Posts Tagged ‘o jogo’

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English newspaper The Daily Mirror is reporting that Manchester United are tracking the progress of Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho.

The English club have had a difficult start to the season and could strengthen their midfield by signing the promising 21-year old. According to unconfirmed sources, the club owners have agreed to give manager David Moyes £50 million to spend in January in order to improve results.

Carvalho’s current club, Sporting Lisbon have not commented on the report. He signed an extension with the club in the summer that expires in June of 2018. The contract includes a release clause of €45million.

Angolan-born Carvalho is a product of Sporting Lisbon’s distinguished academy which has also produced Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo. After graduating to the senior side in 2011, he completed loan spells at Fátima and Cercle Brugge in Belgium, before earning a starting position over the summer at Sporting.

Carvalho has played in defensive midfield so far this season. Cercle Brugge’s sporting director Ivan van Damme told Portuguese online publication A Bola in July that he is technically gifted and compared him to Manchester City’s Yaya Touré.

“He made great progress playing here [Cercle Brugge]. He is very strong, could play in every position in midfield, highly skilled and very capable physically. He has great quality and I know he will do well at Sporting,” van Damme said.

“He has qualities that are very similar to Yaya Touré, but has one key advantage. He is very young and will only continue to get better.”

Carvalho’s manager at the Belgian club Foeke Booy has said that he has the potential to evolve into an excellent ‘box-to-box’ midfielder.

“He is a powerful box-to-box midfielder, a player with enormous personality. I thought at Cercle, he was a player who was capable of great heights and it is only natural that he is doing the same thing at Sporting Lisbon,” Booy told Portuguese website O Jogo this Summer.

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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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Benfica are reportedly close to finalizing a deal that will see talented Portuguese forward Pizzi move to the Portuguese capital, according to several media sources in Portugal.

Football website O Jogo is now reporting that Pizzi’s current club Atlético Madrid will retain 50% of his rights if he does in fact leave for Benfica. Unconfirmed reports have the 23-year old signing a 5 year deal with Os Águias.

Pizzi began playing football with his hometown club Bragança before moving to Sporting Braga in 2007. After a successful loan spell with Atlético Madrid in 2011-12, the La Liga side signed him to a permanent deal.

Pizzi played this past season with Deportivo La Coruña scoring eight goals and notching another 7 assists in 35 matches for the La Liga club. One of his highlights from last season was scoring on a brilliant free kick against FC Barcelona in October.

He has also received one cap with Portugal, playing in a November 2012 friendly against Gabon where he scored on a penalty.

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Anual

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Anual

Promising forward Salvador Agra will be playing football in Braga for the next two seasons, according to several reports in Portugal. The 21-year-old who struggled to hold down a starting position under Pepe Mel at Real Betis last season will reportedly sign a two-year loan deal with Os Guerreiros do Minho.

As part of the deal between the two clubs, Spanish winger Juan Carlos will remain on loan at the La Liga club for one more season. Agra’s deal includes an option to buy the Portuguese winger for €4million.

Agra began playing football in the Varzim youth ranks before signing with Olhanense in 2011. He was sold to La Liga’s Real Betis in 2012. Agra was loaned to Serie A club Siena in January 2013 to gain more playing time.

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The Algarve club announced on Saturday that they have hired Abel Xavier as their next manager on a one-year contract. The 40-year-old will be unveiled to the media at an official news conference on Wednesday, according to football website O Jogo.

Olhanense struggled last season, winning only five matches and missing out on relegation by a single point. The debt-ridden club are taking a big gamble on Xavier who has no formal experience as a manager.

Xavier joins the list of former Portugal internationals that have made a quick transition to coaching in the domestic league in recent years. Sérgio Conceição, Domingos Paciência, and Costinha are the others.

A journeyman defender, Xavier played for Benfica, Real Oviedo, Liverpool, Everton, among others. He retired in 2008 after playing one season with MLS club Los Angeles Galaxy.

Xavier also received 20 caps with Portugal, scoring two goals. He is best remembered for a controversial handball that lead to Portugal being eliminated by France at the 2000 European Championships.

