Portugal Under-21 coach Rui Jorge named yesterday a 23 man squad to face the Netherlands in the playoff for the 2015 UEFA U-21 European Championship. The playoff is a two-match series, with first played in Netherlands on the 9th and the other in Portugal on the 14th. Needless to say, these two matches are of great importance. This is the closest the U-21 team has come to qualification to a major tournament since 2007, which is the last time the team appeared in a U-21 Euro. Continue reading
It’s About Time
3 Reasons Why Portugal Needs to Tap Into Their ‘Fountain of Youth’ RIGHT NOW!
I still can’t get over it. And when I blink, it’s like I’m watching the whole thing all over again. I floss, and I think about Joao Moutinho’s flat cross. I mop, and I think about Nani coming to a complete stop. I order a pizza slice, and I think about Eder’s version of Bambi on ice. It’s that game… that miserable excuse of a game where Portugal actually lost 1-0 at home to Albania.
In terms of horrifying matches to experience, it ranks right up there with the Euro 2004 final – it gave me a loss of appetite, laryngitis, nausea, dizziness, and a broken remote control. But, what sets them apart is that this latest result didn’t come with a broken heart. It came with a full-blown crisis. And that makes things even worse. Continue reading
Liverpool to Bordeaux (loan)
Liverpool and Portugal U-21 central defender Tiago Ilori has joined Ligue 1 side Bordeaux on a season-long loan from English Premier League side Liverpool until the end of the season. This loan comes as little surprise, after the arrival of Dejan Lovren at Liverpool. The club’s signing of Lovren meant that had Ilori stayed at Liverpool, he would have had to compete with no less than six central defenders, including seasoned internationals Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho.
This is not the first time Ilori has been loaned by Liverpool, having spent the second-half of last season on loan in Spain with Granada. Ilori impressed during his time at the Spanish club, and will hope for similar exposure this time in France. According to the details of the loan, Ilori will stay at the club until the end of the season, and there is no option for Bordeaux to make the loan permanent. Should this loan prove successful, we could see Ilori in the Portuguese National Team in the foreseeable future.
— FCGirondins Bordeaux (@girondins) August 18, 2014
With the transfer window to close shut in a little under a month and with managers looking to complete their squads as quickly as possible, there is no lack of transfer news. Here’s the latest:
Josue to leave Porto, but where to?
After spending only one season at Porto, Josue looks set to leave after it was revealed that he does not fit into Julien Lopetegui’s plans. A departure looks likely, with the midfielder not even present at the squad presentation. Porto are looking to sell the player, with a fee of 6 million euros reported to be their asking price. Lazio and Napoli are both said to be interested in the midfielder, but more recently, newly-promoted french side Metz are touted to be his destination.
Sunderland interested in Frederico Venancio
Following Vitoria Setubal’s 0-0 pre-season draw with Premier League team Sunderland, Frederico Venancio gained the praise of the English team’s coach. Gus Poyet said after the game that he was impressed with Venancio, who is entering his third full season in Setubal.
Newly-promoted La Liga side Deportivo are reportedly very interested in taking both Tiago Ilori and Ivan Cavaleiro on loan from Liverpool and Benfica, respectively. Ilori appears to be surplus to requirements at Liverpool this season, especially since the arrival of Croatian defender Dejan Lovren. Cavaleiro is also set to be loaned, with Pacos Ferreira, Academica, and Maritimo all interested in the winger’s services.
Following his release from Besiktas, Hugo Almeida is still without a club. The experienced Portuguese striker, who has found success in both Germany and Turkey, will surely find a club, but the question remains as to which one. Eintracht Frankfurt and Galatasaray have both been touted as possible destinations, and West Ham is the latest club to show interest in the striker.
Rayo Vallecano has taken Porto winger Lica on loan for the entire season after he was deemed to be surplus to requirements under new coach Julien Lopetegui. Much like Josue, Lica’s future at Porto looks increasingly dim, and it comes as little surprise that this loan was arranged.
Liverpool to Granada (loan)
Liverpool have sent young central defender Tiago Ilori on loan to La Liga outfit Granada until the end of the season. Ilori has yet to make an appearance for the Liverpool first team, but has established himself well in the U-21 side. Purchased from Sporting in the summer for a fee of 7 million, Ilori is viewed as a player for the future. Liverpool has a reputation for grooming young players into first team players, and with Ilori still only 20, many hope that’s exactly what will happen.
