Posts Tagged ‘portuguese club’

Hugo-Vieira

Sporting Braga continue to quietly strengthen their club after signing Portuguese attacker Hugo Vieira from Benfica.

The 25-year old signed a new four-year deal with the Minho club. Vieira was signed by Benfica last summer after an impressive season with Gil Vicente but never played a competitive match for Os Águias.

He was loaned to Spanish club Sporting Gijón last season who are currently playing in Spain’s second division. After only making four appearances for the club, he asked to terminate the loan and finish the season with his previous club Gil Vicente.

The Barcelos native did not disappoint upon his return scoring eight goals in 13 league matches the rest of the way, helping his hometown club avoid relegation.

In an official statement on Braga’s website, Vieira said that joining Os Arsenalistas was an easy decision.

“I am very happy to join SC Braga, as everyone is well aware, it is a big Portuguese club. I had other offers but I think joining this club was the best choice for me and I hope to experience many good moments in this sweater,” he said.

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Just days after midfielder Nemanja Matić expressed his willingness to leave Benfica, Os Encarnados announced the signing of fellow Serbian Ljubomir Fejsa from Greek club Olympiacos.

The 25-year-old signs a five-year deal with the Portuguese club and is widely expected to take over Matić’s position in defensive midfield.

Benfica’s newest signing was unveiled to the public on the club’s official television channel on Monday where he talked about how excited he was about joining the club.

“This is a big step in my career. I am very happy. I know that Benfica has fans around the world, it has been European champions twice and has won more than 30 championships. I play football because I want to win titles. I won three titles with Partizan, two with Olympiakos, and I do not see why I cannot do the same here,” he said on Benfica TV.

The Serbian was asked whether he would be happy to share playing time with countrymen Matić in case the former Chelsea player does not leave the club this month. Fejsa responded with: “The best case scenario would be that we could play together, in order to avoid any difficulty.”

Fejsa played with Olympiacos for two seasons after coming over from FK Partizan. Last year at the Greek club he found it difficult to gain playing time under then manager Leonardo Jardim, who is now managing Sporting Lisbon.

After Jardim was fired in February despite the club being in first place, Fejsa saw more action and finished with 15 total appearance in the Greek championship. He has received 13 caps with the Serbian national team.

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Jorge Jesus’ club have bolstered their attacking options with the signing of Argintinian striker Rogelio Funes Mori from River Plate.

Funes Mori will be under contract with the club for five years and it is believed that he could act as a long-term replacement for Oscar Cardozo.

So far the 22-year old is saying all the right things. He told media on Benfica TV on Monday that he turned down overtures from many big clubs, including arch rivals FC Porto to sign with Benfica.

“I had the opportunity to join FC Porto, as well as another Portuguese club, but I did not hesitate to choose Benfica, the biggest Portuguese club which is also well-known around the world,” he said.

“I am very happy to represent one of the big Portuguese clubs. My expectations are high, and I hope to give my all and win,” he said.

He also spoke about the club’s strong connections to Argentina and how that factored in him choosing to join Os Águias.

“I know that Enzo Pérez, Lisandro López, Salvio, Garay all play here. They are all very good players and that is why I am here. I do not know them personally but I hope to God that I could adjust quickly with my compatriots and give my all for the club.”

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Albumen

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Albumen

After weeks of speculation, Sporting Lisbon finally confirmed on Tuesday that Colombian striker Fredy Montero will join the club for this upcoming season.

The 25-year old officially signed a one-year loan deal with the Portuguese club with an option for a permanent deal at the end of the season. The player’s rights are owned by Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC.

Montero, however has spent part of this year on loan at Colombian club Millonarios where he scored 5 goals in 16 matches.

The Colombian was unveiled to the public at the Estádio José Alvalade on Tuesday night where he expressed his excitement at finally getting the opportunity to play in Europe.

“I am very happy and proud to come to one of the best clubs in Portugal. I hope I could start to train with my teammates soon and help the club win games,” Montero said.

“I am a player that likes to score goals. As a forward, I like to be close to the ball, but I also like to create goals for my teammates as well.”

Montero was reminded of the success of fellow Colombian strikers Radamel Falcao and Jackson Martinez in Portugal over recent years. He quickly dismissed any comparisons but added that the two players do provide an extra motivation to succeed.

