Posts Tagged ‘Bruno de Carvalho’

Dani Osvaldo FC Porto

Sporting and FC Porto received most of the headlines this weekend after resounding victories in match-day seven of the Primeira Liga season. Both clubs share top spot in the table with 17 points each.

After a famous victory against former manager Jose Mourinho and Chelsea during the week, the Dragões trounced Belenenses 4-0 at home on Sunday. After a scoreless first-half, summer signing Jesús Corona put Porto ahead just after the break. Brahimi, Osvaldo and Marcano rounded out the scoring.

Manager Julen Lopetegui credited his club’s mental strength for the victory.

“We deserved to be winning at half-time, but couldn’t score, despite our superiority, as we missed too many shots. We had several situations to score, played well, facing a team with good players, and we were waiting on the perfect timing. The team had mentality, was capable of working and winning,” he said.

The win may have come at a price. Team captain and defensive-stalwart Maicon may be on the sidelines for a few weeks after leaving the match in the first-half with a thigh injury.

Sporting followed up a disappointing 1-1 draw against Beşiktaş in the Europa League, with a convincing 5-1 win against Vitória Guimarães at Alvalade. Islam Slimani scored a hat-trick, with Teo Gutiérrez and Adrien Silva scoring the other two. It may have been Sporting’s most complete performance of the season.

William Carvalho made his first appearance at Alvalade after returning from a leg injury and looked to be in top form.

“Yes, this performance was a good response. We have worked hard, despite the problems,” he said.

“The objective is to play well and win. Now we have to work hard and think about the next match.”

Last year’s champions Benfica had their match against União de Madeira postponed because of thick fog. A new date has not been announced.

Outside the ‘Big Three,’ Rio Ave is the biggest surprise so far. Pedro Martins’ club sit alone in third position. Braga could only manage a scoreless draw against Arouca but still sit comfortably in fourth position. Benfica rounds off the top five, with one game at hand.

Moreirense and Academica currently sit in the relegation zone with three points each. Academica won their first match of the season beating Marítimo 1-0. Moreirense played Tondela to a 1-1 draw and remain the only club without a league victory this season.

The Liga NOS will now go on a two-week hiatus for the international break and the Portuguese Cup. On 25 October, Benfica and Sporting will clash at the Estádio da Luz. FC Porto will also play Braga.

André Carrillo and Sporting heading for a split?

It looks like André Carrillo is on his way out of Sporting. The Peruvian had not dressed for the club for several matches because of on-going contract negotiations.

Last week, the drama turned into a full-fledged saga when the club announced that they had formally suspended the player. They also released a 32-point press release detailing alleged acts of impropriety by Carrillo and his representatives.

The club accused Carrillo and his people of deliberately sabotaging negotiations. Sporting also accused the player and his representatives of trying to force his way out of the club, among other allegations.

Carrillo was signed by the club in 2011 from Alianza Lima. He was one of the very few good signings by Luís Godinho Lopes. Current club president Bruno de Carvalho spoke about Carrillo on the TVI program Prolongamento on Monday.

“Carrillo told me that he no longer wanted to play for Sporting because he was no longer committed to us,” he said.

“We tried to re-sign Carrillo for a year and a half. In football, there are problems that just cannot be resolved.”

Carrillo’s contract expires this summer which means the club will have to sell him during the January transfer window.

Cristiano Ronaldo hits a milestone and surpasses Raul

It seems like every week Cristiano Ronaldo is breaking a new record. This past week, the Portugal captain scored his 500th career goal and also surpassed Real Madrid legend Raul to become the club’s all-time leading scorer.

Ronaldo was put in alone by Isco in the first-half of Real Madrid’s Champions League match against Malmö FF. And he made no mistake. Late in the second half, he flicked Lucas Vázquez’s pass into the goal, as Real won 2-0.

It has been a long, remarkable journey for the boy from Madeira. He scored his first senior goal for Sporting on 7 October, 2002 against Moreirense. Back then, he was just another in a line of supremely-talented wingers coming out of the club’s Alcochete academy.

