Transfer Round Up 2013: Departures

So, that’s the transfer window done and dusted and all around there’s quite a few positives for the club, Bruno de Carvalho and Sporting fans.

In a nice two-part post let’s look at the departures from the club before we get to the good stuff:

Gael Etock to Cercle Brugge (loan): There was initially some confusion as to whether or not this move was a loan or a permanent deal. Judging by the fact that the Belgian club’s website states his contract is until 2014 we’ll assume that this is a loan deal. Cercle Brugge is essentially our feeder club, after all. Etock was called up to a few of Jesualdo Ferreira’s first team squads last season but could only make the bench some more competitive team football may well be what he needs.

Renato Neto to Gent (loan): I had though perhaps that Renato Neto may get some B team action this year but he has been sent to Gent on loan again for another season. The Brazilian midfielder still has a contract with Sporting until 2015 so still has a chance to make an impact at the club when he returns.

Gelson Fernandes to Freiburg (€500,000): He must definitely won’t be missed. Failed to produce much in his stint with the club and was loaned out to FC Sion as soon as possible.

Farley Rosa to FK Sevastopol (?): Initially Farley Rosa looked rather good for the U19 team. Some may remember his fantastic goal against Liverpool at Anfield in the NextGen tournament. He couldn’t force his way into the B team last year and was moved on to Ukrainian club Sevastopol. No idea about any fees involved (I assume there was at least something) as this was not a widely reported on transfer.

Luís Cortez to Belenenses (?): A similar case here to the Farley Rosa transfer. Another youngster who showed some promise but perhaps just wasn’t good enough to make the grade at the Alvalade. At Belenenses he may have hoped to get some first team football was immediately loaned out to SC União Torreense.

Miguel Lázaro to Vitória FC (?): 18-year old goalkeeper who made the transfer to the other side of the river to join Setúbal.

Miguel Lopes to Lyon (loan): The French club have an option to purchase the right-back for €10,000,000 should they want to. The main reason for this loan is Miguel Lopes’ high wages (thanks again, Godinho). He had a fairly solid end to the season although nothing spectacular.

Stijn Schaars and Santiago Arias to PSV Eindhoven (€1,600,000): Stijn Schaars’ sale is another transfer that aimed to reduce the wage budget although last year he was not nearly as good as he was in his debut season. The price is perhaps a little low when you consider how promising Santiago Arias looked at times whilst still being very young. Hopefully the club has inserted a % of future sale clause in his contract.

Sunil Chhetri to JSW Bangalore (?): Sunil Chhetri barely got a look-in at Sporting B last year and the entire transfer seemed like a ploy by Godinho Lopes to try and get some interest from Indian investors or tap into the market there. Neither or those worked and we also got a player who was not very good. No word on the transfer fee (if any).

Valentín Viola to Racing Club (loan): Viola returns to the club he calls home to Racing Club (he has a tattoo of the club’s crest on his arm). The Argentinian forward never impressed to much at the Alvalade scoring just 2 goals in 28 games. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t not make his return to his old club permanent after the loan deal is done.

Jorge Chula to Marítimo (free): Signed as an addition to the B team, Jorge Chula never managed to impress too much. A solid player that should do just fine at Marítimo instead.

Leandro Grimi to Godoy Cruz (?): Leandro Grimi looked very promising once upon a time after first arriving at AC Milan. He never managed to build on that and he has moved permanently to the club where he was on loan last year. No word on any fee but I imagine not much if anything.

Nii Plange to Vitória Guimarães (free): Nii Plange was signed essentially to fill out the ranks of the B team last year. The Burkinabé / Ghanian isn’t a bad player and will probably do ok at Guimarães and indeed Sporting will receive 50% of any future transfer fee.

André Santos to Vitória Guimarães (free): We all had high hopes for André Santos but it seems his development stalled and now was perhaps the perfect time for him to leave the club. André Santos’ contract was terminated with the club so he was free to move on.

