Sporting News Round-Up

It’s been a good while since our last news round-up so here we are again. Where do we even start?

Transfer News:

Last time we checked Alberto Rodríguez was on his way to be yet another Sporting player at Deportivo de La Coruña. This deal in fact never was completed and in a complete turn around instead Alberto Rodríguez’s contract with the club was bought out and he was free to go. He then signed for Nuno Espírito Santo’s Rio Ave.

Luis Aguiar joined San Lorenzo on a 2-year deal after having failed to make a single appearance for the club. In fact his only appearance at all for the club was a 3-0 friendly defeat to Valencia at the Alvalade last year.

Matías Fernández completed his transfer to Fiorentina after 3 years with Sporting. Matías was an excellent player during his time at the club and we wish him the best of luck. Fiorentina paid €3,500,000 for the attacking midfielder with the possibility of further money from additional add-on clauses.

Renato Neto, who featured frequently in the second-half of the season for Sporting has been given another loan move after his previous spell with Cercle Brugge. Neto has joined Hungarian club Videoton FC until the end of the season. Videoton incidentally is where former Sporting defender Marco Caneira now plays.

It’s not all players going out though. On July 29th Racing Club in Argentina confirmed that Valentín “Titín” Viola was set to join Sporting. There had been interest from various European clubs for the forward with Benfica in particular also interested. Although Viola has not yet been unveiled as a Sporting player the official announcement is expected soon with the player already in Lisbon as we speak.

In various other transfer news: Diogo Rosado (who had been expected to sign for Genoa) now looks likely instead to join Blackburn Rovers will the deal being reported to be completed shortly. Juary Soares who was released from the club this season has signed for União de Leiria. Nuno Reis has joined Olhanense for a season-long loan deal. After spending last year at Genk, Leandro Grimi is now having a loan at Argentinian club Godoy Cruz. Amido Baldé will also be on loan with Vitória de Guimarães. Finally, Fabrice Fokobo has joined Sporting B from Njalla Quan Sport Academy. Fokobo had previous had a loan spell with Panathinaikos.

Fixture News:

Last Friday saw the draw of the Europa League qualifying stage. Sporting will face yet another Europa League trip to Denmark this time to take on AC Horsens who finished 4th in the Danish Supaliga last season as well as runners up to FC København in the Danish Cup. Full details will be found the the Results / Fixtures page.

Abel’s U-19 side also found out their opponents for this year’s NextGen Series group stages. Sporting have been draw in a group with Aston Villa, Celtic and PSV Eindhoven. The first game will be away to Aston Villa on Wednesday 15th August.

Recent Results:

Sporting 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday (22/07/12)
Goals: André Martins (11′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (69′)
Sporting XI: Marcelo Boeck (Victor Golas 88′); Bruno Pereirinha (Cédric Soares 46′), Daniel Carriço (Khalid Boulahrouz 46′), Xandão (Oguchi Onyewu 46′), Emiliano Insúa (Danijel Pranjić 46′); Stijn Schaars (Adrien Silva 46′), Gelson Fernandes (YC) (Elias 46′), André Martins (Matías Fernández 60′); Jeffrén Suárez (André Carrillo 46′), Diego Capel (Wilson Eduardo 81′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (YC) (Diego Rubio 81′)
Subs Not Used: Nuno Reis

In the Pepe Supercup mini-tournament contested in shorter games between Sporting and local clubs Atlético Clube de Portugal and Belenenses Sporting won via penalty shootout victories after two goalless draws with each team.

