U-20 Stars Make Step up to U-21

Tiago Ilori and Bruma - SportingRui Jorge announced his squad for the Portugal Under-21 team on Friday for the team’s matches against Israel and Azerbaijan, and included two of the brightest prospects in Portuguese football at the moment. Tiago Ilori and Bruma, who starred for Portugal at last summer’s U20 World Cup, have made the list, and are in line to make their debut for the team. Tiago Ilori’s good form last year for Sporting and subsequent solid display at the U20 World Cup convinced Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers to splash out over seven million euros for him. Bruma, also a product of Sporting, has similar displays to that of Ilori to thank for his success. Also impressive last season, Bruma picked up the silver shoe at the U20 World Cup, and earned a move to Galatasaray, who paid in excess of eight million euros for him. Both players are enjoying solid seasons thusfar, Bruma in Galatasaray’s first team, Ilori in Liverpool’s youth side, while on the fringes of the first team. Here’s the entire list:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Fernandes (Osnabruck), José Sá (Marítimo), Luís Ribeiro (Sporting)

Defenders: Josué (Vitória Guimaraes), João Amorim (Vitória Guimaraes), Luís Martins (Gil Vicente), Miguel Rodrigues (Nacional), Paulo Oliveira (Vitória Guimaraes), Raphael Guerreiro (Lorient), Tiago Ilori (Liverpool)


Midfielders: André Gomes (Benfica), Tó Zé (Porto B), João Mário (Sporting B), Luís Gustavo (Rio Ave), Rafa (Braga), Sérgio Oliveira (Paços de Ferreira), Tiago Silva (Belenenses), William (Sporting)

Forwards: Betinho (Sporting B), Bruma (Galatasaray), Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica B), Ricardo Pereira (Porto), Ricardo Esgaio (Sporting B)

U-21s Decimate Poland

Portugal vs Poland - U-21 - 9/10/13

Portugal 6-1 Poland

U-21 International

It’s interesting how much things have changed. A year ago today, the Portugal Under-21 team needed a win against Poland for any hope of qualification to the 2013 UEFA U-21 Euro. All the team could muster was a 0-0 stalemate. Earlier today, however, the Portugal Under-21 team rolled past Poland by a score of 6-1. Goals from Andre Gomes, Betinho, Ricardo, Rafa, Lucas Joao, and Ricardo Esgaio cemented the victory for the hugely impressive U-21 side. In the team’s past three games, they have scored an incredible 16 goals, while only conceding four.

The game started brightly, and it became apparent that the traffic of the match was to be one-way, with Portugal out-classing their opponents from the start. The first goal duly arrived on the 18th minute. Good wing play set up Tiago Silva, who cut the ball back across the face of goal. Andre Gomes was there to apply the finish, which he slotted coolly past the Polish goalkeeper.  The team didn’t have to wait very long to extend their lead. A simple square ball from Ivan Cavaleiro set up Ricardo perfectly, and the Porto winger made no mistake. That was the last of the scoring for the first half, and Portugal went into the locker room with a 2-0 advantage.

The second half proved to be a much more lively affair. Soon after the restart, Tiago Silva was judged to have been brought down unfairly. Ricardo Esgaio coolly converted the ensuing penalty, further adding to Portugal’s score. Poland did manage to pull one back twenty minutes later, after a towering header found its way into the back of the Portuguese net. The Seleccao responded soon after with three goals in five minutes to put the game completely beyond doubt. Betinho was the first to score, after he hit in the rebound from a Lucas Joao shot which cannoned off of the crossbar. Next, Sergio Oliveira put in a corner kick, which was cleared by a Polish defender. The right foot of Rafa met the ball on the edge of the box, and the ball was smashed into the top right-hand corner of the goal. Lucas Joao completed the rout just minutes later, heading in a Betinho cross. The final score was 6-1, an impressive victory from the impressive Portugal team. Elton Monteiro also debuted for the team in this match.

