SPORTING 1-4 AS Monaco

It was a disappointing result for Sporting’s first competitive friendly of the 2016/2017 season, losing 4-1 to Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco in Switzerland.

Jorge Jesus started the game with just one recognised midfielder, debutant Radosav Petrović played alongside captain Bryan Ruiz in the middle of the pitch. Otherwise, there was some familiar names to the starting line-up.

Sporting started off well but Valère Germain scored early on for Monaco. Daniel Podence pulled one back with great skill after the 20 minute mark but the lead didn’t last long when Radamel Falcao was given space in the box to head home.

In the second-half Monaco were much the better side, ex-Sporting manager Leonardo Jardim’s side were clearly in better shape and sharpness after having started pre-season earlier. Radamel Falcao grabbed a second to make it 3 before Guido Carrillo finished the scoring.

Sporting will be back in action tomorrow against Stade Nyonnais before facing Zenit St. Petersburg, PSV Eindhoven and Lyon.

SPORTING XI: Ažbe Jug; Ezequiel Schelotto, Sebastián Coates, Rúben Semedo, Marvin Zeegelaar (Jefferson, 74′); Radosav Petrović (João Palhinha, 64′), Bryan Ruiz (Alberto Aquilani, 74′); Matheus Pereira (Bruno César, 64′), Gelson Martins (Teófilo Gutiérrez, 64′), Daniel Podence (Scored, 21′, YC) (Iuri Medeiros, 64′); Hernán Barcos (Islam Slimani, 64′)


Transfer Round-Up 2014: Departures

It was another hectic transfer window for Sporting with plenty of entrances and exits. Here’s a round up of every move out of the club this summer. We’ll be recapping the exciting signings later on.


Leonardo Jardim to AS Monaco (€3,000,000): After an impressive season with Sporting, Monaco came calling and chose Leonardo Jardim to replace Claudio Ranieri. Sporting got compensation for the move thought to be about €3,000,000. It seems Jardim left on good terms and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him return at some point in the future.

Victor Golas to Braga (Undisclosed): The Polish-Brazilian goalkeeper move on after failing to break into the Sporting team. At 23-years old he now needs competitive football but now needs to get ahead of Stanislav Kritsyuk. No word on any fees for the player but it is likely to minimal with a view to Sporting getting a cut of a future transfer.

Fabián Rinaudo to Catania (€3,000,000): It’s a shame to see Fito Rinaudo leave. The fierce Argentinian midfielder always gave everything he had in a Sporting shirt. The emergence of William Carvalho however meant he was unable to find a place in the team again. Unfortunately, with Catania’s relegation last season it now means the player will be in Serie B and he really deserves better. €3,000,000 isn’t a bad fee and Sporting have made a profit from him.

Wilson Eduardo to Dinamo Zagreb (Loan): Despite scoring a few goals in pre-season Wilson Eduardo was loaned out to Dinamo Zagreb and the Croatian club have an option to buy the player for a future fee. Eduardo simply had too much competition with other recognised wingers Diego Capel, André Carrillo, Carlos Mané, Shikabala and now Nani all fighting for places in the team.

Diogo Salomão to Deportivo de La Coruña (Loan): Another stint to Deportivo for Salomão as he recovers from the serious injury he picked up there last season. It’s likely that at some point Deportivo may actually pay for the player they keep signing.

Zezinho to AEL Limassol (Loan): It’s a shame for Zezinho, after being promoted to the first team by Jesualdo Ferreira a couple of seasons ago he’s never been give a chance to try and find his way back. He’s give another loan out and a chance to use the Greek he picked up at Veria. AEL have the option to buy the player should they choose to.

Valentín Viola to Kardemir Karabükspor (Loan): Viola seemed determined to try and fight for his space at Sporting and was back in training and given time to impress. Unfortunately for him he was deemed surplus and will now spend next out on loan. The Turkish club have the option to buy as well.

Eric Dier to Tottenham Hotspur (€4,000,000): Certainly the most disappointing departure for Sporting with such a meagre fee and the player’s potential. This season he would certainly have finally broken into a first team starting place but after failing to renegotiate a contract, the release clause value was a major issue, he left instead on a pittance.

William Owusu to Royal Antwerp (Free): The Ghanian failed to break through the Sporting team and instead had several loans to different clubs. Should be a good signing for Royal Antwerp.

Marcos Rojo to Manchester United (€20,000,000): Well this is a transfer that’s going to keep on going for a while. The fallout between Sporting and third-party company Doyen Sports was not pretty and will certainly lead to legal action. Sporting have paid €4,000,000 to Spartak Moscow and the original sum (believed to be a similar fee) to Doyen Sports. For now.

