Vieirinha is continuing to set the Greek Leage alight, after he scored in PAOK’s 3-0 demolition of AEK Athens. The winger’s goal brought his tally to two goals in four games, which is an impressive return for a winger. Vieirinha has already been in impressive form for the Greek club this season, already having scored twice in the Europa League. His performances have gone largely unnoticed outside of Greece, however. A Portugal National Team call-up has been on the cards for some time now, but it always seems to not happen. With more performances such as this and against such opposition as Tottenham and Villareal, where he has been known to shine, a call-up may just be around the corner.
There were many Portuguese players involved last week in the opening Group stage games of this season’s Europa League. Hugo Almeida, Manuel Fernandes, Helder Barbosa, and Vieirinha were the ones who caught the headlines, so here is the entire coverage of every Portuguese player in the Europa League.
PAOK’s 0-0 home draw against Tottenham Hotspur put the two teams tied for second place. Vieirinha played a full 90 minutes and was one of the game’s brightest players, according to Goal.com. The winger has been in fine form for the Greek team over the past couple of years, and many have called for a Senior Team debut. It hasn’t happened yet, but it surely will in the future.
Many were surprised when Hannover 96 drew Standard Liege at home 0-0. With the German team one of the favorites to win the group, the 0-0 draw came as quite a surprise. Sergio Pinto started and played for 75 minutes, while Carlitos is still out injured.
Rapid Bucharesti took away a narrow win from Israel after they defeated Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-0 to secure top spot in the group. Rui Duarte played the entire match, and Filipe Teixeira came on in the dying minutes.
Hugo Luz was nowhere to be seen for Valusi in their 2-2 draw with Italian giants Lazio.
There were, however, five Portuguese players involved in the Sporting Lisbon-Zurich encounter. Sporting ended the game winners after scoring two unanswered goals in the first half. Jorge Teixeira played the full 90 minutes for Zurich. For Sporting, Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, and (surprisingly) Bruno Pereirinha played the entire game. Andre Santos was substituted in on the hour mark.
The Portuguese contingent was strong for Besiktas as they recorded a thumping 5-1 victory over Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv. Hugo Almeida, Manuel Fernandes, Simao, and Quaresma all started for the Turkish team. Hugo Almeida picked up a brace, Quaresma an assist, and Manuel Fernandes two assists. Bebe looks set to miss at least the first half of the season with an injury, and Julio Alves was nowhere to be seen.
Yago Fernandez was an unused substitute in Malmo’s 4-1 away loss to AZ.
Four Portuguese players were involved in Braga’s 3-1 win over Championship side Birmingham. Quim, Hugo Viana, Nuno Gomes, and Helder Barbosa all started for the Portuguese team. Quim and Hugo Viana played the entire game with Nuno Gomes and Helder Barbosa being substituted out in the 73rd and 89th minute, respectively. Helder Barbosa continued his fine form with a brace, and was certainly Braga’s finest players on the night.
Tiago played the last six minutes for Atletico Madrid as they defeated Celtic 2-0. Pizzi was an unused substitute, while Silvio was nowhere to be seen.
Geraldo Alves, brother of Julio and Bruno Alves, played a full 90 minutes for Steaua Bucharesti as they drew Schalke 0-0.
Orlando Sa was an unused substitute for Fulham in their 1-1 draw with Dutch giants Twente. Orlando Sa has also been handed the heralded “number 9” jersey at Fulham.
Following their 3-2 win over Zenit, Lokomotiv Moscow defeated Sturm Graz 2-1 away from home. Manuel da Costa was nowhere to be seen for the Russian side.
1. Besiktas 2-0 HJK – Quaresma had an absolute man-of-the-match performance as the Portuguese winger set up the first goal and scored the second.
2. BATE 3-0 Maritimo – A crushing defeat was given to the Liga Zon Sagres side, who, Portuguese player-wise, only had Ricardo Esteves in action.
3. Steaua Buchuresti 1-0 Grasshopper – Geraldo Alves, brother of Bruno Alves, was in action for a full ninety minutes for the Romanian winners.
4. Hajduk 4-1 Unirea Urziceni – Antonio Semedo was unused substitute for Unirea.
5. CSKA Sofia 3-0 The New Saints – Rui Miguel was nowhere to be seen for the Bulgarian side.
6. PAOK 1-0 Fenerbahce – Vieirinha played the full match and his first-half goal was enough to give the hosts a narrow victory.