Daniel Fernandes(Luis Ribeiro), Ricardo Esgaio(Joao Amorim), Elton Monteiro(William Carvalho), Paulo Oliveira(Josue), Luis Martins(Daniel Martins), Tiago Silva(Tiago Ferreira), Joao Mario(Toze), Luis Gustavo(Rafa), Andre Gomes(Sergio Oliveira), Ricardo(Betinho), Ivan Cavaleiro(Lucas Joao)

U-21s Start Strong

Sergio Oliveira - Portugal vs Norway - U-21

Portugal 5-1 Norway

2015 UEFA U-21 Euro Qualification

Norway were no match for the Portuguese Under-21 team in a 2015 UEFA U-21 Qualification match. It was the start of the qualifying process for both teams in a competition that Portugal has seen very little success in over the past few seasons. Most notably coming within a game of qualification last time out, Portugal has higher hopes this time out, and can duly be excited, after a resounding 5-1 victory over Norway. Goals came from Betinho, Ivan Cavaleiro, Sergio Oliveira, William Carvalho, and Ricardo. Portugal are joined in Group 8 by Israel, Azerbaijan, and Macedonia, along with Norway. This group seems an easy one, and Portugal should progress to their first UEFA U-21 Euro since 2007.

Jose Sa, Joao Amorim, Josue, Paulo Oliveira, Luis Martins, William Carvalho, Rafa(Tiago Silva), Andre Gomes, Ivan Cavaleiro, Sergio Oliveira(Joao Mario), Betinho(Ricardo)


Rui Jorge Calls on 23 for U-21 Matches

Rui JorgePortugal U-21 coach Paulo Bento announced a squad of 23 for the team’s upcoming games against Norway and Poland. The team is slated to begin their qualification campaign for the 2015 UEFA U-21 Euro on September 5, when they host Norway. The U-21s have not qualified for a U-21 Euro since 2007. Most notably, the team came close to qualifying for the last Euro, only to draw their last game against Poland, when a win could have guaranteed them a place at the finals. This time around, Portugal are in Group 8, which is comprised of Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Norway, and Israel. The group seems an easy one, and Rui Jorge and the team certainly have something to prove, after he successive failures of the past six years. Five days after the game against Norway, Portugal hosts Poland in a friendly match.

Elton Monteiro - Club Brugge

One notable inclusion in the squad is Elton Monteiro, who is uncapped at the U-21 level. Monteiro recently made the move from Arsenal, where he appeared for the reserves, to Club Brugge in Belgium. Below is the entire squad list:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Fernandes (Osnabruck), José Sá (Marítimo), Luís Ribeiro (Sporting)

Defenders: Elton Monteiro (Club Brugge), Josué (Vitória Guimaraes), João Amorim (Vitória Guimaraes), Luís Martins (Gil Vicente), Paulo Oliveira (Vitória Guimaraes), Raphael Guerreiro (Lorient), Tiago Ferreira (Porto B)

Midfielders: André Gomes (Benfica), Tózé (FC Porto B), João Mário (Sporting B), Luís Gustavo (Rio Ave), Rafa (Braga), Sérgio Oliveira (Paços Ferreira), Tiago Silva (Belenenses), William (Sporting)

Forwards: Betinho (Sporting B), Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica B), Lucas João (Nacional), Ricardo Pereira (Porto B), Ricardo Esgaio (Sporting B)

Lazio Snaps Up Pereirinha

Bruno Pereirinha - Lazio

Bruno Pereirinha

Sporting to Lazio

Lazio announced today the hiring of Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Pereirinha. The contract is valid until 2016, and there was no talk of the price of the transfer. Pereirinha had been a fringe player throughout his time at Sporting, despite positive performances for the Portugal Under-21 team as captain. His inability to hold down a starting place at Sporting was likely a contributing factor to this move to Lazio. Now, at Lazio, Pereirinha will most likely be fighting Abdoulay Konko for a starting spot at right-midfield. This is no small task, however, as Konko has been Lazio’s first choice right-midfielder for the past two seasons, and with Lazio still in the Serie A title race, change may not happen. Pereirinha may yet again be a fringe player.

Rui Jorge Calls on 19 for Scotland Friendly

Portugal U-21 coach Rui Jorge has called up 19 for the team’s upcoming friendly match on November 14th. Here’s the full squad:

Goalkeepers: Joao Pinho (Oliveirense), Daniel Fernandes (Bochum)

Defenders: David Bruno (Porto B), Luis Martins (Benfica B), Miguel Lourenco (Vitoria Setubal), Josue (Vitoria Guimaraes B), Kaka (Vitoria Guimaraes B), Paulo Oliveira (Vitoria Guimaraes)

