2017/2018 Portuguese Abroad: Spain


Ruben Vezo - Valencia

As the summer transfer window dust begins to settle, European teams can finally nestle into their seasons with their filled out rosters. With 16 of the 23 members who made up Portugal’s Confederations Cup squad playing their trade outside of Portugal, it is imperative that the Portuguese abroad have a strong season as the team prepares for the World Cup next summer. For this first installment, Portuguese playing in Spain will be highlighted. To see an updated list of all Portuguese players playing abroad, visit out Portuguese Players Abroad page. Continue reading

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André Silva: Fail or Flourish?


Helder Postiga and Andre Silva

This summer’s Confederations Cup confirmed what Portuguese football fans had hoped for some time: Portugal finally has a quality striker. In André Silva, Portugal has an intelligent, skillful player with maturity well beyond his young age. Skilled both in the air and with the ball at his feet, André Silva’s presence on the field clearly improves the Seleção’s play, and helps ease the goal-scoring burden from Cristiano Ronaldo.

After a successful debut 2016/2017 season at FC Porto, Silva made a big-money move to Italian giants AC Milan, a team in the midst of a massive squad overhaul. While it is exciting to see a young Portuguese prospect the subject of a monumental move to a major European team, the question always arises: Is it too soon? In this article, I will compare André Silva’s career trajectory to that of another young, promising Portuguese, Porto-bred striker in recent history: Hélder Postiga. Continue reading

How Will Portugal Move Forward?


Fernando Santos with Greece

Photo: Getty Images Europe

With the Seleção’s surprise triumph this summer still fresh in the football world’s mind, Fernando Santos will soon begin preparations to move the team forward. To begin this transition, Portugal will play two games in early September. First, the team will face Gibraltar on September 1st in the first ever meetings between the two nations. Five days later, Switzerland and Portugal will kick off both teams’ 2018 World Cup qualification campaigns. Santos will likely choose a much different squad than what was selected for the European Championship. Post-tournament friendlies are typically used as a means for experimentation and as such typically involve new players, but Santos will have to balance experimentation with results. While the result of the Gibraltar match is inconsequential, Santos will surely be looking to get a win against Switzerland, who are on paper Portugal’s most difficult opponents in their qualification group. Here’s a list of who I would argue deserves to be selected by Santos. Continue reading

Portugal: A Team in Transition


Fernando Santos - Portugal

On Friday, Fernando Santos will name the Portugal squad to face France on September 4th (international friendly) and Albania on September 7th (Euro 2016 Qualification). With both the U-21’s strong showing at the U-21 Euro and the U-20 team’s impressive run at the U-20 World Cup this summer, the Portuguese National Team are in transition. With young prospects such as Bernardo Silva, João Mário, and Ivan Cavaleiro now becoming integral parts of their club teams, will Fernando Santos begin to ween them into the national team setup? Will they become stalwarts of the Seleção, or will Santos favor older, more experienced players? These questions highlight the conundrum that Portuguese football is facing; one of how to go about this transition. Continue reading

Éder Opens Portugal Account


Eder and Quaresma - Portugal vs Italy

Italy 0-1 Portugal

International Friendly

After almost three years appearing for the Seleção, Éder scored his first goal today, as Portugal scraped through a 1-0 victory over Italy in a friendly match played in Geneva, Switzerland. For fans of the Portuguese team, Éder has gained a reputation for profligacy in front of goal, despite impressive (yet waning) performances in Portugal for Braga. His excellent finish from Ricardo Quaresma’s trivela cross in the 52nd minute was all Portugal needed to earn the victory, despite going long spells during the match on the back-foot.  Continue reading

Youth Round-up: U-21s Draw, U-20s Defeat Uzbekistan


With much of the media coverage pointed towards the Portuguese senior team’s match against Serbia tomorrow, Portuguese youth matches have flown largely under the radar. On Thursday, the Portugal U-21 team faced Denmark in a friendly match, and just a day later, the Portugal U-20 team faced Uzbekistan. Both teams are preparing for participation in major tournaments this summer. The U-21 team will be in the U-21 Euro for the first time since 2007, while the U-20 team will compete in their third consecutive U-20 World Cup. Both teams are oozing with talent, and while these friendly matches don’t mean anything on paper, the opportunity for team growth and improved cohesion was invaluable. Continue reading

Santos Adds Eleven for Cape Verde Friendly


Andre Andre has finally earned a call to the Seleção after a stellar season thus far for Vitória Guimarães. He is joined by eight other un-capped players.

Andre Andre has finally earned a call to the Seleção after a stellar season thus far for Vitória Guimarães. He is joined by eight other un-capped players.

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

Paulo Bento Shows Some Flexibility


Adrien has earned a call to the Portuguese National Team. Many believe his inclusion is long-overdue

Adrien has earned a call to the Portuguese National Team. Many believe his inclusion is long-overdue

Paulo Bento announced today a 24 man squad for the Portuguese National Team’s inaugural Euro 2016 qualification match against Albania on September 7th. The squad is markedly different from the one Bento named for this summer’s World Cup, with the likes of Ricardo Horta, Ruben Vezo, Adrien Silva, Pedro Tiba, Bruma, and Andre Gomes all new to the team. Bento has been criticized for his lack of flexibility both in team selections and tactics in recent months, and has received much of the blame for Portugal’s sub-par showing at the World Cup this summer.

While it appears that Bento looks to be changing things around (which is something that many will agree desperately needs to happen), there are still some signs that Bento still has a long way to go. Ricardo Costa, who was on the Portuguese squad this summer in Brazil, is included in this squad, despite being 33 and playing in the middle east.

One of the biggest exclusions of this squad was of Ronaldo. The Real Madrid and Portugal star will miss out against Albania, after it was discovered that he was not in sufficient physical condition to appear for the Seleccao. The team will surely miss the talented Ronaldo, but one would hope that other players can step up in his place, especially against a team like Albania.

Squad


Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Eduardo (Dinamo Zagreb), Rui Patrício (Sporting)

Defenders: André Almeida (Benfica), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), João Pereira (Valência), Pepe (Real Madrid), Neto (Zenit), Ricardo Costa (Al-Sailiya), Ruben Vezo (Valência), Antunes (Málaga)

Midfielders: Adrien (Sporting), André Gomes (Valência), João Moutinho (Mónaco), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Pedro Tiba (Braga), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahçe), William Carvalho (Sporting)

Forwards: Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Bruma (Galatasaray), Éder (Braga), Ivan Cavaleiro (Deportivo), Nani (Sporting), Ricardo Horta (Málaga)