Following their Euro 2013 qualifier on Thursday, Portuguese U-21 coach Rui Jorge made some changes to the squad that is set to take on France on September 5th. Mario Rui, Nuno Reis, Julio Alves, David Simao, Caetano, Salvador Agra have all been called up in place of Ivo Pinto, Vitor Bastos, Andre Almeida, Diogo Viana, Ricardo Martins, and Abel Camara. Of the players drafted into the squad, David Simao is the only one who has any sort of experience with the U-21 team. The remaining five are just off Portugal’s best display at a U-20 World Cup for a long time.
Rui Fonte has finally made his first-team debut for Espanyol. Fonte is on loan from Sporting Lisbon, and has been playing on the Espanyol’s B team for the majority of the season to date. His performances have been impressive, with his current goal tally at 11 for the team. His impressive performances have earned him the opportunity to train with the first team, and today against Sporting Gjion, he was handed his debut. Fonte is regarded as a hot prospect for the future,and hopefully this loan will help him gain experience.
Portuguese center-back Sereno finally made his debut for Valladolid yesterday in their league match against Deportivo. Sereno hadn’t even made an appearance for the Spanish outfit(since he moved from Vitoria in January), so it came as a surprise when he was named in Valladolid’s starting eleven. Not only did he start, but he played a full match, along with fellow compatriot Pele. Valladolid now sit just in the relegation zone, and it looks as if they are to be one of the three teams relegated into the Segunda Division.
Finally, after a long injury spell, Orlando sa has made his long-awaited debut for Porto. sa was in the starting lineup in Porto’s 2-0 win over lower-level Oliveirense. It was not his greatest performance, but coming back from a lengthy absence and playing immediately in the starting eleven isn’t easy. His inclusion in the starting eleven just after absence shows that Ferreira may have faith in this kid. I hope he does have faith in him, because with a little bit of work, and a lot of patience, we could have ourselves the next Pauleta, which Portugal desperately needs.