Posts Tagged ‘sc braga’

Andre Silva

The editors of PortugalFutbol.net and FutebolFactory.com are proud to announce our annual list of 10 players to watch this season. After much deliberation, we whittled down the pool of talented players to ten, but couldn’t help but add some honorable mentions. These are players who we believe have a realistic shot at making it to the senior Portuguese National Team by the end of the season.

Miguel Silva, Vitória Guimarães, Goalkeeper

The 21-year-old goalkeeper was outstanding at times last season. The highlight was a probably scoreless draw against Sporting CP in February. He has good size for a goalkeeper but is also blessed with good aerial ability. Pedro Martins replaced Sérgio Conceição this summer at Vitória Guimarães, which could mean Silva is relegated to the bench. But, there is little doubt the young keeper will one day be first choice.

Nélson Semedo, Benfica, Right-Back

Last season, he earned a spot in Rui Vitória’s squad for the Super Cup against Sporting CP after an excellent pre-season. He scored his first senior goal a week later against Estoril. In October, Fernando Santos handed him a start in a Euro 2016 qualifier against Serbia. But his meteoric rise came to an end after he suffered a major knee injury with the national team. He would miss several months and played sparingly after returning when Benfica was in a title race. If he stays healthy, Semedo should be a key part of Benfica’s squad this season.

Rúben Semedo, Sporting, Centre-Back

After a successful half-season on loan at Vitória Setúbal last season, Semedo was recalled to Sporting in January, where he played a huge role in the team’s excellent defensive record. In the 14 matches Semedo featured in, Sporting only conceded eight goals. This season, it remains unclear how prominent of a role Rúben Semedo will play in Sporting’s backline. But if last season was anything to go on, this Sporting team will find success through rotation, meaning that Semedo will get a chance to show his worth.

Rúben Neves, FC Porto, Central Midfielder

Already Porto’s youngest scorer in the league, the youngest Portuguese player to play in the Champions League, and the youngest player ever to captain a team in the Champions League, Neves has a bright future ahead of him. His quality is evident, and if he is used similarly to the past two seasons, Neves will mainly play a rotation role, ready to fill in should Danilo get injured. But as Neves continues to develop, Porto coach Nuno Espírito Santo may be forced to give him a more prominent role on the team.

João Carlos Teixeira, FC Porto, Attacking Midfielder

He could prove to be an excellent steal for Porto. Teixeira left Sporting CP for Liverpool at the tender age of 20 but never settled at the club, despite a positive loan spell at Brighton and Hove Albion in 2014-15. After Jurgen Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers, Teixeira was used in cup matches. Still, he did not factor in the German’s plans for this season. He will have to compete for playing time this year at Cidade Invicta, but Teixeira has talent in abundance and is at the age where many players take a major step forward.

André Horta, Benfica, Attacking Midfielder

After a handful of appearances for Vitória Setúbal in the 2014/2015 season, Horta was given a starting spot last season, and did not disappoint. Renato Sanches’s departure to Bayern Munich opened up a spot in Benfica’s midfield. Rui Vitória, always looking to youth, has turned to Horta as the next heir to the throne. If his pre-season performances are any reflection, Horta looks to have secured a spot in the team’s midfield. And should he continue his form throughout the season, Fernando Santos just may have another quality midfielder to add to his growing list.

Iuri Medeiros, Sporting CP, Winger

The Azorean attacker was terrific last season at Moreirense, on loan from Sporting CP. And before that, with Arouca. João Mário’s move to Serie A looking increasingly imminent, which will leave a major gap in the team’s attack. Medeiros feels comfortable in midfield and on the wings, but was primarily used on the right side at Moreirense, and looks a good candidate for Mário’s spot. His best attributes are his close-control, dribbling, vision and goal-scoring ability. The 22-year-old has already scored goals against FC Porto and Benfica.

Ricardo Horta, SC Braga, Winger

The 21-year-old spent two lacklustre seasons at Málaga, in which he was in and out of the squad. But he has remained a key part of Portugal’s youth squads. He has been loaned to Braga for this season, as a suitable replacement for Rafa Silva who is likely to leave this month. He should get a chance to play at A Pedreira this season. José Peseiro’s focus on attacking football should favour a player like Horta. And it should be a real pleasure to watch him play against his brother André, who joined Benfica in the summer.

