João Cancelo’s Valencia Loan Made Permanent


Photo: Valencia CF

Photo: Valencia CF

João Cancelo

Benfica to Valencia

Valencia CF announced today their definitive purchase of Benfica’s João Cancelo. Cancelo played in Spain all season at Valencia, where he was on loan from the Portuguese giants. As part of the loan deal, Valencia had the option to purchase Cancelo outright for 15 million euros, and though the final price of the deal has not been announced, it is believed to be 15 million.

This deal represents yet another sale of a talented young player for big profit, following in the footsteps of André Gomes and Bernardo Silva. Gomes was at most a bench player at Benfica, but has since thrived at Valencia. Silva had yet to even break into the first team at Benfica, but his 15 million euro move to Monaco has proven a tidy bit of business for the French club, after some increasingly impressive performances. If this deal is to be compared to that of Gomes and Silva, we can expect big things from João Cancelo in the near future.

Of the deal, Cancelo said: “[I am] very happy to continue at Valencia CF, whom I hope to help for a long time to come. I will always carry Benfica in my heart, but now my biggest dream is to continue giving my best for Valencia CF, growing with the team and repaying the great confidence that the club have shown in me.” (Valencia CF) His deal runs until 2021.

Opinion: Bernardo Silva – Benfica Loses a Gem


Photo: AS Monaco

Photo: AS Monaco

Bernardo Silva

Benfica to Monaco

It was announced this week that Benfica had officially sold 20 year-old Bernardo Silva to Ligue 1 side Monaco for just under 16 million euros. Silva has spent the first half of the season on loan at Monaco, and has impressed in both the league and the Champions League. Some may have predicted this move from the start, as Monaco had the option to purchase the midfielder as a part of the loan agreement, but there were signs that Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira intended to bring Silva back for next season. Now, with the dust settled, all we can do is look back at what it could have been for Benfica. This is not to say that Silva’s career is over, by any stretch of the imagination. The midfielder is touted to have a bright future, and could very well be one of the most important Portuguese players of his generation, but this move has deep implications for the Portuguese game, and represents a trend currently occurring in Portugal. Continue reading

MID-SEASON REPORT: 10 Portuguese Players Who Could Break Out This Season


Andre Gomes has been a revelation this season for Valencia. Photo: John Sibley / Reuters

Andre Gomes has been a revelation this season for Valencia. Photo: John Sibley / Reuters

There is no question that the Portuguese national team is in a transitional phase. The Selecção’s group stage exit in Brazil just reinforced the claim that the squad will look very different in the next few years. There has perhaps never been a time in recent memory when the country has had so many promising young players.

In the summer, we chose ten that we thought would be able to make a positive impact at club level this season. Since then, four of these players have made their debuts for the senior Selecção, to go along with André Gomes and Bruma who had been selected before. This article will look at the progress of each player and will assign them a grade based on their development so far. Continue reading

Aladje: Portugal’s Discovered Gem Lost Again


Aladje (center) in action against Cuba at the 2013 U-20 World Cup.

Aladje (center) in action against Cuba at the 2013 U-20 World Cup.

Everybody remembers Portugal’s run in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Laden with precocious talent in the form of Bruma, Joao Mario, and Andre Gomes, Portugal’s attack was flashy and effective. Almost all the players on the team played their club football in Portugal, with the exception of two Barcelona B players, Edgar Ie and Agostinho Ca, and Aladje. At the time of the tournament, Aladje was a virtual unknown in the team. Having just finished a season in the Italian fourth division, Aladje’s performances in pre-tournament friendlies and the Toulon Tournament were enough to cement a place in the team, and ultimately the starting lineup for Portugal. His performances at the tournament continued to impress, and during the tournament, he was purchased by Serie A side Sassuolo. Since that time, Aladje has fallen by the wayside. One of Portugal’s most surprising and exciting talents has just disappeared once again. Continue reading

Portuguese National Team: Highs and Lows


Fernando Santos led the team to two wins against two difficult opponents

Fernando Santos led the team to two wins against two difficult opponents

It was a big week for the National team heading into games 3 & 4 of Fernando Santos’ tenure. The good news now is in competitive matches he sports a 2-0 record, and overall has a record of 3 wins from 4 matches. I for one was not a fan of the hiring because with his pending suspension it puts the team in a precarious situation, but not one to cry over spilled milk, I also like to give folks a chance before I criticize them. Continue reading

Last-Gasp Goal Pushes Portugal Past World Cup Finalists


Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Cristian Ansaldi, of Argentina. Photo: AP/Jon Super

Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Cristian Ansaldi, of Argentina. Photo: AP/Jon Super

Portugal 1-0 Argentina

International Friendly

A last-minute goal from 20 year-old left back Raphael Guerreiro was enough to give Portugal a narrow 1-0 win over Argentina in a match played at Manchester United’s home ground, Old Trafford. The build-up to the match was predictably centered around the Messi vs Ronaldo rivalry, but neither player influenced the game too heavily, and both exited play at half time. Overall, many would probably agree that the final scoreline did not reflect the way the game unfolded, but Fernando Santos and co. surely won’t complain.  Continue reading

Preview: Portugal vs Argentina


Ronaldo could be the star of the show against Argentina

Ronaldo could be the star of the show against Argentina

Having narrowly edged Armenia on Friday, the Portuguese national team faces much stiffer competition at Manchester United’s home ground Old Trafford as the Seleccao are pitted up against World Cup finalists Argentina in an international friendly. Cristiano Ronaldo once again saved Portuguese blushes against Armenia and the spotlight will be on the Portuguese superstar as he competes with rival Lionel Messi to steal the show at a place he once called his professional home. Continue reading

Preview: Portugal vs Armenia


Tiago Gomes could start against Armenia. Photo Record.xl.pt

Tiago Gomes could start against Armenia. Photo Record.xl.pt

Fernando Santos will look to build on a sound start to his tenure in the Portuguese dugout ahead of a clash against Group I dark horses Armenia in the Algarve. Having come away with the three points in Copenhagen after a last-gasp Cristiano Ronaldo effort, A Seleção da Quinas will be confident of building on a professional display in their last hit-out in front of a packed Faro crowd. Continue reading

Bosingwa Earns Recall


Sweden vs Portugal - 2008 - Bosingwa

Bosingwa playing for the team in 2008

Fernando Santos named a squad of 24 today for Portugal’s upcoming games against Armenia and Argentina, giving calls to a number of either new or returning players to the team. The most notable of these was Bosingwa, who was famously exiled under Paulo Bento beginning in 2011. Initially an automatic starter under Carlos Queiroz, Bosingwa’s decline under Bento was swift. Now 32, Bosingwa is still a starter at Trabzonspor in the Turkish league, which is enough for Fernando Santos. Continue reading