Atila Turan to Stade de Reims (free): Turan looked promising when he first signed for Sporting from Grenoble Foot 38 but couldn’t manage to force his way into the team and spent most of his time out on loan. Sporting will receive 40% of any future transfer.

Tiago Ilori to Liverpool (€7,500,000): A hugely talented prospect but Ilori’s demand for higher wages meant he was likely to leave the club. Liverpool had long been interested and finally managed to get their man for a fair fee. Included in the contract is a clause that will mean Liverpool cannot sell the player to either FC Porto or Benfica

Danijel Pranjic to Panathinaikos (free): I was hopeful when Sporting signed Danijel Pranjic that would be a great addition to the squad… how wrong I was. Pranjic failed to make any sort of an impact at the club and he was free to leave for Greece.

Diego Rubio to Pandurii (loan): The club that is now best known for knocking out Jesualdo Ferreira’s Braga out of the Europe League have taken Diego Rubio on loan with an option to buy for €10,000,000. Rubio arrived in Portugal from Chile with huge promise but needs some more competitive football to try and fulfil it.

Zezinho to Veria FC (loan): Zezinho looked like he was just about to break into the Sporting team at the end of last season and had a few rather good showing in midfield (especially against FC Porto). The club have decided to give him a loan to Greece where he should be facing a higher level of competition more regularly then he would with the B team. May well help improve his development.

Bruma to Galatasaray (€10,000,000): Finally. The saga ended. Bruma played just 13 games for Sporting but from what you would have read in the papers you’d be forgiven for thinking he had been at the club for a decade. Bruma took some bad advice and failed to worm his way out of his contract to move away from the club. After the entire debacle with the courts there was no way back for Bruma at Sporting. Indeed, Bruno de Carvalho will happy to have received such a substantial offer for a player who would have been able to sign for any other club for free in January. On top of the initial transfer fee there are also €3,000,000 worth of future add-ons as well as a similar clause in the contract to that of Tiago Ilori that ensure Galatasaray cannot sell the player to Porto or Benfica.

Khalid Boulahrouz released: YAY!

EDIT: Victor Golas to Corona Brasov (loan): A very late move sees Sporting B goalkeeper to Romanian side Corona Brasov on loan. The move will see Luís Ribeiro and Mickaël Meira compete for the B team spot.

Total profit from player sales (estimated): €20,100,000

Perhaps some of the most important pieces of business over the summer now is those who didn’t go.

Rui Patrício: How on earth we kept Rui Patrício, I don’t know. It helped that Bruno de Carvalho had made sure any bids would have to be substantial and, considering Patrício’s talent, fair. There were rumours of Monaco, Arsenal and a whole host of other big spending clubs but nothing came of it and São Patrício remains saving our asses for another year.

Diego Capel: Although very talented Diego Capel seemed likely to leave with his high wages and Sporting hoping to make some sort of money out of the Spanish winger but the transfer window shut before any deal was made. There seemed to be various clubs interested from Liverpool to Olympique de Marseile but, for now, Capel stays.

Jeffrén Suárez: The disappointing Jeffrén stays at the Alvalade for another season. A mix of injury, high wages and some poor performances made it likely that the winger would leave but despite interest from a host of La Liga club no deal was made. A stint in the B team maybe likely as he becomes back up to André Carrillo, Wilson Eduardo, Diego Capel and even Diogo Salomão.

Zakaria Labyad: Still only 20 but Zakaria Labyad did not seem to be anyway near the level we may have expected from him last season. Frequently wasteful or anonymous Labyad couldn’t find a first team place although his technical talent is without question. Labyad’s high wages meant to club were keen to get rid of him and sent him to the B team. The player had flirted with the likes of PSV Eindhoven, Ajax, and a few other Dutch clubs but nothing came of it.

Evaldo: How is he still here? The club did try to cancel Evaldo’s contract but the player did not want to and so will stay for at least another season and pick up some more money. Evaldo will now become back up to Jefferson, Welder and perhaps Mica.

In tomorrow’s post we look at all of our new signings as well as all the many players who were handed new long-term deals at the club.


