Posts Tagged ‘Bruno Alves’

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Portugal’s uncompromising style of play did not win them much admiration among neutral fans or the media but it was undoubtedly effective. Much credit should go to manager Fernando Santos who engineered a victory by utilizing the full strength of his squad. Football Factory rated each player on their performance over the entire tournament.


Rui Patricio He was not always busy but proved to be solid when called upon. He made a crucial stop in the penalty shootout against Poland. And he made several quality stops against France in the final. Named Best Goalkeeper at the tournament. Patricio is currently enjoying the best period of his career. 9

Eduardo Did not play.

Anthony Lopes Did not play.



Raphael Guerreiro He was probably Portugal’s most consistent outfield player. The French-born Guerreiro provided the cross for Cristiano Ronaldo’s header against Wales. He was deservedly named to the team of the tournament. 8

Eliseu He filled in for Guerreiro against Hungary and Poland. The Benfica left-back looked much improved in his defensive duties, although he did not offer much in attack. 6

Pepe The Real Madrid man began the tournament with a poor display against Iceland and Hungary in the group stage. However, he was near flawless in the knockout stages.  A thigh injury kept him out of the semi-finals. But he returned in time to face France and put in a Man-of-the-Match performance for his country. Named to the Team of the Tournament. 8

Ricardo Carvalho The 38-year-old has been a solid contributor since returning to the international scene following Fernando Santos’ appointment. He looked slightly out of step especially in the 3-3 draw against Hungary. He was dropped in favour of Jose Fonte for the knockout stages. 6

Jose Fonte One of the great stories in this squad. The former Sporting CP academy graduate only made his international debut less than two years ago at the age of 30. He replaced Ricardo Carvalho against Croatia and was solid the rest of the way. 7

Bruno Alves He filled in admirably for the injured Pepe in the semi-final against Wales. 6

Cedric Soares Took over for Vieirinha against Croatia. His crucial mistake in the early stages against Poland led to the Robert Lewandowski goal. However, the Southampton right-back did not hang his head. Instead, he would be one of Portugal’s best performers the rest of the way. 7

Vieirinha The biggest disillusionment of this tournament for Portugal. He failed to provide sufficient cover on the Iceland goal in the first match. He was ineffective in attack and at times, a liability on defense. Santos rightly dropped him in favour of Cedric. 5



William Carvalho The holding midfielder replaced Danilo against Austria and put in an outstanding performance helping to drive the attack while supporting the Portuguese backline. Although he made less of an impact from then on, he still provided the stability the team needed. 7

Danilo Pereira The FC Porto midfielder suffered a back injury in the match against Iceland and lost his position in the starting XI to William.  Although, he would make a valuable contribution as a substitute. He filled in for the Sporting midfielder as a starter in the semi-final against Wales and even came close to scoring on one occasion. 6

Renato Sanches Named Best Young Player in the tournament. His long run in extra time against Croatia led to Quaresma’s goal. He scored the tying goal against Poland. Although, he was less of a factor against Wales and in the final. Still, he only added to his burgeoning reputation. It will be almost impossible to top the year he has had. 7

Andre Gomes He earned a starting spot against Iceland and put in an excellent display, creating the goal scored by Nani. But, his injury against Croatia would greatly limit him. He made a positive substitute appearance against Wales but did not appear in the final. 6

Adrien Silva The Sporting captain made his debut in the tournament against Croatia. He earned Fernando Santos’ confidence with some impressive performances on the way to the final. Unselfish, hardworking and tough, he embodies Portugal’s championship-winning side more than anyone. 7

João Moutinho A starter at the beginning of the tournament, the Monaco midfielder was not at his best in the group stage. He was forced to withdraw at half-time against Hungary due to an injury. However, he came in as a late substitute against Poland and provided a dangerous through-ball to Ronaldo, who could not capitalize. He made a major impact as a substitute in the final, helping to create the winning goal. 7

João Mário Much was expected of the Sporting midfielder at the beginning of the tournament. He was noticeably quiet against Iceland and was dropped in favour of Quaresma in the second match. Back as a starter against Hungary he provided an assist on Cristiano Ronaldo’s back-heel goal. His decision-making left much to be desired at times in the knockout stages but he was much better in the final. 7



Cristiano Ronaldo The Portuguese captain was not always at his best in this tournament. He was a frustrated figure against Iceland and Austria but silenced his critics with a brace against Hungary. He was decisive again in the semi-final against Wales. His tournament seemed destined to end once again in tears when he was forced to withdraw in the final because of a knee injury. But, his teammates rallied around his absence and handed him that elusive championship at international level.  8