So much has happened since then. His transfer to Manchester United, Euro 2004, Germany 2006, Moscow 2008, Real Madrid, Euro 2012, Lisbon 2014 and that special night in Stockholm. Not to mention the three Ballon d’Or.

It is hard to believe that he will ever slow down. Although, his game has changed since he turned 30 last year. Ronaldo seems to have lost the ability to score from free-kicks. And he no longer scores from distance as he once did.

But, his decline appears to be a long way off. Although, he appears to be evolving into a one-touch goalscorer, his production is not dropping. And given his well-known commitment to fitness and his desire, Ronaldo should be able to play at a very high level for several more seasons.

Seleção to face Denmark on Thursday in Braga

Portugal will play Denmark in Braga on Thursday. The Seleção sit first in Group I with 15 points. A draw will be enough to qualify for Euro 2016 next summer. They will travel to Serbia after the match.

“It is true that we are close to qualifying, but we still have a lot to do. It will be two difficult matches [against Denmark and Serbia],” Portugal manager Fernando Santos said.

“Denmark is a club of great quality, both collectively and individually. For Denmark, this is a final because it is their last match of the group. We need to approach this match as a final as well.”

Benfica right-back Nelson Semedo received his first senior call-up. João Moutinho, Tiago and Fábio Coentrão were selected after sitting out previous matches because of injuries. Luis Neto and Rafa Silva also return to the squad.

William Carvalho, Raphael Guerreiro, Andre Gomes, Pepe, Paulo Oliveira and Vieirinha were left out because of injuries or fitness issues. Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was originally selected but was forced to withdraw after coming down with gastroenteritis. Dinamo Zagreb’s Eduardo was named in his place.

Portugal’s U21 squad will continue their Euro 2017 qualifying campaign this week against Hungary, before facing Greece on Tuesday. Rui Jorge’s squad beat Albania 6-1 in their first qualifying match last month. However, they will have to make do without André Silva who is out with an ankle injury.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Juntas

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Juntas

Sporting Lisbon manager Leonardo Jardim seldom shows much emotion when he speaks but even he could not hold back after his club’s latest victory on Sunday against Olhanense.

The notoriously serious 39-year old manager praised his player’s effort, saying that they deserved to win because they were the best team on the field.

“Sporting proved to be a team that likes to play good football, pressing hard, offensive-oriented and supportive. I believe that this club will continue to grow,“ Jardim added after Sporting’s 2-0 win.

Sporting’s new signing Colombian striker Fredy Montero scored shortly after the second half began. Portuguese midfielder Andre Martins scored a second at the hour mark to give Sporting the victory over the Algarve club.

The victory was the club’s third in four matches to start the season. The only blemish was a 1-1 draw against city-rivals Benfica. Os Leões sit second in the league behind FC Porto, having outscored their opposition 12-2 so far this campaign.

Just 4 competitive matches into his career with one of Portugal’s ‘Big three,’ Jardim already appears to be winning over many of the club’s faithful who have suffered through some terrible seasons.

What a difference a few matches could make. Sporting dominated Olhanense in the first half of Sunday’s match and were unlikely to be leading at the half. In recent seasons, the club would become visibly frustrated when faced with any kind of adversity.

But this year’s Sporting appears to be different.

Breaking With The Past

The club’ improving performances on the field are the result of a dramatic change of attitude at the club that has permeated down to the players. It has surely taken a long time for this to happen.

Current Portugal manager Paulo Bento was the last to achieve any kind of success with the club. Since he was fired in 2009, Sporting have had eight managers. None of which has achieved any consistent results.

Boasting 18 Portuguese League title, along with 15 Portuguese Cup, the club has not won a single trophy since the 2007-08 campaign. At the same time they have been burdened with mounting debt and disciplinary issues.

In 2011, after two poor seasons, its supporters elected Luiz Godinho Lopes as the club’s new president with the promise that he would attract new investment.

Sporting’s Alcochete academy is one of the most exceptional in Europe, having produced two Ballon D’or winners in Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo. The club has historically relied on developing young talent, many of which have gone one to play for Portugal.

