Weekend Round-Up: Draw against Académica, Sporting B win, Marcos Rojo Speaks

It was a busy weekend for Sporting fans with the first team finally returning to action, albeit in disappointing circumstances.

Sporting we’re 1-0 up until the 90th minute before Rafael Lopes equalised for Académica. Sporting were not helped by William Carvalho who was sent off midway through the second half.

Marco Silva’s line-up was not far away from what would be considered Sporting’s “strongest” XI albeit with Naby Sarr making his debut replacing the suspended Macros Rojo. Fredy Montero also started ahead of the suspended Islam Slimani.

Sporting started off well and found their goal in the 15th minute when Jefferson floated in a fantastic cross that found the head of André Carrillo. The Peruvian winger headed down onto the post and into the net.

There were concerns for Sporting near the end of the half when Cédric Soares took a knock. The right-back managed to play on until half-time but was then replaced by another debutant, Oriol Rosell playing out of position at right-back. Marco Silva did have Ricardo Esgaio in his squad for the trip to Coimbra but not on the substitutes bench.

Sporting looked fairly comfortable until the 66th minute when William Carvalho received his second yellow card. The midfielder had looked out of sorts through out most of the game with an alarming amount of his passes going astray.

Marco Silva gave a debut to Paulo Oliveira not long after to try and sure up Sporting’s defence but they could only hold out until the 90th minute when Rafael Lopes struck well to earn Académica a point.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares (Oriol Rosell, 45′), Maurício, Naby Sarr, Jefferson; William Carvalho (YC, RC), Adrien Silva, André Martins (Paulo Oliveira, 72′); André Carrillo, Héldon Ramos (Diego Capel, 62′), Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, João Mário, Carlos Mané, Junya Tanaka

Sporting B however faired better with their game as they won 3-1 at home to Santa Clara.

Francisco Barão was without Rúben Semedo who was suspended for an altercation with Lewis Enoh last week.

It was the Cameroonian Enoh who opened the scoring when he finished a cross from Ricardo Esgaio.

Sporting were caught out for Santa Clara’s equaliser as a short corner found the defence flat-footed only for Materazzi to find himself in acres of space to make it 1-1 at half-time.

The B team improved greatly after the break and looked far more threatening than they did during the first half. Despite that though they found it difficult to break through the Santa Clara defence.

It looked like the B team were set to copy the first team’s scoreline until just 5 minutes before the end when Tobias Figueiredo headed home. The lead was doubled just minutes later this time by substitute Filipe Chaby.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro; Ricardo Esgaio, Sambinha (YC), Tobias Figueiredo (Scored, 85′), Mica Pinto; Fabrice Fokobo (Mauro Riquicho, 59′), Wallyson Mallmann, Ryan Gauld (Filipe Chaby, 83′, Scored, 90+3′); Daniel Podence (Iuri Medeiros, 62′, YC), Ousmane Dramé, Lewis Enoh (Scored, 18′)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, João Palhinha, Jorge Santos

Marcos Rojo appeared on Sporting TV and apologised for his recent conduct that led to his suspension. The Argentine defender failed to turn up to training leading to a huge bust up between the club and Doyen Sports.

Rojo said “I’m sorry for what happened because I feel that I was unprofessional. Now I will try to correct the situation.”

The defender also denied a rumoured physical confrontation between himself and Bruno de Carvalho.

“Tomorrow I return to work with the squad, with my companions, and this is the most important and what we really like to do.”

Rojo did not rule out an eventual transfer away but stated he would like such a deal to be beneficial for both himself and the club. “But let me make it clear that I am very happy at the club, I love the way they treat me.”

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News Round-Up 9/6

Sporting have announced another new signing, this time to strengthen the B team – Jorge Santos, nicknamed Gazela, from Padroense. It’s quite a step up for the 21-year old winger who was playing in the AF Porto Divisão de Elite last season.

Santos has signed a contract until 2020 with the very familiar €45,000,000. The longevity of the deal shows that Sporting’s scouting team feel like they must have found an exciting prospect.

Litos, former Sporting player and manager, revealed he turned down the opportunity to replace Abel Ferreira in managing the B team. Litos was still open to returning to the club in some capacity in future but felt like now was not the right time.

With Sporting find it hard to find a deputy right-back for Cédric Soares, Record speculates that Miguel Lopes could return to action for Sporting. Lopes spent last season on loan at Lyon but it seems the French club will not be using their option to buy the player. The only possible problem with this is the player’s high wages.

Sticking with Record they Sporting have agreed a deal to bring in 18-year old right back Jorge Silva from Leixões. The defender was said to have been at the Academia Sporting in Alcochete to sign a 1-year deal with option of extension for a further 4 years.