Sporting 3-1 Saint-Étienne (28/07/12)
Goals: André Carrillo (35′, 59′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (71′)- Bakary Sako (75′)
Sporting XI: Rui Patrício (Marcelo Boeck 46′); Cédric Soares (Bruno Pereirinha 46′), Khalid Boulahrouz (Daniel Carriço 46′ (Oguchi Onyewu 69′)), Marcos Rojo (Xandão 46′), Danijel Pranjić (Emiliano Insúa 46′); Stijn Schaars (Gelson Fernandes 46′, YC), Elias (Adrien Silva 46′), André Martins (Fabián Rinaudo 61′, YC); André Carrillo (Jeffrén Suárez 61′), Diego Capel (Wilson Eduardo 77′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Diego Rubio 77′)
Subs Not Used: Nuno Reis, Marat Izmailov

Getafe 1-0 Sporting (03/08/12)
Goals: Diego Castro (59′)
Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; Bruno Pereirinha, Khalid Boulahrouz, Marco Rojo, Danijel Pranjić; Stijn Schaars (Adrien Silva 61′), Elias, André Martins (Jeffrén Suárez 61′); André Carrillo, Diego Capel (Wilson Eduardo 76′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Diego Rubio 22′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Daniel Carriço, Xandão, Fabián Rinaudo, Gelson Fernandes

Sporting 3-1 Moghreb Tétouan (04/08/12)
Goals: Daniel Carriço (42′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (66′), Mourtada Fall (72′ OG) – Moussa Traoré (55′)
Sporting XI: Marcelo Boeck; Cédric Soares, Xandão, Daniel Carriço (Oguchi Onyewu 67′), Emiliano Insúa; Fabián Rinaudo (André Martins 65′), Adrien Silva, Gelson Fernandes; Jeffrén Suárez (Bruma 82′), Wilson Eduardo (Danijel Pranjić 76′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Iuri Medeiros 87′)
Subs Not Used: Rui Patrício, Macros Rojo, Stijn Schaars, Diego Rubio


Sporting News Round-Up

So, since it’s been a while since the last Leões/Lions post (yes, it’s been a really long while) here is a round-up of all the transfers and other pre-season news so far. As you know, there is always something happening at Sporting so there is a lot to write about.

Transfers in:

Zakaria Labyad was a deal done way back during the season but he has now officially become a Sporting player. Labyad will be in London over the summer representing Morocco at the Olympics. PSV Eindhoven, Labyad’s former club, are now seeking financial compensation for the deal.

Sporting’s next signing was Gelson Fernandes on the 4th July. Fernandes came from French side Saint-Étienne after having spent the second half of 2012 on loan to Udinese. Gelson’s deal is a 4-year contract with a buyout clause of €25m.

9 days later and Sporting completed another signing by signing former Bayern München player Danijel Pranjić. The Croatian has had his injuries in recent times but will reinforce Sporting in midfield was well as occasionally on the left-hand side in defence or attack.

The signings didn’t stop there as Khalid Boulahrouz joined the club for free just 4 days after that on the 18th July. The Netherlands and ex-Chelsea defender has been at VfB Stuttgart until his contract expired. Boulahrouz can play at both right-back and centre-back and has been handed a two-year contract.

Most recently Sporting completed the signing of Marcos Rojo the Argentinian left-back / centre-back from Spartak Moscow. The former Estudiantes player had been rumoured to join Benfica months ago but in the end chose Sporting instead.

Transfers out:

As already ported on the blog João Pereira has moved onto Valencia. Ânderson Polga left the club too and is still yet to find a new team. Long-time servant Tiago also retired.

Deportivo de La Coruña signed André Santos on loan as well as being able to keep Diogo Salomão for another season. More recently both Alberto Rodríguez and Evaldo Fabiano have also joined the newly promoted Spanish team.

Jaime Valdés officially became a Parma player after he was on loan there last season.

Edgar Ié and Agostinho Cá were all set to join Internazionale last month. Indeed, the deal had been reported as completed by various media outlets. Since then it emerged that the deal had in fact not gone through and now the pair have joined Barcelona instead and will play for the B team next season.

Other Sporting players have been released and found new clubs such as Diogo Rosado (Genoa), Mexer (Nacional), André Marques (FC Sion), Mateus Fonseca (FC Chiasso), and Rodolfo Simões (Marítimo).