Rúben Semedo to Reus Deportiu (Loan): A good loan for both sides. Semedo needed some non B-team football and it seemed still had some issues after recently being suspended. Tobias Figueiredo seemed to benefit to a loan at Reus last season so hopefully Semedo will do the same.

Vítor Silva to Reus Deportiu (Free): A Shame for Vítor Silva to be stepping down so many divisions but good that at least he will be playing more football.

Hugo Sousa to Waasland-Beveren (Free): Hugo Sousa was always a solid utility player for Sporting B covering all defensive positions as well as defensive midfield. Still, a move to another club is certainly a good option for him.

Mickaël Meira to AEL Limassol (Undisclosed): Unlikely to be a large fee, if any, for the young goalkeeper who spent his last 5 seasons coming through the Sporting ranks. Hopefully, he’ll now get some more game time. Sporting will be receiving 40% of any future transfer fees for the player.

Kikas to Rapid București (Loan): Kikas has spent almost his entire life at the club and it’s such a shame he can’t quite manage to break into the first team. A spell at Rapid București should do him some good though. The Romanian club have the option of purchasing the player for €4,000,000 at the end of the spell.

Luka Stojanović to Apollon Limassol (Undisclosed): Was highly promising when he first signed for the club but it seems Stojanović was deemed surplus. His move to Apollon should kick start his career but no word of any fees or future sales fees.

Betinho to Brentford (Loan): Probably the least expected of the loans but certainly a small coup for Brentford. Betinho will wear the 22 shirt for the team currently 8th in the Championship.

Estimated Transfer Income: (~€23,000,000)

Overall not a bad window for Sporting although the departure of Eric Dier for such a nominal fee is disappointing. The club’s profit on Rojo (if it stands) made the significant amount of money for the club.

Most importantly Sporting managed to keep hold of the likes of William Carvalho, Rui Patrício, Islam Slimani, Adrien Silva, etc.

News Round-Up 02/07: Sporting Sign Ryan Gauld

Sporting have completed the surprising signing of Dundee United Ryan Gauld for a fee of approximately €3,750,000. The announcement was made on the night of Sporting’s 108th birthday with Gauld signing a 6-year contract with a release fee clause of €60m.

18-year old Gauld, who was been nicknamed “Mini-Messi”, had been linked with a whole host of clubs after breaking through into the Dundee United team including Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. Last season Gauld scores 7 goals in 37 games for the Dundee club.

At last night’s birthday gala Sporting (I Gala Honoris Sporting) presented its own awards here are the nominations and results from the football-related categories:

Youth Team of the Year was won by the U16 Juvenis B. They beat out competition from U17 Juvenis A, U16 Iniciados A, and U14 Incidiados B.

Best Academia Sporting football school was won by (Escolas Acadmeia Sporting Club Internacional de Foot-Ball) EAS CIF ahead of EAS Carnide, EAS Póvoa de Santa Iria and EAS Toronto.

Revelation of the Year went to, unsurprisingly, William Carvalho. Almost nominated were Carlos Mané, Cédric Soares, and João Mário.

William Carvalho of course one Footballer of the Year with Adrien Silva, Fredy Montero and Marcos Rojo also in contention.

And finally, Coach of the Year was won by Leonardo Jardim, beating out youth coach José Lima, U16 coach Pedro Gonçalves and U14 coach Tiago Fernandes.

Also presented last night were the club’s new kits for the upcoming season. After Sporting’s deal with Puma expired Macron are now manufacturing the kits. The goalkeeper’s shirt can be second second from left and the away and home kits fifth and sixth in the row.

Elsewhere defender Maurício admitted he would consider a call up to the Portugal national team should he not be called up by Brazil. Although with Paulo Bento’s well known dislike of “naturalised” players this option seems unlikely.

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%.

News Round-Up 13/5

All three of the Portuguese daily sports papers are going with the story of AS Monaco looking to bring in Leonardo Jardim to replace Claudio Ranieri. The Italian has guided the cash-rich club from Ligue 2 to 2nd place in Ligue 1 but rumours are mounting that Monaco will instead be hiring Jardim. Record say that should they do so Sporting will be entitled to €3 or €5m in compensation depending on which article you read. RTP state that they think Jardim’s departure to Monaco will be announced within the next few hours.

Should the Jardim to Monaco deal go through it seems Sporting have their replacement ready made in Marco Silva. Silva guided Estoril to a very impressive 4th position this year but has refused to renew his contract with the club adding to the rumours.

Monaco aren’t the only club interesting in the services of Leonardo Jardim, the manager has also been linked with jobs at Tottenham Hotspur and PAOK.

