Here we are. Round 24 out of 34 completed. Only ten more to go. This round was interesting an interesting one that saw Braga lose some momentum, Vitoria Guimaraes continue to struggle, and Porto push toward the top. Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading
It’s the weekend of love in the Liga NOS and around the world, and, dare I say, I’m in quite the jovial mood with regards to my predictions. But, much like being in a relationship, that feeling of warmth can dissipate rather quickly.
Now, I’m still fighting an uphill battle with a 14-22 overall record up to this point, but, things are starting to improve and I’m starting to show a little consistency in this game. Last week saw me go 4-5 for the second round in a row and, with the exception of that disastrous 1-8 result a couple of weeks ago, I’ve pretty much been hovering around the .500 mark. I don’t know about you but that’s a lot better than I expected when I decided to give this series a go.
This is a new round though – the 21st round of play in the newly named Liga NOS – and, from the looks of it, it’s going to be quite an interesting one to take in.
Last week was all about unpredictability what with all the changes in personnel over the days prior, and well, we certainly got some in the results. In particular, it seemed like no lead was safe as, of the 21 goals scored in total, 8 of them came in the last 10 minutes of the game. It was quite the spectacle and reminded me of why I love this league and Portuguese football so much.
Building on the events of the last couple of weeks, and, the idea of unpredictability itself, the theme for this week seems to be identity. Or, to put it another way – who are we and what are we made of?
This is, in a lot of ways, a make or break weekend for every team in the league. Teams like Academica, Arouca, and even Guimaraes may just find themselves sitting disheveled on the couch eating a tub of ice cream asking “What if…?” at the end of the season if they don’t turn things around as soon as possible. And, what of Penafiel and Sporting? Will they be able to bounce back and continue to play well following heartbreaking results?
This weekend, perhaps more than most other weekends, will go a long way towards determining what the league table looks like at the end of the year, and, I think many of these clubs are aware of that. So, don’t be surprised to see a number of cagey matches over the next few days. Teams will not only be looking to be cautious with their opponents, but, in a philosophical sense, they’ll be looking to discover themselves as well.
Here are my picks for this Valentine’s round of play: Continue reading
Much of the news coverage for this past weekend’s action in Portugal was predictably centered around the Lisbon derby between Sporting CP and SL Benfica. While that game offered much in terms of excitement, there was plenty of other action in the league this weekend. Here’s the round-up: Continue reading
After last weekend’s upset-filled action, Round 19 returned a sense of normalcy. Sporting, Braga, Benfica, and Porto all recorded wins over potentially tricky opponents, while Nacional and Rio Ave continued to climb the table. Here’s all the action, as it happened. Continue reading
This weekend’s action in the Primeira Liga was exciting and unpredictable. Title-challengers Porto and Benfica lost to Maritimo and Pacos Ferreira, respectively, while Sporting CP closed the gap with a win over Academica. Let’s take a look at the rest of the action. Continue reading
Gil Vicente to Granada
Portugal U-21 captain Luis Martins has sealed a move abroad to Spain, signing for La Liga side Granada on a four-season deal. The left-back had been at Gil Vicente ever since January of 2013, when he arrived from Benfica. At Gil Vicente, Martins established himself as the team’s first-choice left back, a status that he held for his entire time at the club. There is no fee announced for the transfer, but it is expected that Luis Martins will be at least a regular team member at Granada. The Spanish team had been searching for a left-back for some time, and Martins is who they chose.
— Granada C.F. (@GranadaCdeF) September 1, 2014
Parma to Sassuolo
After a limited amount of playing time so far for Serie A side Parma, Pedro Mendes has sealed a free transfer to league-strugglers Sassuolo.
Braga to Gil Vicente (loan)
After moving to Braga from Benfica this summer, Vieira has found playing time hard to come by this season. In the opportunities he was given at Braga, Vieira failed to impress. Now, Vieira will join the club where he made his start seasons ago.
Sporting to Vitoria Setubal (loan)
After impressing this season for Sporting B, scoring nine in 17 games, Betinho will now have his first opportunity at playing in the Liga Zon Sagres, joining Vitoria Setubal on loan until the end of the season.
