Posts Tagged ‘b squad’

Ivan-Cavaleiro

The early season performances of Benfica’s Ivan Cavaleiro have begun to draw the attention of many people.

The Portuguese winger scored a hat-trick against Academico Viseu this past weekend in the second division where the club’s B squad plays. He is currently the league’s leading scorer with seven goals in ten matches.

The 19-year old, who is currently on international duty with Portugal’s U-21 squad has reportedly been scouted by Manchester United. This sort of attention is overwhelming for any player, let alone a youngster who is still waiting to play his first competitive match with the senior squad.

But Cavaleiro insists that he is focused on developing his game and eventually hopes to play first-team football with Benfica before moving on.

“My job is to earn an opportunity for the first team and this depends on the coach,” Cavaleiro told Portuguese radio station Antena 1. “There are very good forwards at Benfica and it is not easy to get into the first team.”

“For me it’s a huge honour to represent Benfica because it’s the club of my heart. I want to continue here and succeed in the first team.”

The young winger scored 12 goals in 38 matches for Benfica B last season, playing against professionals in Portugal’s second division. Standing at a modest 1,75m, Cavaleiro is most comfortable on the right side but has also seen action on the left and as a centre-forward.

He has also regularly played against players a few years older than him at the international level and done very well. Benfica’s senior side is currently loaded with more experienced wingers, making it difficult for Cavaleiro to take the next step in his career.

Cavaleiro’s former manager at Benfica B Norton de Matos believes that he already has the quality to play with the senior squad.

“Benfica have a strategy to support the growth of players like Ivan Cavaleiro. He has what it takes to get to the main squad. It would be an excellent reward for the great start to the season he is having,” Matos told Antena 1.

“If integrated with the players that Benfica currently have, and properly supported, Ivan has the quality to be a great success.”

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Marítimo Goalkeeper José Sá Hopes To See Regular Action

Marítimo Goalkeeper José Sá Hopes To See Regular Action

This is the third and final article of a feature series exclusive to Futebol Factory that profiles the most promising Portuguese youngsters. Later this week, this website will be publishing an overview of all 21 players named in our series.

Here now are the last seven Portuguese young players that could have break out seasons this year.

José Sá, Maritimo, Goalkeeper

The 20-year old made a big name for him self this summer at the U20 World Cup. He certainly raised his profile in Maritimo’s opening match this season against Benfica, back stopping the Madeira-based club to a 2-1 win. The former Benfica youth player looks to have a bright future ahead of him.

With Maritimo’s former number one goalkeeper Romain Salin departing to Rio Ave, manager Pedro Martins has no proven goalkeeper. This could be his year to establish himself as a starting goalkeeper and perhaps an option for the Seleção.

Nuno Reis, Sporting Lisbon, Centre Back

A promising player whose future looks uncertain at the moment. Reis formed an excellent partnership at the centre of defence with Rio Ave’s Roderick Miranda at the 2011 U20 World Cup where Portugal finished second. He played with Olhanense last season.

The 22-year old does not appear to be part of Sporting manager Leonardo Jardim’s immediate plans. Currently playing with Sporting B squad in the second division, a loan deal seems likely.

Ricardo Ferreira, Olhanense, Centre Back

Born to Portuguese parents in Canada, Ricardo Ferreira is a former FC Porto youth player. In 2011, he was signed by Serie A giants AC Milan but never played a professional match for them. Last year, he was loaned to Serie B squad Empoli where he found playing time difficult to come by.

Ferreira was released this past summer by the Italian club and signed with Olhanense. He should find more playing time with Abel Xavier club, but unless the former Portuguese international proves to be a better manager than most people expect, the Algarve-club should be battling hard to stay in the top division.

Diogo Figueiras, Sevilla, Right-Back

The 22-year old was signed by La Liga club Sevilla this summer after an impressive season at Paços Ferreira. The club’s sporting director Monchi has praised his speed and technical ability, although it looks like he will have to play second-fiddle to Coke for now.

Figueiras lists former Sevilla right-back Dani Alves as a personal role model. He told journalists at his official unveiling in July, “Daniel Alves (Now with FC Barcelona) is an inspiration to me because he is the best full-back in the world. I am an ambitious player and I hope that I could one day reach his level. I am an offensive-minded full-back.”

Flávio Ferreira, Malaga, Centre Back/Defensive Midfielder

Signed by Malaga in the summer from Académica, where he primarily played at centre back last season. The 21-year old could also pay in defensive midfield. As of late August, Ferreira was battling a back injury that was to be evaluated from week to week.

