Roderick Recalled from Deportivo Loan


Roderick

Roderick

Deportivo to Benfica (loan return)

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has recalled Roderick Miranda from his loan at La Liga side Deportivo, after the defender only made four official appearances for the club this season. The loan was originally set to last the entire season, but due to a lack of center-defenders at the club (Miguel Vitor, Luisao, Garay, and Jardel), Roderick has been recalled. Roderick is now in contention for a rotation role in Benfica’s first team, most likely to play second-fiddle for Garay and Luisao.

Portugal Edge Luxembourg


Luxembourg 1-2 Portugal

Portugal were lucky to beat a defensive-minded, physical Luxembourg team today. This game marked the beginning of qualification for the 2014 World Cup for both teams, and both were looking for a positive result. Portugal were riding high after their positive showing at Euro 2012 and their victory over Panama last month, while Luxembourg were the wild card, as ever.

Surprisingly, it was the hosts who started the brighter of the two teams. Left midfielder Joachim shot just over for Luxembourg, before Daniel Da Mota opened the scoring in spectacular fashion. The striker’s first touch out of the air took him around Joao Pereira, and he shot confidently past Rui Patricio. The goal was certainly a wake-up call for the Seleccao, as they began to press harder. Luxembourg poured more men back on defense, but were certainly not content on keeping the score at 1-0. Fifteen minutes after Luxembourg opened the scoring, Ronaldo tied the game up at 1-1. Some chaos on the edge of Luxembourg’s box allowed Joao Moutinho to poke the ball to Ronaldo, whose shot bounced in off the post. Following the goal, Portugal’s play improved considerably. Ronaldo came close with a free kick, and then hit the post after a wonderful lob from Raul Meireles. Soon after, Helder Postiga had a wonderful header saved by the goalkeeper. That was how the half ended: 1-1. Portugal’s play was noticeably improved, but a goal had not come yet.

That goal came soon after the second half commenced.  Joao Moutinho played a ball over the top for Helder Postiga, who side-footed the ball past the keeper to make the score 2-1 in Portugal’s favor. After the goal, the game was badly officiated, as Luxembourg became more physical by the minute. Both the side referees and main referee made blatantly incorrect calls, mostly in Luxembourg’s favor. Nevertheless, Portugal controlled the rest of the match, kept their head, and ground out a victory.

Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Fabio Coentrao, Miguel Veloso(Varela), Raul Meireles(Custodio), Joao Moutinho, Nani(Ruben Micael), Ronaldo, Helder Postiga

Man-of-the-Match: Ronaldo

Crutch-of-the-Match: Miguel Veloso

HIGHLIGHTS HERE

Nelson Oliveira, Custodio, and Miguel Lopes Make Euro 2012 Squad


Paulo Bento released the highly-anticipated squad list for Euro 2012 today, with the inclusion of Nelson Oliveira, Miguel Lopes, and Custodio and the exclusion of Hugo Viana to note. Hugo Viana has enjoyed a wonderful season for Braga, and many were clamoring for his inclusion in the squad for this upcoming European Championship. As it turns out, Viana did not make the team, which was justified by Portugal coach Paulo Bento. He stated simply that “Hugo Viana does not fit in this group.” Bento simply confirmed the theory that many held that Viana had not been called up because he doesn’t fit into Portugal’s formation. Two other Braga players did make the squad, however. Custodio and Miguel Lopes, both uncapped at the senior level for Portugal, have impressed enough this season to earn a call-up from Bento. Below is the full squad list:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Sporting), Eduardo (Benfica), Beto (Cluj)

Defenders: João Pereira (Sporting), Miguel Lopes (SC Braga), Pepe (Real Madrid), Bruno Alves (Zenit), Rolando (FC Porto), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: João Moutinho (FC Porto), Raúl Meireles (Chelsea), Carlos Martins (Granada), Miguel Veloso (Genoa), Rúben Micael (Zaragoza), Custódio (SC Braga)

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Nani (Manchester United), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas), Silvestre Varela (FC Porto), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Hélder Postiga (Zaragoza), Nélson Oliveira (Benfica)

Euro 2012 Away Jersey Presented


In a ceremony on Sunday, Nike officially presented Portugal’s away kit for Euro 2012. The design is exactly the same as the leaked photo from a month back, being white with a red/green cross. Paulo Bento, Nelson Oliveira, Danilo Pereira, Raul Meireles, Bruno Alves, and Miguel Veloso were all present at the presentation. This is the jersey that will be worn in Portugal’s friendly against Poland tomorrow. Here are some of the pictures.