As well as the following players leaving the club on loan: William Owusu (Westerlo), William Carvalho (Cercle Brugge), and Miguel Serôdio (Varzim).

Pre-Season Games:

Sporting opened Pre-Season with an 11-0 win over minnows Atlético Clube do Cacém. The Sintra club were unsurprisingly soundly beaten thanks to goals from Iuri Medeiros, Filipe Chaby, Emiliano Insúa, Adrien Silva, André Martins, Ricky van Wolfswinkel (x2), Diego Rubio (x2), and Wilson Eduardo (x2).

Last Thursday Sporting ended up losing 1-0 to Charlton Athletic in a game played at the Municipal de Lepe, the home of lower league side San Roque de Lepe. A last minute goal from Johnnie Jackson game the London club the win.

Sporting’s team for the game was:

Marcelo Boeck; Bruno Pereirinha (Cédric Soares 46′), Daniel Carriço (YC) (Nuno Reis 59′), Xandão (Oguchi Onyewu 59′), Emiliano Insúa (Danijel Pranjić 59′); Fabián Rinaudo (Gelson Fernandes 46′), Adrien Silva (Stijn Schaars 59′), Elias (André Martins 46′); Jeffrén Suárez (Wilson Eduardo 46′), Diego Capel (André Carrillo 56′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Diego Rubio 59′)

Sporting next face Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow night with kick off at 20:30.

Sporting Players Called up for International Duty

Yes, it’s almost international break time yet again and here’s a list of the Sporting players who will be linking up with their national team shortly.

Brazil: Elias
Chile: Matías Fernández
Netherlands: Stijn Schaars
Portugal: Rui Patrício and João Pereira
Peru: Alberto Rodríguez and André Carrillo
Spain U-23: Diego Capel

Alberto Rodríguez may be a doubt for his games as he still recovers from the knock he picked up last week.

Let’s hope they manage to avoid any injuries.

Match Report: Braga 2-1 SPORTING

A poor Sporting performance meant that the Lions drop down to 4th place after losing to 2-1 away to Braga.

André Carrillo gave Sporting some hope after Hélder Barbosa and Lima put Domingos Paciência’s former employers two goals ahead but Sporting could not come back as they did against Nacional on Wednesday.

Domingos handed Sebastián Ribas a debut as well as playing Emiliano Insúa as a winger with Evaldo at left-back. Alberto Rodríguez also made a return to face his former club.

Braga had a great chance just minutes after the start of the game when Hugo Viana found room to strike well. His shot though ended up being blocked by his own player, Lima, before being cleared by Sporting.

It was the home side who had the best of the first time and Mossoró’s shot midway through the first half forced Rui Patrício into a good save where as Sporting found it hard to break Braga down.

The second half had much more goalmouth action than the first though. Within just a few minutes Matías Fernández did very well to find himself in room in the box. His shot though only hit the post.

Braga took the lead in the 51st minute when Lima found space on the right wing. His low cross somehow found it’s way through the Sporting defence and into the path of Hélder Barbosa who slotted home from close range.

Domingos soon made a chance bringing on the more attacking André Carrillo for Emiliano Insúa.

Braga got the second goal when Alberto Rodríguez gave the ball away inside the Braga half and Lima was found in space. He used his pace to race ahead of João Pereira and cooly slotted the ball past Rui Patrício.

Sporting had to make changes again and Sebastián Ribas’ debut was over when he was replaced by Valeri Bojinov. After 72 minutes André Martins also came on in place of Elias.

André Carrillo did manage to get his 2nd ever Sporting goal when he pounced in the area after Quim dropped a corner. The Peruvian had an easy finish to make at the goalkeeper’s expense and gave Sporting some hope.