With Malaga losing several quality players and their manager this summer, Ferreira could be given an opportunity to shine this year at the Estadio La Rosaleda. He should feel very welcome in Andalusia this season with Portuguese players Duda, Eliseu and Vitorino Antunes on the squad.

Ricardo Alves, Belenenses, Midfielder

Newly-promoted clubs are always likely to have exciting young talented. 20-year old Ricardo Alves played himself into Belenenses’ starting XI last season when promotion was all but assured. His performances were enough to earn him a spot of Portugal’s U20 World Cup squad where he played three matches.

This season in the top division, the suburban Lisbon club are still without a proven goal scorer and will likely rely on its creativity in midfield to win matches. Alves will be counted on to produce this season.

Tiago Silva, Belenenses, Midfielder

Another promising midfielder at Belenenses. Silva played regularly last season in the second division, scoring four goals in 31 matches for the club. Silva, along with Ricardo Alves could provide the basis for a strong Belenenses midfield this year.

The 20-year old is more attack-minded than Alves and will need to be good this season if Mitchell van der Gaag’s club is to prevent relegation. They got off to a poor start in match day one with a 3-0 defeat at home to Rio Ave.

Related posts

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 1

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 2

PORTUGAL: 7 Young Players That Could Help The Seleção Reach World Cup 2014

Anthony Lopes Has Shown Some Great Promise With Lyon This Pre-Season

Anthony Lopes Has Shown Some Great Promise With Lyon This Pre-Season

Futebol Factory is profiling some of Portugal’s most promising young talent in three feature articles ahead of the new football season.

Anthony Lopes, Olympique Lyonnais, Goalkeeper

A quality goalkeeper that has played for Portugal at the U21 level. French-born Lopes played the last 5 Ligue 1 matches last season for the French club and has already figured prominently in Europa League qualifying matches so far this month. He also impressed in Lyon’s 4-0 defeat of Nice in the first match of the Ligue 1 season.

The French-club is currently without a proven stopper and could be tempted to go with Lopes. They have also shown some great faith in him by signing Lopes to a contract extension that will see him stay with the club until 2016. Rui Patrício is the uncontested Portuguese number one but it never hurts to have a quality alternative.

Miguel Vitor, PAOK, Centre Back

Unceremoniously released by Benfica this off season, the central defender was quickly signed by Greek giants PAOK. Vitor has played alongside former Benfica player Kostas Katsouranis in PAOK’s Europa League qualifying matches against Metalist Kharkiv.

A very prominant figure with Portugal’s U21 squads, the 24-year old is expected to finally get his chance to play everyday in Greece. A chance he was never really given in Portugal. He joins a club that has been good to Portuguese talent in the past, including Sérgio Conceição and Vieirinha.

Ricardo Esgaio, Sporting Lisbon, Winger/Right-Back

An exciting player who is a big part of Sporting’s amazing pool of young talent. The 20-year old recently signed a long-term extension with the club that will see him under contract until 2018. He also played in the U20 World Cup.

Supremely talented and versatile, Esgaio scored 17 goals in 27 matches for Sporting B squad in the second division last year. However, this might not yet be the year that Esgaio makes the big leap to the senior side. Sporting has depth on the wings, and Leonardo Jardim might decide that it is better for him to continue to develop in the second division or possibly on loan.

Sérgio Oliveira, FC Porto (On Loan at Paços de Ferreira), Midfielder

Sérgio Oliveira has been in the spotlight since he was the youngest player ever to play for FC Porto’s senior side at the age of 17. He has found opportunities at the Cidade Invicta very limited since then, being loaned out to several clubs in recent years.

He played last season with Porto’s B squad in the second division, scoring 5 goals in 29 matches. Still only 21 years of age, Oliveira should receive playing time at Paços de Ferreira. A natural central midfielder, Oliveira is a free-kick specialist.

João Mário, Sporting Lisbon, Midfielder

Recently signed to a long-term extension, João Mário is one of the most talked about young players in Portugal today. The central midfielder captained Portugal’s U20 squad at this summer’s World Cup. For many it has always been a matter of when, not if.

Sporting’s new manager Leonardo Jardim has shown a willingness to ‘test’ young players in the past with Braga. However, João Mário might find it hard to play regularly this season because of the club’s investments in Adrien Silva, Andre Martins, Andre Santos and Zakaria Labyad.

Filipe Chaby, Sporting Lisbon, Attacking Midfielder

Another supremely promising midfielder from Sporting’s famed academy. The 19-year old missed most of last season with a serious knee injury however, he has played very well this summer in exhibition matches for the senior squad.