Gonçalo Guedes, Benfica, Winger

Benfica coach Rui Vitória was busy signing players this summer and Guedes’s place could be under threat. New arrivals such as Franco Cervi, Andrija Živković, and André Carrillo, coupled with Salvio’s return to fitness, mean Guedes will have to convince Rui Vitória he belongs in the starting XI. But with recent news of Jonas’s injury and subsequent surgery, perhaps Guedes could find a spot in Benfica’s team outside of his usual position. Already capped twice at senior level, a solid season could see Guedes factor into Fernando Santos’s plans.

André Silva, FC Porto, Striker

Portugal’s woes in the striking department have been evident since the retirement of Seleção legend Pauleta in 2006, but the road ahead looks bright with André Silva. In last season’s Taça de Portugal final, Silva’s scored twice, the second of which an excellent last-minute overhead kick. With former first-choice striker Vincent Aboubakar faltering and many of Porto’s striking reinforcements from last season primed to leave, all signs point toward this season being Silva’s for the taking.

Honorable Mentions

Daniel Podence, Sporting, Winger
Ivo Rodrigues, Paços Ferreira, Winger
Paulo Henrique, Paços Ferreira, Left-Back
Andrezinho, Paços Ferreira, Attacking Midfielder
Gil Dias, Rio Ave, Winger
Xande Silva, Vitória Guimarães, Forward
Fabinho, Feirense, Attacking Midfielder
Ricardo Ferreira, Braga, Center Back

This article was a collaboration between Rui Miguel Martins of FutebolFactory.com and Sam Biggers of PortugalFutbol.net.

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons/An1997

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/An1997

Jesualdo Ferreira was introduced to media as the next manager of Sporting Braga on Thursday. The 67-year-old re-joins the club he previously managed between 2003-2006 on a three-year deal.

Former manager José Peseiro left the club a week ago by mutual consent. Despite finishing fourth in the league and winning the Portuguese League Cup, Peseiro’s Braga side failed to qualify for the Champions League.

Ferreira is credited with building the foundation that would make Braga a force in Portuguese football. Since Ferreira’s first full season with the club in 2003-04, Braga has finished outside the top five only once. They have qualified for European football an impressive 11 consecutive seasons.

Club president António Salvador spoke about Ferreira’s long-term contribution to the Minho club. “This is a very good day for me and the Sporting Braga family, as we are able to have someone who came here 10 years and created a new period in the club’s history. A period where we grew consistently and became a winner.”

Ferreira said that he looks back fondly on his previous tenure as manager of Os Arsenalistas , and feels great affection and gratitude towards the club, its fans and the city.

“For me, I feel the most noble gratitude. When the president (Salvador) contacted me last week, I was overcome with great emotion,” Ferreira said. “I will continue to be what I have always been: serious, honest and ambitious.”

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Sporting Lisbon midfielder André Martins was the one notable addition to Paulo Bento’s Portugal squad that will face Russia in a crucial World Cup 2014 qualifier on June 7th in Lisbon.

The 23-year-old Martins began playing regularly again for Sporting under previous manager Jesualdo Ferreira and told media on Wednesday that Ferreira was fundamental in his first international call-up.

Ruben Micael and Nani who missed out on selection in March due to injury return to the squad this time around. As do Nelson Oliveira, Ricardo Costa and Ruben Amorim. Real Madrid central defender Pepe was not chosen because he will be serving a yellow card suspension.

Paulo Bento’s squad will face a confident Russia side coached by veteran Italian manager Fabio Capello who are undefeated in four matches so far in group F and remain firmly in first place. Portugal remains tied with Israel in second place with four matches to go.

The Seleção will also face Croatia in an international friendly in Geneva on June 10th.

Full Squad

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

Defenders: João Pereira (Valência), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), Sílvio (Deportivo), Bruno Alves (Zenit), Luís Neto (Zenit) e Sereno (Valladolid), Ricardo Costa (Valência);

Midfielders: André Martins (Sporting), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahçe), Miguel Veloso (D. Kiev), João Moutinho (Mónaco), Custódio (SC Braga), Paulo Machado (Olympiakos), Rúben Amorim, Rúben Micael (SC Braga, on loan);

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Danny (Zenit), Varela (FC Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Hélder Postiga (Zaragoza), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Nani (Manchester United), Nélson Oliveira (Deportivo).

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