Cups and two European Championships. Most likely, Ferreira saw that his chances of playing for the Seleccao will become fewer and farther between because of the emergence of Silvio and Bosingwa on the right and Fabio Coentrao on the left. Paulo has been a regular fixture on the many call-ups that have occurred since 2002, so join me in wishing Paulo Ferreira the best of luck in the rest of his career!
Simao has seen his career with the Seleccao span to ten years. The Portuguese winger made his debut in 1998. Not only did he make his debut when he was 19, but he scored on it. Simao has seen the ups and downs of the national side. When he began, the Seleccao had just come off of a failed attempt to qualify for the 1998 World Cup, and were now shifting their attention to qualification for the 2000 European Tournament. Led by Luis Figo, the Seleccao qualified, and surprised the world by upsetting England at the actual tournament. Simao didn’t make the cut for UEFA Euro 2000, but he was involved in Portugal’s qualification for the 2002 World Cup, the first World Cup they had qualified for since 1986. Simao, however, missed the tournament due to injury. Meanwhile, at Benfica, Simao was becoming one the fan’s favorites because of his sublime skill and leadership qualities. Due to the fact that Portugal was hosting UEFA 2004, they did not have to deal with qualification. It was during this period(between the 2002 World Cup and UEFA Euro 2004) that Simao became instrumental in the National Team’s game plan. Euro 2004 was where Simao showed his true worth to the Seleccao. Although he failed to score, he helped the team in other ways, such as assisting Helder Postiga’s goal in the quarter-final game against England. He continued his great form with the Seleccao, and was called up for the 2006 World Cup, where he was one of the star players in the side that reached fourth place. Simao was also an integral in the Seleccao’s leave-it-late qualifying campaign, and was also a member of the Portuguese side. With Cristiano Ronaldo established as one of the(if not the)best in the world, no one expected him to fail to score at all during Portugal’s 2010 World Cup Qualifying campaign. Further more, no one expected Simao to carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders by becoming Portugal’s top scorer throughout qualifying. Simao made appearances at the 2010 World Cup, scoring in a 7-0 romping of North Korea. So, all-in-all, Simao has made appearances at 2 European Championships and two World Cups. So, I, along with all of Portugal say, Obrigado Simao!
Sir Alex Ferguson has raised some eyebrows with his latest signing, Bébé, from Vitoria Guimaraes. The attacking midfielder/forward was completely unknown until Guimaraes signed him at the beginning of this transfer period from Portuguese Second Division side Estrela Amadora. Bebe grew up on the streets of Portugal, and was raised in an orphanage, where he nurtured his street soccer skills. He was invited to play at the 2009 European Street Football Festival, where he allegedly scored 40 goals in 6 games. He was soon after signed by Amadora, where he enjoyed a good amount of success. After Estrela Amadora failed to pay his wages, Vitoria Guimaraes signed him this summer on a free transfer and immediately slapped a 9-million euro release-clause. Throughout pre-season, Bebe scored five goals in six games for Guimaraes, alerting the big guns. Real Madrid came knocking, but Manchester United stepped in front after a tip from Portuguese National Team coach Carlos Queiroz to Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex also confirmed that Bebe will not be loaned out, but will instead stay at Old Trafford, learn English, and fight for a spot on the wing against the likes of Nani and Valencia.
So, you have it there. From the streets to Old Trafford. If there ever was such an inspiring story, this would be it. Bebe spoke of his dream transfer, saying: “It’s a dream come true” and “I am very happy. I had the dream of playing, one day, for a major club. That dream has come true,” he said. “Football can change lives, very much”
Portuguese international Boa Morte is nearing the final stages of his injury recovery. The winger suffered cruciate ligament damage in the pre-season, and is hoping to be fit for the remainder of West Ham’s season, as they battle out of the relegation zone.
West Ham teammate and fellow Portuguese Manuel da Costa scored today in The Hammer’s 2 all draw with Everton. Since joining in August, the defender has settled in nicely, and I wouldn’t be surprised if an international call-up is relatively imminent.