SPORTING 2-0 Marítimo

Sporting got off to a winning start in the 2016/2017 Primeira Liga with a convincing 2-0 victory over Marítimo with Sebastián Coates and Bryan Ruiz getting the goals in front of an atmospheric Alvalade.

Jorge Jesus was without the suspended Islam Slimani so Alan Ruiz debuted up front, besides that it was a familiar looking Sporting side. João Mário, despite ever increasing speculation of his move to Internazionale, started in midfield. Hernán Barcos was also on the bench before his loan move to Argentina.

Sporting started the better of the two teams but the first highlight of the match was Rui Patrício making another fantastic save. Marítimo’s Gevaro set up Babá Diawara from close range but Patrício denied what as to be a certain goal from close range.

Sebastián Coates scored the first goal for Sporting this season when João Mário’s corner found the Uruguayan towering to head past Eduardo Gottardi.

Jesus made one change at half-time bringing on Bruno César for Jefferson.

The second goal came in the 61st minute when Gelson Martins did well to cross low for Bryan Ruiz to tap in from close range.

Late in the second-half João Mário was replaced by Bruno Paulista, the Brazilian’s first appearance for the first team since November. The reception from the Alvalade for the European champion João Mário however does reinforce the idea he will soon be leaving.

It was an in all impressive, if comfortable, start to the season and Sporting will certainly be glad to put the poor pre-season behind them now.

Next up is a journey to Paços de Ferreira on the 18th August, Paços drew their first game of the season 1-1 with Moreirense.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Rubén Semedo, Sebastián Coates (Scored, 21′), Jefferson (Bruno César, 46′); William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, João Mário (Bruno Paulista, 90′), Gelson Martins (Ezequiel Schelotto, 84′); Bryan Ruiz (Scored, 61′), Alan Ruiz (YC)
Substitutes Not Used: Beto, Naldo, Matheus Pereira, Hernán Barcos


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:

vs. Marítimo (Home)
vs. Paços de Ferreira (Away)
vs. FC Porto (Home)
vs. Moreirense (Home)
vs. Rio Ave (Away)
vs. Estoril (Home)
vs. Vitória de Guimarães (Away)
vs. Tondela (Home)
vs. Nacional (Away)
vs. Arouca (Home)
vs. Boavista (Away)
vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Home)
vs. Benfica (Away)
vs. Braga (Home)
vs. Belenenses (Away)
vs. Feirense (Home)
vs. Chaves (Away)
vs. Marítimo (Away)
vs. Paços de Ferreira (Home)
vs. FC Porto (Away)
vs. Moreirense (Away)
vs. Rio Ave (Home)
vs. Estoril (Away)
vs. Vitória de Guimarães (Home)
vs. Tondela (Away)
vs. Nacional (Home)
vs. Arouca (Away)
vs. Boavista (Home)
vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Away)
vs. Benfica (Home)
vs. Braga (Away)
vs. Belenenses (Home)
vs. Feirense (Away)
vs. Chaves

News Round-Up 30/05

A round-up of some of the news from Portugal’s daily papers…

This year’s Taça da Honra will be held at the Estádio do Restelo with Sporting, Benfica, Belenenses and Estoril once again competing. Current holders Sporting will kick-off on the 18th July against Belenenses before potentially facing Benfica or Estoril in the final on the 20th July. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Taça da Honra.

O Jogo is reporting that André Martins is set to be offered a contract extension that will extended his deal at the club until 2018. The negotiations have been going on but the paper reports that it is likely to be finalised with Martin on a €35,000-a-week contract with a €45,000,000 release clause.

In transfer rumours Arsenal at the latest club to be linked with Eric Dier. Dier’s father was said to be unhappy with the defender’s lack of football last season but with Marcos Rojo looking likely to leave Dier could soon find himself in playing more next season although he will have to compete with new signing Paulo Oliveira for that spot. Arsenal are apparently willing to offer €6,000,000 for the player.

Marcos Rojo rumours are continuing in full force with Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona the latest clubs rumoured to be in for the defender. Sporting are said to be hoping for between €10-15m before they decide to sell.

