Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Photo: Facebook/FC Paços de Ferreira

Photo: Facebook/FC Paços de Ferreira

Bebé’s fantastic goal against Arouca on Sunday has once again propelled the young Portuguese striker into the media spotlight. Signed by Manchester United as a 20-year-old in the summer of 2010, he has spent much of his early career under the watchful eye of the media.

Bebé’s signing was a perfect story for the English press at the time. Abandoned by his family at an early age, he overcame all obstacles to play football for one of the most storied clubs in the world. Hollywood could not have written a better story.

But the wheels came off quite quickly for Bebé at Old Trafford. Then manager Sir Alex Ferguson decided to keep him on the squad. The much-hyped youngster looked far from convincing in the few opportunities he received with the club during the 2010-11 season.

In a very candid interview with Portuguese football website Maisfutebol in April 2013, Bebé admitted that he did not work hard enough in those early days at Old Trafford.

“The most experienced players on the team would say that I did not try hard enough. It is true. I thought, ‘I have made it, I do not have to give it my all every day.’ I am the only one to blame. I fooled around too much. When I tried to make up for it, it was too late. If I could go back, I would change a lot.”

Doubts began to emerge about the player’s quality. And soon after suspicions emerged about the deal as well. In May 2012, the transfer was investigated by the Portuguese authorities over suspicion of missing funds. Meanwhile, Bebé was having a hard time breaking into United’s squad.

In the summer of 2011, he was loaned to Turkish club Beşiktaş for the season. Soon after he suffered a cruciate ligament injury while playing with the Portugal U-21 squad forcing him to miss most of the season. In April 2012, he was suspended by the Turkish club after breaking a curfew.

Last season, Bebé was part of United’s pre-season tour. However, he did not see any action with the senior club when the season began. In January 2013, he was loaned to Portuguese club Rio Ave in order to receive more playing time.

At Rio Ave, he managed just one goal in seventeen League matches for the club. At times he was relegated to the wing. This past summer, he was loaned out for the third time in four seasons. This time to Paços de Ferreira.

Bebé’s volley against Sporting Braga in January was the first time many United fans had heard from him this season. Sunday’s goal against Arouca made headlines in the English press as well. And rightfully so.

Bebé back-heeled a pass to himself before firing one past Arouca goalkeeper Cássio. He now has seven goals in 21 League matches this season. That includes six goals in the last nine matches.

But this time around the headlines are very different, with the words ‘flop’ and ‘misfit’ being the most common adjectives to describe the now 23-year-old. And still short on praise.

It has not always been easy. Paços de Ferreira is currently on their third manager of the season. But the win against Arouca means that the club is now four points clear of the relegation zone, where they have been for most of the season.

Bebé has demonstrated this season that he does have the raw talent that must have alerted Carlos Queiroz and United scouts back in 2010. His finishing has improved and as a result he is scoring goals.

Although he is far from a finished product, Bebé has gone a long way in disproving the theory that he does not have what it takes. His recent production, as modest as it may be, proves that Bebé has a future as a footballer.

VIDEO: All Of Bebé’s Goals This Season With Paços de Ferreira (

Marcos 'Rony' Lopes In Action For Manchester City

Marcos ‘Rony’ Lopes In Action For Manchester City

Marcos Lopes is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting young players in recent memory thanks to some extraordinary performances.

The 18-year-old attacking midfielder recently received his second career start at senior level for Manchester City in a League Cup match against West Ham United. And it did not take him too long to demonstrate what he is capable of.

Just three minutes into the match, Lopes delivered a perfect cross into the box for Spanish international Alvaro Negredo, who would score the opening goal. Later in the first half, he dribbled passed several West Ham defenders before laying it off to Sergio Agüero for the second goal.

Manchester City won 3-0 and Lopes was named the Man of the March. City manager Manuel Pellegrini praised the youngster’s performance.

“Marcos is a young player with a great future,” he said.

“He is just 18 years old and played with the personality he needs to play in our team.”

“I see him work every day of the week, so I was sure he would realize the kind of performance he put on last night.”

“I’m very happy for him because he deserves to do it – and he is a very important player for the future of the club.”

Born Marcos Paulo Mesquita Lopes in Belém, Brazil, his parents emigrated to Portugal when he was four. Lopes has formally committed his international future to Portugal, having already played for the U17s and U19s.

He began playing football with AD Poiares before moving to Benfica’s youth system in 2006. In 2011, the Lisbon club sold the young phenom to Manchester City where he has played in the club’s youth squads. He has begun to make headlines with the senior squad over the last year.