“I hope I could have the same success. They have demonstrated how good they are but my future is with Sporting. I hope I could leave a good impression here. They [Falcao and Martinez] have already made history here, for me my history begins today,” Montero added.

“I am going to try to demonstrate my talent as a player and reach the heights that Sporting has become accustomed to. We all have ambition but the most important thing is to create a strong group, play at a high level, capable of reaching the top.”

GIL VICENTE - SPORTING    ( 2012/2013 )

Portuguese winger Bruma is looking to have his contract with Sporting Lisbon declared null and void so he could transfer to a different club. The 18-year old and his agent Catió Baldé have been frustrated by the slow pace of a contract extension with the club, and are looking to have his latest contract declared invalid by a court.

Bruma is said to have signed a contract with the Portuguese club in 2011 that reportedly has him under contract until 2014 with a buyout clause of €30million. His lawyer Bebiano Gomes is hoping that his client will be considered a free agent and therefore move freely to any club he chooses.

Gomes told Portuguese television station TVI this week, “At this moment, his mind is completely set at leaving Sporting.”

The 20-year-old winger who has been courted by many of Europe’s biggest clubs told Portuguese football website A Bola that he is disappointed with the situation.

“I profoundly regret how this process has played its self out. I did everything to stay at Sporting and I made it clear to my representatives that I wanted to reach an agreement,” Bruma said. “Throughout this time, Sporting has made little effort to re-sign me.”

“I want to avoid any sort of controversy with Sporting, and its fans as well. I am a professional and I will continue my career.”

In a bizarre case this week, elements of the supporters group Juventude Leonina (Young Lions) reportedly attempted to kidnap Bruma at the hotel he was staying at.

There were also some unconfirmed reports that league rivals FC Porto were trying to sign the player who is still technically under contract with Sporting, which would be against league rules and subject to major penalties.

Bruma burst on the scene last season with Sporting Lisbon in February. A natural winger, Bruma’s skill on the ball and impressive scoring ability has led to comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo. He also scored five goals in four matches at the recent U-20 World Cup for Portugal.

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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.”

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Alface

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Alface

Benfica have formally announced the signing of manager Jorge Jesus to a new two-year contract with the club. The deal will see Jesus under contract until July 2015.

The news ends weeks of speculation about the future of Jesus, who has been with the club for four seasons. After winning the Portuguese league in his first year with the club in 2009-10, Jesus has seen FC Porto win the last three champions.

This past season, the club gave up a 4 point lead in the domestic league with only three matches to play after drawing with Estoril and losing 2-1 to eventual champions Porto. To make matters worse, Benfica would lose the Europa League final to Chelsea and the Portuguese Cup final to Vitória de Guimarães.

Since arriving from Sporting Braga in 2009, Jesus has succeeded in restoring the credibility of the club in the domestic game and in European championships. However, Benfica have not been able to break FC Porto’s dominance in domestic football in his time.

Portuguese football publication Record estimates that the club has made almost €170million from players sales during Jesus’ time at the club. Luisão, Maxi Pereira and Oscar Cardozo are the only players that remain with the club from before Jesus’ tenure began in 2009.

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OPINION: Jorge Jesus And Others Should Look To A Balanced Approach In Developing Talent

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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.”

Just days after conceding the Portuguese League to rivals Porto, Jorge Jesus’ club completed a collapse of epic proportions not seen since Sporting Lisbon’s 2005 campaign. A late goal by Chelsea’s central defender Branislav Ivanović was the difference as the London-club defeated Benfica 2-1 in the Europa League final in Amsterdam on Wednesday night.

Jorge Jesus fielded a familiar 4-3-3 formation, with Oscar Cardozo leading the attack. Eduardo Salvio and Nicolas Gaitan started on the wings. Chelsea were without the injured John Terry and Eden Hazard, but fielded a strong squad with former Benfica players David Luiz and Ramires.

The two clubs played to a scoreless first half, with Benfica controlling most of the possession and managing the most scoring chances. In the second half, Os Encarnados started brightly against the Blues. Benfica thought they scored after Oscar Cardozo capitalized off a brilliant cross by Nicolas Gaitán, but it was called offside. The replay shows that the call was very close, but it was probably the right decision.

