The Portuguese Football Federation announced this week the appointment of Fernando Santos as the Selecao’s head coach. Santos has filled the position left vacated by the departure of Paulo Bento, the team’s previous coach. Bento was known for his stubbornness, which resulted in stagnant team selections, as well as some players being exiled from the team. With Santos now in charge, there is a natural hope for a renewed team; one that is open to any player deemed worthy to represent it. Let’s take a look at what we can expect from Fernando Santos, in terms of player selection and tactics. Continue reading
With another Liga week wrapped up and the opening round of the Champions League being contested by 3 Portuguese teams, there was a lot of interesting stories to read. So here is a review of what hit the headlines this week in Portuguese Football: Continue reading
Lisbon on Tuesday plays host to an enticing first round match between Euro giants SL Benfica and FC Zenit St. Petersburg in Group C Champions League action. PortugalFutbol.net has combined forces with our Russian counterparts at RussianFootballNews.com to provide you with a comprehensive preview of this clash of titans. Continue reading
Siena to Zenit
After months of speculation regarding his future, Luis Neto has finally made the move away from Siena. A number of teams were reportedly interested in signing the defender, including Juventus, Roma, Dinamo Moscow, and Fenerbahce. Neto, however, has chosen to move to the snow-covered fields of Russia to meet up with fellow countrymen Bruno Alves and Danny at Zenit St. Petersburg. The Russian season has not yet begun, as the country is gripped by a bitter winter. If Neto can replicate the form that earned him plaudits at Siena, he will have no problem holding down a starting spot at Zenit. The price? 6 million Euros.
As with any transfer window, there are always an excess of transfer rumors, some of which are believable, some of which are off the wall. We’ll bring you both, and you can decide for yourself which is which.
Zenit to Juventus, Porto, or Atletico Madrid?
Portuguese international defender Bruno Alves is hinting that a move away from Russia may be in the near future. The defender, who featured heavily in the Portuguese squad at this summer’s European Championships, was snapped up by Zenit in 2010 for a fee of over 20 million pounds. This move came after widespread speculation linking him to the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United. Since his move, he has established himself as an important player for the club. Now, Juventus, Porto, and Atletico Madrid are all said to be interested in the defender. As with Porto’s case, there has been talk of Zenit using Bruno Alves as a makeweight in a shock swoop for Hulk at Porto. Regardless, Atletico Madrid seem the most likely to win his signature, with Alves’ father stating that his son “would have no problem going to Atletico Madrid.”
Malaga to Benfica?
In the midst of financial turmoil, Malaga are looking to sell some of their most prized assets. Spanish international Santi Cazorla has already moved on to Arsenal, while Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon has made a seven million pound move to Russia. One player who has been important for the Spanish club over the past few seasons is Eliseu. A winger who was converted to left-back, Eliseu has impressed many with his performances for not only Malaga, but the Portuguese National team. It is no secret that Benfica are in the market for a left-back after the departure of Capdevila to Espanyol, and the underwhelming performances of Emerson. Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has even used Melgarejo, a Paraguayan forward, as a left-back, an indication that a true left-back is needed for the club. Benfica’s interest in Eliseu is not new, but there now may be more urgency behind the move. Benfica is not the only club interested in the winger, with six other unnamed clubs interested as well.
Besiktas to Atletico Madrid or Liverpool?
Dazzling winger Ricardo Quaresma looks to be on his way out of Turkish club Besiktas. After a wage dispute, it appears that Quaresma is being frozen out of the club, and is reportedly training with the club’s reserve team. The Portuguese international’s skill is undeniable. After an ill-fated move to Inter Milan earlier in his career, the winger’s glory days looked over. After his move to Besiktas, however, the winger gained back some of his confidence, and, once again, began to shine. Now, his days at Besiktas looked numbered. It is reported that Liverpool have reserved eight million pounds for his services, and Atletico Madrid will pounce should their deal with Crisitan Tello fall by the wayside.
Fernando Meira has completed his move from Russian powerhouse Zenit to La Liga strugglers Real Zaragoza. Meira has found playing time very hard to come by at the Russian club, especially upon the arrival of compatriot Bruno Alves. Fernando had been linked with a number of clubs, most notably Juventus, but the moves never materialized. The central defender will now ply his trade in Spain as he attempts to end his career on a high note.
Zenit central-defender, Fernando Meira, who has found playing time hard to come by lately at the Russian club, is currently negotiating with La Liga strugglers, Zaragoza. Meira currently plays alongside fellow Portuguese players, Bruno Alves and Danny, but has not enjoyed as much success as those two at the club. Zaragoza reportedly tried to sign Meira earlier in the season, to no avail. Now, a deal could be completed as early as later this week.
Liga Zon Sagres powerhouse, Benfica, is currently tracking Zenit’s Portuguese midfielder, Danny. Danny, who recently won the award for the best player in Russia, is reportedly also being courted by Chelsea and Manchester United. Although no formal contact has taken place, Benfica are still likely to make a bid in January.
Old transfer news that we thought were buried are starting to come to the surface. Here’s the latest:
Zenit defender Fernando Meira, who has recently fallen out of favor at the club, is reportedly a transfer target for Italian club Lazio. Lazio are looking to build on their positive start to the Serie A this season by reinforcing their defense.
Bayern Munich are after Portuguese right back Bosingwa once again. The German club are looking for an alternative to Lahm, as there are no other players capable of playing right-back.
With the arrival of Jesualdo Ferreira at Panathinaikos, Hugo Almeida has stated that he interested in a possible reunion with Ferreira at the Greek club. Speculation has been high with Almeida’s contract set to expire, and the striker has stated that he is open to the move. The move would have him join fellow Portuguese Daniel Fernandes. Sporting Lisbon and Valencia are also said to be interested.
It was a terrific Saturday for Portuguese players trying their trade abroad. Petit scored his first of the season in attractive fashion after a pinpoint Maniche cross found him wide open. Here’s the Goal. Danny scored his second of the season, and with just two games under his belt for the season, that says a lot. A perfect through ball was sent to him, and the Portuguese forward made no mistakes in one-touching the ball past the keeper with his left foot. Here’s the Goal. Over in England, Nani put in a Man-of-the-match performance as United cruised to a crushing 4-0 victory. Paulo Ferreira and Deco also were involved in another slaughtering. This time 7-1. Chelsea surprisingly demolished Aston Villa with Lampard and Malouda grabbing hat-tricks.