Braga though stayed strong and kept their defensive shape. Indeed, they could have scored again in stoppage time when Evaldo’s ball back to Rui Patrício was viewed by the referee as a back pass from 6-yards out. The resulting freekick luckily hit João Pereira before and was deflected out.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Oguchi Onyewu, Alberto Rodríguez (YC), Evaldo Fabiano; Stijn Schaars, Elias (YC, André Martins 72′), Matías Fernández; Emiliano Insúa (YC, André Carrillo 54′), Diego Capel, Sebastián Ribas (Valeri Bojinov 68′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Ânderson Polga, Daniel Carriço, Bruno Pereirinha

SPORTING vs. Nacional Preview

Sporting return to Taça de Portugal action tomorrow in the first leg of the semi-final against Nacional.

With last weekend’s draw against Porto making the chances of winning the league increasingly unlikely it adds to the importance of this year’s taça which is more than winnable for Sporting. Should they progress into the final after beating Nacional then they will either Académica de Coimbra or Oliveirense who Sporting know they have a great chance of beating.

The two sides met just last month in the liga when Oguchi Onyewu’s header gave Sporting a close 1-0 win.

Domingos Paciência’s squad for the forth-coming game is:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck
Defenders: João Pereira, Santiago Arias, Alberto Rodríguez, Ânderson Polga, Oguchi Onyewu, Evaldo Fabiano, Emiliano Insúa
Midfielders: Stijn Schaars, Diego Capel, Matías Fernández, Jeffrén Suárez, Renato Neto, André Martins, Elias
Forwards: Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Valeri Bojinov, André Carrillo, Sebastián Ribas

The inclusions of the returning Alberto Rodríguez and new boy Sebastián Ribas are certainly worth mentioning. It will be interesting to note whether Renato Neto will retain his play in the middle of the park too.

Marat Izmailov picked up an injury in the draw against Porto but it is not thought to be serious and although he may miss this match is thought to be returning soon. Daniel Carriço is still recovering and Xandão also misses out.

One of the most telling omissions is that of André Santos who did not even feature on the bench of the last game. Rumours of him departing are increasing rapidly and Domingos’ recent comments will not help to stop that when he told the media “I have already told him what I think. I talk to my players face to face, with no exceptions.”

Sporting will want to get as a large a win as possible in the first leg to try and make the second leg more manageable with the fixtures being so thick and faster over the next few months.

Taça de Portugal Draw: Braga (Home)

Sporting Clube de Portugal’s Taça de Portugal draw means Sporting will have home advantage of Domingos Paciência’s old previous club Braga. Alberto Rodríguez will also be facing the club he joined Sporting from back in the summer.

The draw tentatively puts the fixture for Friday 18th November a week before the trip to the Luz to face Benfica. The fixtures could change to make the game on either Saturday 19th or Sunday 20th, to keep up to date follow the Fixtures page.

The last time the two faced off in the Taça de Portugal was back in 1997, Braga winning 3-1 in extra time with Bruno Marioni scoring the goal for Sporting.

Elsewhere Porto travel to Académica and Benfica will travel to Naval.

Sporting Players Called for International Duty

A whole host of Sporting players have been called up for international duty by their respective clubs.

The international week will take place this week until Sporting return to action in the Taça de Portugal to take on Famalicão on the 15th October.

Below is the full list of Sporting players who will be on international duty this week;

Argentina: Emiliano Insúa and Fabián Rinaudo
Brazil: Elias
Bulgaria: Valeri Bojinov
Chile: Matías Fernández
Netherlands: Stijn Schaars
Peru: Alberto Rodríguez
Portugal: Rui Patrício and João Pereira
Portugal U21: André Martins, Luís Ribeiro, Cédric Soares, Pedro Mendes and Wilson Eduardo
USA: Oguchi Onyewu

SPORTING vs. Nordsjælland Preview

After failing to win all 3 of the his first competitive games as Sporting manager, Domingos Paciência will know that this is his most high pressured match yet. It seems silly to be mentioning pressure so early in a manager’s career but the last two Sporting performances were incredibly toothless in attack and not easy on the eye. Being eliminated from the Europa League so soon against a team like Nordsjælland would also be a huge shock and a massive cause for concern.

Sporting are still favourites to qualify of course based on the strengths of the two squads although there will be a few absentees. Alberto Rodríguez picked up an injury in the 0-0 draw away to Beira-Mar last time out and is out for this match, though injury though is not as bad as it was first feared. Matías Fernández, Luis Aguiar, Bruno Pereirinha and Jeffrén Suárez are also all unavailable.

This means that youngster André Martins is into the Sporting squad for the match. Tiago Ilori also trained with the first team squad this week and he could feature at some stage.

Valeri Bojinov is also much closer to playing again and could be on the bench, and perhaps possibly make his competitive debut.

Carrying a goalless draw from the away leg into the home tie means a home win will put Sporting through but a score draw could spell disaster as Sporting would be eliminated on away goals.

In the absence of Alberto Rodríguez, this should mean that Daniel Carriço will make his first start of the season to partner Ânderson Polga in the central defensive shots.

Although the defence really is not the issue at the moment for Sporting, with only 1 goal in the first 3 games after a pre-season full of goals and with tonight’s incentive, scoring is a must. Paciência faces a few tricky calls on who to play up front either Hélder Postiga, Ricky van Wolfswinkel or both as the out and out striker. Diego Rubio and possibly Valeri Bojinov could provide further attacking options.


Rui Patrício

João Pereira – Daniel Carriço – Ânderson Polga – Evaldo Fabiano

Fabián Rinaudo

Marat Izmailov – Stijn Schaars – Diego Capel

Ricky van Wolfswinkel – Hélder Postiga


Report: Beira-Mar 0-0 SPORTING

Once again a toothless Sporting side failed to create enough to win the game, this time against Beira-Mar with both sides failing to score.

Initially it looked like the game wouldn’t take place, a dispute over the referee for the game following criticisms of Carlos Xistra in the 1-1 draw at home to Portimonense last weekend meant that no referee was too willing to take this one. With fears the game could not go on the clubs themselves took to finding one and managed to do so in Fernando Martins, who had a relatively good game. This meant kick off was delayed for an extra 15 minutes late for the start of the match for the new referee to be able to warm up.

Domingos Paciência made a few changes from the team that drew in Denmark to Nordsjælland last Thursday with Diego Capel, Matías Fernández, and Ricky van Wolfswinkel (making his official debut) all starting. With Yannick Djaló also having come under some criticism for his recent performances it was a surprise to see him start.

The match started exactly where it had let off in Denmark for Sporting. The team lacked creativity and decisiveness in the final third of the pitch and were unable to break down a stern Beira-Mar defence.

One player who did look like a real threat for Sporting going forward was the Spaniard, Diego Capel. There was surprise when he was excluded from the team last time out and he proved why once more. Capel made it a difficult night for Beira-Mar’s right back Pedro Moreira.

So unimpressive where Sporting going forward though Domingos Paciência made a drastic change in making two substitutions early on with Marat Izmailov and Hélder Postiga coming on in place of Yannick Djaló and Matías Fernández. The Russian in particular was lively when he entered the fray.

Worryingly just before half-time, Alberto Rodríguez was brought of with what looked like a calf strain and at the start of the second half Daniel Carriço came on his place to make his first competitive start of the new season. This meant that Paciência was now unable to bring on the likes of André Carrillo and surprise substitute, Valeri Bojinov, as an impact replacement.

The second half was a slight improvement over the dire first, the first real change for Sporting came from a Daniel Carriço header not long after the break. It took until the 69th minute for another meaningful chance for sporting, Hélder Postiga’s header from a Stijn Schaars freekick went directly at goalkeeper, Rui Rêgo.

The best change of the game though came from the impressive Diego Capel. Marat Izmailov did well down the right hand side and hit in a low hard cross in front of the face of goal which was missed until it came out until the far post to Diego Capel. His shot was on target but Pedro Moreira did brilliantly well to clear it off the line with his heel.