Lopes scored in his first ever appearance for Manchester City’s senior squad in January 2013 in an FA Cup match against Watford after coming on as a late substitute. In doing so, he became the youngest player ever to score for the English club on record.

He would make his first senior start with Manchester City in a League Cup match against Wigan Athletic on September 24th. A week later, he fired home a hat-trick for the youth squad in a 6-0 defeat of Bayern Munich. His reputation has continued to grow since then.

Lopes is an attacking midfielder, who could play out wide, as well as in the middle. He has exceptional dribbling skills, vision, tactical awareness and has demonstrated an ability to score goals as well.

Despite Lopes’ playing style being similar to Ronaldinho, his nickname ‘Rony’ is actually in honour of fellow Brazilian international Ronaldo.

In an October 2013 interview for the Portuguese football publication Record, Lopes explained how the nickname came about.

“I started playing football for my local team (AD Poiares) and I always trained with the shirt of Ronaldo ‘O Fenómeno.’ Everyone started calling me Ronaldo because no one knew my real name. After a while the coach approached me and said that Ronaldo was too long a name and started calling me Rony. Since then that has been my nickname and I have always liked it,” he said.

Every great football nation has a period that is held in regard as a ‘Golden Age.’ Portugal considers the ‘Golden Generation’ that emerged in the 1990s in that way. The squad matured in the early 2000s and included, among others, Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Vito Baia, Paulo Sousa, and Joao Pinto.

The ‘Golden Generation’ propelled Portugal back within the elite of world football but never managed to win a major tournament at senior level.

But over the last few years, a new generation of Portuguese players have begun to emerge that many believe could be the most promising in the country’s history. And there is no player that is held up in higher regard these days, Portuguese or not, than Marcos Lopes.

At 29-years-old, Cristiano Ronaldo is firmly in his prime. But he likely has this year’s World Cup and the 2016 European Championships to deliver his proud nation a major title. And after that, Portugal will be looking for a new leader.

Portugal’s success as a football nation has always fallen on the shoulders of one exceptional player. Luis Figo, Paulo Futre and of course Eusébio, were all seen in the same way during their careers.

But it is a heavy burden to place on a 18-year-old. In an interview with Portuguese news agency Lusa in January, Lopes said that his main focus is to continue to develop as a player.

“I have played for the Under-19 squad and, of course I want to play for the seleção one day. But one step at a time. I know that the manager of the national team needs to evaluate each player’s potential and how they fit into the squad,” Lopes said.

“My main objective right now is to continue to work hard each day and develop into a better player. I have to keep both feet on the ground and take it one day at a time.”


Related Posts:

PLAYER PROFILE: Marcos Lopes Scores Another Great Goal for Manchester City U18 Squad

PLAYER PROFILE: Portuguese Starlet Marcos Lopes Scores In Manchester City Debut


Portuguese winger Carlos Mané made the most of his first ever start with Sporting Lisbon’s senior squad by scoring a sensational goal in a League Cup match against Marítimo on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old took control of the ball just inside the box before unleashing a curler passed goalkeeper Wellington to put his team ahead. Sporting would go on to win 3-0.

The League Cup is one of two domestic cup competitions in Portugal. In the group stages, clubs like Sporting often play in empty stadiums and the matches rarely receive much attention even in the Portuguese media.

But Carlos Mané’s brilliant strike against the Madeira-based club made headlines in what was a fairly eventful week in Portuguese football. All of Portugal’s major football dailies made mention of the goal on their front page the day after.

Like his rivals at FC Porto and Benfica, Sporting manager Leonardo Jardim has chosen to rest many of his more established players so far in the competition. In doing so, he has given Mané and other young academy players more game action with the senior club.

The normally stoic-looking Jardim was caught on camera flashing a rare smile after his young star put his team ahead against Marítimo.

Born in Lisbon, Mané is a member of Portugal’s large Bissau-Guinean community which is developing an excellent football tradition. Sporting Braga striker Éder and Galatasaray winger Bruma were both born in the country but moved to Portugal at a young age.

Mané comes from Quinta do Mocho in the Sacavém district of Lisbon, near the city’s international airport. The community remains very close to his heart.

He paid tribute to his old Lisbon neighborhood after making his debut as a substitute in a league match against Vitória Setúbal in October.

“It was a very special day for me, which I will never forget. Thank you to my family. Thank you to all the sportinguistas. Thank you, Quinta do Mocho,” he said.

