Posts Tagged ‘Danny’

Portugal’s Inspirational Captain. Cristiano Ronaldo Hopes To Lead His Country To Glory. Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ludovic Péron

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ludovic Péron

The Selecção will head into the World Cup with a wealth of talent on the wings. If both stay healthy, Cristiano Ronaldo will surely partner with Nani up front in a 4-3-3 formation.

In Ronaldo, they have perhaps the greatest winger of all-time. But his success, and with it, the success of the Portuguese national team depends on the supporting cast.

Paulo Bento has stayed with Nani, despite the Manchester United winger’s struggles with inconsistency and injuries. The 27-year-old is still trying to reach the potential many people expected of him.

FC Porto’s Silvestre Varela has been a consistent performer for the Selecção and will most likely be in the squad as an impact substitute.

That should leave one more position available for Brazil. Wolfsburg’s Vieirinha appeared to be the front-runner for that position but he suffered a major knee injury that has ruled him out for the tournament.

Zenit’s Danny has been consistently selected for the squad for several years now but has never made a compelling case for more playing time. FC Porto’s Licá, Galatasaray’s Bruma and Espanyol’s Pizzi could still play themselves onto the squad in time.

Futebol Factory looks at Paulo Bento’s options on the wings.

Tickets Booked: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Nani (Manchester United), Silvestre Varela (FC Porto)

On The Bubble: Bruma (Galatasaray), Danny (Zenit Saint Petersburg), Licá (FC Porto), Pizzi (Espanyol)

In Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal has at their disposal one of the greatest footballers the world has ever seen. It is hard to recall just four years ago when the Portuguese captain was receiving heavy criticism for not replicating his club form for his country.

Enter Paulo Bento, and the Madeirense is set to surpass former PSG striker Pauleta as Portugal’s all-time leading scorer. An excellent achievement considering he is only 28 and is a winger.

Many great players like Michel Platini and Franz Beckenbauer have won major tournaments in their late 20s. If he stays healthy, Ronaldo should be at the height of his individual talents next summer.

This will be the best chance Ronaldo will have to win the World Cup, doing so he would solidify his place alongside the very best of the global game.

But he cannot do it alone.

In Nani, Paulo Bento has one of the most explosive talents in the game today. However, the Cape Verdan-born winger is very volatile. He had a very good Euro 2012 and it is essential that he recaptures that level.

Currently, Nani is splitting time with several wingers at Manchester United. But since none are making a strong case for automatic first-choice, Nani could yet convince David Moyes he deserves more playing time. He missed the World Cup last time out due to a shoulder injury which could serve as more motivation.

Silvestre Varela has been in good form this year for FC Porto and has performed well as a substitute for his country in the past. He scored an excellent goal in Portugal’s 3-2 win against Denmark at Euro 2012.

Zenit’s Danny has been one of the best players in the Russian League for several years now but has never replicated that form for Portugal. At 30-years-old, this could very well be his final chance to prove himself. He faces some fierce competition for his place.

Licá and the supremely talented Bruma are making strong cases for a spot in Brazil. 25-year-old Licá received his first cap in a friendly against Brazil in September. And Galatasaray’s Bruma has played very well this year and some believe he has Ronaldo-esque potential.

Pizzi has endured a rough start to life at Espanyol and faces an uphill battle to be selected for Brazil. The 24-year-old had a breakout season with Deportivo La Coruña last year but has been benched in recent matches.

Related Posts:

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

THE FULL BACKS: Who Will Represent Portugal At The World Cup In Brazil?

THE CENTRE BACKS: Who Will Represent Portugal At The World Cup In Brazil?

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

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

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

SCOUTING REPORT: Sporting Lisbon’s Dynamic Winger Bruma

TRANSFER WINDOW: Pizzi And Sidnei Loaned To Espanyol

TRANSFER WINDOW: Josué And Licá Join FC Porto

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Portugal-National-team-euro-HD-wallpaper-2012

A Seleção will need to defeat Sweden in a decisive playoff in order to book their tickets to next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Paulo Bento’s squad will face Sweden in the first-leg at the Estádio da Luz on November 15th, followed by the return leg at the Friends Arena in Solna, Stockholm four days later.

Manager Paulo Bento continued the trend from recent matches by selecting new players to the squad. Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho was selected for the first time after some terrific displays this season that have earned him attention from major European clubs.

19-year old winger Bruma has also earned a position on the squad. He was previously called up as an injury replacement in Portugal’s last qualifying match against Luxembourg.

Other notable call-ups include youngsters André Almeida and Josué. João Pereira and Fábio Coentrão have been battling injuries but were selected. Braga goalkeeper returned to the squad after an injury to Lyon’s Anthony Lopes.