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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

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After months of speculation, Benfica have formally announced that they have signed Serbian forward Lazar Marković from FK Partizan. The 19-year-old was unveiled to the public on Monday by club president Luís Filipe Vieira. O Jogo is reporting that Benfica will pay a transfer fee of €10million for Marković.

Marković has been primarily used as a winger so far in his young career, but he could also play as a second striker. He has received seven caps for the Serbian national team. Benfica fought off attempts by Premier League giants Chelsea to sign him.

Marković appeared on Benfica TV and said that he believes that he could continue to grow as a player in Portugal.

“Benfica plays a very offensively minded game, which will suit my own characteristics as a footballer. I come from a winning club that practices this style of play, which is always trying to score goals and win games. It will suit my style of play very well,” he told Benfica TV.

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TRANSFER WINDOW: Benfica Will Reportedly Sign Serbian Forward Lazar Marković From FK Partizan

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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.”

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Heerenveen’s Technical Director Johan Hansma confirmed last week that Benfica have officially acquired Serbian playmaker Filip Djuricic from the Eredivisie side. The deal has been speculated for months, but Hansma’s comments marked the first time anyone from the Dutch club had confirmed a ‘done deal.’

The 21-year-old Serbian international will join the Águias at the beginning of next season. O Jogo reported in February that Djuricic signed a five-year deal with the club, which would expire in 2018. The transfer fee is expected to be around 6 million Euros.

Djuricic is a natural attacking midfielder with club and country. He began playing football in his native Serbia with hometown club FK Radnički Obrenovac before spending some time in the youth ranks of Serbian giants Red Star Belgrade and Greek side Olympiacos.

In 2008, he returned to Obrenovac where he played his first matches at the senior level. In 2010, he was signed by Dutch club SC Heerenveen where he has developed into a very promising young player.

Djuricic impressed with Serbia’s junior squads before he received his first international call-up with the senior national team in 2012. He has played in 11 matches with Serbia, scoring 4 goals. He has 7 goals and 7 assists in 32 matches in the Dutch League so far this campaign.

Djuricic’s former manager with the Serbian U-21 squad Aleksandar Janković told Serbian newspaper Blic that the 21-year-old is “The future of Serbian football.” And like Holland’s greatest player Johan Cruyff, Djuricic is a “fighter who is always ready to assume that responsibility.” Janković added that Djuricic has demonstrated a maturity level beyond his years.

Djuricic was named by Heerenveen fans as the player of the year, receiving 42 percent of votes. He accepted the award on Sunday where he spoke about his impending move to Portugal with great excitement.

“Benfica is a fantastic club. They are in the final of the Europa League and they play a form of attacking football that really suits me. It is a big step forward in my career,” he told fans and media.

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

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Benfica have announced the signing of Jorge Rojas to a contract that will see the young winger attached to the Portuguese club until 2018. The club will reportedly pay a transfer fee of 1.3 million Euros to Rojas’ current club Cerro Porteño according to the RTP website.

The deal will be made official in June when Portuguese clubs are formally allowed to sign new players. The contract includes a transfer clause of 30 million Euros and Benfica will own 100 per cent of his rights according to Portuguese football website O Jogo. Rojas passed his physical with the club in Lisbon on Wednesday.

Rojas has played with Paraguay’s U-20 squad alongside another Benfica youngster Derlis González, who is playing this season on-loan with Club Guaraní in Paraguay. Rojas has been with Cerro Porteño since 2011 and despite his young age has been a first-choice player with the club.

In an interview with O Jogo, the current manager of Cerro Porteño Francisco Arce praised Rojas as one of the best talents in Paraguay today along side Derlis González and striker Mauro Caballero, whose rights are owned by FC Porto.

“He is a very quick and skilled forward. He is definitely very good. Very sound, particularly on the right side, he could also play on the left and second striker. He is a very versatile youngster,” Arce added.

Rojas told Portuguese journalist Nuno Matos of Antena 1 on Wednesday that he looks forward to joining his new club in June. “When I return, I hope to have a good season, have some success, adjust quickly and have the support of the fans.”

“This is a great opportunity and I want to make the most of it. This is a big club that is winning at every level and is closing in on the national title.”