Liga NOS Players Rewarded by Fernando Santos; 25-Man U-21 Squad Named


Fernando Santos - Denmark vs PortugalPortugal head coach Fernando Santos named today a squad of 25 to face Armenia and Italy. The Portuguese National Team faces Armenia in a Euro 2016 qualification match on June 13th, before facing Italy in a friendly match three days later. Santos used this opportunity to call up a number of players who have impressed this season, both in Portugal and Spain. Danilo Pereira, Pizzi, and André André all earned calls, after excellent seasons for Marítimo, Benfica and Vitória Guimarães, respectively. In addition, Daniel Carriço earned his first call, after his excellent season saw him lift the Europa League trophy with Sevilla for the second time in two seasons.  Continue reading

U-20 World Cup Preview: Portugal’s Team


Portugal head coach Hélio Sousa has a wealth of talent at his disposal. Photo: FPF

Portugal head coach Hélio Sousa has a wealth of talent at his disposal. Photo: FPF

In a little over a week, the Portuguese U-20 Team will kick off their much anticipated U-20 World Cup campaign with their first match against Senegal. The U-20’s participation in this summer’s tournament will be the third consecutive finals appearance, after a runners-up finish in 2011 and a second round exit in 2013. Expectations are high for the Portuguese, with many of the players included in the squad touted to be stars of the future. But, as has been the case with Portugal’s involvement in the U-20 World Cup, many players are not as well-known as some of their older counterparts. So let’s take a look at the team: 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

Suspension Reduced for Fernando Santos


Fernando SantosAfter deliberation, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced today that Fernando Santos’ suspension would be reduced from eight games to two games. Santos, the current Portuguese National Team coach, earned his eight-match suspension during last summer’s World Cup, where he was in charge of the Greek National Team. During the second round match against Costa Rica, Santos was expelled from the match, because of an alleged remark he made to the referee.  Continue reading

Fernando Santos Releases List of 24 for Upcoming Seleção Matches


Fernando SantosPortugal National Team coach Fernando Santos has released a list of 24 players for the team’s upcoming match against Serbia. The team plays Serbia at home on the 29th in a qualification match for Euro 2016 before facing Cape Verde in a friendly match two days later, also to be played on home soil. Santos is slated to call up an additional dozen players or so for the Cape Verde match. Expect Santos to name the additional names on Monday.

Adrien Silva, Raphael Guerreiro, Tiago Gomes, Beto, and Helder Postiga, who were all included in the last squad, were excluded this time out. Other than those exclusions, the team is largely unchanged. Here’s the full list:  Continue reading

Rúben Pinto Joins Paços Ferreira on Loan


Ruben Pinto - Benfica BBenfica B midfielder Rúben Pinto has joined Primeira Liga side Paços Ferreira on loan until the end of the season to fill the void left by Ruben Ribeiro, who has joined Gil Vicente on loan. Pinto played the first half of this season for Benfica’s B team, which competes in Portugal’s second tier, the Segunda Liga. A captain at Benfica B, Pinto will now get his first taste of top-flight soccer at Paços. Continue reading

What to Look Forward to in 2015: Portuguese Football Edition


With Fernando Santos in charge of the National Team, the future looks promising

With Fernando Santos in charge of the National Team, the future looks promising

It was an interesting year in Portuguese football, as always. For the Portuguese National Team, 2014 saw hope slashed by a disappointing World Cup run, which was followed by a fresh renewal following the appointment of Fernando Santos. Domestically, 2014 saw Benfica lift an historic treble, while a resurgent Sporting side edged out a lethargic Porto side in the league. Teams such as Estoril and Nacional also enjoyed successful seasons. The beginning of the 2014-2015 season saw the expansion of the Primeira Liga from 16 teams to 18 teams, with Boavista rejoining the top flight after a seven season absence. Outside of Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid won the Champions League, while Tiago’s resurgent form helped Atletico Madrid to their first La Liga title in almost two decades. With 2014 behind us, it’s time to look forward to 2015; a year that will be sure to excite.  Continue reading

Mario Rui Thriving in Italy


Mario Rui in action for Empoli. Photo: Getty Images

Mario Rui in action for Empoli. Photo: Getty Images

Few of the players in Portugal’s squad which finished as runners-up at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup have experienced success. Out of the squad of 21, only two have earned caps with the senior national team, and only Cedric Soares has really shown the promise of a bright future. One player, however, is beginning to show his true colors, despite not being one of the more talked about players in the 2011 team. Mario Rui has enjoyed a successful start to the season at Empoli in Italy’s Serie A, winning a starting spot at left-back. His performances have established himself as one of the most important members of the squad. Continue reading