There are apparently more options for Fabián Rinaudo should he wish to leave the club. As well as Catania being extremely interested the midfielder has been linked with a whole host of clubs in his native Argentina with Boca Juniors, Racing Club, Rosario Central and his former club Gimnasia La Plata all said to be interested.

Sporting have been linked with the signing of Iranian 18-year old left-winger Ali Hazami. Hazami is currently with Foolad FC in Iran and the player’s agent says that the player is just waiting for an offer from Sporting with Pohang Steelers of Korea also interested.

The transfer of Marko Petković from Red Star Belgrade is getting closer with Record saying the player has agreed to join the club and they are confident that the Serbian right-back will be Sporting’s 3rd signing of the transfer window.

Finally Sporting are also continuing their interest in Marítimo’s Derley. Record said that the player’s agent arrived in Portugal last Monday ahead of negotiations for the player.

Result: Marítimo 1-3 SPORTING

Sporting won a hard fought battle against Marítimo at the Estádio dos Barreiros. Adrien Silva opened the scoring with a penalty before Marítimo equalised through Theo Weeks. Goals from William Carvalho and Jefferson completed the win for Sporting.

Madeira-native Leonardo Jardim was without the injured André Martins. Jardim elected to start Carlos Mané in a deeper role instead and started Héldon Ramos in attack to face his former club. Maurício also reclaimed his position in defence ahead of Eric Dier, despite Dier’s excellent performance against Porto last week.

Sporting took the lead just 3 minutes in when Carlos Mané was brought down in the box. Adrien Silva stepped up and duly sent Romain Salin the wrong way to score his 7th goal of the season.

Marítimo equalised only 3 minutes later through a fine goal by Theo Weeks after good link up play with Nuno Rocha.

The visitors regained the lead 7 minutes before the break. A Sporting corner found the ball drop to William Carvalho, the midfielder’s shot sneaked it’s way through.

After the break it was Marítimo who had the most of the ball but couldn’t break through the Sporting defence.

Indeed, it was Islam Slimani who had the best chance of the game in the second half when he was put through by Héldon. The in-form Algerian’s shot went under the goalkeeper but Salin’s touched managed to send the ball wide.

Sporting managed to assure the points when Jefferson broke through down the left hand side and cooly slotted home to get his second goal at the club.

There was controversy minutes late when Islam Slimani had the ball in the net but the goal was ruled for offside. Replays showed that goal should have stood the increase the tally of disallowed goals for Sporting this season.

This was an important win for Sporting in one to keep ahead of Porto and keep the pressure on Benfica. In the quest to ensure automatic qualification to the Champions League this was perhaps one of the more difficult games left to play.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício (YC); Cédric Soares, Maurício (YC), Marcos Rojo, Jefferson (Scored, 84′) (YC); William Carvalho (Scored, 38′), Adrien Silva (Scored, 3′); Héldon Ramos (Fredy Montero, 79′, YC), Carlos Mané, Diego Capel (André Carrillo, 74′); Islam Slimani (YC) (Vítor Silva, 88′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Eric Dier, Gérson Magrão, Wilson Eduardo

André Martins a Doubt for Marítimo

André Martins is a doubt as to whether he will be fit enough to face Marítimo on Saturday.

The midfielder, who provided the assist for Islam Slimani in last weekend’s clássico, is currently being treated for a muscular problem.

Should Martins fail to make the game then it is likely that Gérson Magrão or Vítor Silva will fill in his spot in midfield.

January 2014 Transfer Window Round-Up

It was a busy transfer window for Sporting that went right to the last few seconds, here’s recap of the comings and goings of the January window:

Transfers In:

The transfer of Shikabala was completed just seconds before the closing of the transfer window. The terms with the player had been agreed early on in the day and the player had passed a medical before the transfer looked off due to complications with the player’s former club, Zamalek. Sporting were able to just make the transfer of the mercurial Egyptian playmaker in time with Sporting to pay approximately €500,000 to the club.

Shikabala has a contract until 2018 with a transfer release clause of €45,000,000 and will early the number 7 shirt.

