Mario Rui Thriving in Italy


Mario Rui in action for Empoli. Photo: Getty Images

Mario Rui in action for Empoli. Photo: Getty Images

Few of the players in Portugal’s squad which finished as runners-up at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup have experienced success. Out of the squad of 21, only two have earned caps with the senior national team, and only Cedric Soares has really shown the promise of a bright future. One player, however, is beginning to show his true colors, despite not being one of the more talked about players in the 2011 team. Mario Rui has enjoyed a successful start to the season at Empoli in Italy’s Serie A, winning a starting spot at left-back. His performances have established himself as one of the most important members of the squad. Continue reading

Transfer Round-up – 1/26/14


Pedro Mendes - SassuoloPedro Mendes

Parma to Sassuolo

After a limited amount of playing time so far for Serie A side Parma, Pedro Mendes has sealed a free transfer to league-strugglers Sassuolo.

Hugo Vieira - BragaHugo Vieira

Braga to Gil Vicente (loan)

After moving to Braga from Benfica this summer, Vieira has found playing time hard to come by this season. In the opportunities he was given at Braga, Vieira failed to impress. Now, Vieira will join the club where he made his start seasons ago.

Betinho - Vitoria SetubalBetinho

Sporting to Vitoria Setubal (loan)

After impressing this season for Sporting B, scoring nine in 17 games, Betinho will now have his first opportunity at playing in the Liga Zon Sagres, joining Vitoria Setubal on loan until the end of the season.

Salvador Agra - AcademicaSalvador Agra

Real Betis to Academica (loan)

Salvador Agra has joined Academica on loan until the end of the season after a disappointing loan spell at Braga during the first half of the season.

Andre GomesAndre Gomes

Benfica to ?

Benfica announced today that Andre Gomes has been sold to an unnamed team for 15 million euros. After a promising start to his Benfica career, Gomes has found playing time very limited, and although Matic has departed the team for Chelsea, it does not appear that Gomes will see more playing time. Liverpool have been touted to make a move for the midfielder, and Anfield could very well be where Gomes ends up at the end of the day.

Yannick Pointed Towards Benfica


Yannick Djalo

Unattached to Benfica?

After a failed trial with Premier League side Aston Villa and some false rumors linking him to Porto, Yannick Djalo is now on Benfica’s radar, according to the Italian press. The Portuguese club has supposedly offered the winger a three year contract that will run out sometime in 2015. Although Benfica look to be the frontrunners for his signature, Parma and Sampdoria are also said to be interested, and are keeping a close eye on his proposed move to Benfica.

Fabio Lopes Much Coveted


Fabio Lopes

Real Betis to AC Milan?

Real Betis youngster Fabio Lopes is set for a move to A.C. Milan, according to reports coming out of Portugal. The 18 year-old has been dubbed the new Rui Costa by many news sources, which is quite a comparison to live up to. A.C. Milan have reportedly agreed a deal, and a medical has been passed, but final stipulations must be ironed out to complete the move. Juventus, Parma, Ajax, and PSV were all said to be interested also, but it appears that Milan will snatch the youngster up. Lopes is currently playing with Betis’s youth team. “I hope I can reach an agreement with AC Milan in order to join the team. However, if negotiations do not run as expected, other alternatives have in Italy. I feel very motivated though things are not yet fully confirmed. I’m still waiting for an answer,” Lopes said. If Lopes indeed joins Milan, he will be the team’s third Portuguese acquisition this summer after Ricardo Ferreira joined from Porto and Pele joined from Genoa.

Arsenal and Liverpool Eyeing Danilo Pereira


Danilo Pereira, of Parma FC, is a transfer target for Premier League giants Arsenal and Liverpool, according to reports coming out of Portugal. Danilo was one of Portugal’s standout players in their 2nd place finish in this summer’s U-20 World Cup. The holding midfielder currently plays for Parma FC in Italy. He is set to return to the club after he was loaned last season to Aris, in the Greek league. Danilo’s performances have not gone unnoticed, however. Arsenal and Liverpool are now interested, and though a move is unlikely, it still makes for a good story. Clubs such as Arsenal and Liverpool are not stupid in their interest in Danilo. He has shown signs that he will develop into a world-class defensive midfielder.

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.

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.

Aris Interested in Danilo Pereira


Greek Superleague team, Aris, are interested in taking Parma’s young midfielder, Danilo Pereira, out on loan for the remainder of the season. Pereira has understandable found playing time hard to come by at Parma, sue to his young age, so a loan move to Aris may look attractive to him. Pereira made the move from Benfica to Parma in the summer, following his impressive performances for Portugal at the UEFA U-19 Championship.

Danilo Pereira Unveiled at Parma


Portuguese starlet Danilo Pereira was unveiled as a Parma player today during a press conference. He will be given the number 17. Pereira spoke of the ambition the club has and how it is a “good” club. He also spoke of his ambition to grow as a player at Parma, which he feels confident that he can do. He spoke of the Italian style of football, saying: “It’s a very tactical football and also very physical, so I think I can adapt well, because I have the right characteristics to adapt to this type of game.” The press then asked him how he feels about his comparison to former French international Patrick Vieira. He responded saying that he is flattered to be compared to such a player, but he is Danilo Pereira, he will try to prove his worth, and he is happy to be here.