OFFICIAL: Paulo Bento the Portugal Coach

Former Sporting boss Paulo Bento has taken over the Portuguese hot seat from Carlos Queiroz. His contract will run from now until July 2012. Hopefully, Bento will be able to revitalize the Seleccao, currently in quite a lackluster form. Paulo Bento stressed that the team needs to think of itself as one collective unit, not a collection of individual stars.“We have quality, willingness and motivation to achieve this, and I believe that the players will make it so. I am positive no player is even contemplating not being at Euro 2012,” said Bento. One possible positive that may help Bento be a greater coach than Queiroz is that Bento has experienced playing as a player on the field for the National Team. He will understand what is running through a player’s mind as he makes his debut, or as he appears at his first World Cup. This knowledge could prove invaluable. Apparently, former Mexico boss Javier Aguirre was interested in the job too.

Portugal Maintains FIFA Ranking

Portugal, somehow, stayed eighth in the September edition of the FIFA World Rankings. Even though the Portuguese National Team lost to Norway and infamously drew at home against Cyprus, FIFA have given us some sympathy. The Seleccao is in complete disarray after the firing of coach Carlos Queiroz. As for the deserved FIFA Ranking, I would have to say that 15th is only fair. The Seleccao must have paid FIFA or something, because Portugal are ahead of the likes of Chile and Croatia, who I feel confident could beat us right now.

Queiroz Sacked

Gone for good

Carlos Queiroz has officially be fired from his post os Portuguese National Team Manager, according to the Portuguese Football Federation. Queiroz is currently serving his six month ban after allegedly hindering pre-World Cup doing testing. The testers evidently came unexpectedly during the players’ downtime, which angered Queiroz. The favorite for the job as national team coach is former Sporting Lisbon coach Paulo Bento , but others are being considered, such as Luis Aragones. Manuel Pellegrini would be my ideal choice for the job as he knows how to play Ronaldo to his fullest, but the federation most likely wants a Portuguese coach. Queiroz’s firing may have happened too late, with Portugal’s Euro 2012 qualification hanging in the balance after some abysmal coaching, or lack thereof.

Queiroz Banned for Additional Six Months

Is he gone for good?

Portuguese National Team coach Carlos Queiroz has been banned for an additional six months, on top of his previous one month ban, which he is currently serving. I do not know why the additional six months was added on, but my best guess as to why is that the Portuguese Football Federation is giving him a choice: Either finish out the ban for seven months, or cut your losses and hust quit. The federation announced after the World cup that they were unhappy with the Seleccao’s performance in South Africa. It is no secret that the Portuguese federation want Queiroz out, so this is just another attempt on getting him out.

Queiroz Suspended for One Month

Is he gone for good?

ABola tells us that Portuguese National Team coach Carlos Queiroz has been suspended from his coaching post for a period of one month. His suspension, if I read correctly, is going to include the upcoming Cyprus and Norway Euro 2012 qualifying games. During this time, if I read correctly, the board will decide on Queiroz’s future. Supposedly, this announcement is supposed to be made tomorrow by FPF, but ABola somehow got the scoop early. They’re good at that.

Portuguese Starlet Signs on with United

Sir Alex Ferguson has raised some eyebrows with his latest signing, Bébé, from Vitoria Guimaraes. The attacking midfielder/forward was completely unknown until Guimaraes signed him at the beginning of this transfer period from Portuguese Second Division side Estrela Amadora. Bebe grew up on the streets of Portugal, and was raised in an orphanage, where he nurtured his street soccer skills. He was invited to play at the 2009 European Street Football Festival, where he allegedly scored 40 goals in 6 games. He was soon after signed by Amadora, where he enjoyed a good amount of success. After Estrela Amadora failed to pay his wages, Vitoria Guimaraes signed him this summer on a free transfer and immediately slapped a 9-million euro release-clause. Throughout pre-season, Bebe scored five goals in six games for Guimaraes, alerting the big guns. Real Madrid came knocking, but Manchester United stepped in front after a tip from Portuguese National Team coach Carlos Queiroz to Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex also confirmed that Bebe will not be loaned out, but will instead stay at Old Trafford, learn English, and fight for a spot on the wing against the likes of Nani and Valencia.

So, you have it there. From the streets to Old Trafford. If there ever was such an inspiring story, this would be it. Bebe spoke of his dream transfer, saying: “It’s a dream come true” and “I am very happy. I had the dream of playing, one day, for a major club. That dream has come true,” he said. “Football can change lives, very much”

Queiroz Releases Starting Lineup Against Cape Verde

Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz has released the starting lineup for the Portuguese National Team, who play Cape Verde later today. Queiroz has raised some eyebrows with his selection of Miguel Veloso and Fabio Coentrao in the starting eleven. Miguel Veloso has enjoyed an above average season, even though Sporting were abysmal. Fabio Coentrao, however, has enjoyed a spectacular season with Benfica, playing a major role in their championship success, which is why Real Madrid are currently courting him.