Liga Orangina Youngster to Watch: Miguel Rosa


Miguel Rosa

Belenenses

Player to Watch

Those who have followed the Liga Orangina over the past two seasons at all will know the name Miguel Rosa well. Rosa is currently on loan from Benfica at Belenenses, where he played last season, also on loan. Miguel Rosa is primarily a center-midfielder, who is just as adept at the attacking-midfield spot. Despite his sometimes deeper-lying position, Rosa has earned a goalscoring reputation. Last season, he contributed eleven goals for Belenenses, and this season he already has five.

Last season, Miguel Rosa was in red-hot form for Belenenses. As stated earlier, the midfielder contributed an impressive eleven goals for the team. His goalscoring exploits and overall stellar play earned him the Liga Orangina Player of the Year award. This feat did not go unnoticed by the club that, and does, own him, Benfica. The Portuguese giants announced that Miguel Rosa would join the first team for preseason training this season. Despite some promising performances, Benfica loaned out Miguel Rosa once again to Belenenses for the entirety of this season. The midfielder has continued his good form on a lesser scale, but there is still evidence that he is growing as a footballer.

Despite his good form for various clubs in the Portuguese second-tier, Rosa has appeared very infrequently for the youth national teams of Portugal. The midfielder only made four appearances for the Portugal Under-19 team, and despite scoring three goals for the team, he was never called to any higher youth setup. If Miguel Rosa can earn a spot in Benfica’s midfield next season, which looks unlikely, he could earn a spot in the Portugal National Team’s midfield. In an attempt to gain enough playing time, Rosa may have to cut his ties with Benfica, however.

Miguel Rosa has shown time and time again that he is too skilled to be playing in the Liga Orangina. Some would argue that he is the most talented player in the league at the moment, after it was confirmed that he was last season. Regardless, Miguel Rosa looks to be a solid player for seasons to come, whether it is in the Liga Orangina, the Liga Zon Sagres, or another league in Europe.

Trio Joins Beira-Mar


Beira-Mar have snapped up three promising players from the Liga Orangina today, as was announced in the Portuguese media. Abel Camara completed his move from Belenenses, Nuno Lopes joined from Oliveirense, and Tiago Cintra arrives from Leixoes. All three have showcased their talents in the Liga Orangina, and are now eager to do the same in the Portuguese topflight.

Abel Camara

Belenenses to Beira-Mar

Yesterday’s rumor has predictably turned into today’s reality. Abel Camara has joined the club from Belenenses, where he had previously spent the entirety of his senior career. Currently a regular for the Portuguese Under-21 team, Abel is due to join training at Beira-Mar as soon as Tuesday. The striker reportedly signed a four-and-a-half year deal, which will tie him to the club until 2016.

Nuno Lopes

Oliveirense to Beira-Mar

Nuno Lopes, who is Miguel Lopes’s twin brother, has joined Beira-Mar from Oliveirense. The right-defender had only been at the Liga Orangina club for a mere season and a half, but his performances have merited a move to the Liga Zon Sagres.

Tiago Cintra

Leixoes to Beira-Mar

Tiago Cintra looked like a star for the future when he broke into Leixoes’s first-team two seasons ago. That promise has diminished, but many would argue that some portion of it is still there. Cintra played for Leixoes for two and a half seasons, before Beira-Mar snatched him up today.

Veloso Wanted by Inter Milan


Miguel Veloso

Genoa to Inter?

According to reports coming out of Portugal, Inter Milan are lining up a move for Genoa defensive midfielder Miguel Veloso. Veloso was disappointing last season for the Italian club, but has been much better so far this season. Due to his fine performances, clubs such as Lazio and CSKA Moscow, and more recently Inter Milan, were on his tail. Inter, however, look to be the most likely destination if Veloso were to leave Genoa. Inter’s Thiago Motta is set to be sold to PSG, and the club regards Veloso as the perfect replacement. Inter is also interested in Porto playmaker Freddy Guarin, so Veloso’s move may depend on whether the Colombian completes his move.

Transfer News – 1/9/12


The transfer window has been quiet up to this point, but it appears that things may be starting to heat up. Here are two stories, one a loan and one a permanent transfer. While these are most likely not huge stories, they are nevertheless interesting.

Miguel Lopes

Porto to Braga (Loan)

Porto right-back Miguel Lopes is set to spend the remainder of the 2011-2012 season on loan at fellow Liga Zon Sagres outfit, SC Braga. Lopes has not played in a single competitive match this season for Porto, and this move will surely come as a relief for the defender. The right-back spent the entirety of last season on loan to then-Segunda Division side, Real Betis. Lopes was instrumental in the team’s promotion back into the Spanish topflight. On the last day of the summer transfer window at the beginning of this season, Zaragoza reportedly made a bid for Lopes. The offer was accepted, but eventually fell through due to the time constraint. Miguel Lopes will join up with his new teammates shortly and begin training.