Soon after the disallowed goal Chelsea’s Fernando Torres was put in alone by Juan Mata. Torres dribbled past Benfica Goalkeeper Artur and scored. Despite being the better team, Benfica were a goal down at the hour mark of the match.

But the Portuguese club did not quit and they were given life when Chelsea defender César Azpilicueta handled the ball in the box, giving Benfica a good chance to tie the match. Oscar Cardozo stepped up and scored on the ensuing penalty.

Chelsea quickly responded with a few good chances and seemed to come into the game more as the second half unfolded. Oscar Cardozo had the best chance for Benfica when he let go a good shot just outside the box which Petr Cech tipped over the bar.

Now into injury time, disaster struck for Benfica. Chelsea’s defender Branislav Ivanović scored off a corner by Juan Mata. Jardel and Andre Almeida could do nothing but watch as Ivanovic brilliantly executed a header to put Chelsea ahead for good.

Manager Jorge Jesus told SIC television that he was proud of his club’s performance. “We conceded another goal in the 92nd minute. But it was a final between two good clubs, Benfica were better for most of the match. We were missing that lucky break which would have put us ahead, which we would have deserved.”

Jesus is likely to receive most of the criticism for the last two defeats but club president Luís Filipe Vieira told media after the match that he will remain with the club.

“I have already said that Jorge Jesus is my manager and he will continue to be for many years. He is part of our plans and I am very satisfied with what he has been able to accomplish.”

Second half substitute Lima told media that Benfica deserved to win based on its overall performance. “We were the better club on the field. It is difficult to explain. We want to thank our supporters who came to support us by the masses. We wanted to win for them, for us and for our families. Unfortunately, we were not able to do so. Now we have to hold our heads high.”

Jorge Jesus’ club entered Saturday’s match against Porto with a one point lead over their archrivals, only to lose on a late goal by Kelvin. The loss means that Porto could clinch a third straight domestic league title with a win on the weekend against Paços de Ferreira.

On Wednesday night in Amsterdam, Jorge Jesus’ club was hoping to erase the memory of the devastating loss on Saturday by winning their first major international trophy since their second European Cup trophy win in 1962. But it was not to be.

In the span of less than a week, Benfica have lost their slim lead in the Portuguese League, as well as the Europa League final. To make matters worse, both matches were lost on goals in injury time in the second half.

José Peseiro’s Sporting Lisbon side had a similar thing happen to them in the 2004-05 season when they gave up the lead in the Portuguese League and lost the UEFA Cup final to CSKA Moscow within a week. The UEFA Cup final was held at their home ground, the Estádio José Alvalade that year.

The loss to Chelsea means the most successful and popular club in Portuguese football have lost a total of seven consecutive finals in major European competitions. The two-time winners of the European Cup/Champions League have lost in the finals of that competition a total of five consecutive times (1963, 1965, 1968, 1988, 1990).

Wednesday’s loss in Amsterdam to Chelsea was their second loss in the UEFA Cup/Europa League tournament. They also lost to Anderlecht in 1983. They have never won the tournament.

Benfica entered Saturday’s match against FC Porto with the possibility of winning three trophies this season. A win against Vitória Guimarães in the Portuguese Cup final on May 26th would now be little consolation for Benfiquistas who within several days have seen their club’s promising season come to a disappointing end.

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Benfica will reportedly sign 22-year-old central defender Stefan Mitrović. According to A Bola, representatives from his current club K.V. Kortrijk in Belgium, have confimed that the Serbian defender will be at the Estádio da Luz next season. The transfer fee is expected to be 1,1 million Euros. Mitrović will be under contract with the club until 2018.

Mitrović will join countrymen Nemanja Matić who has been a central figure in Benfica’s success this season. The Portuguese club also signed attacking midfielder Filip Đuričić.

Mitrović has become an ever more present figure in the Kortrijk squad in the second half of the campaign. He is physically tall at 1.89m and could kick with both feet.

Former Benfica winger Ljubinko Drulovic told Portuguese radio station Renascença that Mitrović could prove to be an excellent addition to the Portuguese side.

“Mitrović is having an excellent season. He is a young player, with great potential, who plays well with both feet and is very strong with his head. And he still has a large margin for improvement which could be the reason Benfica showed such interest in him. He has many great years ahead of him.”

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