Mané joined the club at the age of seven. He was a key player when Sporting Lisbon’s youth outfit won the Portuguese Junior Championship in 2011-12.

Mané also scored five goals at the 2012-13 NextGen Series, helping Sporting finish third in the competition. He has also represented Portugal at all junior levels since the U-15s. He is currently playing with Portugal’s U19 squad.

Mané began playing with Sporting’s reserve squad in the country’s second division last year. But he showed such great promise that manager Leonardo Jardim began to select him for the senior squad this season.

A creative, intelligent player with excellent technical ability, Mané feels most comfortable on the wing but could play centrally as well.

Celtic and Manchester United are said to be monitoring his progress. Although, he is unlikely to leave anytime soon. Sporting Lisbon are not particularly deep on the wings, which could mean that there is room for Mané on the senior squad.

Mané signed an extension with Sporting this summer and is now under contract until 2018. The deal includes a €45 million release clause.

VIDEO: Carlos Mané Scores A Brilliant Golaço Against Marítimo (January 14th)

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/ainudil

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/ainudil

The great Portuguese footballer Eusébio passed away at his home in Lisbon on Sunday leading to an immediate outpouring of grief.

Born Eusébio da Silva Ferreira in what was then the Portuguese colony of Mozambique, the world would come to know him as Portugal’s greatest athletic superstar. At Benfica he would become a legend, winning two European Cups and 11 league titles with the club.

He scored an amazing 733 goals in 745 matches in all competitions during his distinguished career. That includes 41 goals in 64 matches for Portugal. His physical strength, speed and exceptional skill earned him the nickname the Black Panther.

But Eusébio is best remembered for his performance at the 1966 World Cup in England when he scored a tournament high nine goals. His performance in the quarter-finals against a surprisingly strong North Korea side is probably one of the greatest single game performances in the tournament’s history.

Portugal fell behind 3-0 early before Eusébio took over. He would score four consecutive goals, including two on penalties to complete one of the greatest comebacks in World Cup history. Portugal would go on to defeat the Soviet Union in the third place match, earning the country its highest finish at the World Cup.

Portugal at the time was still ruled by the Estado Novo regime under António Salazar, whose ultra-conservative orthodoxy preached extreme nationalism, strong Christianity and a defense of the country’s colonial empire.

The regime exploited the image of Eusébio and Benfica. Portugal was still a very poor country back in the 1960s and Eusébio was used as a symbol of the strength of the regime. He would renounce the way he was treated in later years.

For those of us born in the 1980s and beyond we cannot possibly understand the cultural impact Eusébio had in the prime of his career. But just mentioning his name around my family is always a sure way to bring out a smile.

For those who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s during a very dark period in Portugal’s history, Eusébio became a symbol of hope and promise.

In Portuguese culture it is customary to always mourn a person when they pass away. But, for Eusébio I prefer instead to celebrate his life and remember him as the world remembers him, as an ambassador of the global game, Africa, Portuguese football, and Portugal itself.


Rui Miguel Martins

VIDEO: Portugal Defeats North Korea 5-3 at the 1966 World Cup (RTP Archives)

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

Paulo Bento’s Portugal squad went into Wednesday’s friendly against Holland with a renewed sense of optimistic after an important win against Russia in World Cup qualifying in June.

The squad was missing some familiar faces with Nani, Joao Moutinho and Raul Meireles all withdrawing due to injuries. Manager Paulo Bento fielded a makeshift midfield that included Miguel Veloso, Ruben Amorim and Ruben Micael.

Luis Neto started in place of Bruno Alves who would come into the match as a late substitute. Zenit St. Petersburg’s Danny started on the wing, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and striker Helder Postiga. Beto also started in goal instead of Rui Patricio.

The match began brightly for the Oranje, with Louis van Gaal’s squad getting the better opportunities in the opening minutes.

In the 17th minute, Dynamo Kyiv winger Jeremain Lens would find AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman just outside the box. Strootman delivered a world-class strike which beat Beto.

Portugal would counter with a few opportunities of their own. Ruben Micael had the best opportunity before the half striking a good opportunity inside the box just wide of the goal.

Olympiakos midfielder Paulo Machado would replace Ruben Micael at half-time. The change gave the Seleção a determination not seen in the first-half. The squad dominated in terms of possession and chances in the second half.

They were finally rewarded for their hard work in the 87th minute when Pepe deflected a Miguel Veloso corner kick in front of goal. Cristiano Ronaldo scored with a clinical finish, giving Portugal a well-deserved draw.

