Sporting Squad to Face Real Madrid

Sporting’s squad that travels to Spain to face Cristiano Ronaldo and friends tomorrow has been announced.

The Champions League allows for bigger squads than the Primeira Liga so it’s no surprise to see players like Vladimir Stojković make the cut.

Here’s the full squad:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Beto, Vladimir Stojković
Defenders: João Pereira, Ezequiel Schelotto, Ricardo Esgaio, Rúben Semedo, Sebastián Coates, Paulo Oliveira, Douglas Teixeira, Marvin Zeegelaar, Jefferson
Midfielders: William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Bruno César, Elias, Radosav Petrović, Marcelo Meli, Bruno Paulista
Forwards: Lazar Marković, Bryan Ruiz, Gelson Martins, Matheus Pereira, Alan Ruiz, André, Bas Dost, Joel Campbell, Luc Castaignos

Champions League Squad Announced

The squad for Sporting’s Champions League campaign has been announced. UEFA has yet to publish the “B” list, meaning some youth team players like Matheus Pereira and Gelson Martins don’t feature but that should follow shortly.

All of the new signings feature, the only missing name from the first team squad proper is goalkeeper Ažbe Jug.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Beto, Vladimir Stojković*, Luís Maximiano*, Pedro Silva*
Defenders: Ezequiel Schelotto, Jefferson, Sebastián Coates, Paulo Oliveira, Douglas Teixeira, João Pereira, Rúben Semedo, Ricardo Esgaio, Marvin Zeegelaar, Pedro Empis*, Mauro Riquicho*, Ivanildo Fernandes*, Guilherme Ramos*, Abdu Conté*, Gonçalo Vieira*, Jefferson Encada*
Midfielders: Radosav Petrović, Bruno César, William Carvalho, Elias, Adrien Silva, Marcelo Meli, Bruno Paulista, Alan Ruiz, Bubacar Djaló*, Gelson Martins*, Bruno Paz*, Pedro Ferreira*, Fábio Martins*
Forwards: Lazar Marković, Joel Campbell, Bryan Ruiz, André, Luc Castaignos, Bas Dost, Luís Eloi*, Matheus Pereira*

*B list

Edited 13/9 to include to include the B squad.

Stade Nyonnais 1-3 SPORTING

Stade Nyonnais 1-3 SPORTING

SPORTING XI: Vladimir Stojković; João Pereira (Scored, 27′) (Ricardo Esgaio, 78′), Naldo, Paulo Oliveira (Ewerton, 81′), Jefferson (Scored, 37′) (Marvin Zeegelaar, 78′); João Palhinha (Radosav Petrović, 63′), Alberto Aquilani (Bryan Ruiz, 63′), Bruno César (Carlos Mané 63′); Alan Ruiz (Scored, 12′) (Islam Slimani, 78′), Iuri Medeiros (Gelson Martins, 63′), Lukas Spalvis (Hernán Barcos, 54′)

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

SPORTING 1-1 Paços de Ferreira

Sporting will be extremely disappointed to only get a point at home to Paços de Ferreira. André Carrillo’s first half goal was cancelled out by Pelé’s penalty after João Pereira was sent off for a foul on Cícero.

Jorge Jesus started Alberto Aquilani ahead of Adrien Silva in midfield for his first start, and Fredy Montero started ahead of Teófilo Gutiérrez.

Perhaps tired from the game against CSKA, Sporting started off slowly in the game, though with plenty of possession.

Indeed, when Sporting did get their rhythm, late in the first half, it lead to the opening goal. André Carrillo slotting home after some excellent build-up play with Bryan Ruiz getting another assist.

Paços improved in the second-half but Sporting still looked closer to find a goal with Gelson Martins impressing.

Jorge Jesus was forced into a change after 71 minutes when Jefferson picked up an injury forcing Jonathan Silva on. Sporting will be hoping the Brazilian is fit enough for Wednesday’s big game.

Sporting fans had been happy with referee Manuel Oliveira and it so it was ironic that when he decided to send off João Pereira for a foul Cícero and award a penalty it was probably one of the few decisions Sporting fans agreed with. Midfielder Pelé made no mistake, sending Rui Patrício the wrong way.

With 10 men Sporting couldn’t find another way through a resolute Paços de Ferreira defence and there will be huge disappointment to be dropping 2 points at home so early in the season.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (RC), Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Jefferson (Jonathan Silva, 71′); Alberto Aquilani (Adrien Silva, 63′), João Mário; Bryan Ruiz, André Carrillo; Fredy Montero (Gelson Martins, 46′), Islam Slimani
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Ricardo Esgaio, Carlos Mané, Teófilo Gutiérrez

Sporting Announce Champions League Squad

Sporting have announced their squad for the upcoming Champions League play-off games against CSKA Moscow. The inclusions of William Carvalho and Ewerton, who have been injured over pre-season, is a welcome return.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck, Ažbe Jug
Defenders: João Pereira, Ricardo Esgaio, Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Ewerton, Jefferson, Jonathan Silva
Médios: William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Alberto Aquilani, João Mário, André Martins
Avançados: André Carrillo, Bryan Ruiz, Junya Tanaka, Fredy Montero, Teófilo Gutiérrez, Islam Slimani

This, of course, doesn’t include the “B” list of players allowed to be included to Champions League squads. Any players can be registered who were born after 1st January 1994. This includes the likes of Wallyson Mallmann, Rúben Semedo, Gelson Martins and Carlos Mané.

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.

Sporting Players in Portugal’s 30-Man World Cup Squad

The 30-man preliminary squad for Portugal’s World Cup campaign has been released with some surprises.

Paulo Bento has called up Rui Patrício, William Carvalho and João Mário into the team but hasn’t called up Cédric Soares or Adrien Silva.

Rui Patrício and William Carvalho were certainties but the inclusion of João Mário in the squad is a big surprise although the midfielder, who spent 2014 on loan at Vitória de Setúbal, is unlikely to progress into the final squad.

Elsewhere there are spots for former Sporting youth products Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, João Moutinho, Beto, Ricardo Quaresma, Miguel Veloso, André Almeida and Silvestre Varela, as well as former Sporting players João Pereira and Hélder Postiga.

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.