Real Betis to Academica (loan)
Salvador Agra has joined Academica on loan until the end of the season after a disappointing loan spell at Braga during the first half of the season.
Benfica to ?
Benfica announced today that Andre Gomes has been sold to an unnamed team for 15 million euros. After a promising start to his Benfica career, Gomes has found playing time very limited, and although Matic has departed the team for Chelsea, it does not appear that Gomes will see more playing time. Liverpool have been touted to make a move for the midfielder, and Anfield could very well be where Gomes ends up at the end of the day.
Happy new years everyone! Transfer stories in Portugal have been few and far between thusfar this transfer window, but here are the major moves.
Braga to Gil Vicente (loan)
Braga purchased Luis Silva in the summer after a highly impressive spell at Liga Orangina side Leixoes last season. The midfielder became a vital cog in Leixoes midfield, playing 38 games and finding the net seven times, while still only 20 years old. A big move beckoned for Silva, and Braga won the race to his signature, signing him for around 800,000 euros. Silva has found playing time hard to come by this season, however, and has only managed four appearances for the Arsenalistas so far this season. Silva will join Gil Vicente on loan until the end of the season.
Sporting to Vitoria Setubal (loan)
After some impressive performances both last season and summer, Joao Mario will get his chance to play in the Liga Zon Sagres regularly, after Vitoria Setubal agreed to take the midfielder on loan until the end of the season. Joao Mario was one of the Portugal U20 team’s most important players at last summer, running the team’s midfield to perfection, leading the team to the second round of the competition. The midfielder has been playing for Sporting’s B team this season, despite his hopes of first team soccer this season. This move will give Joao a bigger stage to display his undoubted talent.
Free Agent to Porto
Ricardo Quaresma has returned home. The winger’s time at the Estadio Dragao were the finest of his career, winning multiple league player of the season accolades. Quaresma was able to be signed for free after his contract was terminated at Al Ahli Dubai after less than one season. The winger has signed a 2.5 year deal, with many curious to see if he can reproduce the skill that made him so popular earlier in his career.
Portugal’s Liga Zon Sagres has formed a reputation for being one of the best formative leagues in Europe. With a seemingly endless conveyer-belt of talent flowing out of the league, it is no wonder that so many young players choose Portugal over other countries. Players such as David Luiz, Fabio Coentrao, Di Maria, Joao Moutinho, Hulk, and Falcao (among others) have all spent their formative years in the Iberian country, only to make multi-million euro moves abroad to some of the finest teams in the world.
This season, there are many young Portuguese talents who will be hoping to emulate the likes of Coentrao and Joao Moutinho; with hopes to earn a big move abroad; with hopes to be noticed by Paulo Bento and be selected for the national team. Regardless, there is much hope, both for the players and the spectators. At the root of all of this is a single hope: that Portuguese football may grow.
In this segment, Portugal Football is highlighting 25 under-22 Portuguese players from across the Liga Zon Sagres. These players are certainly players to watch for. Some are already proven players, while some are yet to showcase their talents on the big stage. So, without further ado, the ones to watch.
|Anibal Capela||22||Center Defense||29|
|Tiago Silva||20||Attacking Midfield||46|
|Andre Gomes||20||Center Midfield||27|
|Luis Silva||20||Center Midfield||44|
|Danilo Pereira||21||Defensive Midfield||31|
|Miguel Rodrigues||20||Center Defense||19|
|Roderick Miranda||22||Center Defense||16|
|Tiago Ilori||20||Center Defense||32|
|Paulo Oliveira||21||Center Defense||43|
|Miguel Lourenco||21||Center Defense||22|
Benfica B to Gil Vicente (Loan)
Benfica B’s left-back and captain Luis Martins has been loaned to Liga Zon Sagres side Gil Vicente until the end of the season. The defender featured briefly in Benfica’s campaign last season, making four appearances in the league, and one in the Champions League. This season, however, with the inclusion of B teams into Portuguese football, Martins was demoted to the B team, in the Liga Orangina, and made captain. His performances for the team have been stellar. From left-back, he has already scored two goals, and he has led the team to success in the league. Now, it is evident that his skills warrant playing in a higher league. Gil Vicente have come knocking, and Martins will likely be a fixture in the side for the remainder of the season.