Record seem to believe Sporting are putting more influence into Egypt with the club not only getting close to an agreement with Al Ahly for Ramy Rabia but also a pre-season friendly in the country too. The friendly, they say, could earn the club around €350,000.

A Bola say Sporting are watching Romanian forward George Ţucudean. Ţucudean is currently on loan at Dinamo București from his parent club Standard Liège and has received praise from former Sporting man Marius Niculae.

The paper also links Sporting with another forward this time Serbian Filip Kostic currently at Dutch side FC Groningen. The 21-year old impressed at the club last season although the club insist they have yet to receive any offers.

Moving on to O Jogo who say Wilson Eduardo, deemed surplus at Sporting, has attracted interest from clubs in Turkey and Greece. The winger has plenty of competition in the squad and is looking to leave.

Finally, Bruno de Carvalho announced that the long-awaited Sporting TV is set to launch on the 1st July which also coincides with the club’s 108th birthday.

Marco Silva Unveiled As Sporting Manager

Marco Silva was officially presented as the new Sporting manager at a press conference at the Alvalade tonight. The former Estoril manager has been given a 4 year contract which will begin on June 1st.

Silva said at the conference “Thanks to the president, who placed confidence in me and my work. Another thanks to Sporting, the honour and pride it gives me to be in this great club.”

“Wanting to be champions at Sporting is natural for greatness, history, culture and responsibility is to represent this club.”

“I took the decision not to renew with Estoril for wanting to take on another challenge – to be able to evolve.”

“The ambition here can only be win, win, win …”

Meanwhile club president Bruno de Carvalho said, “Sporting has a project, a well-defined direction. I think some people are inattentive, some within the club, but we have a project that is based on rigour, competence, ambition and, above all, stability, something we want as policy framework.”

“Marco fell within the our profile and would be the leader of our football design on one hand and on the other it was understood that creating stability, hence the last four years.”

Leonardo Jardim Leaves Sporting

As expected Leonardo Jardim has left support and was announced in a press conference by Bruno de Carvalho, Augusto Inácio and Leonardo Jardim at the Alvalade tonight. Although Jardim refused to say whether he will be joining Monaco he is expected to be presented as Monaco manager shortly.

Similarly Bruno de Carvalho refused to comment on whether a new manager had been chosen (although Marco Silva will no doubt be unveiled by the end of the week).

At the press conference the coach said: “Sporting SAD and coach Leonardo Jardim reached an agreement for the termination of his contract”. Bruno de Carvalho also revealed the club will receive a fee of €3,000,000 for the Leonardo Jardim although this could rise depending on the coach’s success in Ligue 1. Should Jardim return to manager another Portuguese club within the next 4 years then Sporting would be owed €15m.

The President went on to say: “We have to thank [Leonardo Jardim] for all of his professionalism and the way he dedicated [himself] to Sporting”.

Bruno de Carvalho went onto say that the door was always open for Jardim to return “We ended this relationship with feelings of respect and friendship”

“It was a very good year in terms of what we had envisioned for Sporting.”

Leonardo Jardim followed by saying “Thank you to the president for having faith in me. It was with great pride that I worked here.”

Jardim has done brilliantly well to restore Sporting as a force in Portuguese football after the omnishambles of the 2012/2013 season. Jardim was in charge for 35 games in total resulting in 23 wins, 8 draws and only 4 defeats leaving a total winning percentage of just under 66%.

Transfer News 28/03/14

You can tell it’s near the end of the season as those transfer rumours are really hotting up.

Olympique de Marseille are apparently pursuing both Diego Capel and manager Leonardo Jardim. Capel has been linked with the French side before and it seemed likely at one stage that Marseille would be his destination but nothing came of it.

Jardim’s case is different but reflects the fact that the manager only has a further season remaining on his contract. Record says the manager wants to say and last night in a television interview with TVI 24 that the process for a renewal will be dealt with at the end of the season.

Fabián Rinaudo is currently on loan at Serie A’s bottom club Catania but the Sicilian club have expressed interest in keeping the player. Catania are ready to pay €5,000,000 to keep the player at the club but that would solely rely on whether they regain top flight status in Serie A.

After having already bought one Sporting centre-back it seems Liverpool are linked with another, this time Marcos Rojo. The Argentinian certainly has improved this season and that may well have gone noticed by other clubs.

Weekly News Round-Up 15/03/14

Apologies, it’s been a while our last update, so we’ll review what has happened in a busy week for Sporting starting with last week’s controversial game away to Vitória de Setúbal.