Nani The 29-year-old rebuilt his damaged reputation. He finished tied with the team-lead in goals with three and added an assist on Sanches’ goal against Poland. He did all that while playing out of position. His move to Spanish club Valencia was finalized during the tournament.  8

Ricardo Quaresma At 32, the journeyman winger looks to have finally come into his own on the international scene. He was generally ineffective in his only start of the tournament against Austria. However, he proved to be a valuable option off the bench, scoring a late goal against Croatia and then putting away the winning penalty in the shoot-out against Poland. 7

Rafa Silva He was originally expected to play a more prominent role. However, the Braga winger was limited to a short cameo in the late stages of the draw against Austria. He looked dangerous but was not able to break the deadlock. He is one for the future.  Incomplete

Éder Just weeks ago at pre-tournament friendlies the striker was whistled at by Portuguese fans every time he touched the ball. He made short substitute appearances against Iceland and Austria before the final. In a tournament of ample drama and great storylines for Portugal, it seems almost fitting that ‘the ugly duckling’ would score the most famous goal in the country’s history. 7



Fernando Santos He will never earn style points from the mainstream media but the 61-year-old found a way to win. By preaching unity and sacrifice above all, Santos got the most out of his players. He seemed to know how to make changes at the right time. Bringing on Sanches early in the second-half against Croatia and Éder in the final, seemed insane at the time but paid off enormously. 10



Pepe, Real Madrid

Portugal’s stalwart at the centre of defence. This will be the fourth major tournament for Brazilian-born Pepe. A serious knee injury forced him to miss the first two matches of the last World Cup in South Africa. He returned to action ironically in a group stage match against Brazil which ended in a scoreless draw.

After a mediocre season last year, the 31-year-old bounced back with one of his best in 2013-14. He has been stellar for Portugal in big occasions, having been named to the Team of the Tournament for Euro 2008 and most recently, Euro 2012. He will line up along side Bruno Alves in Brazil.

This Season: Pepe was once again at the heart of Real Madrid’s success. He played in 30 La Liga matches this season, scoring four goals. The Portuguese international helped Real Madrid win La Décima this season as well, although he would miss the final due to injury.

Fun Fact: Pepe is a practicing Roman Catholic. He traveled to the shrine town of Fátima after Portugal’s semi-final defeat against Spain to ‘Give thanks to Our Lady.’

Bruno Alves, Fenerbahçe

A strong, tactically astute central defender, who is also very good in the air. Bruno Alves received his first international call-up in 2007 when he was with FC Porto. He currently has 70 caps for Portugal which places him third all-time among defenders behind only Ricardo Carvalho (75) and Fernando Couto (110).

The 32-year-old previously won four Primeira Liga titles with FC Porto before leaving for Zenit St. Petersburg in 2010. He was named the Primeira Liga’s Player of the Year in 2009. Alves spent this past season with Turkish club Fenerbahçe, alongside fellow Portuguese international Raul Meireles.

This Season: In his first season in Turkey, Bruno Alves played in 25 League matches for Fenerbahçe. The club was disqualified from European competition because of involvement in a match-fixing scandal. But the İstanbul-based club won the Turkish League title, finishing nine points ahead of rivals Galatasaray.

Fun Fact: Alves comes from a very proud football family. His father Washington, was a Brazilian footballer who played professionally in Portugal, mainly with Varzim Sport Clube. His older brother Geraldo has had a long, successful career and played this past season in Romania. Younger brother Júlio Alves is currently with Rio Ave.

Ricardo Costa, Valencia

Despite not always being first-choice at club level, Ricardo Costa has been consistently chosen to represent Portugal. Although his contribution has largely been limited to late-match substitute. The 33-year-old is currently sitting on 16 caps.

Costa began playing football with Boavista before signing with city rivals FC Porto in 1999. He would never receive regular first-team football at the club. He would leave to join VfL Wolfsburg in 2007. Costa would help them win the Bundesliga in 2008-09, before joining Valencia in 2010. He served as team captain this past season for the La Liga club.

This Season: Ricardo Costa battled through some injuries this season, but still managed to play 20 League matches for the club. Valencia had a very disappointing season for their standards. They finished eighth in the League table and will not play in Europe next season.