Portugal 3-0 Israel
2015 UEFA U-21 Euro Qualification
The Portuguese Under-21 team continued their perfect start to 2015 UEFA U-21 European Championship qualification with a resounding 3-0 victory at home to Israel. Goals from William Carvalho, Bruma, and an Israeli own goal were enough to give Portugal the 3-0 victory. The team dominated the majority of the match, and the scoreline duly reflects Portugal’s dominance. Bruma and Tiago Ilori both debuted for the team, and their debuts were impressive ones, with Ilori playing the entire match in the heart of the team’s defense, while Bruma managed to get on the score sheet. Also debuting for the team was To-Ze, who appeared for the final quarter of an hour.
Jose Sa, Tiago Ilori, Paulo Oliveira, Luis Martins, Ricardo Esgaio, William, Rafa, Joao Mario(Tiago Silva), Sergio Oliveira(To-Ze), Bruma(Ricardo), Ivan Cavaleiro
Rui Jorge announced his squad for the Portugal Under-21 team on Friday for the team’s matches against Israel and Azerbaijan, and included two of the brightest prospects in Portuguese football at the moment. Tiago Ilori and Bruma, who starred for Portugal at last summer’s U20 World Cup, have made the list, and are in line to make their debut for the team. Tiago Ilori’s good form last year for Sporting and subsequent solid display at the U20 World Cup convinced Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers to splash out over seven million euros for him. Bruma, also a product of Sporting, has similar displays to that of Ilori to thank for his success. Also impressive last season, Bruma picked up the silver shoe at the U20 World Cup, and earned a move to Galatasaray, who paid in excess of eight million euros for him. Both players are enjoying solid seasons thusfar, Bruma in Galatasaray’s first team, Ilori in Liverpool’s youth side, while on the fringes of the first team. Here’s the entire list:
Goalkeepers: Daniel Fernandes (Osnabruck), José Sá (Marítimo), Luís Ribeiro (Sporting)
Defenders: Josué (Vitória Guimaraes), João Amorim (Vitória Guimaraes), Luís Martins (Gil Vicente), Miguel Rodrigues (Nacional), Paulo Oliveira (Vitória Guimaraes), Raphael Guerreiro (Lorient), Tiago Ilori (Liverpool)
Midfielders: André Gomes (Benfica), Tó Zé (Porto B), João Mário (Sporting B), Luís Gustavo (Rio Ave), Rafa (Braga), Sérgio Oliveira (Paços de Ferreira), Tiago Silva (Belenenses), William (Sporting)
Forwards: Betinho (Sporting B), Bruma (Galatasaray), Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica B), Ricardo Pereira (Porto), Ricardo Esgaio (Sporting B)
Portugal’s Liga Zon Sagres has formed a reputation for being one of the best formative leagues in Europe. With a seemingly endless conveyer-belt of talent flowing out of the league, it is no wonder that so many young players choose Portugal over other countries. Players such as David Luiz, Fabio Coentrao, Di Maria, Joao Moutinho, Hulk, and Falcao (among others) have all spent their formative years in the Iberian country, only to make multi-million euro moves abroad to some of the finest teams in the world.
This season, there are many young Portuguese talents who will be hoping to emulate the likes of Coentrao and Joao Moutinho; with hopes to earn a big move abroad; with hopes to be noticed by Paulo Bento and be selected for the national team. Regardless, there is much hope, both for the players and the spectators. At the root of all of this is a single hope: that Portuguese football may grow.
In this segment, Portugal Football is highlighting 25 under-22 Portuguese players from across the Liga Zon Sagres. These players are certainly players to watch for. Some are already proven players, while some are yet to showcase their talents on the big stage. So, without further ado, the ones to watch.
|Anibal Capela||22||Center Defense||29|
|Tiago Silva||20||Attacking Midfield||46|
|Andre Gomes||20||Center Midfield||27|
|Luis Silva||20||Center Midfield||44|
|Danilo Pereira||21||Defensive Midfield||31|
|Miguel Rodrigues||20||Center Defense||19|
|Roderick Miranda||22||Center Defense||16|
|Tiago Ilori||20||Center Defense||32|
|Paulo Oliveira||21||Center Defense||43|
|Miguel Lourenco||21||Center Defense||22|
Due to a mini injury crisis in the Sporting Lisbon defense, Domingos Pacienca handed a start to 18 year-old center-back Tiago Ilori against Leiria yesterday. The youngster was given a squad number at the beginning of the season, and though he has primarily been with the youth team this season, he has made the bench for one of the team’s Europa League matches. Tiago Ilori performed admirably enough during the match against Leiria, as Sporting ran out not-so-easy winners. The only glaring mistake on his performance came when he failed to judge a lofted ball over his defense; a mistake that led to Leiria’s only goal. The game ended 3-1 in Sporting’s favor, with Tiago Ilori establishing himself as a player for the future.