Elsewhere, Fabián Rinaudo expects to continue playing in Italy. The Argentine midfielder has been on loan at Catania where the club have an option of buying the player for €5m. It seems to the club can’t afford the figure so another loan deal maybe likely.

Wilson Eduardo is wanted by… Angola. The forward was born in Portugal but is eligible to play for Angola despite playing for Portugal at U21 level.

Sticking with international news Iuri Medeiros and Rúben Semedo have been called up to Portugal’s U20 squad for the 2014 Toulon Tournament. They could face teammate Eric Dier who has been selected for England’s team.

Meanwhile there are 4 players called up for Portugal’s U19 team with Hélio Sousa naming Mauro Riquicho, João Palhinha, Gelson Martins and Domingos Duarte.

Leões/Lions Awards 2014

Much like this blog, in the last few weeks Sporting have put their foot off the pedal after second place and an automatic Champions League group stage spot was secured. So, with the season now over, it’s time for the 3rd Annual Leões/Lions Awards.

It’s a complete turn around from last year in which it was difficult to give out any awards in what was a terrible season but under Bruno de Carvalho and Leonardo Jardim times are looking up again. So, without further ado…

Goal of the Season: Carlos Mané vs. Marítimo (Link) – Not a bad way to mark your first start for the senior side, huh? This is really the break out goal for Carlos Mané and seems to have helped cement his place in the first team. The technique is brilliant with goalkeeper Wellington Lima only able to admire the shot that hits just under the bar. Glorious.
Runners Up: Fredy Montero (3rd) vs. Arouca (Link), Adrien Silva vs. Paços de Ferreira (Link)
Bonus: Wilson Eduardo vs. Rio Ave (Link), Cédric Soares vs. Braga (Link), André Carrillo vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Link), Diego Capel vs. Marítimo (Link), Carlos Mané vs. Rio Ave (Link)
2013: Ricky van Wolfswinkel vs. Braga (Link)
2012: Marat Izmailov vs. Rio Ave (Link)

Worst Signing of the Season: Gérson Magrão – This is a difficult award to give out as there weren’t any real flops as there certainly were last season. The players who didn’t show enough quality were all players signed on loan – so no real money wasted either. What makes this especially difficult is that Leonardo Jardim stuck with his best XI wherever possible and so the likes of Gérson Magrão, Iván Piris and Vítor Silva got very little game time at all. Gérson Magrão started the very first game of the season and was substituted in the first half for André Martins – evidence of how little effect he had. Gérson didn’t seem to do much else besides make up the numbers in midfield and rarely showed any sort of creation. He’ll surely be off somewhere else next season.
Runner Up: Welder (Barely played, didn’t even play well for the B team), Iván Piris (Did OK, I guess)
2013: Khalid Boulahrouz
2012: Valeri Bojinov

Best Signing of the Season: Leonardo Jardim – No contest really. Leonardo Jardim has really turned this team around this year. He has said all the right things whenever possible and, should he stick with us, will certainly help take this team forward next season. Jardim also brought Carlos Mané through the B team to great effect and was starting to give more B team players a chance before the season ended. With just 3 league defeats this season as well some very unfortunate cup knock-outs Sporting managed to finish 6 points clear of Porto in 2nd place. Who would have predicted that at the start of the season? A fantastic turn around spearheaded by the manager.
Runners Up: Islam Slimani (Came from nowhere and turned into Super Sub and the man with the golden head), Jefferson (Goal threat as well as being a really solid full back), Fredy Montero (If only he played in 2014 like he did in 2013 but he could be great next season)
2013: Fabrice Fokobo
2012: Stijn Schaars

U23 Player of the Season: William Carvalho – An easy decision really. It’s hard to believe that William Carvalho only just turned 22 last month. He’s played like a midfielder in his prime with a decade of international experience and deserves all the awards he will be sweeping up this year. We’ll talk about him some more shortly…
Runners Up: Carlos Mané (Fantastic impact in 2014), André Carrillo (Still capable of brilliance), Eric Dier (Solid whenever he’s played in defence, not so in midfield)
2013: André Martins
2012: Ricky van Wolfswinkel

B-Team Player of the Season: Ricardo Esgaio – Surely next season he will make his break through to the first team. Ricardo Esgaio once again was the top scorer for the B team with 16 goals in 39 matches in the Segunda Liga. An incredibly versatile player who turning 21 in just a few days time will surely be a part of the first team plans for next season.
Runners Up: Iuri Medeiros (Fantastic talent but with a possible attitude problem), Wallyson Mallmann (Really improved in 2014 and has been on the fringes of the first team), Rúben Semedo (Should be pushing for the first team next season)
2013: Ricardo Esgaio

