Roma Attempts to Loan Braga Defender


Nuno Andre Coelho

Braga to Roma (Loan)?

AS Roma has made an official attempt to loan Nuno Andre Coelho in January. Roma’s defensive options are slim, and they currently have the worst defensive record in the league, despite sitting at seventh in Serie A. Now, in an attempt to bolster its defense, Roma has turned to long-term target Nuno Andre Coelho. Coelho has enjoyed a recent run of form after an injury to Douglao granted him much-needed playing time. His performances have merited being pre-drafted for Portugal’s upcoming friendly against Gabon, where he may very likely debut. The deal Roma proposed is a loan beginning in January and lasting to the end of the season, with an option to buy. His release clause is set at 12 million euros, and Braga will not let him go for much less than that.

U-21s Narrowly Miss Qualification


Poland 0-0 Portugal

2013 UEFA U-21 European Championship Qualification

The Portugal U-21 team will be disappointed to learn that they have narrowly missed out on qualification to next summer’s U-21 European Championship. A 0-0 draw with Poland today was not enough to qualify for the play-offs, with the team being overtaken in the standings at the last second, after Switzerland defeated Estonia.

The game started off quite lethargically, with nothing of note occurring until well into the first half. Some excellent wing-play from Andre Martins set up David Simao for a shot, but the midfielder uncharacteristically made a mess of it. Though the shot was missed, it was encouraging play nonetheless. The half ended with the scores level at 0-0.

Predictably, the second half was a much more lively affair. Poland had the first chance when a well-struck free-kick was put just over. Portugal responded well, with Andre Martins going close, and then Wilson Eduardo almost breaking the deadlock twice. As the time winded down, the game winded up. Anthony Lopes had to be on alert, as Poland were barraging the Portuguese goal with shot after shot. Last minute efforts from Wilson Eduardo and Salvador Agra were not enough to break the deadlock, and the game finished at a disappointing 0-0.

Anthony Lopes, Cedric, Ruben Ferreira, Nuno Reis, Pedro Mendes, Andre Almeida, Josue, Andre Martins(Fredy), David Simao(Wilson Eduardo), Rui Fonte(Abel Camara), Salvador Agra

HIGHLIGHTS HERE

Transfer Roundup – 9/3/12


It was an interesting transfer deadline day last Friday, with much happening in the world of Portuguese football. Joao Moutinho was at the heart of much of the news, with his transfer to Tottenham collapsing at the absolute last moment. Although Moutinho stole most of the limelight, there were still lesser-known transfers that were completed.

Tiago Pinto

Rio Ave to Deportivo

Deportivo added to their Portuguese contingent with the capture of Tiago Pinto from Rio Ave. The left-back will most likely play second or third fiddle for the club, behind first-choice Evaldo. Pinto’s move abroad comes as no surprise after two sold seasons at Rio Ave, where he established himself as an important player for the club.

Nuno Coelho

Benfica to Aris (Loan)

After making the move from Academica to Benfica at the beginning of last season, Nuno Coelho has found playing time at Benfica non-existent. In an effort to gain more playing time, he was loaned out to Beira-Mar, in the Liga Zon Sagres, and played well all season long. Now, with his situation at Benfica much the same, he has looked abroad for opportunities. The midfielder has joined Greek outfit Aris on loan for the entire season, and will hope that the experience will be a positive one.

Sana

Free Agent to Academica

Much was expected of Sana following his impressive performances for the Portuguese team at the 2011 U-20 World Cup, but an ill-fated move abroad in Spain has proved detrimental. Now, Sana has made the move back to Academica, as they attempt to bolster their squad ahead of their Europa League campaign this season. Surely, Academica will be a great place for Sana to continue his development and realize his potential.

Carlitos

Hannover to Estoril

While playing at Basel, Carlitos was being courted by some of the biggest names in Italy, including Roma and Fiorentina. He is now returning to Portugal to play for newcomers Estoril, after injuries hampered a two-season stay at Bundesliga side Hannover. His talent is undoubted, so he will surely add much to Estoril’s team.