Recently signed to a long-term extension, Chaby will be hard-pressed to earn a position on Leonardo Jardim’s starting XI given the club’s depth in young midfielders. However, Chaby is certainly a player to watch going forward.

Aladje, Sassuolo, Striker

Born in Guinea-Bissau and currently playing in Italy, Aladje has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last two months. A surprise addition to Portugal’s squad for the U20 Toulon Tournament, Aladje wrestled the starting striker position away from Betinho. He would score 3 goals in 4 matches at the U20 World Cup and was even profiled in an article on the FIFA website.

Until now he has only played football in Italy’s lower division but this appears likely to change after he moved to Serie B graduates Sassuolo this summer. Aladje is part of a promising generation of young Portuguese strikers that could finally deliver the country a major trophy.

Related Posts:

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 1

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 3

PORTUGAL: 7 Young Players That Could Help The Seleção Reach World Cup 2014

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

With the new football season about to begin soon, Futebol Factory will be profiling some of the most promising Portuguese youngsters.

Here now is a list of 7 promising Portuguese players who could emerge this season.

Raphaël Guerreiro, FC Lorient, Left-Back

An interesting young player who has flown under the radar. Born in France, Guerreiro has recently been called up for Portugal’s U21 squads after an impressive season in Ligue 2 with Caen. He was named as the best left-back in the French second division last year as well.

This year, the 19-year old will be playing in Ligue 1 with FC Lorient. His progression depends of course on how much playing time he receives, but he has already shown that he could play well at a high level.

Roderick Miranda, Rio Ave, Centre Back/Defensive Midfield

A major figure in Portugal’s second place finish at the 2011 U20 World Cup. Never given a fair chance at Benfica, the 22-year old centre back signed a contract with Rio Ave in August.

Roderick should receive more playing time this season with Nuno Espírito Santo’s club. Rio Ave overachieved last season and are poised to improve again this season. With great awareness and size, Roderick could also play in defensive midfield.

Luís Gustavo, Rio Ave, Midfielder

A recent pick-up by Rio Ave from Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. 20-year old Gustavo could just be one of the best acquisitions this summer in Portugal arriving on a free transfer. He has been a regular on Portugal’s junior sides as well.

Gustavo played in 32 Segunda División matches last year for Barcelona’s B squad in a mostly defensive midfielder role. He will be playing on a squad that surprised everyone by finishing 6th last year. Unlike some of its competitors like Paços de Ferreira and Estoril, the club has not been scraped for parts this summer. This could be a big year for Gustavo and Rio Ave.

Danilo Pereira, Marítimo, Defensive Midfielder/Centre Back

21-year old Danilo Pereira is best known for his star-making performance at the 2011 U20 World Cup. The former Benfica youth player was recently signed by Marítimo after being released by Serie A club Parma. Pereira is primarily a defensive midfielder but also played centre back last season while on loan at Eredivisie club Roda JC.

Pereira was an everyday player last year with Roda and might find the transition to playing everyday in Portugal quite easy. Big, athletic and strong in possession, Pereira is often compared to former Arsenal great Patrick Vieira. Like Gustavo, he could end up being an excellent bargain.

William Carvalho, Sporting Lisbon, Midfielder

21-year old Carvalho has been one of the most frequently used players this summer for new Sporting manager Leonardo Jardim and could win a regular spot in the starting XI. His impressive performances have not gone unnoticed, he was recently signed to a long-term extension.

His old manager at Cercle Brugge Foeke Booy said in July that he could be a ‘powerful box-to-box midfielder.’ Carvalho played most of last season as a defensive midfielder on loan at the Belgian club, but he could also play in a more central role, as well as a central defender.

Rafa, Sporting Braga, Attacking Midfielder

An interesting acquisition by the Minho club from second division side Feirense. The 20-year old reportedly turned down a chance to join Sporting Lisbon for more playing time at Sporting Braga. He comes to Braga at a time where the midfield is going through some big changes after Hugo Viana and Mossoró both left this summer.

For Rafa, he has two things going for him heading into his first season in the top division. First, he is on a competitive team where he could learn while waiting patiently for his chance. Second, he will be working under the tutelage of Professor Jesualdo who has an excellent record of playing and developing young talent.

Nelson Oliveira, Benfica (On Loan at Rennes), Striker

It might be a surprise to some to see a Seleção player on this list. But the fact of the matter is that the 22-year old took a step back last year on loan at Deportivo, scoring only 4 goals in 30 matches. With Éder returning from injury, Oliveira could be on the outside looking in at the 2014 World Cup.

