Who should make the Portuguese team for Euro 2012: Goalkeepers


As is the case before any major tournament, a number of players are vying for a limited amount of spots for their respective national teams. The Portuguese team is no different. Many Portuguese players are enjoying stellar seasons for their clubs, and are certainly hoping for a call to represent their country at this summer’s Euro 2012. We’ll break down these candidates position-by-position, in an effort to predict how Paulo Bento will choose the final squad. First up is the goalkeepers.

Goalkeepers

Definites: Rui Patricio (Sporting)

Maybes: Eduardo (Benfica), Beto (CFR Cluj), Quim (Braga)

Outsiders: Ricardo (Vitoria Setubal), Hugo Ventura (Olhanense), Daniel Fernandes (Twente)

 

The goalkeeping position is rarely a problem for the Portuguese team. There has always seemed to be a strong goalkeeper at the start of every major tournament. For the 2002 World Cup, Vitor Baia was the undisputed choice. For Euro 2004, the 2006 World Cup, and Euro 2008, Ricardo was between the sticks, and for the 2010 World Cup, Eduardo was first-choice. These keepers certainly met all expectations, and have established the fact that the goalkeeping position is consistently one of the strongest on the Portuguese team.

This time around, Rui Patricio is our man. A major part of Sporting’s success in the Europa League this season is down to his heroics in goal. It’s not just for Sporting, however. Patricio has emulated his club form on a national stage for Portugal. Our former stalwart is Eduardo. Arguably just as talented as before, a lack of playing time has been Eduardo’s main problem. After lackluster performances last season for Genoa, Eduardo was shipped off to Benfica for a season-long loan. Unable to dislodge Artur Moraes as first choice, Eduardo has been warming the bench ever since joining the club. Although his playing time has been scarce, his proven ability in the past will most likely win him a place on the team at Euro 2012. Another goalkeeper that has been loaned this season is Beto. Beto was the standout performer in the 2008-2009 season for newly-promoted Leixoes. His performances caught the eye of Porto, who snapped him up for a nominal fee. Despite possessing proven talent, Beto has never earned a starting spot over first-choice Helton. This season, in search for regular playing time, Beto was loaned to Romanian side CFR Cluj. Since then, he has played regularly, and a call-up to Euro 2012 may not be too unrealistic. Braga has continued to establish itself as one of Portugal’s top teams, and right at the heart of it all is Quim. Formerly the undisputed first-choice at Benfica, and even earlier at Braga, Quim has played a pivotal role in Braga’s surge to third-place this season. Although he has amassed 32 caps for the Seleccao, he has only appeared once at a major tournament. His performances this season show that he still has it, even at 36, but will that be enough for Paulo Bento? The outsiders looking in at a spot at Euro 2012 with Portugal are Daniel Fernandes, Ricardo, and Hugo Ventura. None of the three have appeared very much, if at all for Twente, Vitoria Setubal, and Olhanense respectively, and a spot on the Portuguese bus to Euro 2012 looks unlikely.

 

Probable bus-riders: Rui Patricio, Eduardo, Beto

 

Name

Club

Age

League Apps

Cup

Apps

Continental

Apps

Total

Apps

Rui Patricio Sporting

24

25

5

12

42

Eduardo Benfica

29

0

8

0

8

Beto Cluj

29

21

0

0

21

Quim Braga

36

26

2

10

38

Ricardo Setubal

36

3

3

0

6

Daniel Fernandes Twente

28

0

0

0

0

Hugo Ventura Olhanense

24

0

0

0

0

Bento Announces Squad


Portugal National team coach Paulo Bento released a list of 23 for the team’s upcoming Euro 2012 Qualifying matches. With Fabio Coentrao, Pepe, and Hugo Almeida all out injured, many wondered who the coach would call up in place. Sereno, Ricardo Costa, and Ricardo Quaresma all earned the call. Some surprise exclusions are Quim, who has been in good form for a winning Braga team, and Bosingwa, who has earned a starting spot at Chelsea with his eye-catching displays. Here’s the full list:

 

Goalkeepers: Eduardo, Beto,  Rui Patrício
Defenders: Bruno Alves, Eliseu, Sereno, João Pereira, Ricardo Costa, Rolando, Sílvio
Midfielders: Carlos Martins, João Moutinho, Miguel Veloso, Paulo Machado, Raul Meireles, Rúben Amorim, Rúben Micael
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Danny, Hélder Postiga, Nani, Nuno Gomes, Ricardo Quaresma

 

Probable starting lineup:

Rui Patricio

Joao Pereira-Bruno Alves-Rolando-Silvio

Raul Meireles-Joao Moutinho-Ruben Micael

Ronaldo-Helder Postiga-Nani

Bento Names Squad of 21


Portugal coach Paulo Bento has named a squad of 21 for the team’s upcoming friendly with Luxembourg next week. The game is the Seleccao’s last warm-up game before their continuing Euro 2012 qualification  campaign. The most notable inclusions in Bento’s squad are Andre Castro, Nuno Gomes, and Quim. Nuno Gomes and Quim were previously Benfica stalwarts, but are both now at Braga. Both seem to be on the out for the Seleccao, but Bento evidently still has a plan for them. Andre Castro had an impressive season on loan from Porto at Sporting Gijon. The midfielder impressed a lot at Gijon, quickly establishing himself as a starter.

Goalkeepers: Eduardo (Benfica), Rui Patricio (Sporting), Quim (Braga)
Defenders: Bruno Alves (Zenit), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Joao Pereira (Sporting), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Carvalho (Real Madrid), Silvio (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Castro (FC Porto), Andre Santos (Sporting), Joao Moutinho (FC Porto), Raul Meireles (Liverpool), Ruben Micael (FC Porto)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Danny (Zenit), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Postiga (Sporting), Nani (Manchester United), Nuno Gomes (Braga), Varela (FC Porto)

Transfer News – 5/27/10


The news just keeps pouring in, so here’s the latest.

1. Helder Barbosa: Porto to Nacional – The Portuguese winger has been owned by Porto ever since he started to play football professionally, but like other players (such as Andre Castro, Ukra, and Candeias) has showcased his skills at other teams. I have no idea how much the transfer was worth, but I am going to venture a guess and say that Nacional didn’t go cheap.

2. Marsielle strongly linked with Raul Meireles – The Portuguese midfielder has been linked with Sevilla and Fiorentina in recent days, but Marsielle has started to show more interest. Meireles, however, will move for no less than 8 million pounds, according to FC Porto.

3. Aston Villa Chasing Valencia’s Miguel – Valencia right-back Miguel has enjoyed a decent season for the Los Che, which is why Aston Villa are looking to bolster their squad with him.

4. Malaga Eyeing Quim – The Portuguese international goalkeeper is currently being courted strongly by Spanish side Malaga CF. Quim has played an integral part in Benfica’s recent Portuguese Championship campaign, so it comes as no surprise that other clubs will be following him.