Earlier on in the day Sporting also completed the transfer of Héldon Ramos from Marítimo for a fee of €1,400,000. An earlier bid by Sporting for both Héldon and Rúben Ferreira was turned down by Marítimo but the club were able to secure the transfer on deadline day.

Héldon has a contract until 2019 with a the familiar release clause of €45,000,000 and will be wearing the number 20 shirt.

Sticking with Marítimo, Sporting also agreed terms with Leocísio Sami to join the club for free at the beginning of the new season. Sami is out of contract with Marítimo this year but no word yet on the details of the contract.

That’s not all for what was a busy transfer deadline day, as Matías Pérez joined up with the B team. The Paraguayan central-defender from Club National will be on loan for 18 months at the club with Sporting have an option to buy in the future.

One big deal that was overshadowed perhaps was the completion of Fredy Montero’s transfer from Seattle Sounders. There was plenty of speculation that another club could snap up the Colombian forward but Sporting have made the deal permanent.

Elsewhere there was  the surprise signing of Ousmane Dramé on a free transfer from Padova to reinforce the B team. He will be another attacking option after the signing of Lewis Enoh from Sourense was completed just before the transfer window opened.

There was no departure for wantaway midfielder Elias with the club failing to agree terms with Flamengo and other interested clubs. For now the player is eligible to play for Sporting but that seems an unlikely outcome, the player will still be training with the B team, and it is likely that he can still move to Brazil where the season doesn’t begin until March.

Victor Golas also returns from his uneventful loan spell at Corona Braşov and will likely fight for his B team spot with Mickaël Meira and Luís Ribeiro.

Transfers Out:

The two big departures of the winter window were that of Jeffrén Suárez and Zakaria Labyad.

The former has rescinded his contract to join Real Valladolid. The club will save a massive €7.2m in future contracts to the player.

The latter, Labyad, was loaned out to Dutch club Vitesse where he will spend 18 months on loan with the club again saving money from the Moroccan’s wages.

A deal that was the most mutual was that of Fabián Rinaudo going on loan to Italian side Catania. The Argentine midfielder was finding it difficult to play any football due to the supreme season of William Carvalho. The midfielder was rewarded with a new contract as Sporting wish to keep hold of the midfielder if possible.

The only other permanent deal away from the club was that of Alexandre Guedes who joined Catalan club Reus Deportiu but there were plenty of other loan deals:

João Mário and Betinho to Vitória de Setúbal
Diogo Salomão to Deportivo de La Coruña
Salim Cissé to Arouca
Tobias Figueiredo to Reus Deportiu
Nuno Reis to Cercle Brugge

So it was in all a successful winter break for Sporting. The money saved from the wages of Zakaria Labyad and Jeffrén Suárez covering all of the signings into the club with some leftover.

Transfer News 29/01/14

There’s plenty of transfer news to catch up with after a busy few days…

Ousmane Dramé completed his free transfer to Sporting from Padova, where the player with the “troubled” past will begin with the B team. Dramé has a contract until 2018 with a release clause of €45,000,000.

Sporting are also on the verge of signing Egyptian forward Shikabala from Zamalek. The talented, if controversial, 27-year old is set to fly to Lisbon ahead of a medical before signing a contract tomorrow.

Sporting also bid for two Marítimo players, 25-year old Cape Verdean Héldon Ramos and 23-year old defender Rúben Ferreira. Marítimo president Carlos Pereira stated that Sporting’s bids were “ridiculous”.

That may not be all for Sporting. According to A Bola the club are set to complete an 18-month loan signing of Elton Monteiro from Clube Brugge. The Portugal U19 central defender will serve as reinforcements for the B team. Monteiro spent his youth career at FC Sion and Arsenal before moving to Belgium.

Tobias Figueiredo and Alexandre Guedes with both be leaving the club to join Spanish Segunda División B side CF Reus Deportiu. Tobias Figueiredo’s move will be loan until the end of the season whilst Alexandre Guedes will be joining the club permanently. Sporting will receive 40% of Alexandre Guedes’ future transfer fee.