Diogo Rosado

Sporting to Genoa (end of season)

Diogo Rosado, once tipped to be a star for the future, is set to leave his homeland, according to reports coming out of Portugal. Currently on loan from Sporting at Liga Zon Sagres side Feirense, the winger has been impressing. A solid performance against Benfica earlier in the season was thought to be a sign of things to come. Unfortunately, playing time has not been ample for the 21 year-old. He has only managed four starts for the club this season. Anyhow, Rosado has been on the books at Sporting since 2001, but he looks to break that at the end of the season. His contract with the Lisbon-based club runs out at the end of the season, and Genoa either has, or shortly will, offer him a 5 year-contract.

Portugal Dismantle Bosnia


Portugal 6-2 Bosnia

Portugal defeated Bosnia by a thrilling scoreline of 6-2 to book their place in Euro 2012. Ronaldo was the star of the show, recording a brace, while Helder Postiga also scored twice. Nani added a spectacular long-ranger, and Miguel Veloso scored his second-ever goal for the Seleccao with a sumptuous free-kick. Portugal were too hot for Bosnia to handle, and while the visitors did make life uncomfortable at times for the Seleccao, Portugal always looked the clear winners.

The game started off almost spectacularly after Raul Meireles failed to finish off a rebound from a Ronaldo shot. That was quickly forgotten when Ronaldo opened the scoring by rifling in a spectacular free kick: his third during Paulo Bento’s reign so far. The team the doubled their lead soon after. Raul Meireles’ simple ball found Nani in quite a bit of room. The winger turned, looked up, and unleashed a ferocious shot that gave the Bosnian goalkeeper no chance. With Portugal up 2-0, the team started to step off the accelerator a bit. They were punished accordingly, if harshly, when Fabio Coentrao handled in the box. The referee awarded a penalty, which Misimovic slotted home cool-as-you-like past Rui Patricio. That was the last event of note that occurred in the first half. The two teams went into their respective locker rooms with the score at 2-1 in Portugal’s favor.

Soon after the break, Portugal were at it again. This time, however, ended in a goal. Some quick thinking from Joao Moutinho put Ronaldo through on goal. The captain rounded the keeper and finished emphatically with his left foot. Once again, with a two-goal cushion, Portugal eased off the pedal. They were once again punished when some lax defending from the team gave Spahic the simplest of finishes. With the scoreline once again within one goal, the Seleccao pushed for more breathing room. They were rewarded on 72 minutes, when a quick pass from substitute Ruben Micael opened up a shot from Helder Postiga, who made no mistakes with his left footed shot, which he buried in the bottom corner. With breathing room restored, Portugal still continued to press for another goal. Just minutes later, the team won a free-kick on the edge of the box. Miguel Veloso struck the ball, which dipped over the wall and into the empty net. The goalkeeper was bamboozled. That goal was only Veloso’s second goal for the National team; the first coming late in 2009 against Malta. The team wasn’t done just yet, however. Almost immediately, Fabio Coentrao was found on the left flank. He surged forward and somehow crossed the ball at the last moment. Helder Postiga was on hand to head the ball home to make the final score 6-2 Portugal and seal their place in next summer’s Euro 2012.

Man-of-the-match: Ronaldo

Crutch-of-the-match: Joao Pereira

Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Fabio Coentrao, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Raul Meireles(Ruben Micael), Joao Moutinho, Miguel Veloso, Ronaldo, Nani(Quaresma), Helder Postiga(Carlos Martins)

Bento Names Squad for Euro Qualifier


Paulo Bento named a squad of 23 for Portugal’s upcoming Euro 2012 qualifier against Cyprus. The game is scheduled to be played on September 2nd, and many are hoping for a better result than that of last year’s game, which ended at 4-4. Bento’s squad include’s 4 players not called up to the last squad: Miguel Veloso, Eliseu, Paulo Machado, and Rolando.

 

Here’s the list:

Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Benfica), Quim (SC Braga), Rui Patrício (Sporting)
Defense: Bruno Alves (Zenit), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), Rolando (FC Porto), João Pereira (Sporting), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Carvalho (Real Madrid), Sílvio (Atlético de Madrid)

Midfield: André Santos (Sporting), João Moutinho (FC Porto), Raul Meireles (Liverpool), Rúben Micael (Zaragoza), Miguel Veloso (Genoa) e Paulo Machado (Toulouse), Eliseu (Malaga)

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Danny (Zenit), Hélder Postiga (Sporting), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Nani (Manchester United), Varela (FC Porto)