Referee Vasco Santos grabbed the headlines in a hugely controversial game. Islam Slimani and Adrien Silva were the goal-scorers for Sporting whilst Rafael Martins and Ricardo Horta scored for the home side. The result saw Porto get within 2 points of Sporting and Benfica pull 7 points clear.

President Bruno de Carvalho was particularly outspoken after the game stating: “[We ask] the fans to mobilise and that they do not accept a situation which is damaging the Club. Sporting has already had 7 points taken away in the league this season. The only chance that Sporting has of playing is if the fans come together and say enough is enough of this situation that has damaged the Club for long enough.”

Expect a protest from Sporting fans in tomorrow’s game against Porto at the Alvalade.

Before that Sporting B lost again, this time to AC Viseu. Wilson Manafá was sent off but Shikabala returned from injury with Vítor Silva and Iván Piris also making appearances. Fausto Lourenço 70th minute goal grabbed the victory for the home side.

K.A.A. Gent announced that they have agreed to sign Sporting’s on-loan midfielder Renato Neto at the end of the season. Renato Neto joined Sporting in 2007 and graduated through the academy ranks.

In better news Sporting announced that 18-year old forward Gelson Martins had signed a new deal with the club. As with many previous deals, this is long term (until 2019) with a minimum release clause of €45m.

There was more good news for Gelson Martins when he was again picked in the Portugal U-19 squad along side teammates João Palhinha, Domingos Duarte, Rúben Ribeiro, Francisco Geraldes and Guilherme Oliveira.

And if that wasn’t enough for Martins he scored for the Sporting youth team as they beat Benfica 2-1 in the Juniores A 2ª Fase Apuramento Campeão. Domingos Duarte was sent off before Pedro Rebocho equalised for Benfica. Brazilian forward Matheus Pereira got the win for 10-man Sporting though in 74th minute.

And finally we look forward to tomorrow’s big game at the Alvalade against Luís Castro’s Porto. Maurício picked up another yellow card in the Setúbal game and will miss this match meaning Eric Dier is likely to start alongside Marcos Rojo in defence. Elsewhere Carlos Mané returns from the injury he picked up in international duty that put him out of the last game.

Result: Penafiel 1-3 SPORTING

Sporting were knocked out of the Taça da Liga despite victory against Penafiel due to overall goals scored.

It’s a cruel end to the competition for Sporting who had played so well against Porto in the first round of games and due to the controversial nature of Porto’s victory against Marítimo last night.

For the game Leonardo Jardim made a few changes. Marcelo Boeck, as usual, started in goal. Eric Dier started in defence along side Maurício, Vítor Silva took the place of André Martins in midfield and Carlos Mané started again.

It was the home side who took the lead with a superb strike from Aldaír that Marcelo Boeck’s stretched hand could not stop from stopping after just 19 minutes in the game gone.

With Sporting needing goals Leonardo Jardim made a tactical change in the 37th minute bringing on Wilson Eduardo for Vítor Silva.

Sporting levelled just before half-time. Fredy Montero was fouled on the edge of the area. The Colombian’s freekick hit the wall but William Carvalho was the first on to the ball and cross for Carlos Mané to head in from close range. Two goals in two starts now for the 19-year old winger.

The away side pushed more after the break to try and get ahead and, eventually, it was the substitute Wilson Eduardo who found the net.

Some good play by Fredy Montero found André Carrillo on the left wing. The Peruvian’s excellent cross found Wilson Eduardo, playing almost as a second-striker, to latch on to the end and put Sporting in front.

The third goal game as a result of penalty when Eric Dier, making a surging run, was brought down in the box. Adrien Silva stepped up to make it 3-1 and ensure the win for Sporting even though it did not turn out to be enough in the end.

Sporting club president Bruno de Carvalho certain had plenty to say after the game about how things turned on on the night: “I want to congratulate Sporting’s players, because they did what they could to quality for the next round. I also what to thank the fans who came to the game. This isn’t a peculiar situation, it is just the usual stuff. Sporting and a few other clubs felt the need to put together some ideas for the remodelling of Portuguese football. Coincidences like this keep happening and we are going to pretend that we don’t notice them. When the fourth goal in the FC Porto-Penafiel game was off-side; when Sporting had qualified at the end of the game and you see us then eliminated due to a penalty that only certain people could see, then you have to ask questions. Those are the kinds of coincidences that happen in football, because we let them. The sort of things that happened today are what make people say that football isn’t played on the pitch. When things are already decided before games have even kicked off, there is no point making proposals.”