Here’s the lineup:

Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Bruno Alves, Fabio Coentrao
Pedro Mendes, Miguel Veloso, Deco
Nani, Liedson, Cristiano Ronaldo

World Cup: Portuguese Goalkeeper Explanation

Carlos Queiroz raised some eyebrows with his choice to leave out Quim from the 24-man squad. Instead, Porto stopper Beto was given a surprise inclusion, along with Iraklis shot-stopper Daniel Fernandes. So, here is my explanation for each player as to why they were chosen to go to the World Cup:

Eduardo – The Braga number 1 has been just that, number 1. He has had an exemplary season with the arsenalistas, and is currently being courted by a number of different clubs. During World Cup Qualification, Eduardo was part of our defense that only conceded five goals during qualification, so lets hope he can keep up his amazing shot-stopping ability going for the World Cup!

Beto – The 28 year-old keeper was arguably the best keeper playing in Portugal in the 2008-2009 season, so it came as no surprise that Porto snatched him up. Since then he has mostly appeared in cup matches, but recently, in the last part of the season, has won a place in the starting XI. He, almost single-handedly kept last June’s Portugal-Estonia match tied 0-0, with a string of superb saves.

Daniel Fernandes – Fernandes loves, and thrives in, Greece. PAOK was the first place he got noticed, and after making a move to Germany, with Bochum, he wasn’t quite the same. Realizing that he needed playing time if he wanted to play in the World Cup, Fernandes was loaned to mid-table Iraklis (of Greece). There he has rediscovered his heroics, enough that Queiroz found him worthy of a World Cup call-up. He is no stranger to the National Team, with 2 appearances under his belt. He has also been called-up quite a few times, which means that he knows the other players well, which could prove invaluable.

Queiroz Releases 24-man Squad

Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz released a 24-man squad for next month’s World Cup. Due to Pepe’s questionable fitness, Queiroz released a 24-man list instead of the official 23-man list, so that if Pepe is deemed unfit, he can drop him, or if Pepe turns out to be ready, Ze Castro or Ricardo Costa can be dropped. Surprise inclusions are Beto, Daniel Fernandes, Ze Castro, and Ricardo Costa. Moutinho was not included in the squad most likely due to his mediocre season.

Here’s the list:

Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Braga), Beto (FC Porto) Daniel Fernandes (Iraklis)

Defenders: Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea), Miguel (Valencia), Fabio Coentrao (Benfica), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Bruno Alves (FC Porto), Ricardo Costa (Lille), Rolando (FC Porto), Pepe (Real Madrid), Duda (Malaga) Ze Castro (Deportivo)

Midfielders: Tiago (Atletico Madrid), Deco (Chelsea), Raul Meireles (FC Porto), Miguel Veloso (Sporting), Pedro Mendes (Sporting), Danny (Zenit St Peterburg)

Wingers/Forwards: Simao Sabrosa (Atletico Madrid), Nani (Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Liedson (Sporting), Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen)

Queiroz also released a list of 6 reserves, just in case any of the players in the squad of 23 get injured. Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho, Ruben Amorim, Manuel Fernandes, Eliseu and Makukula all have an outside chance of playing in the World Cup after being included in this list.

Queiroz Releases 50 “Possible” Player List

Carlos Queiroz released yesterday a preliminary list for the World Cup. Out of these 50 players, only 23 will make the plane to South Africa. I think that Queiroz chose wisely in this list. These are supposed to be the best Portuguese players in the world, and I think that he chose wisely, very wisely indeed. Some players, such as Ruben Amorim and Vieirinha, are up-and-coming stars that will probably make their debuts after the World Cup. One surprise was that West Ham’s Manuel da Costa was not included. da Costa has been enjoying some playing time in England, something he didn’t get in Italy.

Here’s the preliminary list:

Atletico Madrid– Simao, Tiago
Benfica– Carlos Martins, Cesar Peixoto, Fabio Coentrao, Nuno Gomes, Quim, Ruben Amorim
Braga– Eduardo, Hugo Viana
Chelsea– Deco, Hilario, Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira
Deportivo– Ze Castro
Inter Milan– Ricardo Quaresma
Cologne– Maniche, Petit
FC Porto– Bruno Alves, Beto, Raul Meireles, Rolando, Miguel Lopes
Guimaraes– Nuno Assis
Iraklis– Daniel Fernandes
Kayserispor– Makukula
Lille– Ricardo Costa
Malaga– Duda
Man United– Nani
PAOK– Edinho, Vieirinha
Real Madrid– Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe
Sporting– Joao Moutinho, Djalo, Carrico, Veloso, Pedro Mendes, Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Tonel, Liedson
Toulouse– Paulo Machado
Valencia– Miguel
Valladolid– Pele, Sereno
Werder Bremen– Hugo Almeida
Zaragoza– Eliseu
Zenit– Danny, Fernando Meira