Midfielders: Amorim (Trofense), William (Cercle Brugge), Luis Gustavo (Barcelona B), Sergio Oliveira (Porto B), Vitor Goncalves (Portimonense), Rui Coentrao (Varzim), Tiago Rodrigues (Vitoria Guimaraes)

Forwards: Paulinho (Trofense), Aldair (Penafiel), Joao Reis (Louletano), To Mane (Vitoria Guimaraes B)

Rui Jorge Begins New Cycle

Portugal U-21 coach Rui Jorge, who recently signed a three year contract extension, has named a completely new squad for the team’s upcoming friendly match against Ukraine on October 15th. Jorge called up only two players who had previously represented the U-21 team (Sergio Oliveira and Luis Martins). The rest have never played for the U-21 team. This squad is thought to be the start of a new cycle, and will likely be the ones who battle for qualification for the 2015 U-21 Euro. Here’s the full squad:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Fernandes (Bochum), Joao Pinho (Oliveirense), Luis Ribeiro (Sporting B)

Defenders: Andre Costa (Rio Ave), David Bruno (Porto B), Josue (Vitoria Guimaraes B), Luis Martins (Benfica B), Miguel Lourenco (Vitoria Setubal), Paulo Oliveira (Vitoria Guimaraes ), Ricardo Ferreira (Empoli), Rui Coentrao (Varzim)

Midfielders: Edu (Porto B), Francisco Junior (Everton), Amorim (Trofense), Sergio Oliveira (Porto B), Tiago Rodrigues (Vitoria Guimaraes), William (Cercle Brugge)

Forwards: Alberto Seidi (Southampton), Aldair (Penafiel), To Mane (Vitoria Guimaraes B), Fabio Nunes (Blackburn Rovers), Paulinho (Trofense), Luis Gustavo (Barcelona B)

Bebe Returns to U-21 Team

Manchester United winger Bebe was included in Rui Jorge’s 23-man squad for next month’s match against Poland. This game is a must-win for the team, who will almost guarantee qualification to the next U-21 Euro of they win on September 10th. Here’s the full squad:

Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Cristiano Figueiredo (Braga B), Mika (Benfica B)

Defenders: Anibal Capela (Braga B), Cédric (Sporting), Ivo Pinto (Cluj), Luis Martins (Benfica B), Nuno Reis (Olhanense), Pedro Mendes (Sporting B), Ruben (Maritimo), Vitor Bastos (Vitoria Guimaraes B)

Midfielders: Andre Almeida (Benfica B), André Martins (Sporting), Danilo (Roda JC), David Simao (Maritimo), Josue (Pacos Ferreira), Sérgio Oliveira (Porto B)

Forwards: Abel Camara (Beira-Mar), Fredy (Belenenses), Rui Fonte (Espanyol), Salvador Agra (Real Betis), Bebe (Manchester United), Wilson Eduardo (Academica)

Tijane Reis Goes on Trial at Stoke City

Tijane Reis – Chaves to Stoke City?

Tijane Reis, of Chaves, has gone on trial with English Premier League side Stoke City. Stoke manager Tony Pulis is evidently keen to add a winger to his squad, and Tijane is high on his list. Tijane has impressed for the third division side Chaves, enough to earn a call-up to the Portugal Under-21 team. Not many players from the third division earn a call-up to the U-21 team, so the fact that he did speaks wonders to his skill.

Rui Jorge Calls on 20 for Ukraine Friendly

Portugal U-21 team coach Rui Jorge called on twenty players for the team’s upcoming friendly match against Ukraine. The team is currently sitting in second in their U-21 Euro qualification group, behind Russia, and will look to continue their good form and push for the number one spot, and will use this friendly as a springboard towards that goal. Four players who featured at last summer’s U-20 World Cup made the team, those being Danilo, Mika, Luis Martins, and Cedric.

Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Mika (Benfica)

Defenders: Cédric (Académica), Ivo Pinto (U. Leiria), João Pereira (FC Sheriff), Luís Martins (Benfica), Pedro Mendes (Real Madrid), Ruben Ferreira (Marítimo), Vítor Bastos (Atlético)

Midfielders: Ludovic (Feirense), André Almeida (Benfica), André Martins (Sporting), Danilo (Parma), David Simão (Académica), Diogo Amado (Estoril), Josué (P. Ferreira)

Forwards: Abel Camará (Beira-Mar), Rui Fonte (Español), Salvador Agra (Olhanense), Wilson Eduardo (Olhanense)