That was Sporting’s last great chance, indeed for the later stages of the game, Beira-Mar came more likely to score with new signing, the former Real Madrid and Benfica player, Javier Balboa impressing.

It will be a worrying time for Domingos Paciência now. His body language and facial expressions from the touchline were not reassuring for any Sporting fan to see. It will increase the pressure for the next game, Nordsjælland’s visit to Lisbon. In defence the team looks fairly stable and although Diego Capel and Jeffrén Suárez have looked particularly impressive there is a real lack of creativity going forward that makes it easy for teams like Beira-Mar to defend against.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Ânderson Polga, Alberto Rodríguez (Daniel Carriço 46′), Evaldo Fabiano; Fabián Rinaudo, Stijn Schaars; Yannick Djaló (Hélder Postiga 36′), Matías Fernández (Marat Izmailov 36′), Diego Capel; Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Oguchi Onyewu, André Santos, André Carrillo, Valeri Bojinov

Report: SPORTING 1-1 Olhanense

Sporting’s beginning to the a promising new season didn’t exactly go as many had planned at home to Olhanense. Wilson Eduardo’s superb strike against his parent club meant Sporting would have to come from behind but were unable to score until Marat Izmailov’s 77th minute goal.

The game marked the official debuts of a whole host of new signings; Alberto Rodríguez, Fabián Rinaudo, Stijn Schaars, Jeffrén, Diego Rubio, and Diego Capel. It showed too, as there was a lack of cohesion in the team going forward, for all of the Sporting possession there lacked a cutting edge. It’s a familiar theme to last season although there’s still plenty of hope for the rest of the season.

Somewhat surprising was that Domingos Paciência did not go for the 4-1-3-2 formation that had been prevalent through-out most of pre-season instead opting for 3 in midfield with Schaars the more advanced ahead of Rinaudo and André Santos.

Another surprise was that Paciência left Daniel Carriço on the bench instead choosing Ânderson Polga and Alberto Rodríguez as the centre-back pairing and meaning João Pereira captained the team.

It was 29 minutes until Wilson Eduardo’s goal put Olhanense ahead. Wilson Eduardo is one of 3 Sporting players on loan at Olhanense currently along side João Gonçalves and Mexer. There will be concerns with how Eduardo was able to get his shot away without being closed down sooner but the strike was so good that Rui Patrício, on his 62nd consecutive Liga start, could do nothing. It should be noted that Wilson Eduardo did not celebrate after scoring.

The goal was against the run of play though, Hélder Postiga was unlucky not to have scored by that point with Olhanense’s Brazilian goalkeeper Fabiano doing well to prevent a Postiga header and a Jeffrén drive.

There was a controversial moment too after Jeffrén’s well saved shot as the ball bounced back out there looked to be a hand used by the Olhanense player but the referee, Carlos Xistra, did not give a penalty.

In the second half again a Jeffrén delivery caused danger with Hélder Postiga getting on the end of it with a header but it went narrowly wide of the goal.

The equaliser came in the 77th minute with a long cross from Evaldo found Marat Izmailov at the back post who’s shot was well saved by Fabiano but the goalkeeper could only rebound the ball back in to Izmailov’s feet and then passed it calmly into the net.

In the 89th minute a Stijn Schaars strike went narrowly wide to win the game for Sporting but the game finished 1-1.

Although performance wise this wasn’t the worst for Sporting the lack of finishing may well be a concern. Sporting next face Nordsjælland away on Thursday before the next league game in Aveiro away to Beira-Mar.

SPORTING: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Ânderson Polga, Alberto Rodríguez, Evaldo Fabiano; Fabián Rinaudo (YC), André Santos (Marat Izmailov 45′, Scored 77′), Stijn Schaars; Jeffrén Suárez (YC) (Diego Rubio 55′), Yannick Djaló (Diego Capel 63′); Hélder Postiga
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Daniel Carriço, Bruno Pereirinha, Ricky van Wolfswinkel