The match was not the best news that Portuguese fans received on Wednesday. Northern Ireland beat Russia 1-0 in a group F World Cup qualifying match. The result means that Portugal remains in first place with three matches left.

The Seleção will face Northern Ireland in Belfast on September 6th.


Cristiano Ronaldo’s Tying Goal Against Holland

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MATCH PREVIEW: Portugal Will Rekindle Rivalry With The Netherlands In International Friendly

MATCH REVIEW: Portugal Earn Crucial Victory Over Russia In World Cup Qualifying


Sporting Lisbon Midfielder André Martins is one of the players that is likely to help shape the club’s identity going forward after some difficult years. Martins has found it hard to break Sporting’s starting line-up this season, but he did receive his first start for the senior club against Sporting Braga on Monday night and he did not disappoint.

It did not take the young playmaker too long to make his presence felt. Eight minutes in, he delivered a perfect pass to Ricky van Wolfswinkel for the opening goal of the match. It was the first of three goals by Wolfswinkel as Os Leões beat Sporting Braga 3-2 at A Pedreira.

Martins was behind many of Sporting Lisbon’s opportunities until he was substituted in the second half. The victory was important from a club perspective as Sporting moved three points away from the final Europa League position for next season.

The 23-year-old broke onto the scene last season under previous manager Ricardo Sá Pinto but has had his playing time reduced so far this year. Martins’ impressive performance on Monday likely means he could expect to be an integral part of manager Jesualdo Ferreira’s young squad in the near future.

Martins told media after the match that Wolfswinkel’s late goal in injury time made the victory extra special to the club.

“Despite playing with a man down, we kept trying to score, even with our disadvantage. What happened at the end of the match really demonstrates the excellent unity in the squad.”

“Despite having a young squad, we have players who are very mature and we showed that today,” Martins added. “I felt good and I was very happy to be given this opportunity. I now have to continue to work hard.”

VIDEO: All Goals Sporting Lisbon Vs Sporting Braga

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

The Seleção managed a comfortable 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan in World Cup 2014 qualifying on Tuesday. Paulo Bento’s side was helped by a red card to Azerbaijan’s Rauf Äliyev that allowed Portugal to breakthrough in the second half.

Portugal were hoping to erase the memory of a disappointing 3-3 draw against Israel on Thursday. The Seleção were without their two brightest stars, with Manchester United’s Nani missing his second straight match with an injury and Cristiano Ronaldo serving a suspension. Zenit St. Petersburg’s Danny and Wolfsburg’s Vieirinha started on the wings for this match.

Portugal dominated possession straight from the opening minutes, but like in so many recent matches goals did not come easily. Hélder Postiga missed two excellent chances in the opening half hour of play. Later in the first half, Bruno Alves struck a free-kick off the post.

The Seleção went into half-time dominating in every facet of the match, but still lacked the crucial goal to ease the nerves of their supporters. Despite, a few nervous moments in the opening half-hour the Portuguese defence looked solid at the back, not conceding a shot on goal.

In the second-half, Azerbaijan’s Rauf Äliyev received his second yellow of the half after his arm made contact with Pepe’s face in an airborne challenge. The decision was the turning point of the match.

In 63rd minute, Bruno Alves scored off a corner for the second straight match to put Portugal ahead for good. Later on in the 79th minute, Fábio Coentrão found some room on the left side and managed to find substitute Hugo Almeida who scored on a diving header.

Defender Pepe picked up a yellow card in the first half of the match which means he will miss Portugal’s next qualifying match against Russia on June 7th. Manager Paulo Bento praised his team’s effort and added that the result was fair, considering the number of chances Portugal had during the match.

Goalscorer Bruno Alves told RTP after the match that the victory proves that Portugal still have a good chance to qualify for the World Cup and urged supporters not to count them out.

“We showed our ability and character. We played very well and scored goals. It was important to win and we did. This highlights our strength as a team. We are together until the end, in good moments and bad. We always believed because we have quality players. Less than good results will not change our resolve,” Alves added.

Bruno Alves’ Goal Against Azerbaijan

Hugo Almaida’s Goal Against Azerbaijan

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Catherine Kõrtsmik

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Catherine Kõrtsmik

Sporting Lisbon has often been in the shadow of city-rivals Benfica in domestic football but its famous academy across the river in Alcochete has produced most of Portugal’s greatest players.