Missing out this time around are Sporting’s Cédric Soares and André Martins, Nélson Oliveira, Pizzi, Licá and Ruben Amorim. Zenit’s Danny limped off the field in a Champions League match against FC Porto this week and was not selected.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício (Sporting), Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (Braga)

Defenders: André Almeida (Benfica), Antunes (Malaga), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahçe), João Pereira (Valencia), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Neto (Zenit) Ricardo Costa (Valencia)

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Sporting), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), João Moutinho (Monaco), Josué (FC Porto), Raúl Meireles (Fenerbahçe), Ruben Micael (Braga)

Forwards: Bruma (Galatasaray), Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Hélder Postiga (Valencia), Éder (Braga), Varela (FC Porto), Nani (Manchester United)

Related Posts:

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

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

PLAYER PROFILE: Manchester United Are Interested In Signing William Carvalho

SCOUTING REPORT: Sporting Lisbon’s Emerging Star Midfielder William Carvalho

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

Benfica earned a narrow 1-0 win over French side Bordeaux in the first leg of their Europa League match-up on Thursday night.

The only goal of the match came in the 21st minute when Benfica forward Rodrigo struck a long range shot from just outside the box. The shot hit the post and then deflected off Bordeaux keeper Cédric Carrasso into the goal for the own goal.

The Águias were noticeably not at their best on the night, often assuming a defensive approach that frustrated fans at the Estádio da Luz. key players such as Lima, Enzo Perez and Eduardo Salvio started the match on the bench.

Midfield stalwart Nemanja Matic also missed the match because of a yellow card suspension. Manager Jorge Jesus fielded a 4-3-3 rotation with Nicolas Gaitan and Carlos Martins in central midfield and former Portugal U20 defender Roderick Miranda in defensive midfield.

Jesus said after the match that his club reached its primary objective which was not to concede a goal at home against their French opponents.

“We did not play as well offensively as we would have liked, because we were facing a good club that also wanted to push us off-balance, therefore we had to defend,” Jesus told journalists.

“We played an intelligent game. We have gained some experience playing over two-legs and we will go to France in better conditions to advance then when we started,” he added.

Benfica will face Bordeaux in the second leg on March 14th.

Elsewhere in Europa League action, Former FC Porto manager continues to build on his growing reputation. His Tottenham side earned an impressive 3-0 win against Italian giants Inter Milan.

Man of the moment Gareth Bale opened the scoring at White Hart Lane. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen also scored for Spurs.

A very excited Villas-Boas praised his club’s amazing form after the match.”It was a full 90-minute performance with excellent attacking football. We tried to limit their chances and had so many opportunities. It was a great European night.”

Former Sporting Lisbon Bruno Pereirinha started at right-back for Lazio and helped to set up the first goal in the Italian club’s 2-0 win over Stuttgart.

Raul Meireles’ Fenerbahçe side beat Czech side Viktoria Plzeň 1-0. Meireles did not play due to a red card suspension.

But the results were not all positive for the Portuguese contingent on Thursday night. Portuguese internationals Danny and Luis Neto played in Zenit St. Petersburg’s disappointing 2-0 loss to Swiss club Basel. Neto received a red card in added time.

Benfica earned a well-deserved 2-1 victory against Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen at the Estádio da Luz on Thursday night. The win means that the Portuguese side advance 3-1 on aggregate and will face French side Bordeaux on March 6th in the next round of the Europa League.

After a scoreless first half where Leverkusen created the majority of chances, Jorge Jesus’ club emerged a better club in the second half. In the 60th minute, they were rewarded when Dutch winger Ola John dribbled into the box and struck the ball over Bernd Leno for the opening goal.

The German side, though looking increasingly frustrated did not quit. In the 75th minute, Leverkusen forward Andre Schürrle struck a well-timed volley past Artur. Two minutes later however, substitute Lima received a long-range pass from Artur deep into Leverkusen territory which he crossed to Nemanja Matić for the deciding goal.

Jorge Jesus spoke to SIC television after his club’s victory and was quick to praise his club’s effort. “We played against a good team, who plays in the best league in the world. Germany has three clubs in the Champions League, Bayern Munique, Dortmund and Schalke. Leverkusen is at their level. In order to eliminate them, we had to play very well both games. We are happy but we have more to do,” he said.

Jesus added the club needed to remain focused on their next opponents which is Paços de Ferreira who have surprised everyone this season and remain third in the domestic league. He added that the match against Bordeaux will be a “duelo duro” or golden duel.

The news was not all positive for Benfica on this night. Nemanja Matic picked up another yellow card in the closing minutes of the match and will miss the next first leg against Bordeaux. Carlos Martins also left this match with an undisclosed injury in the second half.

In other Europa League action on Thursday, Andre Villas-Boas eliminated Olympique Lyonnais advancing 3-2 on aggregate. Despite losing 3-1 to Liverpool at Anfield, Zenit St.Petersburg hung on to advance on away goals. Former Porto player Hulk scored the only goal for the Russian side, while Portuguese internationals Danny and Luis Neto both started the match.

