Opinion: 10 Players Who Could Break Out This Season


We could see big things from Carlos Mane this season.

We could see big things from Carlos Mane this season.

Portugal’s performance at the FIFA U20 World Cup and UEFA U21 European Championships strengthened the perception that Portuguese football is on the ascendency once again.

Andre Gomes, William Carvalho and Bernardo Silva are just some of the players that have established themselves over the past few seasons. The editors of FutebolFactory.com and PortugalFutbol.net have compiled a list of ten players who they think could make a big breakthrough this season. Continue reading

2015/2016 Season Preview: Porto


Much is expected of Giannelli Imbula, seen here in Marsielle colors, who made the move to Porto this summer.

Much is expected of Giannelli Imbula, seen here in Marseille colors, who made the move to Porto this summer.

With the start of the new Primeira Liga season now less than two weeks away, clubs are finishing their preparations for the new season. PortugalFutbol.net’s own FC Porto expert and creator of TripeiroNation, Mitchell Rua gives some extensive insight into what we can expect from the Dragons this season. Continue reading

Joao Cancelo Joins Valencia on Loan


Photo: Valencia CF

Photo: Valencia CF

Joao Cancelo

Benfica to Valencia (loan)

Benfica’s young right-back Joao Cancelo has joined La Liga side Valencia on a season-long loan from Benfica, the Spanish club have announced. Cancelo is already training with the team and will be presented later today. It is believed that the arrival of Cancelo will spell the end of Joao Pereira’s time at Valencia, with the veteran right-back reportedly on the out.

This move comes after a summer of speculation about Joao Cancelo’s future. Pacos Ferreira were reportedly very close to securing a loan deal earlier in the summer, but that deal fell through. More recently, it was announced that Meriton Capital Limited, Valencia’s soon-to-be owner Peter Lim’s company, purchased the rights to Cancelo as well as Bernardo Silva and Ivan Cavaleiro. With little reported on this supposed purchase, it is difficult to determine its legitimacy. But if it is true, it comes as little surprise, as Peter Lim recently purchased the rights to two other Benfica players, Andre Gomes and Rodrigo.

The Spanish club’s new coach, Nuno Espirito Santo, is known from his time coaching Rio Ave to have strong ties to Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes. Mendes has brokered deals for players such as David Luis, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Angel Di Maria in the past, and much of Nuno’s Rio Ave side were represented by Mendes’ agency, Gestifute. Andre Gomes, Rodrigo, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, and Ivan Cavaleiro are all represented by Mendes, which will guarantee them big moves in the future, but not necessarily playing time.

David Simao Loaned to Academica


David Simao

Benfica to Academica (loan)

Benfica midfielder David Simao has joined fellow Liga Zon Sagres outfit Academica on loan until the end of the season. Simao had been promoted to the first team this season at Benfica, but has found playing time non-existent. The midfielder has only managed two appearances for the club so far this season, and both have been in the Taca de Portugal, which is the cup competition. Now, David Simao will join high-flying Academica on loan for the rest of the season, in an effort to gain playing time.

Benfica Snap Up Young Pair


Manel Liz and Nelson Semedo

Sintrense to Benfica (end of season)

Reports coming out of Portugal (and Benfica’s website) suggest that Liga Zon Sagres powerhouse Benfica has snapped up two midfielders both plying their trade in the third division. The pair, Nelsinho (Nelson Semedo) and Manel Liz, are both playing at Sintrense and are setting the league alight. This season is Nelsinho’s first as a senior player. Since being promoted from the youth teams at the club, the midfielder has already appeared in thirteen games for the club, and has contributed three goals in the process. At just eighteen, these numbers sound quite encouraging, and he looks to be a player for the future. Manel Liz, on the other hand, is twenty-two and is already an established member of the first team. He has started thirteen games this season, and has already contributed four goals. Liz is a wideman, while Nelsinho is an out-and-out center midfielder. The pair will finish out the season at Sintrense, and sign a six-year contract in June.

U20 World Cup Starlets: Goalkeepers and Defenders Season Update


Following Portugal’s stellar performance at the recent U-20 World Cup, many wondered whether the crop of players who went so far in the tournament would continue their form for their club teams. Let’s take a look at how the 2011-2012 season is going for each of those young, talented players.

Goalkeepers

Mika – The best goalkeeper of the tournament was swiftly snapped up by league giants Benfica, but has since found playing time non-existent. While he has appeared a couple of times for the Portugal U-21 team, he has not been as lucky at Benfica. He is currently third in the pecking order, behind Artur Moraes and Eduardo, first and second respectively.

Tiago Maia – Maia is in a similar predicament as Mika, only instead of moving to a big club in the summer, he dropped down a division to promotion-hopefuls Santa Clara. The playing time hasn’t come as easily as he must have expected, however. He is third in the goalkeeping order, behind Stefanovic and Brice. Maia has only appeared on the bench twice, and is yet to make his official debut.

Luis Ribeiro – Last but not least on the list of goalkeepers is Luis Ribeiro, currently on loan at Sertanense from Sporting. Sertanense is currently competing in the third division in Portugal, but nevertheless, Ribeiro has yet to make an appearance for the club.

Defenders

Tiago Ferreira – The David Luiz lookalike has not featured for Porto’s first team, which comes as no surprise as he is still 18 years old. He has been a regular for the team’s youth setup, and continues to be a player to watch for the future.

Nuno Reis – The U-20 captain has built off what was a successful first season in Belgium last term. The defender has made five appearances so far this season, helping Cercle Brugge, where he is on loan from Sporting Lisbon, to second in the Belgian league.

Roderick – Clearly the second choice for the U-20 team’s center defense, his pairing with Nuno Reis was one to remember. Currently on loan from Benfica to Swiss side Servette, Roderick has excelled. The defender has played in six of Servette’s matches this season, and looks to have a successful season.

Cedric Soares – The right back/right midfielder/everything else has joined Academica on loan from Sporting Lisbon for the entire season. At Academica, he has established himself as their first-choice right-back. In doing this, he has also put in a case for a starting spot in the Portugal U-21 team.

Luis Martins – Benfica coach Jorge Jesus surprised everyone when he named Martins over Joan Capdevila in the team’s Champions League squad. By doing that, he was hinting that Martins could become Benfica’s second choice left-back. He has since appeared on the bench three times, further confirming the theory that he is their second-choice left back at age 19.

Mario Rui – The left-back has joined Serie B side Gubbio on loan from Parma. Rui was snapped up by Parma in the off-season, but was immediately loaned out to Gubbio to gain experience. The defender has since made six appearances, mainly from the substitute’s bench, all the while staking a claim for a starting spot in the Portugal U-21 team.

Paulo Machado’s Season Off to a Flyer


Playing at Saint EtienneThe French league officially began today, and Toulouse and Portuguese National Team midfielder, Paulo Machado, started on a high note. Machado currently plays for French side Toulouse, and was impressive in their win against Ajaccio. Machado had some good runs, but the best was saved for last. The Portuguese midfielder picked up the ball on the edge of the box and unleashed a ferocious shot into the upper right hand corner of the net. That goal sealed the win for Toulouse as they aim for a Europa League spot this season.

Click here for the goal.

Loan list for 2010-2011 Season


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 LimaBenfica to Vitoria Setubal
Ricardo Batista – Sporting to Vitoria Setubal
Nelson OliveiraBenfica to Rio Ave
Roderick Miranda – Benfica to Rio Ave
YazaldeBraga to Rio Ave
Candeias – Porto to Portimonense
Tiago PintoBraga to Vitoria Setubal
Mario FelgueirasBraga to Portimonense