David Simao was a surprise inclusion in Portugal Under-21 coach Oceano’s list for their crucial Group 9 qualification clash with Lithuania. Currently, Portugal sit third in Group 9 behind England and Greece and need to win all of their three remaining matches to even hope to qualify. Oceano spoke of David Simao, saying: “We believe that this player [David Simao] as has happened with others in the recent past, he deserved the opportunity to be present in sub-21 and observed a step above.” New Everton signing Joao Silva was also included, having picked up his U-21 debut earlier this year. Here is the entire list:
Belenenses: André Almeida
Benfica: Fábio Faria
Everton: João Silva
FC Porto: Castro e Ukra
Leicester: Miguel Vítor
Leixões: Rui Pedro
Nacional: João Aurélio and Orlando Sá
Olhanense: João Gonçalves
Paços de Ferreira: Bura and David Simão
Portimonense: André Pinto, Candeias and Ventura
Sp. Braga: Pizzi
Sporting: André Santos, Daniel Carriço, Diogo Salomão, and Rui Patrício
It’s official. I’m sorry to say it’s official. The Portuguese injury list continues to grow. First Bosingwa, then Varela and Ruben Micael, and now Nani. When I saw this, I was absolutely shell shocked. Nani will miss the 2010 FIFA World Cup due to an injury in his shoulder at a training session. He has been in almost tantalizing form for club and country as of late. He was arguably the best performer against Cape Verde and Cameroon, and his heroics at United have earned him a contract extension. I fell quite sorry for him as this will be his first World Cup, and with the form he is currently in, I have no doubt that he would have raised some eyebrows. His replacement will be Ruben Amorim, of Benfica, who has been told to pack his bags immediately. It now looks like Duda will mainly be used as a left winger, not a left-back. Instead, Fabio Coentrao will most likely be the starting left-back. Amorim will most likely be used as a wing-back, either on left or right, but it looks more likely that he will be a backup for Coentrao on the left.
The Portuguese Under-17 team is pitted against Spain, France, and Switzerland in this May’s 2010 UEFA Under-17 Championship. Liechtenstein host the finals tournament, which will be held between the 18th and the 30th of May. Spain won the 2007 and 2008 editions of the tournament, so they’re going to be our biggest threat. Switzerland reached the semi-finals last year, and France was in the 2008 final, so that is why the Portuguese Under-17 coach appropriately dubbed our group the group of death. But even if we don’t do well, this is the first UEFA Under-17 championship we have qualified for since 2004, so that in itself is an accomplishment.
Carlos Queiroz released a 17-man squad list today for Portugal’s upcoming friendly match against China. Included in this squad is Porto playmaker, Varela, who has yet to make his debut for the Senior National Team. Varela has been prolific for Porto this season, scoring some wonderful and vital goals, so it came as no surprise when Queiroz called the winger up for the first time. Sporting duo Joao Moutinho and Miguel Veloso were surprisingly not included in this squad. Queiroz stated that players called up for the U-23 team, and not the Senior Team, still have quite a large chance at playing at the World Cup, saying: “For me the U23 team, together with the senior team, allows all players to obtain visibility and experience. Some will play against Wales, others against China. My decisions regarding these two squads were made jointly in preparation for the World Cup,”
Here’s the full squad:
Atlético de Madrid: Simão Sabrosa e Tiago
Chelsea FC: Hilário, Paulo Ferreira e Ricardo Carvalho
Málaga CF: Duda
Manchester United FC: Nani
FC Porto: Bruno Alves, Raul Meireles, Rolando e Varela
Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo
Sporting: Liedson e Pedro Mendes
SC Braga: Eduardo
Werder Bremen: Hugo Almeida
Former Portuguese international midfielder Costinha recently rescinded his contract with Atalanta, and today it was announced that he will become the new director of football at Sporting Lisbon. The former director of football for the Lions was Sa Pinto, but due to an altercation involving him and Liedson, he left the post. Costinha was a long time member of the Portuguese National Team, representing them at World Cup 2006 and Euros 2000 and 2004. He has also played in five different countries during his 16 year career, such as Atletico Madrid, AS Monaco, and FC Porto(where he won the Champions League and UEFA Cup). Hopefully with all of this experience, he will be helpful to Sporting, as they desperately try to salvage their dismal season.
Tobias Figueredo, a 15 year old Sporting midfielder, has been watched by Manchester City for some time now, but the new partnership between Manchester City and Sporting has renewed the interest. Manchester City have beat out Manchester United at the opportunity to reach a partnership agreement with Sporting Lisbon. Figueredo was called up today to the Portugal Under 17 Team, and has featured for them before, so a move for the highly rated midfielder is imminent.
Figueredo spoke simply, saying:“This is big news for me.”