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…

Advertisements

News: João Mário, Pedro Delgado, Luc Castaignos, Naldo

João Mário is in Milan to complete his signing with Internazionale. The two clubs seem to have finally come to an agreement and, presumably, Inter have managed to make the transfer work whilst still agreeing with Financial Fair Play. The transfer should be made official soon.

The signing of Pedro Delgado from Inter is also nearly complete. The player is apparently in Lisbon completing his medical. The player has apparently had other proposals from clubs in England and Italy but is set to return to Sporting, where he previously featured at youth level.

Sporting are apparently close to completing the signing of Luc Castaignos from Eintracht Frankfurt. The Dutch striker, who turns 24 in September, will be signing for a fee believed to be between €2.5m and €3m according to Mais Futebol. The signing of Castaignos would certainly make Islam Slimani’s departure a more likely outcome. Indeed, France Football were reporting that Leicester City want to up their bid for the Algerian striker.

Naldo has left Sporting to join Krasnodar on a permanent transfer. It was initially believed to be a loan deal but the Russian club have signed the player for 4 seasons. Once again, no word yet of a transfer fee.

One transfer fee we do know is that Douglas Teixeira joined Sporting for €1m, aaccording to Trabzonspor themselves. If Douglas is the replacement to Naldo, it looks like Sporting may have made a profit with that one.

Champions League Draw, Douglas, André

There’s plenty of big news to catch up on with the Champions League draw, the signings of Douglas and André, the departure of Alberto Aquilani, and the usual transfer rumours.

Firstly, we’ll look at the Champions League draw. It’s a very tough group for Sporting but does involve the return of a familiar face to the Alvalade. Here are the full Champions League fixtures:

14th September: Real Madrid vs. SPORTING
27th September: SPORTING vs. Legia Warszawa
18th October: SPORTING vs. Borussia Dortmund
2nd November: Borussia Dortmund vs. SPORTING
22nd November: SPORTING vs. Real Madrid
7th December: Legia Warszawa vs. SPORTING

It’s looking like 3rd place is going to be the most likely outcome of that group but the return of Cristiano Ronaldo should be a great moment.

Madrid, Dortmund and Legia will also be the opponents for Sporting’s U19 side as Sporting return to the UEFA Youth League.

Yesterday Sporting also completed the long expected transfer of Douglas Teixeira from Trabzonspor. The Brazilian turned Dutch central defender has a 3-year contract with the option of an extra year.

No word of a transfer fee but the 28-year old is going to find it difficult to get in the team ahead of Rúben Semedo and Sebastián Coates. This is should accelerate the departures of Naldo, rumoured to be joining Krasnodar on loan shortly, and Ewerton.

The departure of Alberto Aquilani has finally concluded. The Italian midfielder rescinded his contract and has joined Pescara.

Before that, on Wednesday evening there was the signing of Brazilian forward André from Corinthians. Apparently, Sporting have used some of the debt owed the club by Corinthians (back from the transfer of Elias) as part of the transfer fee but no official word on the value.

André signs a contract until 2019 with an option of 2 more seasons and a release clause of €60,000,000.

According to O Jogo, Sporting want to give a new contract to Gelson Martins. Martins currently has a contract until 2021, however Sporting want to increase the player’s wages as well extend the length of the contract.

A Bola say that there are Primeira Liga clubs looking to sign Daniel Podence on loan, with Sporting willing to allow the player to gain experience elsewhere.

Finally, the rumours of the signing of Bas Dost have returned. If you believe all the rumours then Sporting have competition from some English sides however should Sporting sign the Wolfsburg man it is likely it could lead to the exit of Islam Slimani.

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 2-1 CSKA Moscow

From Portugoal.net:

In-form CSKA have a vital away goal but Sporting are ahead on aggregate after a fast paced and highly entertaining game at the Alvalade to make Jorge Jesus 3 for 3 as Sporting manager.Colombian

Teófilo Gutíerrez put Sporting ahead early on before Rui Patrício saved a penalty. Seydou Doumbia equalised for CSKA but Islam Slimani grabbed the winner as Sporting left it late again ahead of tough second leg.

Sporting haven’t had the best of times in Champions League qualifying rounds, having not progressed from shtiks stage since the 1997. Not to mention, Sporting’s terrible record against Russian opposition and, of course, that UEFA Cup final 10 years ago.

Jorge Jesus named the same starting XI that featured in the games against Benfica and Tondela so far this season. Leonid Slutsky gave a first start to the returning Seydou Doumbia for the Ivorian’s second stint at the club. The forward had returned to the club in CSKA’s recent derby win over CSKA.

The home side, in front of an atmospheric Alvalade, began with rapid aggressive football and got their reward early on when Bryan Ruiz’ excellent pass found André Carrillo. The Peruvian found Téofilo Gutiérrez to scramble the ball home to give Sporting the best of starts.

CSKA responded well though and their pace going forward with Zoran Tosic and Ahmed Musa was a great threat to Sporting’s full backs as they tried to unlock the Jesus offside trap.

It was Zoran Tosic who won a penalty for CSKA after 26 minutes when he was brought down by Jefferson. Seydou Doumbia stepped up to score his first goal for CSKA since his return but Rui Patrício did excellently well to palm away.

The game opened up even more with exciting fast football coming from both sides. Islam Slimani had an excellent chance to double Sporting’s lead but fired wide and Ahmed Musa had a powerful shot fizz just wide of Patrício’s post.

Sporting’s offside trap was broken in the 41st minute to give CSKA the equaliser, Doumbia finding himself almost entirely alone in the Sporting half and then cooly rounding Rui Patrício and slotting into give CSKA what could be a vital away goal.

There was a similar energy in the second-half as i the first, though CSKA sat deeper, looking to counter attack when possible.

Bryan Ruiz felt he should have had a penalty when he was fouled in the area. Indeed, there were similarities with that incident and the original penalty from CSKA. This proved to be the last contribution from Bryan Ruiz as Jorge Jesus brought on Alberto Aquilani for the Italian’s debut.

Sergei Ignashevich almost gave CSKA a second goal in the 68th minute when he had a free header from a corner, but the Russian defender’s effort when just wide.

Sporting were aggrieved to have another penalty not given, when Vasili Berezutski used his hand to prevent Slimani a headed effort on target. Again Cüneyt Çakir waved away the protests, though this was the clearest penalty incident of the night.

Jorge Jesus threw his last roll of the dice bringing on home grown youngsters Carlos Mané and Gelson Martins for Teófilo Gutiérrez and João Mário to try and grab another goal.

The plan almost back-fired when CSKA again found space behind the Sporting defence, this time Rui Patrício preventing Doumbia from heading the Moscow side ahead.

Sporting were the team looking most likely to score though, with plenty of possession but finding CSKA a tough nut to crack. That changed in the 83rd minute when Alberto Aquilani chipped the ball forward to Slimani, who controlled well, playing a one-two on the edge of the area with Carrillo before finishing past Igor Akinfeev.

Sporting held on to what could well be a tight lead before facing CSKA in Moscow. Though, with their vastly improved rapid attacking movements may fancy themselves to score against CSKA once again. Jorge Jesus’ transformation of the teams system and playing style is becoming all the more evident.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (YC), Naldo, Paulo Oliveira, Jefferson (YC); Adrien Silva, João Mário (Carlos Mané, 76′); André Carrillo, Bryan Ruiz (Alberto Aquilani, 65′); Teófilo Gutiérrez (Scored 12′, YC) (Gelson Martins, 76′), Islam Slimani (Scored 82′, YC)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Tobias Figueiredo, Ricardo Esgaio, Fredy Montero

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.