The third member of Portugal’s ‘Os Três Grandes’ , Sporting have produced European Cup winners and World Footballers of the year. Portuguese winger Bruma is set to follow in the footsteps of Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Many football pundits have unavoidably compared him with the current best player in the world. Bruma is a winger, has worn the number seven at the junior level and has the same quick feet that make Cristiano Ronaldo a modern legend.

Young Bruma said in an interview with football daily Record this past September, “Cristiano Ronaldo is my role model.” This will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen the young winger play.

The 18-year-old has been on the radar of major clubs for several years now including Manchester United, AC Milan, Chelsea and others. But all indications are that Sporting’s administration are keen on keeping Bruma on board for the foreseeable future. And Bruma himself has said that Sporting is where he wants to develop.

This has been his break-out campaign. Bruma was a regular player with Sporting’s junior side which plays in the country’s second tier domestic league.

Since veteran manager Jesualdo Ferreira took control of the senior club in December, Bruma has begun to see action. In only his second match on February 16th against Gil Vicente, the young winger dribbled past several defenders in the opening minute of play to score his first ever goal.

After his debut against Maritimo on February 10th, Ferreira praised the youngster’s talent but added that the player needs time to develop. “He has great talent, great quality but needs to continue to grow.”

Though not a prolific goalscorer, Bruma has great pace, excellent dribbling skills, and an ability to score from long distance like countrymen Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo. He has scored 6 goals in 25 matches for Sporting’s junior side in the Liga De Honra.

Born Armindo Tué Na Bangna (But known as Bruma) in the former Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau.

Related Posts:

PLAYER PROFILE: European Giants Chase Sporting Lisbon’s Bruma

SPORTING LISBON: Young Players Get It Done Against Gil Vicente

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

Portugal’s poor run of form continued Wednesday in Guimarães with a 3-2 loss to Ecuador. Captain Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brilliant goal in the 23rd minute and was the best Portuguese player, but the Seleção was undone by a very poor defensive display.

Manager Paulo Bento fielded a typical starting XI, with a few exceptions. Eduardo started in net in place of established number one Rui Patricio. And Zenit’s new signing Luis Neto started the match alongside new teammate Bruno Alves, in place of the injured Pepe.

Portugal starting brightly in the first minute of play with a good chance by Helder Postiga. But a minute later goalkeeper Eduardo woefully misread a cross into the box that Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia easily capitalized on. This was a sign of things to come.

Portugal responded well with some dangerous attacks lead by Cristiano Ronaldo. They were rewarded in the 23rd minute with some clever passing that resulted in a brilliant goal by the Portuguese captain. But Portugal’s defense look noticably vulnerable throughout the first half.

After going into half-time tied at one, Portugal raised the pressure on Ecuador. In the 60th minute, Nani delivered a pass to Postiga in the box that gave Portugal the lead. But the momentum was very shortlived. A minute later right-back João Pereira brutally mismanaged a ball in the defensive zone which resulted in one of the most absurd own goals ever seen.

Now tied at two, Bento subbed Postiga and Ronaldo, and that seemed to put an end to the Portuguese attack. Former Sporting Lisbon player Felipe Caicedo, who now plays in Russia scored in the 70th minute to win it for Ecuador.

After the match Paulo Bento was asked to explain the team’s performance. “We should have scored right at the beginning of the match, but they managed to score right after that. At the beginning of the second half, we started well, went ahead and then we had the misfortune of an own goal. At 2-2, things became more difficult which resulted in the third goal by Ecuador. We played a good game with some errors,” Bento said.

Bento added that he did not blame the defensive frailties on a lapse of concentration and added that there we positives to the match for Portugal. He added that this game will not take the pressure off the team. Portugal will play two very important World Cup qualifying games against Israel and Azerbaijan at the end of March.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Goal Against Ecuador On Wednesday


Another former Sporting Lisbon youth player could be on his way to the Estádio da Luz. A Bola is reporting on their website that Portugal U21 midfielder Diogo Rosado could sign with Os Encarnados by the end of the transfer window on Thursday.

Benfica has already reportedly signed Rui Fonte from Espanyol on Monday and could bolster their squad with the addition of Rosado. The 22-year-old Rosado impressed on loan with the now relegated Feirense during the 2011-12 season.

After seeing his opportunities limited at the senior squad, Rosado signed with the English club Blackburn Rovers who were relegated to the second division Championship just this season.

But Rosado has seen his playing time reduced this season, having played only two games. Like Rui Fonte, Rosado is seen as a very attractive prospect. Both players would likely be deployed to Benfica’s B squad in the Liga de Honra to receive more playing time.