As promised, Portugal National Team coach Fernando Santos named an additional eleven names for the team’s friendly against Cape Verde, to be played on March 31. Because Portugal faces Serbia on March 29 and then faces Cape Verde just two days later, there is not the FIFA-sanctioned three-day rest period between games. For this reason, those who take the field in the Serbia match will not in the Cape Verde match. Because of this, Santos has called up additional players for the Cape Verde match, and his listing is quite unexpected. Continue reading
Benfica B midfielder Rúben Pinto has joined Primeira Liga side Paços Ferreira on loan until the end of the season to fill the void left by Ruben Ribeiro, who has joined Gil Vicente on loan. Pinto played the first half of this season for Benfica’s B team, which competes in Portugal’s second tier, the Segunda Liga. A captain at Benfica B, Pinto will now get his first taste of top-flight soccer at Paços. Continue reading
A goal from Bernardo Silva early in the second half was the only highlight from a Portuguese perspective as a brace from hometown hero Danny Ings and finely-slotted goal from Carl Jenkinson was enough to comfortably guide the English to a 3-1 victory at Turf Moor in Lancashire on Thursday night. Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mica – Sporting to Inter?
Inter Milan are expected to complete the signing of Michael Gonçalves Pinto, better known as Mica. Mica currently plies his trade in Sporting Lisbon’s U-19 team. He is a regular for the Portugal U-18 team, and is expected to make his U-19 debut soon. At age 18, it appears that Mica has a glittering career ahead of him. This observation must be quite evident, because Manchester City, Fulham, and Bayern Munich are all said to be interested. Inter seem to be the closest to the player, however, and a deal looks to be finalized soon.
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.
Despite it being quite far away from any transfer window, the rumors are still heating up. So, here are the major stories:
1. Ruben Pinto Tracked by Arsenal
The Portuguese Under-19 captain is currently being tracked by Premier League giants Arsenal. Pinto, who models his style of play after Rui Costa, has recently turned down other offers to the Premier League. He has, however, a contract tying him down to Benfica until 2012, so a move probably won’t be likely. Ruben has fancied a move to the Premier League for some time now, and with his heroics against Spain in this last Euro U-19 tournament, maybe that move can finally happen.
2. Milan Keeping Tabs on Coentrao and Periera
Italian giants A.C. Milan are allegedly watching Portuguese National Team fullbacks Joao Pereira and Fabio Coentrao. Coentrao was a bright spot in Portugal’s muddy World Cup campaign, and has since become a vital player for Benfica. He currently is tied to Benfica with a release clause of 30 million pounds. Joao Pereira moved from Braga to Sporting Lisbon earlier this year, and has since impressed enough to earn a call-up to the National Team.
3. Juventus in Miguel Veloso Swap Deal
Juventus are supposedly making a deal with Genoa for the trade of Sissoko and Miguel Veloso. The deal would see Miguel Veloso leave Genoa, who he joined in the summer, and meet up with Juventus, who was tracking him earlier this year. I do not foresee this move happening.
4. Pedro Marques to Make Portugal Switch
Real Madrid C midfielder Pedro Marques is reportedly being watched by Olhanense. Olhanense are currently third in the Liga Zon Sagres, having enjoyed an impressive start to their second consecutive season in the Portuguese top-flight. Marques has been playing in Spain for some time now, but it has been speculated that Olhanense want his services.
5. Chelsea Want Pepe in 2012
Following Pepe’s statement that he plans to leave Real Madrid in 2012 whan his contract is up, Chelsea have come out and said that they want him for free in 2012. Pepe has been rock-solid in his partnership with Ricardo Carvalho not only at Real Madrid, but also for the Seleccao.
Many promising, young, Portuguese players go on loan every year. This can be very beneficial for them. As was the case with Olhanense this last season, a club can almost completely be made up of players loaned to them. Ukra and Andre Castro showed their true worth last season with that team, and are now going to be a past of Porto’s main team next season. Portimonense, it looks like, are going to be similar to Olhanense this season, with all of the talent they are bringing in on loan.
Here’s the list so far:
Ruben Lima – Benfica to Vitoria Setubal
Ricardo Batista – Sporting to Vitoria Setubal
Nelson Oliveira – Benfica to Rio Ave
Roderick Miranda – Benfica to Rio Ave
Yazalde – Braga to Rio Ave
Candeias – Porto to Portimonense
Tiago Pinto – Braga to Vitoria Setubal
Mario Felgueiras – Braga to Portimonense