Sporting’s Europa League Group Stage Squad Announced

Sporting’s squad for the group stage for the UEFA Europa League has been announced on the UEFA website. The full squad with B team members is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck, Victor Golas, Luís Ribeiro
Defenders: Daniel Carriço, Xandão, Khalid Boulahrouz, Marcos Rojo, Cédric Soares*, Tiago Ilori*, Emiliano Insúa, Tobias Figueiredo*, Michael Pinto*
Midfielders: Stijn Schaars, Marat Izmailov, Zakaria Labyad, Fabián Rinaudo, Adrien Silva, Bruno Pereirinha, André Martins, Danijel Pranjić, Kikas*, Edelino Ié*, Filipe Chaby*, João Mário*, Luís Cortez*, Elias, Gelson Fernandes, Zezinho
Forwards: Jeffrén Suárez, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Diego Capel, Valentín Viola, André Carrillo, Carlos Mané*, Iuri Medeiros*, Ricardo Esgaio*, Bruma*, Betinho*

(* – Players with an asterisk are on the ‘B list’)

Leões/Lions Awards 2012

Welcome to the first Leões/Lions awards! I’ll be handing out a couple of awards to Sporting players who I think deserve them. It may not be exactly the end of the season with the Taça de Portugal final still to come but I think I’ve seen enough to hand them out just that little bit early.

Goal of the Season: Marat Izmailov vs. Rio Ave (Link): Izmailov’s goal against Rio Ave is an excellent example of some of the magic that the Russian midfielder can produce. Izmailov beats to Rio Ave players before smashing a shot past the goalkeeper from 25 yards away. Superb goal. (Judging goals is usually based purely on taste, so if you think there’s anything I missed that should be a contender then feel free to share.)
Runners-Up: Matías Fernández vs. Manchester City (Link), André Santos vs. Legia Warszawa (Link), Fabián Rinaudo vs. Nacional (Link)

Worst Signing of the Season: Valeri Bojinov – That penalty incident, you know the one I mean against Moreirense in the Taça da Liga. Not only that Bojinov rarely looked too much like his former self and for such a talented player it’s clear the several injuries in his career have affected him. It was no surprise to see him go on loan to Lecce on January and he won’t be expected back – he’s even been an issue at Lecce too.
Runners-Up: Luis Aguiar (yes, he’s a Sporting player), Elias (average performances for a large transfer fee after a bright start)

Signing of the Season: Stijn Schaars – €850,000 was the transfer fee for AZ captain Stijn Schaars. In a world where fellow midfield man Elias cost more than 10x that it has been Schaars who had been the better of the  two. Stijn has been central to a lot of the rhythm of Sporting’s play as well as being an important part in defensive work and set-pieces. Should Schaars play against Académica in the Taça de Portugal final it will be his 50th appearance for Sporting this season – a sure sign of his importance to the team.
: Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Emiliano Insúa

Young Player (U-23) of the Season: Ricky van Wolfswinkel – It’s hard to believe that Ricky van Wolfswinkel only just turned 23 back in January (meaning he was 22 at the start of the season and eligible for this award). €5,400,000 brought the Dutch striker from FC Utrecht to Sporting and van Wolfswinkel has managed impressively to fill the void that Liédson’s departure left us. With 24 goals in 45 appearances made all the more impressive by the fact he was frequently up front all on his own with some at times very little service to live on. Perhaps the most telling stat is that in the Primeira Liga this season Ricky van Wolfswinkel is the player to have scored the most winning goals that have produced victories for a season. His goals are frequent and frequently important.
Runners-Up: André Martins, André Carrillo

Player of the Season: Rui Patrício – There’s little that can be said about São Patrício besides… please never leave. Once again Patrício has been world class this season having saved Sporting’s skin on a gigantic amount of occasions. There’s growing speculation that this may finally be Portugal goalkeeper’s last season and should he leave he deserves to go for a massive price tag. He will be vital for any club he arrives at. Had it not been for Patrício then where would Sporting be?
Runners-Up: Stijn Schaars, Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Disagree with anything? Feel free to comment

Match Report: Gil Vicente 2-0 Sporting

Sporting were on the end of a surprising and controversial defeat to Gil Vicente.