Leonardo Jardim, as usual, was a little more conservation in his assessment of the night: “We won, but it is a shame that Sporting has not achieved one of our objectives. Looking at the supremacy that we showed against FC Porto, the only down side is that we didn’t score. We won 7 points in total, but we didn’t qualify for the next round. Now we have to focus on the League.”

SPORTING XI: Marcelo Boeck; Cédric Soares (YC), Maurício (YC), Eric Dier, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva (Scored, 82′), Vítor Silva (Wilson Eduardo, 37′, Scored, 68′); André Carrillo (YC) (Ricardo Esgaio, 87′), Carlos Mané (Scored, 44′) (Diego Capel, 64′), Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Rui Patrício, Rúben Semedo, André Martins, Gérson Magrão

Transfer News 08/01/14

Another round of the various rumours surrounding Sporting in recent days…

According to France Football, USM Alger’s Abderrahmane Bourdim is set to go on trial at Sporting shortly. The youth international has been gathering interest from Monaco and Dijon.

João Mário may not be on his way to Cercle Brugge after all with the player now set to join Vitória de Setubal until the end of the season.

The Elias saga continues this time with Corinthians and Atlético Mineiro also names mentioned but the midfielder still wants to return to Flamengo.

There is currently interest in Zakaria Labyad from Fulham, FC Twente and his former club, PSV Eindhoven. A loan deal for the player until the end of the season is the most likely option at the moment.

Brazilian fullback Welder was looking likely to exit the Alvalade this month with the Palmeiras man not getting much football but the player’s agent, Beto Rappa, says the player is enjoying his time at the club and wants to stay to earn his place in the team.

Bruno de Carvalho is hoping for the club to repurchase the rights of two Sporting players: William Carvalho and Marcos Rojo. The President wants to do it before the start of the World Cup with the club hoping to cash in on large transfer fees afterwards. Sporting currently own 60% of the economic rights of William Carvalho but just 25% of Marcos Rojo.

In a more bizarre story A Bola are reporting that Sporting have been monitoring the situation of Jorge Fucile as he is surplus to requirements at FC Porto. The Uruguayan defender is free to move on from the club with the player almost certain to join Club Nacional de Football it is unlikely he’ll be at Sporting anytime soon as especially with Sporting being well covered in that area.

Transfer News 04/01/14

With the transfer window open there has been plenty of speculation in the press about various Sporting players as well as some concrete news as well. Here’s a recap of any recent developments:

Elias today trained with the B team after his return from Flamengo and thus now finds him in the same position as Jeffrén Suárez and Zakaria Labyad with all three players likely to leave soon.

There are plenty of rumours surrounding Kelechi Iheanacho possibly moving to Sporting. The club are said to be set to make a €300,000 bid for the the Nigerian U-17 starlet who is currently at the Taye Academy. There have plenty plenty of rumours since the midfielder impressed in the U-17 World Cup with Manchester City, Porto, Monaco, Arsenal, Udinese and Chelsea are just a small fraction of the clubs he has been linked to recently.

Victor Golas looks set to be set for a contract extension shortly. The Brazilian goalkeeper is currently on loan at Corona Braşov. The club are looking to tie the goalkeeper down until 2017.

Alexis Escudero, signed from Sporting’s new feeder club Real Cartagena, is set to join up in Lisbon at the end of the month. José Dominguez’s club has just started their pre-season.

There’s plenty of rumours around loan moves from B team players the latest have suggested Nuno Reis may join up on loan with Ricardo Sá Pinto at OFI Crete as well as the possibility of Ricardo Esgaio joining up with Cercle Brugge.

Fabián Rinaudo has been in Italy this weekend as he negotiates with Catania.

William Carvalho is still hugely featured in any British paper’s transfer rumour section with Manchester United having monitored the player intensively recently.

In some other news:

Daniel Carriço is set to make his loan deal to Sevilla from Reading permanent and the transfer fee of €1.5m will see Sporting get €75,000. Better than nothing.

Bruno de Carvalho has stated that the door will always be open for Cristiano Ronaldo to return to the Alvalade. Of course, it’s not going to happen just yet.

Liu Yiming and Yan Zihao Sign New Contracts

Bruno de Carvalho strengthened his tour of China with announcing that the two 18-year old Chinese players at Sporting, Liu Yiming and Yan Zihao, have both signed new deals.

Defender Liu Yiming, signed from Casa Pia back in 2011, has now got a contract running until 2019.

Left-sided midfielderYan Zihao however has a contract until 2015 but with the option of an extension until 2019.

Bruno de Carvalho is currently in China looking to expand relationships for training as well as increasing the exposure of the club in the country. The Sporting President is then off to Macau before returning to Portugal on Friday.