Oliveira will likely be given a chance to play regularly this season after being loaned to Ligue 1 club Rennes. Club manager Philippe Montanier insisted on signing Oliveira after seeing him play last season in La Liga.

Related Posts:

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 2

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Young Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 3

PORTUGAL: 7 Young Players That Could Help The Seleção Reach World Cup 2014

TRANSFER WINDOW: Benfica Striker Nélson Oliveira Officially Joins Rennes On One-Year Loan Deal

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Benfica fans will not get a chance to see one of Portugal’s best young talents play at the Estádio da Luz this season after all.

Winger Pizzi has been loaned to Barcelona-based club RCD Espanyol after completing a transfer to Benfica from La Liga’s Atlético Madrid. Brazilian central defender Sidnei will also be loaned to Espanyol this season.

According to the football website O Jogo, Espanyol is reported to have paid Benfica €1,5million for their one year of service.

The two players were officially unveiled to the Espanyol faithful on Tuesday at the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat. The club’s sporting director Òscar Perarnau said at the news conference that, ‘Pizzi was a primary objective for the attack.’

Perarnau also revealed that the club was interested in the Portuguese winger when he was still under contract with Atlético Madrid.

Pizzi said that his primary objective was to have a successful season ahead of the 2014 World Cup. “I am going to try to improve on what I did at Deportivo, as well as help Espanyol reach its objectives.”

Pizzi has received one cap for Portugal so far, playing in a November 2012 friendly against Gabon. He established himself as one of the best young players in La Liga last season, scoring 8 goals and adding another 7 assists in 35 matches with now-relegated Deportivo La Coruña.

23-year old Sidnei has struggled to find playing time with Benfica over the last few years. He played most of last season with Benfica’s B squad in the second tier Liga de Honra.

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TRANSFER WINDOW: Pizzi Reportedly On His Way To Benfica

PORTUGAL: 7 Young Players That Could Help The Seleção Reach World Cup 2014

LA LIGA: Portuguese Trio Help Deportivo Crush Levante In Spanish League Action

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Benfica presented Stefan Mitrović to the media on Tuesday in an official news conference at the Estádio da Luz. The 23-year-old Serbian has signed a new five-year contract with the Portuguese club.

Mitrović will come at a transfer fee of €1,2million, according to the Portuguese football website O Jogo. He is expected to join Benfica’s B squad immediately, with the possibility of contending for a starting position in the near future.

He spent last season with Belgian club K.V. Kortrijk, where he scored three goals in 28 matches in all competitions for the club.

Mitrović spoke about the growing number of Serbian players at Benfica and how that influenced his decision to join the Lisbon club. “I was glad to see so many Serbian players join Benfica because I think they will bring a new energy to the club. I hope we can win trophies together next season.”

“It is a big step forward in my career and I am very proud to represent Benfica next season,” Mitrović added.

“I am going to give everything to Benfica. On the field I will give it all. I hope to play in many matches and contribute towards winning many titles.”

Related Posts: TRANSFER WINDOW: Serbian Central Defender Stefan Mitrović Will Join Benfica Next Season

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Catherine Kõrtsmik

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Catherine Kõrtsmik

Sporting Lisbon’s promising winger Bruma is being courted by several of Europe’s top clubs, this according to several sources. On Wednesday, English newspaper Daily Mirror reported that Manchester United is the latest club to enter the race for the dynamic youngster.

Portuguese football website A Bola have claimed that several United scouts have been tracking Bruma for some time. Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and others are also believed to be interested.

The 18-year-old currently has a contract with the Portuguese club that expires at the end of the 2014 campaign. Bruma has made it clear that he is happy at Sporting and would like to sign an extension. The club’s administration have confirmed that signing Bruma is a priority as well.

It is believed that Manchester United and other clubs are hoping to sign Bruma for as little as £4million which would be about half the price of Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Old Trafford in 2003. Sporting Lisbon’s financial problems are well-documented and some believe that the club might be tempted to cash-in on the young player now.

Bruma began the campaign with Sporting’s reserve side in the second division of Portuguese football. He was promoted to the senior club under manager Jesualdo Ferreira in February and has since dazzled fans with his skill. Bruma scored his first professional goal in only his second match on February 16th against Gil Vicente.

Bruma is a graduate of Sporting’s prestigious academy, which is located across the river from the Portuguese capital in Alcochete. Born in the former Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau, he has played for Portugal at the junior level.

