Posts Tagged ‘Inter Milan’

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

Portuguese sports website Maisfutebol is reporting that Ricardo Quaresma will sign a two and a half-year deal with FC Porto. The contract could be finalized as early as this week.

The Portuguese winger rescinded his contract with Dubai-based club Al Ahli and is expected to return to the club where he had the best moments of his career. Quaresma would arrive as a free agent which means the club will not pay a transfer fee.

Maisfutebol is reporting that the 30-year-old was in Porto last week and has now settled into a house north of the city. Porto manager Paulo Fonseca is currently planning to integrate Quaresma into training, according to the same reports.

Supremely talented, but with a volatile personality, Ricardo Quaresma never really fulfilled the potential many people had of him when he burst onto the scene.

He is best known for his exceptional ability, in particular the famous ‘trivela,’ which consists of striking the ball with the outside of the foot with great voracity. Goalkeepers were unable to read which direction the ball would be going until it was often too late.

A product of Sporting Lisbon’s famed academy, Ricardo Quaresma dazzled fans in his early days with the club. In 2003, he received his first call-up to the Portuguese national team. His performances earned him a transfer to FC Barcelona that same year.

At this time, most people considered him a better prospect than even Cristiano Ronaldo, who is two years younger. Ronaldo would move to Manchester United in 2003 and the rest as they say is history.

At Barcelona, Quaresma did not have a particularly great season, and fell-out with then manager Frank Rijkaard. A sign of things to come. Refusing to play for the club any longer, Quaresma moved to FC Porto.

Between 2004-08, Quaresma enjoyed the best years of his career. He won three league titles with the club and was named the best player in the league in 2006.

In 2008 he moved to Serie A club Inter Milan, who were then coached by José Mourinho. He saw very little game action over his two years at the Italian club. Quaresma’s attitude is said to have been a problem. He played no role in Inter’s 2009-10 Champions League win.

Quaresma was released ahead of the 2010-11 season. He signed with Turkish club Beşiktaş where he put together some good performances the next two seasons. He was re-called to the Portuguese national team and was even selected for Euro 2012.

But his personality would once again be a problem. At Beşiktaş he clashed with Portuguese manager Carlos Carvalhal and eventually the club released him. He signed with Al Ahli in January 2013.

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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

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FC Porto defender Rolando will return to Italy this season after finalizing a one-year loan deal with Serie A giants Inter Milan, according to the Nerazzurri website.

The move reunites the 27-year old with former Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri who moved to San Siro this summer. Rolando played 7 matches for Napoli last season after joining the club on loan in January.

The deal is rumoured to include an option to sign Rolando to a permanent deal at the end of the campaign.

Rolando’s professional career began at Belenenses in 2004 before moving to FC Porto in 2008. He would eventually become an automatic starter under Jesualdo Ferreira.

In 2010-11 he had his best season under current Tottenham manager André Villas-Boas when the club won the Portuguese league title and the Europa League as well.

However, he did not fair very well under previous manager Vitor Pereira losing his starting position in the process.

Rolando was born in Cape Verde but has represented Portugal internationally, receiving 18 caps with the Seleção.

Related Posts:

TRANSFER MARKET: Napoli Offers 7 Million Euros for Porto Defender Rolando

TRANSFER WINDOW: Porto’s Rolando Signs With Napoli On Loan

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Benfica will sign 19-year-old Lazar Marković to a five-year contract, according to Portuguese website O Jogo. The transfer deal is believed to be around €10million.

Marković reportedly underwent medical exams in Lisbon as much as a month ago and will join the Portuguese club next season. Marković’s contract will have a transfer clause of €40million.

Marković has primarily played on the wing this season with FK Partizan but could also be used as a second striker. He has recorded seven goals and 11 assists in 35 matches this year in all competitions. Marković has received six caps with the Serbian national team as well.

Former Nacional and Marítimo midfielder and current manager of União Madeira Predrag Jokanović told the Portuguese radio station Antena 1 that the young Serb is an excellent prospect.

“I was very surprised. Marković had many European clubs interested in him including Inter Milan and Chelsea,” Jokanović said. “He is very skilled, strong one on one and is not afraid to take scoring chances.”

“He fits the playing style of Benfica very well.”

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.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

Italian daily Corriere dello Sport is reporting that Serie A club Napoli have made an offer worth 7 Million Euros for Porto’s out of favour central defender Rolando.

The 27-year-old has only made two apperances for the Portuguese champions this season and is widely expected to leave. Rolando has a transfer clause worth 30 million Euros and is under contract until 2015. Transfer Markt values Rolando at 8,8 Million Euros.

Rolando has been linked with several Serie A clubs in recent months. One rumour has him going to Inter Milan with Argentine midfielder Ricky Alvarez coming to the Cidade Invicta.

His agent José Cardozo da Silva told Portuguesa radio station Renascença that nothing has been finalized. Silva added that Rolando would like his future determined by the end of this month’s transfer window.

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Turkish newspaper Hürriyet is reporting that Serie A club Fiorentina have expressed interest in signing Fenerbahçe midfielder Raul Meireles on loan for the rest of the season.

The deal would reportedly include an option to sign the Portugal international to a permanent deal in the summer. Meireles is currently serving a four match ban after an altercation with a Turkish League referee last month.

It has been speculated in the media that Meireles wants to leave his Istanbul-based club. Italian champions Juventus and Inter Milan are also said to be interested. Meireles, is best known for his defensive instincts and strength in possession.

Fiorentina have been impressive in Serie A so far this campaign and currently stand in fourth position. They recently made headlines by signing Italy international Giuseppe Rossi from Spanish club Villarreal.

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Sky Sports is reporting that the Portuguese international midfielder Raul Meireles has been offered to Italian giants Inter Milan. AC Milan and Napoli are also said to be interested.

The 29-year-old former Liverpool and Chelsea player was recently suspended by the Turkish League for allegedly making a homophobic gesture directed at a referee in a December 16th match against Galatasaray. Charges Meireles strongly denies.

The suspension was recently reduced from 11 games to 4 on appeal but some believe that Meireles has become disillusioned with the Turkish League and might force his way out this January.

Meireles spent the 2010-11 season with Liverpool, winning the 2011 PFA Fans’ Player of the Year. But after Scottish midfielder Charlie Adam’s transfer to Anfield the season after, Meireles began to see his playing time reduced and submitted a transfer request.

He played the 2011-12 season with Chelsea helping them to their first UEFA Champions League title. However he was suspended for the final against Bayern Munich. His role at the London club was never really clear, and in the summer Meireles moved to the Turkish club for a reported 8 millions Pounds.

Meireles has been a regular starter with Portugal over the last few years, playing along Miguel Veloso and Tottenham target Joao Moutinho in midfield. He has amassed 62 caps and 8 goals for his country.

He is best known for his defensive attributes but could also play in an attacking role. In Portuguese futebol circles it is a widely held belief that Meireles deserves to be at a bigger club in a bigger league. His playing style would be well suited for Serie A.