Godinho Lopes decided to break with this tradition and purchased expensive foreign imports who, for the most part never managed to improve the club’s performances.

Elias, Danijel Pranjić, Oguchi Onyewu, Gelson Fernandes and others never adapted well to Portuguese football and were loaned out. Others like Stijn Schaars and Khalid Boulahrouz were often injured in their time at Alvalade.

At the same time academy players like Andre Santos, Wilson Eduardo, Adrien Silva and Andre Martins were either benched or loaned to other clubs.

With continuously poor results the club frequently showed signs of having discipline issues. In a January 2012 league cup match against Moreirense F.C, Sporting was given a penalty in the late stages with the score tied.

Bulgarian forward Valeri Bojinov shoved regular penalty taker Matias Fernandez away and took the penalty himself, which he missed. Bojinov never played for the club again and then manager Domingos Paciência was fired soon after.

Paciência’s replacement, Ricardo Sá Pinto was fired after a poor start to the 2012-13 campaign and replaced by Belgian Franky Vercauteren who lasted less than 3 months.

Veteran manager Jesualdo Ferreira was appointed in January 2013 and injected some new players into the club’s formations including central defender Tiago Ilori and über-talented winger Bruma. The club’s performances improved but but not enough to qualify for the Europa League.

A New Hope?

In March, the supporters elected life-long Sportinguista Bruno de Carvalho as the new president. He immediately set out to repair the club’s fledgling reputation. With the club not able to agree on a permanent contract with Jesualdo Ferreira, De Carvalho appointed Leonardo Jardim manager in May.

At the news conference announcing his hiring, Jardim spoke directly to fans and promised that things would be different from now on.

“I want to completely rebuild the club, with the unity and support of all sportinguistas, as well as through hard work. It is in our nature to believe and I know we will give our best to improve. I will not set targets, long or short-term. But we will build on what we have; with enough ambition it is possible to win every match. That is why I am here,” Jardim said.

“I want the unity of everyone at the club, with the objective to return it to its rightful place. In football, it is not only about the manager but also about the strong foundation around them,” he added.

What has emerged is a Sporting Lisbon under an austerity regime that looks re-energized and ambitious for the first time in years.

The club terminated its contracts with Onyewu, Pranjic, Boulahrouz and Bojinov. Schaars moved to PSV, while budding star Bruma demanded a major raise which the club was not able to meet and was sold off to Galatasaray.

The makeup of this year’s Sporting will look very familiar to long suffering fans. 7 of the 11 players in Jardim’s starting XI against Olhanense were academy players.

Wilson Eduardo and William Carvalho have returned from loan spells and have played well for the club. While midfielders Andre Martins and Adrien Silva have received call-ups for the Seleção.

This combined with the addition of Colombian striker Fredy Montero and the resurgence of Peruvian winger Andre Carrillo, Sporting appears destined for a top 3 finish this year.

Speaking to reporters this week, Bruno de Carvalho reaffirmed his belief that the new Sporting has the quality and resolve to win again.

“Leonardo Jardim and I are fulfilling a life-long dream. Our hard work has begun to pay off and with the support of sportinguistas, this could continue for many years. There is a sense with this Sporting squad that when the first negative result arises we could pick ourselves up again.”

jefferson2-e1354923022922

Sporting have signed left-back Jefferson from Estoril to a contract that will see the Brazilian stay with the club until 2017. The 24-year-old was unveiled to the media on Wednesday night by club president Bruno de Carvalho. It was the Lisbon club’s first acquisition of the summer transfer period.

Jefferson was one of the best performers this year for Estoril, who surprised everyone by finishing an impressive fifth in the Portuguese League. In all competitions, Jefferson scored 5 goals and pitched in 2 assists in 28 total matches.

“I am very happy to be able to play for one of the biggest clubs in Portugal. I chose Sporting because I know the scale of the challenge that the players will face: to place the club back to the high level it should always be at. In all the clubs I have played on, I have always given all I can,” Jefferson told media.