Fun Fact: Ricardo Costa will be one of only two Portuguese internationals to represent his country in three World Cups. This other is Cristiano Ronaldo.

Luís Neto, Zenit Saint Petersburg

The 26-year-old was selected to play in his first major tournament for Portugal. He received his first international call-up in October 2012 and currently has six caps. Luis Neto has been a very reliable defender in his short career with the Seleção.

Neto played for his hometown club Varzim before leaving to join Madeira-based Nacional in 2011. After a short stint with Serie A club Siena, Neto moved on to Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg.

This Season: Luis Neto had a rather poor first half of the season. However, after the arrival of André Villas-Boas as manager in March his fortunes began to improve as did the club’s results. He played in 25 League matches, which included 22 starts for the club. Zenit would finish second in the Russian Premier League, only one point behind CSKA Moscow.

Fun Fact: Luis Neto was named to Portugal’s under-21 squad for the 2009 Lusophony Games, winning a silver medal.

Pepe Will Lead Portugal's Defence  Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Roger Gorączniak

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Roger Gorączniak

Over the next few weeks Futebol Factory will be analyzing Portugal at each position. At centre back, Portugal boasts a very experienced group of players.

Pepe and Bruno Alves have carried the load for the Selecção for the last few years and are widely expected to do the same in Brazil.

Paulo Bento will bring four centre backs to the World Cup. Luis Neto and Ricardo Costa appear to be front-runners to grab the two back-up positions, but with more than half the season to go there is plenty of time for others to mount a challenge.

Tickets Booked: Bruno Alves (Fenerbahçe), Pepe (Real Madrid), Luis Neto (Zenit Saint Petersburg), Ricardo Costa (Valencia)

On The Bubble: Daniel Carriço (Sevilla FC), José Fonte (Southampton), Henrique Sereno (Kayserispor), Miguel Vítor (PAOK), Rolando (Inter Milan), Tiago Ilori (Liverpool)

Brazilian-born Pepe will lead the Portuguese back line in Brazil. The 30-year old missed the beginning of the last World Cup with a serious knee injury. One of Portugal’s best performers at Euro 2012, he famously traveled to the shrine-town of Fátima after the tournament to pray. After a poor 2012-12 season, he has been in good form so far this year.

Pepe will likely be partnered with Bruno Alves, who also has Brazilian heritage on his father’s side. The 31-year old is a tough tackler, a free-kick specialist, and is dominate in the air. He is currently playing with Fenerbahçe in Turkey with fellow Portuguese international Raul Meireles.

Manager Paulo Bento has been very consistent with his selections at centre-back. Valencia captain Ricardo Costa and Zenit’s Luis Neto have both performed admirably when called upon.

But that does not rule out the possibility of another player being selected for the squad. Injuries and a decline in form could open the door for someone else.

Rolando, who is on loan at Inter Milan from FC Porto, has received caps during Bento’s time as Portuguese manager. So has Kayserispor’s Henrique Sereno.

After that there are some intriguing players that could play themselves onto the squad. Southampton’s José Fonte has been in excellent form this season for the club and some feel that Bento has unfairly overlooked him.

Former Benfica player Miguel Vítor has also impressed with Greek club PAOK this season. Former Sporting Captain Daniel Carriço is finally healthy and if he manages to put together some consistent performances with Sevilla, Bento could be tempted to select him.

Liverpool youngster Tiago Ilori remains a possibility, but he would need to start playing regular football before he could be considered.

Related Posts:

FEATURE: 10 Portuguese Players Who Need To Improve Before The World Cup

The Goalkeepers: Who Will Represent Portugal At The World Cup In Brazil?

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

FEATURE: 5 Players That Could Help Portugal Beat Sweden And Reach Brazil 2014

TRANSFER WINDOW: Portuguese Defender Bruno Alves Officially Joins Fenerbahçe

PLAYER PROFILE: Former Benfica Defender Miguel Vitor Loving Life In Greece

TRANSFER WINDOW: Former Sporting Idol Daniel Carriço Moves To Sevilla On Loan

SCOUTING REPORT: Sporting Lisbon’s Central Defender Tiago Ilori

TRANSFER WINDOW: Portuguese Defender Rolando Loaned To Inter Milan


Turkish club Fenerbahçe have formally announced that they have signed Bruno Alves to a new three-year contract. In an official statement, the Turkish club confirmed that they will pay Zenit St. Petersburg a transfer fee of €5.5 million for Alves’ services.

