Posts Tagged ‘Praia Estoril’

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Benfica officially announced the signing of Portuguese-Canadian defender Steven Vitória to a four-year deal on Sunday. The 26-year-old Vitória spent the last three seasons with Estoril. He comes to Benfica on a free transfer.

Standing at 1,95m, Vitória is known for his size, strength in marking, and ability to score goals, particularly on penalties. He scored 11 goals in 27 matches for Estoril this year, 8 were from the spot.

Vitória is also known for taking excellent free-kicks, which is extremely rare for a defender. He scored a terrific goal against FC Porto in a Taca da Liga match in December 2012.

The Toronto-born Vitória began playing football with the Woodbridge Strikers. In 2005, he moved to FC Porto’s youth academy. In 2007, he represented Portugal at the U-20 World Cup held in Canada.

Vitória would soon find it hard to graduate to FC Porto’s senior club and was loaned to Tourizense, Olhanense and Covilhã. In 2010 he signed with Lisbon suburban club Estoril, which was at the time languishing in the second division of Portuguese football.

In 2012, Estoril were promoted to the top division and many clubs took notice of Vitória. He was a major part in the club finishing an impressive fifth in their first season back in the first division.

Vitória told Benfica TV on Sunday that he remembers listening to broadcasts of Benfica matches on his father’s radio in Toronto while growing up.

“Joining Benfica is a dream come true. I have reached the biggest club in Portuguese football and I want to win it all,” he said. “This is the first day in the rest of my life. I come to help the club win.”

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The Portuguese Champions continue to load up on promising home-grown talent by signing midfielder Josué and forward Licá to four-year deals. 22-year-old Josué Pesqueira is a former Porto youth player who for the last two season has been playing with Paços Ferreira. While 24-year-old Licá has played the last two seasons with Estoril.

The deal comes several weeks after the club announced the signing of two other Portuguese youngsters Ricardo Pereira and Tiago Rodrigues from Vitória Guimarães. FC Porto have also signed Brazilian midfielder Carlos Eduardo and Mexican defender Diego Reyes so far this transfer period.

The two players were unveiled together on the regional television channel Porto Canal and spoke about their excitement to join Os Dragões.

“I knew one day I would return (To FC Porto) but I never thought it would be so soon. I am a Portista at heart. This club is a winner and I am as well,” Josué said.

Josué was released by Porto in 2011 before signing with Paços Ferreira. He was a major reason why the club finished in third place this past campaign. “I was able to change my mentality. I was rebellious but I have changed. I will be able to win a lot because of it,” he said about his days at Porto.

Josué is nominally an attacking midfielder, but Paços manager Paulo Fonseca also played him on the left side this season. “I will be comfortable in any position the manager decides to play me. At Paços, I played as a false forward,” he said Wednesday night.

He scored 5 goals in 32 total matches this season and was the main creative force behind a surprising Paços Ferreira club.

Luís Carlos Pereira Carneiro, better known as Licá took the long road to the top of Portuguese football. He originally began playing with his local club Social Lamas in Lamelas. In 2007, he moved to top flight club Académica where he struggled for playing time. Eventually, he was loaned to Tourizense and Trofense.

In 2011, he moved to Estoril who were then playing in the second division Liga de Honra. Licá helped the club gain promotion the following season to the first division. This past season with Estoril, he scored 6 goals in 30 matches for the club.

According to Portuguese football website Maisfutebol Licá is an unconventional forward who likes to exploit the flanks and play in a more wide position. It is believed that FC Porto like this aspect of his game.

Licá talked about how Porto is the club he grew up admiring. “I was born into a family of Portistas and I am a Portista. I am enormously happy, it is a dream to wear the jersey of FC Porto,” he told media Wednesday.

“I always believed that, if I continued to work hard, I could achieve what I wanted and this is what has happened. I had an excellent season at Estoril, Porto noticed me and now I am here. I am 24 years old and FC Porto has won many titles since I was born. It is a winning club.”

“I will be very content in whatever position the manager chooses to use me. I prefer to play on the left side of attack but I am completely at their disposal.”

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Portuguese International João Moutinho scored in the 88th minute in a Taça da Liga game against Praia Estoril on Sunday. The goal gave Porto a 2-2 draw in the 2nd group stage of the competition. Tottenham Hotspurs and Paris Saint-Germain are considered to be the frontrunners for Moutinho during this January’s transfer window.