It is inevitable. Emerging Portuguese talent in Liga NOS really only see one option if they want to blossom into the best player possible: leave Portugal for greener ($$) pastures. It is hard to argue with them; as England, France, Spain, Germany and Italy can offer tougher competition, European glory, extra exposure, and of course, more money. Still, knowing when to go, and where to go, become the ultimate factor in determining your success as a player. As we have seen, some players leave Portugal and become world greats, while others leave Portugal and become forgotten. Let us take a look at five recent Portuguese departures, and how the move has worked for them.
It seems as though there may be a new world-class player donning the Seleccao’s shirt at some point in the near future. Marquinhos, who scored today for PSG in the team’s 3-0 Champion’s League victory over Benfica today, expressed his interest in playing for the Portuguese National Football Team. Though born in Brazil, Marquinhos also holds Portuguese citizenship, likely through his parents or grandparents. The defender expressed his interest, saying: “If the invitation comes, why not? I’ll be very honored and happy.”
Should Portugal decide to call on Marquinhos, they would get one of the brightest young center-backs in the game at the moment. The defender made the move to Roma at the beginning of last season. Though not much was expected of him, Marquinhos established himself as not only a talented player, but also one of the league’s finest defenders (at age 18). 26 impressive league appearances for one of Italy’s top teams earned him a move to money-rich PSG, who splashed out 30 million euros for his services. Still only aged 19, Marquinhos has established himself as one of the brightest prospects in world football, and the Seleccao would be silly not to choose him before Brazil gets to him.
Things are starting to heat up in this transfer window that has been largely uneventful. Maybe it will become more interesting if any of these rumors become a reality.
Sporting to Everton?
According to reports coming out of Portugal, Everton are very interested in signing Adrien Silva, who is currently on loan from Sporting Lisbon at Academica. Silva has been in rampant form this season for Academica, and his performances have not gone unnoticed. Everton boss David Moyes was in the stands yesterday during the Academica vs Vitoria Guimaraes match, with Silva most likely the reason for his trip. A move is unlikely, however, as Silva’s release clause at Sporting is set at 20 million, and Everton are typically a cash-strapped club.
Sporting to PSG?
Sporting right-back Joao Pereira is reportedly a target for French billionaire club PSG. Inter Milan right-back Maicon is said to be their primary target, but if a 15 million pound move for him does not materialize, the French club may look to either Pereira or Porto right-back Jorge Fucile.
Sertanense to Chelsea, Wolfsburg, Monaco, or Porto?
Many don’t recognize the name Diogo Ribeiro. There is no reason to. Now, however, Ribeiro is the top scorer in the equivalent of the third division in Portugal. The striker has bagged nine goals so far this season, and that tally has not gone unnoticed. Representatives from Chelsea, Wolfsburg, Monaco, and Porto were all present at the team’s last match, with Ribeiro their intended target.
Porto to Mariselle or Bologna (loan)?
Porto outcast (kind-of) Sivestre Varela is looking for a way out of the club. The winger was an integral part of the team that won virtually everything last season, but this season has been the polar opposite. Under new coach Vitor Pereira, Varela has been pushed into the shadows, and with talk of another winger, Yannick Djalo, joining the club, his playing time looked even more threatened. Though the Yannick move has not materialized, Varela is still looking out. Marsielle and Bologna are both interested in taking the player on loan.
F.C. Porto have recently stated that they plan to allow Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles, who has enjoyed a splendid season, to leave after the World Cup. Valencia, PSG, Everton, and Sevilla are all fighting to sign Meireles, who is slowly becoming one of Europe’s hottest prospects. Sevilla look to be closest to his signature, with a 12 million euro deal almost ironed out.
I think that Porto’s decision to not let him leave until after the World Cup is a smart one. It eliminates the possibility that he will fail to settle in at Sevilla, and lose his form, which would be a tragedy for the Seleccao. Meireles has most recently involved in the National Team with his goal against Bosnia which sealed Portugal’s passage into the World Cup.