7. Genk 0-3 Porto – Rolando, Joao Moutinho, Varela, and Ukra all started for the Dragons, with the latter two substituted off. Ruben played the last 15 minutes. Beto, Castro, Miguel Lopes, and Sereno were all unused subs.
8. Getafe 1-0 APOEL – Paulo Jorge, Nuno Morais, and Helio Pinto all played a full match for the Cypriot club.
9. Timisoara 0-1 Manchester City – Pedro Taborda was an unused sub for the Romanians.
10. Sporting 0-2 Brondby – Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Daniel Carrico, Nuno Coelho, Maniche, Andre Santos, and Liedson all played a full match for the Lions. Helder Postiga started, but was later substituted out for Yannick. Carlos Saleiro also made a substitute appearance. Tiago was the only Portuguese unused substitute.
Olhanense starlets Ukra and Andre Castro have been told that they will be part of F.C. Porto’s main team for the 2010-2011 season, not be loaned out again. Ukra, who has recently been courted by Newcastle and Fulham, has enjoyed an absolutely spectacular season, along with fellow compatriot Andre Castro. These two players were the backbone of the team.
FC Porto has a number of promising young players that they loan out every season. They have created a flawless system: If a player begins to show promise at a young age, they buy him for cheap and loan him out to gain experience and grow as a player. When has shown his worth as a player, they can sell him for the big bucks, or recall him to the main team.
1. Vieirinha – was loaned by Porto to Greek outfit PAOK. He enjoyed so much success in that season, that he was sold to the Greek team. Last season, still playing for PAOK, he was voted “Most Valuable Player” by the fans.
2. Paulo Machado – The former Portugal U-21 international was loaned out to Saint-Etienne for the 2008-2009 season. He held down a starting spot and impressed enough to be sold by Porto to another French team, Toulouse, for the 2009-2010 season. He has since thrived at his new team.
Andre Castro and Ukra are prime examples of the flawlessness of Porto’s youth cycle. Being regulars on the Portugal U-21 team, I have no doubt that these two players will thrive at Porto. Expect to see them soon.
Carlos Queiroz certainly has to do a double-take after the Portugal U-23 team strolled to a 7-2 thrashing of Wales. Ruben Micael and Yannick had to be withdrawn from the squad due to injury, but their absence was not missed, with Vieirinha filling Ruben Micael’s role admirably.
Portugal opened up the scoring on 14 minutes, when Coentrao crossed for Vitor Gomes, who nodded it in. Just seven minutes later, Coentrao went from hero to villian, as his errant back-pass was picked up by Wales’s Jack Christopher, who finished past Patricio. Soon after, a beautiful piece of Vieirinha opened up for Joao Ribeiro, who easily finished past the Welsh keeper. Just two minutes later, a loose ball fell to Ricardo Vaz te, who rocketed his shot into the bottom left corner beautifully. Portugal finished the half with their heads up, rightfully so with a 3-1 lead.
It took just over ten minutes for the leathal Portugal to find the net again, this time with Paulo Machado. A string of flawless passes set up Joao Ribeiro, who impressively squared the ball to the Toulouse man, who one-touched it in. Once again, Vaz te found the back of the net within just minutes of the previous goal. Some inaccurate passing in the Welsh defense left Vaz te with a open shot, which he took perfectly with his left foot into the bottom right corner. Portugal continued to completely dominate the game, putting away almost all of their chances. Welshman Rob Williams then reduced the gap in the score with his header off of a corner kick. The score was now 5-2 obviously in Portugal’s favor. Ten minutes later, Bruno Gama what is,in mu opinion, the best goal of the match. He latched on to a ball just outside the box, and curled his effort just in. Carlos Saleiro soon after scored the final goal of the match. After evading the defender’s tackles, the Sporting man fired an unstoppable shot past the Welsh keeper, making the final score an impressive 7-2.
Rui Patrício, Miguel Lopes (Sílvio, 70), Vasco Fernandes, Nuno André Coelho, Fábio Coentrão (Emídio Rafael, 30), Pelé, Vítor Gomes (Nuno Coelho, 46), Paulo Machado, Vieirinha, João Ribeiro (Bruno Gama, 61) e Vaz Té (Saleiro, 66).
Here’s the highlights: