Summer Transfers 2016 Review: Departures

So, how did Sporting do in the transfer market this summer? Here’s a look. First, we’ll start with the departures before the far more exciting stuff of arrivals.

André Carrillo to Benfica (Free) – Enough has been said of this transfer already.

Héldon Ramos to Rio Ave (Loan) – Another loan move for Cape Verdean and once again at Rio Ave. The forward doesn’t seem to feature in Jorge Jesus’ plans so it is only a matter of time before his permanent departure.

Mica Pinto to Belenenses (Free) – Mica Pinto was progressing well in the youth system and B teams but he suffered some major injuries which has hurt his development. Hopefully he can get back to his potential at Belenenses.

Luís Ribeiro to Estoril (Free) – Another player who had plenty of games for the B team but didn’t quite make the grade. Currently has José Moreira and Thierry Graça to beat in the pecking line up.

André Geraldes to Vitória de Setúbal (Loan) – Loan moves to Vitória de Setúbal seem to be a good thing for a lot of Sporting players lately, like João Mário and Rúben Semedo. Geraldes is 25-years old now so he really needs to impress if he wants to break into the Sporting first team.

Tobias Figueiredo to Nacional (Loan) – Tobias was on the fringes of the first team, with the arrival of Sebastián Coates making it difficult for him to get game time. A full season loan at Primeira Liga side should do that and so far he has scored against Benfica for the Madeira side, so that’s a good start.

Francisco Sousa to Gondomar (Free) – Featured for the U19s last season but not deemed good enough to be promoted to the B team so he leaves for Gondomar.

Jorge Silva to Leixões (Free) – Returns to his former club after failing to make the grade with the B team.

Seejou King to Aves (Free) – Had a really bad injury last season but Seejou King is another one who did well for the B team but couldn’t find their way into the senior side. Has yet to make his debut for the club.

Miguel Lopes to Akhisar (Loan) – Miguel Lopes is still a victim of his own high wage demands, another ghost of the Godinho Lopes regime. He joins a large Portuguese speaking contingent at Akhisar in Turkey.

Rafael Barbosa to União da Madeira (Loan) – Although the B team could use his services so far this season, Barbosa has been given a loan to União to improve his game. The 20-year old featured regularly last season and has so far played 6 times for União.

Zhang Lingfeng to Torreense (Free) – The Chinese midfielder didn’t make the grade for the club at youth level so has been given a new lease of life at Torreense.

Domingos Duarte to Belenenses (Loan) – Has played in all 3 of Belenenses’ opening games so far. The young central defender has been improving massively in the last year so can hopefully evolve to the next level in Belém.

Filipe Chaby to Sporting da Covilhã (Loan) – Chaby was an excellent prospect at youth levels but a few injuries have stalled his development. At 22-years old now it’s important that the midfielder impresses for Covilhã this season.

Cristian Ponde to Sporting da Covilhã (Loan) – Much like Chaby, this is Cristian Ponde’s season to try and shine. This is the forward’s first loan move away from the club and scored his first goal for Covilhã against Portimonense last weekend.

Oriol Rosell to Belenenses (Loan) – Rosell didn’t get as much game time at Vitória de Guimarães last season as was expected or needed. It seems Jorge Jesus isn’t a fan of the Spanish midfielder so this may be more a shop window loan for him.

Simeon Slavchev to Lechia Gdansk (Loan) – The Bulgarian midfielder arrived at Sporting a few years ago with a good reputation in his native Bulgaria. Slavchev has yet to convince though so he goes on another excursion, this time to Poland.

Hadi Sacko to Leeds United (Loan) – The French forward scored the winning goal on his Championship debut against Birmingham City. It is unlikely that he will return to Sporting after his loan season though.

Ousmane Dramé to Moreirense (Free) – The French forward was given a new lease of life in Portugal after his career in Italy floundered. He will be remembered for his one game and one amazing goal in the first team.

Zezinho to Levadiakos (Free) – The Guinea-Bissau international looked good for the first team when Jesualdo Ferreira first brought him in back in 2012, but the midfielder fell just short of the required ability for the first team.

Ryan Gauld to Vitória de Setúbal (Loan) – Another player who will hopefully make a large amount of progress at Setúbal. This is the Scottish midfielder’s first taste of Primeira Liga football so hopefully he can progress and fulfil his massive potential.

Francisco Geraldes to Moreirense (Loan) – A player who has already had a great start to life at Moreirense. When the rumours of Adrien Silva possibly moving to Leicester City, there were many calls for Geraldes to be called from loan to fulfil his role. Geraldes looks set to have an outstanding season and will hopefully return ready for the first team next season.

Aya Diouf to Sertanense (Loan) – The Senegalese defender only joined Sporting’s academy a few years ago and will move on loan to Sertanense before being given a B team shot.

Guilherme Oliveira to Cova da Piedade (Loan) – The young goalkeeper has plenty of competition at the club with Pedro Silva, Vladimir Stojković and Luís Maximiano currently the favoured choices. The 21-year old desperately needs regular gam time.

Teófilo Gutiérrez to Rosario Central (Loan, €1,200,000 fee) – Just when Teó was getting good he decided he wanted to return to Argentina. The move was a prolonged affair with the Colombian preferring River Plate as his destination. Although this is a loan move I wouldn’t expect to see Gutiérrez in a Sporting shirt again.

Kikas to Leixões (Free) – Kikas certainly can’t be faulted for his loyalty to the club and it’s only a shame he couldn’t break into the first team. Hopefully goes on to have a great career.

André Martins to Olympiakos (Free) – Despite his promise, André Martins couldn’t make his way into the team with the arrival of Jorge Jesus. Now he joins Paulo Bento in Greece and another player who hopefully finds his way back into prominence.

João Palhinha to Belenenses (Loan) – João Palhinha looked awfully close to getting into the first team this season but just fell short despite featuring a lot in pre-season. Hopefully improves ready to take his spot next season.

Alberto Aquilani to Pescara (Free) – After being stupidly sent off in a humiliating pre-season friendly, that probably sealed the departure of Aquilani. The Italian midfielder looked classy whenever he played but was not going to break into the first team last season and it seems even with the departure of João Mário was not a part of Jesus’ plans and departs.

Naldo to Krasnodar (€4,500,000) – Bought for €3m and sold for €4.5m, isn’t a bad piece of business from Bruno de Carvalho. Initially the Brazilian looked solid alongside Paulo Oliveira in defence but with the arrival of Sebastián Coates and the emergence of Rúben Semedo he found games hard to come by.

Hernán Barcos to Vélez Sarsfield (Loan) – Barcos didn’t impress at all in his stint, joining as part of the transfer of Fredy Montero out to China last season, he didn’t come close to the Colombian’s talent. Although his departure is a loan he is unlikely to return to the club.

João Mário to Internazionale (€40,000,000) – What can we say about João Mário? On the pitch and off the pitch the creative midfielder was a class act. There’s been plenty written about this so I don’t need to expand too much but hopefully João Mário excel at Inter and returns to the club one day in the future. The transfer fee, of course, is a record sale by Sporting and credit must go to Bruno de Carvalho for the negotiations.

Jonathan Silva to Boca Juniors (Loan) – The left-back has had his loan move to Boca Juniors extended after impressing there. With Jefferson seemingly not favoured by Jorge Jesus and Bruno César and Marvin Zeegelaar as the alternatives there’s certainly a spot for the Argentinian in the squad next season.

Ewerton to Kaiserslautern (Loan) – The Brazilian central defender was similar to Naldo in the sense that initially he looked solid but with other players emerging he fell down the pecking order. A move to the Bundesliga could be a good option for him and the German club have the option to buy the player at the end of the loan move.

Iuri Medeiros to Boavista (Loan) – Medeiros again got very close to the first team but just fell short so he will go on another loan move. He impressed at Moreirense last season and at 22-years old now this should hopefully be his final loan move before breaking into the first team.

Carlos Mané to Stuttgart (Loan) – Held back by the emergence of Gelson Martins and, perhaps, the arrival of Jorge Jesus, Carlos Mané hasn’t quite made it yet. After being incredibly promising early on and popping up with goals it seems his future may lie elsewhere. Of course, after his 2 season loan spell at Stuttgart, Mané could return to the club better than ever.

Daniel Podence to Moreirense (Loan) – Much like Iuri Medeiros, Daniel Podence was very close to making it into the first team this season. The diminutive and tricky attacker looked impressive in pre-season but recent transfers meant his first team appearances would be rare. With Sporting’s currently stacked list of young, tricky, quick attacking wingers extending to Matheus Pereira, Gelson Martins, Iuri Medeiros, Carlos Mané and Podence himself a loan move is the best option for him.

Wallyson Mallmann to Standard Liège (Loan) – Again so close yet so far for Wallyson as far as being promoted to the first team goes. Another loan spell may well be his last if he doesn’t impress Jorge Jesus.

Rúben Ribeiro to Aves (Free) – Some websites seem to have this transfer down as a loan but O Jogo claimed the player had rescinded his contract to join Aves on a 2-year deal. Indeed, a loan would probably have been better had he wanted to try and move up the ranks but it seems he’ll be going a different route.

Salim CIssé to Olhanense (Free) – The Guinean forward initially looked very promising but he hasn’t developed as Sporting would have hoped so he could revive his career with Olhanense after rescinding his contract.

Islam Slimani to Leicester City (€30,000,000) – Obrigado, Islam Slimani. Super Slim won everyone over with his passion, his late goals and his performances in the big games. Again, not much else is needed to be said about him as he was a firm favourite with the fans. Initially joining for €300,000 and leaving for 100x more, this will also be seen as the club’s best bit of transfer business to date. Hopefully goes on to have an excellent career and return in the future.

Zakaria Labyad (Released) – What could have been with Zakaria Labyad. The Moroccan has the talent and the potential but he can’t seem to find it when it matters, he won’t be missed and was a relic of the Godinho era.

Total loanees – 24 (almost putting Chelsea to shame)
Income – €75,700,000

Part 2 to follow later…

Transfer Rumours – Joel Campbell, Pedro Delgado, João Mário

The latest transfer rumours begin with the seemingly imminent signing of Joel Campbell on loan for Arsenal. Sport TV had initially reported that Campbell was watching the Paços de Ferreira game but then changed their minds.

It is believed, however, that he will be announced shortly as a Sporting player with Sporting also having an option to purchase the player at the end of his loan.

Most people believed Pedro Delgado, Internazionale’s 19-year old Portuguese midfielder, was on his way to Benfica. However, rumours are that he is now on his way to Sporting after having at the last minute upped his wages and fees from Benfica. Of course, if Inter want to do a deal with Sporting it would be beneficial for them now to want to sell a promising Portuguese prospect who once spent a few years at Sporting’s academy to the club’s rivals.

There is the alternative that Delgado’s representatives are using Sporting to help Benfica increase their offer for the player.

Most likely, the player if Sporting do sign Delgado, the player will be a part of João Mário’s transfer. Which, after the midfielder was excluded from Jorge Jesus’ squad for the Paços de Ferreira game, seems ever more imminent .

Of course, this one has been rumbling along all summer, so it was no surprise that Jorge Jesus said after the win against Paços that if João Mário is still at the club on Sunday he will play against Porto.

Primeira Liga Fixtures Announced

The Primeira Liga fixtures for the 2016/2017 season have been announced. Sporting’s begin the season at the Alvalade hosting Marítimo with the first big game of the season at home to Porto 2 weeks later. The season ends at home to Chaves.

Here’s the full list:

August:
vs. Marítimo (Home)
vs. Paços de Ferreira (Away)
vs. FC Porto (Home)
September:
vs. Moreirense (Home)
vs. Rio Ave (Away)
vs. Estoril (Home)
October:
vs. Vitória de Guimarães (Away)
vs. Tondela (Home)
vs. Nacional (Away)
November:
vs. Arouca (Home)
vs. Boavista (Away)
December:
vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Home)
vs. Benfica (Away)
vs. Braga (Home)
vs. Belenenses (Away)
January:
vs. Feirense (Home)
vs. Chaves (Away)
vs. Marítimo (Away)
vs. Paços de Ferreira (Home)
February:
vs. FC Porto (Away)
vs. Moreirense (Away)
vs. Rio Ave (Home)
vs. Estoril (Away)
March:
vs. Vitória de Guimarães (Home)
vs. Tondela (Away)
vs. Nacional (Home)
April:
vs. Arouca (Away)
vs. Boavista (Home)
vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Away)
vs. Benfica (Home)
vs. Braga (Away)
May:
vs. Belenenses (Home)
vs. Feirense (Away)
vs. Chaves

Transfer Round-Up 2015: Arrivals

After saying goodbye to so many players in the last round-up, now we look ahead at those who have joined Sporting this season.

Jorge Jesus from Benfica (free): Well, what can be said? What a huge coup from Sporting and Bruno de Carvalho to bring Jorge Jesus from Benfica to Sporting. The news was reported all over the world and so far Jesus has made a positive impression. Already changing formation to his more dynamic 4-2-2-2 and beating his old club in the Supertaça.

Ažbe Jug from Bordeaux (free): A stranger transfer of the 23-year old Slovenian goalkeeper from Bordeaux. So far it seems the goalkeeper is 3rd choice behind Rui Patrício and Marcelo Boeck.

Ewerton from Anzhi Makhachkala (€1,500,000): After an excellent loan move to Sporting it is no surprise that the club decided to pay for the Brazilian defender. Unfortunately, Ewerton was injured in pre-season so has yet to feature for Sporting this year.

Naldo from Udinese (€2,000,000): Looks to be a solid signing already, forming a capable partnership with Paulo Oliveira and will prove stiff competition for Tobias Figueiredo and Ewerton over the season. Sporting know have 4 capable centre-backs in the squad.

Michaël Ciani from Lazio (free): It was always strange that Sporting signed yet another centre-back. Ciani, as mentioned before, didn’t last very long. A forgettable transfer already.

Bryan Ruiz from Fulham (€1,000,000): The forward looks to have settled in well from Fulham already, although not proving to be much of a goalscoring threat his link up play and assists have impressed so far.

João Pereira from Hannover (free): Returning to the club after spells with Valencia and Hannover. João Pereira is 31 now though his experience still hasn’t prevented him from being error prone his is still very good going forward. With the departures of Cédric Soares and Miguel Lopes, he will have to defend his place in the first team from Ricardo Esgaio.

Teófilo Gutiérrez from River Plate (€3,400,000): Solid start from the Colombian thus far in Portugal. Gutiérrez was lucky to score in the Sueprtaça game against Benfica (it looked like it should have been Carrillo’s goal to me) but his 3 goals so far are hopefully a sign of things to come. The only concerns are his personality.

Alberto Aquilani from Fiorentina (free): Another player who looks to who have settled nicely, impressing with his passing range whenever his has been called upon from Jorge Jesus. Aquilani doesn’t quite look settled in a 2 man midfield yet so is likely to feature mostly from the bench. Still, the Italy midfielder brings plenty of experience to the side.

Bruno Paulista from Bahia (€3,500,000): The most expensive signing of the season so far is still cutting it in the B team. He’s impressed there, despite being sent off last week and should hopefully be fighting for a first team place soon.

Estimated Transfer Fees: €11,400,000
Estimated Transfer Sales: €14,150,000
Estimated Transfer Profit: €2,750,000

Supertaça: Benfica 0-1 SPORTING

It was a debut to remember for new manager Jorge Jesus as he defeated his former club 1-0 to lift the Supertaça.

There had been plenty of hype around Jorge Jesus and new Benfica manager Rui Vitória but at last the action was all about what was happening on the pitch.

Jorge Jesus had Sporting in a 4-2-2-2 with Naldo, Bryan Ruiz and Teófilo Gutiérrez all making their debuts, as well as João Pereira making his first appearance after he joined the club for a second time. Only the injured Ewerton and William Carvalho missed out on the squad.

Sporting were the brighter team throughout the game and started well. Indeed, Sporting could have been leading in the first half had Téofilo Gutiérrez’s goal now wrongly been disallowed for offside.

In the second-half again Sporting were the brighter of the teams and got their breakthrough in the 53rd minute when André Carrillo’s shot deflected of Gutiérrez to wrong foot Júlio César. The Peruvian will be claiming the goal despite the Colombian’s celebrations.

Benfica had a decent shout for a penalty turned down by referee Jorge Sousa when Nico Gaitán was brought down in the area but aside from that incident there wasn’t too much to trouble Rui Patrício and his defence.

It turned out to be a well deserved victory for Sporting and another trophy after the Taça de Portugal last season. An excellent start to what could be a very exciting new season.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Jefferson; Adrien Silva, João Mário; André Carrillo (Gelson Martins, 90+4′), Bryan Ruiz (Rúben Semedo, 86′); Téofilo Gutiérrez (Carlos Mané, 70′), Islam Slimani
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Tobias Figueiredo, Jonathan Silva, Fredy Montero

Pre-Season Review: 2015/2016

5 games, 4 wins, 1 draw, 2 trophies. Not a bad start to life at Sporting for Jorge Jesus! With a new 4-2-2-2 system and some new reinforcements it was interesting to watch this new Sporting side develop. Here’s a rundown of what we saw this pre-season…

Sporting kicked off the new season with a training ground friendly against CD Mafra with a 3-1 win. Jefferson, Islam Slimani and Junya Tanaka got the goals for Sporting with the notable inclusion of Gelson Martins in the starting eleven. João Pereira made his return to Sporting as a second-half substitute.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; Miguel Lopes, Paulo Oliveira, Tobias Figueiredo, Jefferson; Oriol Rosell, Adrien Silva; Carlos Mané, Gelson Martins; Fredy Montero, Islam Slimani

After the break Jesus fielded an entirely new team –

Marcelo Boeck; João Pereira, Rúben Semedo, Naby Sarr, Jonathan Silva; Simeon Slavchev, Ricardo Esgaio; Iuri Medeiros, Diego Capel; Valentín Viola, Junya Tanaka

Next came an even more comfortable win, again behind closed doors, against Atlético Clube de Portugal. Fredy Montero, Carlos Mané, Gelson Martins and a rare brace from Naby Sarr giving Sporting the win.

Again Jesus elected to choose 2 different teams in an effort to judge as many players in action as possible. New signing Naldo made his first appearance in the second half.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Paulo Oliveira, Tobias Figueiredo, Jefferson; Adrien Silva, João Mário; Gelson Martins, Carlos Mané; Fredy Montero, Islam Slimani

Then for the second 45: Marcelo Boeck; Ricardo Esgaio, Naldo, Naby Sarr, Jonathan Silva; Rúben Semedo, Oriol Rosell, Wallyson Mallmann; Diego Capel, Iuri Medeiros; Junya Tanaka

Sporting then flew down to South Africa to participate in the Cape Town Cup hosted by Ajax Cape Town. Sporting drew the hosts in the first game with the winner facing off against either Crystal Palace or Supersport United.

Ajax Cape Town proved to be tricker than expected for Sporting. After Carlos Mané’s opening goal, the South African side pulled one back after Naldo handballed in the area, and Cecil Lolo dispatched the penalty. The hosts then took the lead in the 80th minute through Franklin Cale. Just 4 minutes later however, Rúben Semedo towered to head in from a corner to bring the game straight to penalties after the 90 minutes.

Ricardo Esgaio scored the winning penalty for Sporting after Rui Patrício made 2 saves to deny Ajax. The game also saw debuts for Michaël Ciani and Teófilo Gutiérrez

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (Ricardo Esgaio, 46′), Paulo Oliveira (Michaël Ciani, 72′), Tobias Figueiredo (Naldo, 46′), Jefferson (Jonathan Silva, 46′); João Mário (Wallyson Mallmann, 72′), Adrien Silva (Rubén Semedo, 78′), André Martins (Fredy Montero, 46′); Gelson Martins (Iuri Medeiros. 70′), Carlos Mané (André Carrillo, 46′); Islam Slimani (Teófilo Gutiérrez, 46′)

Next for Sporting came a sterner test against Crystal Palace. It was an end to end match with Rui Patrício pulling out some fantastic saves throughout the match to deny the London team.

Substitute Fredy Montero’s second-half brace gave Sporting the win and their first trophy under Jorge Jesus, albeit the Cape Town Cup.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (Ricardo Esgaio, 61′), Paulo Oliveira (Tobias Figueiredo, 81′), Naldo, Jefferson; Rúben Semedo (João Mário, 37′), Adrien Silva (Wallyson Mallmann, 81′); Gelson Martins (Carlos Mané, 46′), André Carrillo (Oriol Rosell, 61′); Teófilo Gutiérrez (Fredy Montero, 61′), Islam Slimani (Diego Capel, 90+1′)

The final pre-season game was back at the Alvalade with the annual Troféu Cinco Violinos. This time, AS Roma, 2nd in Serie A last year were to be the opponents.

It was 2 quick-fire goals in the second half that gave Sporting the win. Islam Slimani headed in Jefferson’s corner for the first and Carlos Mané poached for the second.

This was by far the most polished pre-season performance from Sporting and it was where Jorge Jesus’ new tactics really felt like they were working. Roma were limited to very few chances with Sporting dominating the ball for the majority of the game.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício (Marcelo Boeck, 77′); João Pereira (Ricardo Esgaio, 78′), Paulo Oliveira, Naldo (Tobias Figueiredo, 60′), Jefferson; Adrien Silva (Wallyson Mallmann, 78′), João Mário (Rúben Semedo, 59′); André Carrillo (Gelson Martins, 71′), Bryan Ruiz (Carlos Mané, 46′); Teófilo Gutiérrez (Fredy Montero, 60′), Islam Slimani (André Martins, 71′)

The win will give Sporting huge confidence going into next week’s 2015 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira against Benfica.

Weekend Round-Up: Derby Stalemate, Beira-Mar Victory and Meira Leaves

Match report from PortuGOAL.net:

The first derby of the season was another highly exciting encounter at the Estádio da Luz. Jorge Jesus’ Benfica welcomed back Enzo Peréz into the team after he missed the win against Boavista through injury. Ruben Amorim picked up an injury in that game was replaced by André Almeida in the starting line-up.

Sporting were still without regular right-back Cédric Soares so Marco Silva kept faith in youngster Ricardo Esgaio over the recently recalled Miguel Lopes. William Carvalho was restored into midfield in the place Oriol Rosell after he served his suspension and Islam Slimani also recently patched things up with Sporting management and he started up front ahead of Fredy Montero.

It was the home side who began the game the better as Sporting struggled to settle down. It was the visitors who had the first sniff at goal when a Jefferson corner found the head of the returning Islam Slimani but the Algerian’s header missed.

Talisca had the first opportunity for Benfica when his freekick was tipped over by Rui Patrício. The goalkeeper was called into action again when Luisão found space after a short corner routine.

Benfica opened the scoring with a fantastically worked goal. Eduardo Salvio and Maxi Pereira combined well down the right-flank. Maxi’s flick found Nico Gaitán whose shot was powerful enough to beat Rui Patrício and send the home fans into raptures.

It took a while for Sporting to grow into the game. They were given a gigantic helping hand by the fringe of Artur.

The goalkeeper was closed down by André Carrillo and after a bad touch he could only fire his kick directly at the Peruvian. The ball bounced kindly for Islam Slimani to head into an empty from less than a yard away. It was a farcical goal that may mean that Júlio César will be in-between the sticks for Benfica’s next game.

Their next chance again came to Islam Slimani. Adrien Silva’s shot was blocked and fell into the path of the striker behind the Benfica defence. His shot was a tame effort easily caught by Artur.

Sporting’s high pressure made the entire Benfica back line nervous with Sporting managing to create attacks by capitalising on mistakes.