Club president Carvalho spoke about how Jefferson represents a new vision that he hopes will emerge at Alvalade next season. “We will have a club that is more ambitious, with vigor and desire and this is exactly what he represents. Our objective is to have our fans satisfied with the club again.”

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SPORTING LISBON: Leonardo Jardim Appointed New Manager At Alvalade On A Two-Year Deal

FUTEBOL -  Leonardo Jardim apresentado como o novo treinador do Sport

Former Beira-Mar and Sporting Braga manager Leonardo Jardim was officially unveiled as the new manager of Sporting Lisbon on Monday. The 38-year-old replaces Jesualdo Ferreira who took over the club in late December 2012.

“I come to stabilize Sporting with the objective to win. Throughout my career I have consistently won matches and it is this objective that I will bring here. It will not be easy. Sporting is coming off their worst campaign in history and I want to change that by restructuring the club, with hard work and with the unity of all Sportinguistas,” Jardim told journalists at a press conference on Monday.

Club president Bruno de Carvalho told media that Jardim was an easy choice for Sporting manager and added that he fits in well with the club’s philosophy.

“It was a personal choice, as well as one for the club. I am not always easy to work with, but we understand one another very well and for that I want to say that in terms of ideology, projections, will, reach and ambition, there are many things that connect the two of us,” Carvalho said.

Jardim first came to prominence with Beira-Mar when he lead the Aveiro-based club to promotion to the first division of Portuguese football in 2010. A streak of bad results lead to his firing the next season but he was soon hired by Sporting Braga.

Jardim lead Sporting Braga to one of their best campaigns in their history in 2011-12, finishing third behind FC Porto and Benfica. But Jardim left before the start of this season due to his tense relationship with the club’s president António Salvador.

The young manager quickly joined Greek giants Olympiacos where he put up an impressive record. However this January, he was again let go despite the club being undefeated and leading the Greek League by 10 points.

Many Sportinguistas will lament the departure of veteran manager Jesualdo Ferreira who was the only manager since Paulo Bento left in 2009 to produce some positive results. He made the announcement that he would not return at a post-match news conference after the club’s 4-1 defeat of Beira-Mar.

“We never talked about money. This was not motivated by financial issues. I came to this decision with great sadness, it was one of the most difficult moments in my career but it was also a moment of honesty. I could not be the manager for next year if I did not feel that the conditions were not right,” Ferreira told Journalists.

Ferreira was the third manager of Sporting Lisbon this season and replaced Franky Vercauteren in late December. His decision to play young players like Tiago Ilori, Bruma, Andre Martins and Englishman Eric Dier lead to a noticeable improvement in the club’s performance.

Jardim and club president Bruno de Carvalho will no doubt have their work cut out for them turning around the fortunes of a club that has greatly underachieved in the last several years and is burdened by debt. Estimates vary but it is believed to be at least €220 million.

Carvalho will no doubt have to decide on the future of several underperforming players who were brought in under his predecessor Godinho Lopes. They include Khalid Boulahrouz, Stijn Schaars, Evaldo, Elias, Oguchi Onyewu, Danijel Pranjić, Valeri Bojinov and Gelson Fernandes.

Also with Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s departure to Norwich, Sporting need to find a replacement. They have been linked with Lazio’s Libor Kozák in recent weeks.

The good news is that Sporting have many assets under contract. Their youth development system rivals the best in European football. Forward Wilson Eduardo and defender Nuno Reis spent this year on loan and played well. Will they get their chance to play at Alvalade regularly next season.

In addition, the club has many quality players that other clubs want. Tiago Ilori has been linked to Premier League giants Liverpool. Winger Bruma has been linked with just about every major club in Europe. Cedric Soares is likely to leave for England or Germany this summer.

Goalkeeper Rui Patricio has been strongly linked to Arsenal as well. Plus there is also Andre Carrillo, Zakaria Labyad, Marcos Rojo who Carvalho might choose to cash in on this summer. Many promising young players like Ricardo Esgaio, João Mário, Betinho, Zézinho and Gaël Etock are looking to take their places.

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