Player of the Season: William Carvalho – Obviously. Sir William Carvalho has made the Primeira Liga his all season from his very first commanding performance against Arouca and has been brilliant in almost every single game since. Excellent strength, ball control, positioning, timing, and rapidly improving his passing with every game. The only wonder now is whether he will stay for Champions League football next season or whether he will move onto to another club for big money.
Runners Up: Adrien Silva (Finally becoming the player he looked liked he would be. Deserves to be on the plane to Brazil), Cédric Soares (Well deserved first Portugal appearance, another huge improvement), Jefferson (Solid every single game)
2013: Rui Patrício
2012: Rui Patrício

Result: Belenenses 0-1 SPORTING

Sporting secured Champions League football and second place in the Primeira Liga with a 1-0 win over Belenenses thanks to Adrien Silva’s penalty.

With Cédric Soares suspended Leonardo Jardim elected to play Iván Piris at right-back. Elsewhere Carlos Mané and Diego Capel supported Islam Slimani up front.

It proved to be a tricky evening in the Restelo and Adrien Silva’s yellow card on the 38th minute means he will miss the next game against Nacional.

André Martins had the best chance of the first half for Sporting but they were unable to break the deadlock.

It took just 7 minutes of the second half for Sporting to take the lead though. Carlos Mané was brought down by João Meira and referee Cosme Machado pointed to the spot. Adrien Silva cooly stepped up to put Sporting ahead.

The home side improved after going a goal down and started to trouble Sporting. Marcos Rojo was given a straight red card, perhaps unfortunately so, in the 79th minute but Sporting managed to hang on to win and secure Champions League football.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Iván Piris, Maurício, Marcos Rojo (RC), Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva (Scored, 52′) (YC), André Martins (YC); Carlos Mané (Eric Dier, 84′), Diego Capel (André Carrillo, 72′), Islam Slimani (Fredy Montero, 77′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Ricardo Esgaio, Vítor Silva, Héldon Ramos

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.

Transfer News 26/03/14

Here we go with another look at the transfer news and/or lies from the media recently.

Record believes Sporting are looking Vitória de Setúbal forward Pedro Tiba to reinforce the team next season. The papers states Sporting’s good relations with Setúbal could ease the transfer.

In fairly unsurprising news it looks like Sporting won’t be retaining Gérson Magrão’s services after this season. The Brazilian has failed to impress when he has featured for Sporting so far this season. Record also say that Vítor Silva could also leave at the end of the season.

Sporting are looking to secure a further 20% of the economic rights for left-back Jefferson with the club currently owning 60% of the former Estoril player – this could cost Sporting €300,000.

Time is running out for Elias to secure a return to Brazil with the transfer window for clubs in Brazil shutting on the 31st March. Corinthians are the most recent club said to be interested in making a new offer.

As always, William Carvalho is being linked with other clubs, AS Monaco the most recent to be linked with the player.

And to save the most bizarre news to last – Leonardo Jardim is currently at 8/1 to become the next Nottingham Forest manager according to Sky Bet. Having said that, Sky Bet always publish ridiculous things like that to get people to give up more money.

Lisbon Derby Postponed Until Tuesday 20:15

The Lisbon derby has been postponed until tomorrow at 20:15 after heavy winds compromised the integrity of the roof at the Estádio da Luz.

With various bits of the stadium raining down the only safe thing to do was postpone the game. Hopefully, Benfica will be able to fix the problem with their stadium.

Portuguese Football League president Mario Figueiredo said: “There were small pieces of glass which had come off the roof.

“An emergency meeting was held around 15 minutes before the kick-off and we asked the civil defence if the game could go ahead. They said it couldn’t and told us to evacuate the stadium as quickly as possible.

“Fortunately this measure was decided in good time because shortly afterwards the pieces (of the roof) started to fall. A tragedy was avoided.

“We had to take this drastic decision.”

Up until then though teams had been announced and, more than likely, these will be the same teams that will kick-off on Tuesday. Leonardo Jardim named:

Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Maurício, Marcos Rojo, Iván Piris; Eric Dier, Adrien Silva, André Martins; Héldon Ramos, Fredy Montero, Islam Slimani

A very interesting line up from Leonardo Jardim who named Fredy Montero and Islam Slimani starting for the first time this season. Héldon was also set to make his debut and as expected Piris filling in for Jefferson and Eric Dier filling in for William Carvalho.

Jorge Jesus lined up with a more usual starting eleven of:

Jan Oblak; Maxi Pereira, Ezequiel Garay, Luisão, Siqueira; Nicolás Gaitán, Ljubomir Fejsa, Enzo Pérez, Lazar Markovic; Lima, Rodrigo