The home side had to good chances to take the lead soon after the restart. Nico Gaitán found space down the left-hand side but his audacious attempt to chip Rui Patrício went over the bar. Soon after Salvio also had a decent effort from outside the area that just went wide.

Benfica had a spell of dominance with a half hour to go after a series of chances. Salvio’s chance was the better of the 3 or 4 great chances the home side created. Lima did well down the left hand side and easily got the best of Naby Sarr. Lima’s pull back found Salvio on the penalty spot but his shot was well saved by Patrício.

Salvio had an even better chance 5 minutes later when Sporting’s defence was easily cut open once more. Lima’s cross from the left hand side found Salvio in acres of space but the Argentinian’s shot hit the wrong side of the netting.

With 12 minutes left Nico Gaitán almost got his second from a corner but his header went just over Patrício’s post.

Islam Slimani almost won the game for Sporting just 2 minutes from the end when he found space at the far past after Nani’s cross. The striker’s shot was stopped by Artur to keep the scores level.

It was another fascinating and compelling derby and in the end the scores were perhaps reflective of the game despite Benfica having the better of the second half they could easily have let it slip in the dying minutes.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Ricardo Esgaio (YC), Maurício, Naby Sarr, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva (YC) (Carlos Mané, 79′), André Martins (Oriol Rosell, 81′); Nani, André Carrillo (YC) (Diego Capel, 60′), Islam Slimani (Scored, 20′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Paulo Oliveira, Fredy Montero, Junya Tanaka

Meanwhile Sporting B went from 0-1 up to 2-1 down away to Beira-Mar earlier on Sunday. Daniel Podence grabbed the opener for Sporting B but veteran striker Índio gave Beira-Mar the win with 2 goals in 2 minutes.

It was Sporting who had the better of the first half, dominating possession and Daniel Podence’s curling effort after 19 minutes gone was certainly indicative of the away sides play in the first half.

Beira-Mar improved drastically after the break but it was two set pieces that were the downfall of Francisco Barão’s side.

First, Mauro Riquicho gave a freekick away for a foul on Billal Sebaihi. Íncio converted from the freekick.

Sporting shot themselves in the foot in the 3rd minute of stoppage time after conceding a penalty. Again, Íncio stepped up and struck his effort past Luís Ribeiro.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro; Mauro Riquicho, Sambinha, Tobias Figueiredo, Mica Pinto; Fabrice Fokobo, Wallyson Mallmann, Iuri Medeiros; Daniel Podence (Scored, 19′) (Mama Baldé, 76′), Ryan Gauld (Ousmane Dramé, 64′), Lewis Enoh (Gelson Martins, 70′)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, Wilson Manafá, Jorge Santos

Finally yesterday also saw the departure of former Sporting B goalkeeper Mickaël Meira to AEL Limassol on a full transfer for an undisclosed amount.

Meira will be joining up with on-loan Sporting player Zezinho – the Cyprus club having a large Portuguese contingent there..

Mickaël Meira spent 5-years coming through the youth ranks at Sporting after signing from Fátimo in 2009.

Sporting Win the Taça de Honra 2014

Sporting won the Taça de Honra in the competitions 100th anniversary after comfortably beating Benfica in the final 1-0.

Before getting to the final Sporting had to beat Belenenses as the Estádio do Restelo. Two goals in the space of 3 minutes gave Sporting a 2-0 lead in the first half. First a fantastic strike by Wilson Eduardo before a great freekick from André Martins.

Sporting had the most of the first half but the game changed in the second with both sides making plenty of substitutions including a first appearance for Simeon Slavchev. Belenenses pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute through an André Geraldes own goal but Sporting went through in the end.

