Trio Joins Porto

Danilo Pereira has signed a four-year deal at Porto. Photo: FC Porto

Danilo Pereira has signed a four-year deal at Porto. Photo: FC Porto

Though only one has been presented, Porto have announced the capture of three Portuguese, Liga NOS-based players. Maritimo’s Danilo Pereira, Vitória Guimarães’ André André, and Paços Ferreira’s Sérgio Oliveira have all sealed moves to the Estádio do Dragão for the 2015/2016 season. Porto are strengthening heavily before the start of the season, with these three part of five transfers so far this offseason. And new players are exactly what they need, with last season’s starters Danilo, Casemiro, Óliver Torres, and Jackson Martinez having left.  Continue reading

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

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

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

Bruma Finding Life in Turkey Tough

Bruma - GalatasarayMuch-heralded winger, Bruma has not had an easy time of it in Turkey. After debuting impressively for Sporting during the second half of the 2012-2013 season, Bruma made the move to Turkish giants Galatasaray at the beginning of last season. Since then, the winger has battled with injuries and falls from grace in the team, which have made his time at the club very unstable thus far. There was much hope for Bruma when experienced ex-Italy National Team boss Cesare Prandelli took the helm at Galatasaray at the beginning of the season, but that hope has not been realized as of yet. Continue reading

U-21s Qualify in Rollercoaster Match

Portugal U21 - After Playoff with Netherlands for 2015 U-21 Euro qualification

Portugal 5-4 Holland

2015 U-21 Euro Qualifying Playoff Leg 2

The Portuguese Under-21 team defeated the Netherlands yesterday 5-4 in the second leg of a playoff for qualification to the 2015 UEFA U-21 European Championship. With the 2-0 victory in the first leg, Portugal qualified comfortably by a margin of 7-4. Goals yesterday came from Ricardo (2), Ruben Vezo, Ruben Neves, and Bernardo Silva, and although the scoreline appears close at 5-4, the match was much more one-sided (as was the case in the first leg). Continue reading

Sporting Prospect Loaned to Brentford

Photo: Brentford Football Club

Photo: Brentford Football Club


Sporting to Brentford (loan)

Sporting B’s Betinho has joined Championship side Brentford on loan until the end of the season, both clubs have confirmed. Betinho divided his time last season between Sporting B (in the Segunda Liga) and Vitoria Setubal (in the Primeira Liga). Despite impressing in the first half of last season for Sporting B, where he scored nine goals in the first half of the season, Betinho could not replicate those numbers after January while on loan at Vitoria Setubal. During his time in Setubal, Betinho did not even manage a single goal, and was mostly used in a back-up role.

Brentford returned to the second tier of English football this season after a 21 year hiatus, and appears to be a club that is willing to experiment. It is unclear as to what role Betinho will play at the club, whether it be as a starter or as a super-sub. One hopes that Betinho will thrive in the highly-physical league due to his body-build and playing style.


Portuguese Continue Perfect Start

Portugal vs Azerbaijan - U-21

Azerbaijan 0-2 Portugal

2015 UEFA U-21 Euro Qualification

The Portuguese Under-21 team continued their perfect start in 2015 UEFA U-21 Euro qualification on Tuesday with a convincing 2-0 win in Azerbaijan. Goals from Rafa and Ivan Cavaleiro were enough to ensure the victory, the third for the team in qualification thus far. Portugal has scored 10, while only conceding once. They sit atop the group, having already played (and beaten) the second, third, and fourth placed teams, with only bottom-of-the-table Macedonia still to be faced. In other words, qualification seems extremely likely.

The game began brightly for the visitors, as was predicted before the match. And that was how it continued: the Seleccao controlling the match and creating the majority of the chances. Ivan Cavaleiro was at the end of much of the flow of traffic, which is of little surprise given his burgeoning reputation as of late. Though Portugal was on top, both teams went into the locker-room at halftime on level terms at 0-0. Soon after the break, however, the scoring was opened by Rafa. Some neat interplay opened Bruma for a shot. His low shot was parried by the opposition goalkeeper directly into the path of Rafa, who could not have had an easier finish. Soon after, Ivan Cavaleiro doubled Portugal’s advantage. A neat ball over the top put Cavaleiro clean in on goal, and the winger finished well. That was how the game ended: 2-0 in favor of Portugal.

Jose Sa, Raphael Guerreiro, Ricardo Esgaio, Paulo Oliveira, Tiago Ilori, Tiago Silva(Luis Gustavo), Rafa, Sergio Oliveira(Bernardo Silva), William Carvalho, Ivan Cavaleiro, Ricardo(Betinho)