Henrique

Academica to Blackburn

Blackburn have increased the number of Portuguese players in the team to six after their last-minute capture of Academica central-defender Henrique. After being purchased from Braga at the beginning of the season, Henrique was promptly snapped up by the English club, having only appeared twice for the Portuguese club.

Yannick

Benfica to Toulouse (Loan)

Yannick has found playing time at Benfica hard to come by, after completing his move there last season. The move to Benfica was surely a relief after his cancelled transfer to Nice, but competition has been fierce. Competing with the likes of Salvio, Nolito, Ola John, and Gaitan (among others), Yannick opted to go out on loan, to ensure playing time. He will play at Toulouse for the remainder of the season, with an option to buy.

Ukra

Porto to Rio Ave (Loan)

Porto winger Ukra has joined Rio Ave on loan for the entire season, as his options at Porto appear limited. The winger was in much the same situation last season, and joined Braga on loan for the entirety of last season. Though he was impressive when he played, he was injured during the majority of the time at the club. An undoubted talent, Ukra will surely shine for Rio Ave this season.

 

Pizzi Earns Maiden Call


Paulo Bento released a squad of 23 for the Seleccao’s upcoming games against Luxembourg and Azerbaijan. Notable inclusions are Pizzi (who has enjoyed a great start to this season at Deportivo), Manuel Fernandes (who was omitted from the Euro 2012 squad), and Nuno Andre Coelho (who made the last call-up by the skin of his teeth). Rolando, Hugo Viana, and Hugo Almeida all miss selection. Here’s the full list:

Goalkeepers: Beto (Braga), Eduardo (Istanbul BB), Rui Patrício (Sporting)
Defenders: Bruno Alves (Zenit), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), João Pereira (Valencia), Miguel Lopes (Porto), Nuno André Coelho (Braga), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Valencia)
Midfielders: Carlos Martins (Benfica), Custódio (Braga), João Moutinho (Porto), Manuel Fernandes (Besiktas), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Raúl Meireles (Chelsea), Rúben Micael (Braga)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Hélder Postiga (Zaragoza), Nani (Manchester United), Nélson Oliveira (Deportivo), Pizzi (Deportivo), Varela (Porto)

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.

U20 World Cup Starlets: Goalkeepers and Defenders Season Update


Following Portugal’s stellar performance at the recent U-20 World Cup, many wondered whether the crop of players who went so far in the tournament would continue their form for their club teams. Let’s take a look at how the 2011-2012 season is going for each of those young, talented players.

Goalkeepers

Mika – The best goalkeeper of the tournament was swiftly snapped up by league giants Benfica, but has since found playing time non-existent. While he has appeared a couple of times for the Portugal U-21 team, he has not been as lucky at Benfica. He is currently third in the pecking order, behind Artur Moraes and Eduardo, first and second respectively.

Tiago Maia – Maia is in a similar predicament as Mika, only instead of moving to a big club in the summer, he dropped down a division to promotion-hopefuls Santa Clara. The playing time hasn’t come as easily as he must have expected, however. He is third in the goalkeeping order, behind Stefanovic and Brice. Maia has only appeared on the bench twice, and is yet to make his official debut.

Luis Ribeiro – Last but not least on the list of goalkeepers is Luis Ribeiro, currently on loan at Sertanense from Sporting. Sertanense is currently competing in the third division in Portugal, but nevertheless, Ribeiro has yet to make an appearance for the club.

Defenders

Tiago Ferreira – The David Luiz lookalike has not featured for Porto’s first team, which comes as no surprise as he is still 18 years old. He has been a regular for the team’s youth setup, and continues to be a player to watch for the future.

Nuno Reis – The U-20 captain has built off what was a successful first season in Belgium last term. The defender has made five appearances so far this season, helping Cercle Brugge, where he is on loan from Sporting Lisbon, to second in the Belgian league.