The Portuguese international joined the Russian club from FC Porto in 2010 in a deal worth €22million. In his time in Russia, Alves played 100 matches with the club, scoring three goals. He won two Russian league titles, plus one Russian Super Cup.

The 31-year-old joins Portuguese international teammate Raul Meireles who just completed his first season with the club. Alves has received 63 caps with Portugal, scoring 8 goals. He is primarily known for his set pieces and strength in the air.

Related Posts:

MATCH REVIEW: Portugal Rebound With A Deserving Win Against Azerbaijan

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

Fábio Coentrão Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Cropped/Ludovic Péron

Fábio Coentrão Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Cropped/Ludovic Péron

The Seleção came back from a two goal deficit to claim a draw against Israel in World Cup 2014 qualifying on Friday. Wasteful possession and defensive mistakes again plagued Portugal, as they look ahead to Azerbaijan on Tuesday.

To make matters worse, Portugal will have to play without captain Cristiano Ronaldo after he picked up another yellow card in the second half. He did travel with the team to Baku after the match but did not train with the squad on Saturday, according to A Bola.

João Moutinho started in midfield despite battling a thigh injury, but he did not look his best. Central defender Pepe also made his return to the Portugal squad. Manchester United winger Nani was omitted from the squad because of a hamstring injury, Porto’s Silvestre Varela started in his place.

The match started brightly for the Seleção in the opening minutes of the match, when Bruno Alves scored off a Miguel Veloso corner. It was a perfect start for Paulo Bento’s team, as their opponents looks visibly winded from the start.

In the 24th minute, Israel pulled one back when the Portuguese defence failed to clear a dangerous cross into the box. Israeli striker Tomer Hemed struck it past Patricio for the equalizer. This quickly swung momentum back to the home side.

Israel was again rewarded in the 40th minute, when Hemed broke through the Portuguese defence and delivered a pass to Eden Ben Basat for who struck a hard shot straight into the back of the net.

The Portuguese side were in a very familiar position in this qualifying campaign, trailing at the half. With no changes at half-time, Portugal came out of the dugout with a sense of urgency and desperation. Cristiano Ronaldo and Fábio Coentrão, especially began to come into the match, and pressed the Israeli back line.

In the 60th minute, Bento substituted Silvestre Varela and Miguel Veloso in favour of Vieirinha and Carlos Martins. But it was israeli who struck again. In the 70th minute, Rami Gershon scored off a corner for the home side putting Israel on the verge of the biggest win of the country’s sports history.

The Seleção, looking increasingly frustrated were in desperate need of a spark. And they got it from the likeliest of sources. Moments later, Cristiano Ronaldo broke away from the Israeli defence and delivered a pass to Helder Postiga who scored to put Portugal within a goal.

Bento would soon bring on Hugo Almeida to further press the Israeli defence. After hitting the top of the crossbar only minutes before, Fábio Coentrão took advantage of a loose ball inside the box and slotted it home for the tying goal in injury time. Portugal escaped with a draw. It was a fitting end to the match for Coentrão who was Portugal’s best player going forward for most of the match.

After the match, manager Paulo Bento admitted that the team lacked intensity. “The goal two minutes in should have given us confidence but instead it hurt us. We did not show an intensity in our game, we were not aggressive defensively and we gave up two goals as a result,” he told RTP television.

“Without playing particularly well, and like in previous matches, we did enough to win in terms of chances on goal. There is something that is lacking in terms of efficiency. We scored few goals in terms of the number of opportunities we had. Israel practically had three shots and scored three goals,” Bento added.

“It is not a question of attitude and desire, but of mentality. I have already told tha players this. Our mentality is difficult to change.”

Real Madrid defender Pepe spoke about the club’s defensive problems after the match. “The problem was not just the defensive aspect. The work is collective and we are not working in the best way possible. We faced a team that plays a complicated system. We left space in between the centre-backs and full-backs, but we have to learn from the mistakes we made so they don’t happen in the next match.”

“I belong to the seleção portuguesa and I want to reach the World Cup. We are going to do everything to get there. Now we have to learn from our mistakes, we will try to take full advantage of every opportunity so we do not create the same mistakes,” Pepe added.

The draw means that Russia is all but assured top spot in group F, and therefore automatic qualification for World Cup 2014. Though, not all is lost for Portugal they remain even in terms of points with Israel with 5 matches left to play. The top 8 second-place finishers will qualify for a play-off.