SPORTING XI vs. Belenenses: Marcelo Boeck; Cédric Soares (André Geraldes, 45′), Maurício (Paulo Oliveira, 46′), Eric Dier, Jefferson (Mica Pinto, 60′); Oriol Rosell (Rúben Semedo, 60′), Adrien Silva (Simeon Slavchev, 46′), André Martins (Scored, 33′) (João Mário, 46′); Wilson Eduardo (Scored, 30′) (Carlos Mané, 46′), André Carrillo (Diego Capel, 46′), Fredy Montero (Junya Tanaka, 46′)
Substitutes Not Used: Luís Ribeiro, Vítor Silva, Shikabala, Ryan Gauld, Héldon Ramos, Salim Cissé

So Sporting went on to face Benfica in the final after Benfica defeated Estoril in their game. With the departure of Wilson Eduardo to Dinamo Zagreb earlier today Marco Silva brought in Diego Capel in another wise unchanged line-up.

Sporting started the better over Benfica but it took a while before Sporting created any chances. André Carrillo hit the post midway through the first half but it took until the 42nd minute for Sporting to find the night. A mistake from João Teixeira in midfield mend Sporting could break and André Carrillo found space down the right. The Peruvian crossed for André Martins to finish from close range.

The goal proved to be enough with Benfica creating very little in the second half where as Sporting were for the most part comfortable in possession and perhaps should have doubled their lead. Certainly Fredy Montero had a great chance to after a glorious pass from Adrien Silva.

One goal was enough in the end for Sporting to win the Taça de Honra and get pre-season off to an excellent start.

Before being handed the trophy Marcelo Boeck, who captained the side on both occasions, was awarded best goalkeeper of the tournament and André Martins top goalscorer.

Pre-Season Fixtures Announced

Sporting have finally announced the fixtures for the upcoming pre-season campaign.

July 12th: vs. Azores XI for the Troféu Pauleta at the Estádio de São Miguel in Ponta Delgada.

July 18th / July 20th: Defending the Taça de Honra at the Restelo in Belém. Sporting will face Belenenses first on the 18th before, hopefully, facing the winner of Estoril and Benfica on the 20th. Last season Sporting fielded a B team for this game whilst on tour.

July 22nd-29th: Training camp in Doorwerth in the Netherlands. Three friendly games are scheduled for this time but no details yet.

1st August: Troféu Cinco Violinos game against Lazio at the Alvalade. Here the squad will be presented to the fans.

4th August: A trip to Egypt to take on Al Ittihad Alexandria for the Egyptian’s club’s 100th anniversary.

6th August: Away to FC Midtjylland in Herning, Denmark. Sporting aim to play a squad of half A and half B team players.

August 9th / August 10th: Participating in Troféu Teresa Herrera in La Coruña. Also in that tournament are Deportivo de La Coruña, Sporting Gijón, and Uruguayan club Club Nacional de Football. Last year’s winners were Real Madrid.

News Round-Up 3/6: Oriol Rosell Signs for Sporting

Oriol Rosell’s transfer to Sporting from Sporting Kansas City is completed and the Spanish midfielder has signed a 5-year contract with a €45,000,000 release clause.

The 21-year old will bolster Sporting’s midfield no doubt with European football in mind. No news of the transfer fee involved but O Jogo guesses that it is likely to be €1,000,000. Rosell becomes Sporting’s third signing this summer after the arrivals of Simeon Slavchev and Paulo Oliveira.

Elsewhere Record say that Sporting are still negotiating with Audax São Paulo for Rafael Martin’s after the forward’s excellent season at Vitória de Setúbal although they may meet competition from Benfica.

A Bola say that Sporting hope to close the deal for Ramy Rabia from Al-Ahly by the end of the week. The two clubs had disputed about the values for the 21-year old defender made his debut with the club at 17 and has already played several times for the Egyptian national team.

Stoke City are apparently after Diego Capel with Sporting wanting €8m for the player but Stoke would prefer a value around €4-5m.

Torino look set to beat Sporting to the signing of Josef Martínez from Young Boys. The 21-year old forward from Venezuela has impressed at FC Thun.

Club Tijuana’s 24-year old attacking midfielder Fidel Martínez is another name mentioned in the papers as interesting Sporting. Sporting may consider the Ecuadorian as an eventual replacement for Diego Capel.

Sporting are also considering the possibility of signing Nacional’s Fernando Marçal to deputise for Jefferson.