Oscar Cardozo’s goal in the 61st minute of play gave Benfica a deserving victory over one of the best clubs in this year’s Europa Cup competition.

The goal came as Jorge Jesus’ club came close to conceding a goal moments before. Andre Almeida who was playing right-back for the Águias crossed the ball into the box. Cardozo sought the opportunity, dribbled past a defender and slid it over Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno for the only goal of the game.

The Portuguese side have the added advantage of having an away goal going into the second leg on February 21st at the Estádio da Luz.

The news was not so good for Portuguese players on foreign clubs on Thursday. Fenerbahçe and Portuguese international midfielder Raul Meireles received a straight red in the 4th minute of play against Belarussian club Bate.

The former FC Porto player was dismissed after a hard tackle on former Stuttgart and Arsenal player Aliaksandr Hleb. Luckily, his Turkish club held on to the 0-0 draw going into the second leg in Istanbul, which Meireles will be ineligible for. But Meireles’ terrible first season in Turkey continues.

The result was not so good for Rolando, who is on loan at Italian club Napoli. Rolando received his first start for the club, playing in the middle of a three-man backline. But it was a match to forget for the Porto defender, as Napoli went on to lose 3-0 to Czech club Viktoria Plzeň.

Elsewhere Luis Neto and Danny started the match for Zenit St.Petersburg as they went on to defeat Liverpool 2-0. Former Porto attacker Hulk opened the scoring for the Russian club.

Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham side continued to impress with a 2-1 victory over French side Olympique Lyonnais. Gareth Bale scored both goals for the Spurs, the winner coming in the closing minutes of the match.

Portuguese midfielder Sergio Pinto’s Hannover 96 lost 3-1 to Russian side Anzhi. Olympiakos’ Paulo Machado could do little to prevent a 3-0 defeat by Levante in Spain.

Miguel Veloso’ Dynamo Kyiv drew 1-1 with Bordeaux in the Ukraine. Romanian club CFR Cluj started 5 Portuguese players but lost 2-0 to Inter Milan. Rodrigo Palacio scored both goals after coming on for his injured countrymen Diego Milito.

Former Portugal international Tiago played the entire match for Atletico Madrid who lost 2-0 to Rubin Kazan despite playing the entire second half with an extra man. Former Sporting player Bruno Pererinha was featured on the bench for his new club Lazio but did not play in the Italian team’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (BB Istanbul), Rui Patrício (Sporting)

Defenders João Pereira (Valencia), Miguel Lopes (Sporting), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), Luís Neto (Zenit), Bruno Alves (Zenit), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Sereno (Valladolid)

Midfielders João Moutinho (FC Porto), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahçe), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Custódio (Braga), André Gomes (Benfica), Ruben Amorim (Braga), Danny (Zenit)

Forwards Nani (Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Hélder Postiga (Zaragoza), Éder (Braga), Nélson Oliveira (Deportivo La Corunña), Silvestre Varela (Porto)

A Seleção are hoping to get back on track after some recent disappointing performances against Russia, Northern Ireland and Gabon. Manager Paulo Bento will welcome back Fábio Coentrão and Raul Meireles after both have missed time with injuries.

Real Madrid defender Pepe underwent ankle surgery and will not play. Striker Hugo Almeida and Braga midfielder Ruben Micael were on the original squad announced on Friday, but have pulled out because of injuries as well. Sporting Lisbon defender Miguel Lopes injured his shoulder Saturday in a game against Rio-Ave and could face miss the match.

Benfica midfielder André Gomes and striker Nelson Oliveira replaced Almeida and Micael on the squad. The 19-year-old Gomes receives his first call up for the national team after a number of excellent performances for Benfica. Centre back Henrique Sereno who is playing on loan with Real Valladolid from Porto also received his first call-up. And Zenit midfielder Danny also returns after a long absence due to injury.

Deportivo’s Pizzi who scored in Portugal’s last match against Gabon was not called up. Neither were Braga’s Hugo Viana and Besiktas’ Manuel Fernandes. Portugal face a Ecuador squad that currently rank a surprising 12th in the FIFA ranking, the highest in the country’s history.

They are currently second to Argentina in South America World Cup qualifying despite the fact that they only have 4 players who play in European leagues: Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Christian Noboa (Dynamo Moscow), Renato Ibarra (Vitesse) and Felipe Caicedo (Lokomotiv Moscow)

They should pose a formidable challenge for a Portugal team that has a recent history of underperforming against less talented squads. Paulo Bento has been under increased pressure to mix new players into his starting XI.

Look for Sporting Braga’s Éder to play along side Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo in place of Helder Positiga. This will be the 25-year-old’s fifth cap and he seems destined to break out on the national team after a good performance against Gabon. Seleção fans will also be keen to watch Gomes and Luis Neto who could receive their first caps.