Roderick – Clearly the second choice for the U-20 team’s center defense, his pairing with Nuno Reis was one to remember. Currently on loan from Benfica to Swiss side Servette, Roderick has excelled. The defender has played in six of Servette’s matches this season, and looks to have a successful season.

Cedric Soares – The right back/right midfielder/everything else has joined Academica on loan from Sporting Lisbon for the entire season. At Academica, he has established himself as their first-choice right-back. In doing this, he has also put in a case for a starting spot in the Portugal U-21 team.

Luis Martins – Benfica coach Jorge Jesus surprised everyone when he named Martins over Joan Capdevila in the team’s Champions League squad. By doing that, he was hinting that Martins could become Benfica’s second choice left-back. He has since appeared on the bench three times, further confirming the theory that he is their second-choice left back at age 19.

Mario Rui – The left-back has joined Serie B side Gubbio on loan from Parma. Rui was snapped up by Parma in the off-season, but was immediately loaned out to Gubbio to gain experience. The defender has since made six appearances, mainly from the substitute’s bench, all the while staking a claim for a starting spot in the Portugal U-21 team.

U-20 Bunch Brought in


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.

U-20s Record Back-to-Back Wins


The Portuguese Under-20 Team is through to the second round after two 1-0 wins over Cameroon and New Zealand each. Portugal’s overall play improved from their lackluster display against Uruguay in their opening match. The team added to their rock-solid defense a creative offense, and while it hasn’t gotten them goals, it has helped them just enough to reach the next round.

Portugal vs Cameroon

 

 

 

 

 

Portugal earned a deserved 1-0 victory over their African opponents on Tuesday. Nelson Oliveira scored the Seleccao’s only goal, which was enough to get them the win. Portugal controlled the majority of the match, and enjoyed much more success in their attack than they did against Uruguay. Their attack all payed off when two poor clearances from Cameroon’s defenders gave Nelson Oliveira a one-on-one situation. The Benfica man took his goal well, calmly lobbing it over the keeper to make the score 1-0. Portugal continued to control the match, but the game would end at 1-0.

Mika, Nuno Reis, Roderick, Cedric, Luis Martins(Mario Rui), Pele, Danilo Pereira, Julio Alves(Ricardo Dias), Alex, Nelson Oliveira, Caetano(Amidio Balde)

Portugal vs New Zealand

 

 

 

 

The Seleccao U-20 sealed their place in the second round with their 1-0 win over New Zealand. Mario Rui scored the only goal of the match, but that was enough to give Portugal a deserved 1-0 win. Many are wondering, however, how the score was not more than 1-0. Portugal had many opportunities, mainly through Nelson Oliveira, who enjoyed a splendid game.

Mika, Nuno Reis, Roderick(Tiago Ferreira), Mario Rui, Cedric, Pele, Danilo Pereira(Sergio Oliveira), Alex, Julio Alves, Nelson Oliveira, Caetano(Ricardo Dias)

 

The Portuguese Under-20 team will now face Guatemala in the Round of 16 of the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Guatemala have not looked impressive at all, losing 6-0 to Saudi Arabia and 5-0 to Nigeria, so a comfortable win should be in the bag. The quality of this Portuguese team is evident, and will continue to grow as the team finds its feet in this competition. Nelson Oliveira and Caetano have already shown that they are destined for bigger things, and players such as Pele, Danilo Pereira, and our entire defense have shown what they are capable of. Portugal will go far in this tournament. Mark my words.

Bento Names Squad of 21


Portugal coach Paulo Bento has named a squad of 21 for the team’s upcoming friendly with Luxembourg next week. The game is the Seleccao’s last warm-up game before their continuing Euro 2012 qualification  campaign. The most notable inclusions in Bento’s squad are Andre Castro, Nuno Gomes, and Quim. Nuno Gomes and Quim were previously Benfica stalwarts, but are both now at Braga. Both seem to be on the out for the Seleccao, but Bento evidently still has a plan for them. Andre Castro had an impressive season on loan from Porto at Sporting Gijon. The midfielder impressed a lot at Gijon, quickly establishing himself as a starter.

Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Benfica), Rui Patricio (Sporting), Quim (Braga)
Defenders: Bruno Alves (Zenit), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Joao Pereira (Sporting), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Carvalho (Real Madrid), Silvio (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Castro (FC Porto), Andre Santos (Sporting), Joao Moutinho (FC Porto), Raul Meireles (Liverpool), Ruben Micael (FC Porto)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Danny (Zenit), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Postiga (Sporting), Nani (Manchester United), Nuno Gomes (Braga), Varela (FC Porto)

Portuguese Settle For Draw


The Portuguese National Under-20 Team settled for a draw tonight against Uruguay. Both Portugal and Uruguay controlled the game from time to time and were, overall, even. Portugal showed more possession in the first half of play, but Uruguay stepped up their game in the second half and shackled Portugal’s play. Both teams came close at times, most notably when Sergio Oliveira hit the post with a marvelous free-kick, and when Uruguay’s captain, Diego Polenta, rattled the crossbar with a long-range effort.

Overall, Portugal played a defensive, possession-first game. The service to the forwards was not always the best, with Sana to be partially at fault. Danilo Pereira and Pele both excelled in their defensive midfield duties, but they would often leave Sana and Sergio Oliveira to do most of the creative attacking work in the midfield, due to their defensive approach. By far the most important aspect of the team was the defense. Nuno Reis and Roderick were water-tight, shutting down Uruguayan advances all night. The outside backs (Cedric and Luis Martins) were solid also.

Mika, Nuno Reis, Roderick, Luis Martins, Cedric, Pele (Julio Alves), Danilo Pereira, Sana (Tiago Ferreira), Sergio Oliveira, Nelson Oliveira, Rafael Lopes (Alex)

Player Ratings:

Mika: 7 : Benfica’s new signing certainly lived up to his reputation with an assured display. He always looked confident in his handling.

Nuno Reis: 7 : The pairing of Roderick and Reis complement each other well. The defense was one of Portugal’s strong-suits tonight, no doubt because of him.

Roderick: 7 : As stated above, Roderick performed well in his defensive duties, constantly breaking up plays. His range of passing was also a sight to behold.

Luis Martins: 6.5 : Martins had a solid game defensively, but I would have liked to see him attack more.

Cedric: 7 : Portugal’s number 8 had both a solid defensive and offensive game. His runs forward furthered Portugal’s attack and gave Uruguay headaches

Pele: 7 : Genoa’s new signing met all expectations. Pele is naturally a very gifted player, and it was shown tonight. He constantly got himself out of sticky situations using his skill. Along with Danilo Pereira, He anchored Portugal’s team and supplied the link between the defense and midfield.

Danilo Pereira: 7 : Much the same with Pele, Danilo fulfilled his role well, holding the midfield down with style. The only downside to his performance was his lack of attacking.

Sana: 6.5 : Virtually Portugal’s only creative midfielder, Sana was constantly on breakaways and feeding the forwards passes, only for them to make a mess of them. It must have been a frustrating night for him.

Sergio Oliveira: 6.5 : Apart from hitting the post in the second half, Porto’s midfielder didn’t do much. He hit many speculative shots, but could have helped Sana more in the midfield.

Nelson Oliveira: 6 : Overall, Nelson Oliveira did not play well. He did not play badly, but he just had a bad game. Missed an open opportunity when Sana put him through on goal in the second half,  but he missed his shot.

Rafael Lopes: 5 : A very dissappointing performance from the forward, who just couldn’t find his feet. The only thing he did was make Uruguay’s players angry. He was nowhere to be seen for large chunks of time in the game.

Substitutues:

Alex: 6.5 : The Santa Clara man came on for the ineffectual Rafael Lopes, and did better than his predecessor. He made some good passes and generally looked good on the ball. Would be a good replacement for Rafael Lopes in the coming games.

Julio Alves: 6 : Overall a very mediocre performance from Atletico Madrid’s new signing. Mind you, he did only have a handful of minutes at the end.

Tiago Ferreira: N/A : Not enough time on the field to give a rating.