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SCOUTING REPORT: Sporting Lisbon’s Dynamic Winger Bruma

SPORTING LISBON: Young Players Get It Done Against Gil Vicente

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Vitória de Guimarães winger Ricardo and central midfielder Tiago Rodrigues will join FC Porto next season. The President of Vitória de Guimarães Júlio Mendes confirmed to media on Wednesday that the two players will sign permanent deals with FC Porto that will last until 2018.

The deal could not be made official until June. Mendes added that there are still some financial issues to work out, including the transfer fee that will be paid to Vitória de Guimarães. However, all indications suggest that Ricardo and Rodrigues will be Portistas this summer.

Both players have played a big part in Vitória de Guimarães’ successful campaign so far. This week they defeated Belenenses to advance to the final of the Taça de Portugal or Portuguese Cup, the country’s biggest domestic cup competition.

Born Ricardo Domingos Barbosa Pereira in Lisbon, Ricardo has played as a right winger for manager Rui Vitória. At 19 years of age, he has already established himself as a very promising prospect. Ricardo has scored 5 goals in 32 games in all competitions this season. He previously belonged to the Sporting Lisbon and Naval youth system before signing with Vitória in 2011-12.

21-year-old Tiago Rodrigues also played with Escola Diogo Cão, before being signed by Sporting Lisbon and eventually Vitória de Guimarães. After being loaned to Amarante last season, Rodrigues began this campaign with Vitória’s B squad in the second tier Liga De Honra.

Rodrigues’ impressive performances with the squad caught the attention of senior club manager Rui Vitória. Rodrigues began playing regularly in the Portuguese top flight in January and has not looked back. He has scored three goals and notched another 5 assists in 18 matches with the senior club. Rodrigues is known for being very strong on set pieces as well.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Catherine Kõrtsmik

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Catherine Kõrtsmik

With Sporting likely to re-embrace its famous academy again after a few years of neglect, it looks like Portuguese central defender Tiago Ilori is set to play a big role the club’s future.

The 20-year-old Ilori began the 2012-13 campaign with Sporting’s B squad in the second tier before he was called up to the main squad on February 16th against Gil Vicente. Ilori scored in the 6th minute with a header off a corner for his first goal at the professional level in only his third appearance.

Ilori has been a regular starter since veteran manager Jesualdo Ferreira took over Sporting in late December. Born to a British-Nigerian father and a Portuguese mother in London, England, Ilori started playing football in the Algarve as a striker. In 2006, he was signed by Sporting’s prestigious academy and eventually converted to centre-back.

Tall at 1.90 m and thin, Ilori resembles PSG’s Tiago Silva in appearance. Portuguese daily Correio da Manhã likened his playing style and velocity to Real Madrid defender Raphaël Varane. In February 2013, it was reported that Ilori broke Sporting’s speed record in training, surpassing results set by Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo when they were with the academia.

In January, the club fought off strong attempts by Ligue 1 club Toulouse to sign Ilori. He has also drawn interest from PSG and several Premier League clubs. However, in March, the club announced that they had extended Ilori’s contract until 2015. His transfer clause is set at 30 million Euros.

Related Posts:

SPORTING LISBON: Young Players Get It Done Against Gil Vicente

PORTUGAL U-20: André Gomes, Tiago Ilori, Ricardo Pereira Named To The Portugal Squad for The Toulon Tournament

TRANSFER WINDOW: Liverpool Reportedly Offer £4million For Sporting’s Tiago Ilori

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André Almeida has been one of the best young players in the Liga Portuguesa this season. The 22-year-old has enjoyed a quick rise from Benfica’s Junior club at the beginning of the season to playing in the Champions League.

Nominally a defensive midfielder, Benfica’s manager Jorge Jesus has also used young Almeida as a right-back. When asked by journalists in February what position he prefers, Almeida simply remarked: “Whether a full-back or midfielder, I am just happy about being in the starting eleven.”

Almeida has shown this season that he could be reliable defensively regardless of what position he plays. He has also demonstrated the ability to go forward and contribute offensively without neglected his defensive responsibilities.

The Lisbon-born Almeida, who was originally in Sporting Lisbon’s famed academy, also spent some time with suburban club Belenenses in the second tier of Portuguese futebol until he was signed by Benfica in 2011.

In November, after some good performances with the senior club, Benfica signed him to a long-term contract until 2018 with a transfer clause of 30 millions Euros.

Along with midfielder Andre Gomes and defender Roderick Miranda, Almeida appears to be part of an emerging generation of Portuguese talent at the Estádio da Luz.