Stick with Spain, Jeffrén Suárez is still no closer to move away from the club but has been recently touted with a move to Rayo Vallecano or Real Valladolid. There is also interesting from the MLS with Sporting Kansas City.

Result: SPORTING 3-0 Marítimo

A superb strike from Carlos Mané followed by goals from Vítor Silva and Marcos Rojo gave Sporting the win in the Taça da Liga against Marítimo in the Alvalade.

Leonardo Jardim made changes to his team for this Taça da Liga match. Marcelo Boeck started in goal, as he usually does in cup games, and elsewhere Eric Dier started in defence, Vítor Silva in midfield, Islam Slimani in attack, and most notably, a first start for Carlos Mané.

It was the youngster who made the biggest impression in the game early on. Some good link up with Jefferson down the left hand-side saw Mané cut inside on to his right foot and force a good save out of Wellington.

That though was just a sighter for his next shot. This time Adrien found Mané, who again cutting in from the left-side on to his right foot, the young winger curled a beautiful precision shot into the top corner with Wellington helpless.

Marítimo though threatened up front especially through the right hand side with Danilo Dias giving Jefferson a tough time.

Sporting, though, were almost the makers of their own undoing. A simple ball by Marcos Rojo was needlessly given away and Marítimo had an excellent chance. Héldon was found in the box and his first shot was well saved by Marcelo Boeck. The Brazilian goalkeeper did even better to prevent Héldon from scoring the rebound.

Seconds later and Sporting could have gone ahead. This time Carlos Mané operating down the right hand side pulled back for Islam Slimani to finish from close range but his shot was well blocked by the Marítimo defence.

A mistake by Eric Dier let in Marítimo after the young defender mistimed his header. Derley was away and Marcos Rojo had to step in and was lucky when his foul was only a yellow card when perhaps some referees may have shown red.

Sporting made a great start to the second-half as within 4 minutes Vítor Silva had made it 2-0. The move started play by Islam Slimani to hold the ball up, the Algerian then fed in Diego Capel down the right wing. Capel’s low cross fell to Vítor Silva at the far post who finished powerfully on the half-volley.

Marítimo did well after that and had several chances to peg Sporting back. Marcelo Boeck however had an outstanding game and Eric Dier made a couple of great late interventions.

Marcos Rojo polished off the scoreline in the 84th minute as he headed in powerfully from a Jefferson corner to make it 3-0, and add to the crucial Taça da Liga goal difference.

Despite some frailties in defence it was an excellent performance from Sporting with Marcelo Boeck, William Carvalho and Carlos Mané in particular impressing. The 3 goal cushion also puts pressure on Porto as they face Penafiel tomorrow.

SPORTING XI: Marcelo Boeck; Cédric Soares, Eric Dier, Marcos Rojo (YC) (Scored, 84′), Jefferson; William Carvalho (YC), Adrien Silva (YC) (Gérson Magrão, 73′), Vítor Silva (Scored, 49′); Carlos Mané (Scored, 18′) (Diogo Salomão, 83′), Diego Capel (André Carrillo, 67′), Islam Slimani
Substitutes Not Used: Rui Patrício, Maurício, André Martins, Fredy Montero

Sami Wants to Join Sporting

Nélson Almeida, he agent of Marítimo forward Leocísio Sami, says the player is open to a move to Sporting at the end of the season when his contract with the Funchal club expires.

Talking to Renascença he said that, although there has been no contact from Sporting, that should the player receive an offer he would be willing to move to a more ambitious club.

Sporting have repeatedly stated that they are currently happy with the current squad so any decision with ultimately fall to Bruno de Carvalho, Augusto Inácio and Leonardo Jardim.

Taça da Liga Draw: Porto, Marítimo and Penafiel

The draw for the 3rd round of the Taça da Liga yesterday and Sporting have been handed a difficult group. Sporting will host Porto (December 29th) and Marítimo (January 15th) before playing away against Penafiel (January 25th).

Should Sporting manage to qualify from Group B they will face the winners of Group D which includes Benfica, Gil Vicente, Leixões and Nacional.