Ricardo Sá Pinto made just one change from the side that progressed in the Manchester City game on Thursday. Elias came in for Daniel Carriço and João Pereira replaced the injured Bruno Pereirinha.

Gil Vicente started the game well and opened the scoring through a fantastic long-range Rodrigo Galo strike with just 13 minutes of the game gone.

The home side started out the brighter but as the half continued Sporting started to create more chances. Emiliano Insúa’s strike from a freekick perhaps the best strike of the first half forcing a solid save from Adriano.

Ricardo Sá Pinto made changes at half-time. Jeffrén Suárez and André Martins coming on in place of Matías Fernández and Ânderson Polga. Elias dropped deep as a centre-back.

The main incident that the game will be remembered began in the 53rd minute. Referee Bruno Paixão adjudged Stijn Schaars to have handled inside the area, although the decision was incredibly controversial. Schaars looked to be outside the area and the Dutch midfielder was booked for his troubles.

Cláudio stood up to take the penalty and his shot was well saved by Rui Patrício. Bruno Paixão gave another penalty when he judged João Pereira t o have handled immediately in the attempt to clear Patrício’s save. This time Cláudio made no mistake drilling his shot straight down the middle. To the anger of the Sporting team.

Things went bad to worse for Sporting. Stijn Schaars was sent off when he received a second yellow card for a foul after 68 minutes. Again the decision looked harsh on Sporting.

In response Ricardo Sá Pinto brought on André Carrillo for Diego Capel as Sporting tried to pull the game back.

In fact Gil Vicente almost grabbed a third. On the counter attack Zé Luis almost made things ever worse for Sporting.

This controversial defeat leaves Sporting 5th in the table, unable to capitalise on Marítimo dropped points yesterday. There will almost certainly be a huge aftermath of the circumstances of the defeat soon to come after the terrible performance of referee Bruno Paixão.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Ânderson Polga (André Martins 45′), Xandão, Emiliano Insúa; Stijn Schaars (YC, YC+RC), Elias, Matías Fernández; Marat Izmailov (Jeffrén Suárez 45′), Diego Capel (André Carrillo 73′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (YC)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Daniel Carriço (YC), Evaldo Fabiano, Diego Rubio

Sporting Players Called up for International Duty

Yes, it’s almost international break time yet again and here’s a list of the Sporting players who will be linking up with their national team shortly.

Brazil: Elias
Chile: Matías Fernández
Netherlands: Stijn Schaars
Portugal: Rui Patrício and João Pereira
Peru: Alberto Rodríguez and André Carrillo
Spain U-23: Diego Capel

Alberto Rodríguez may be a doubt for his games as he still recovers from the knock he picked up last week.

Let’s hope they manage to avoid any injuries.

SPORTING vs. Nacional Preview

Sporting host Nacional on Saturday and will attempt to recover ground on the two league leaders in the first liga game since the derby defeat.

Opponents Nacional are currently sitting 11th in the league table with 11 points accumulated so far. The Funchal side have yet to win in 90 minutes since a 2-1 win over Beira-Mar in the end of October.

The last time the two sides met at the Alvalade was back in September 2010 when Carlos Saleiro’s goal was cancelled out by Danielson’s equaliser. The last time Sporting won this fixture was the season before in a 3-2 win with Miguel Veloso’s opener before a Liédson brace.

This will be the first game this season in which Domingos Paciência will not be able to choose Stijn Schaars with the Dutch midfielder suspended due to picking up his 5th yellow card in the game against Benfica. It will be the first game Stijn Schaars has missed since the 12th March when he missed AZ’s game against Ajax – also due to picking up 5 yellow cards.

Schaars’ exclusion means Paciência will have to choose between André Santos and the recently impressive André Martins in his place.

There are still plenty of injuries in the Sporting team with Marat Izmailov, Fabián Rinaudo, Jeffrén, and Matías Fernández all out meaning the team will perhaps look very similar to the team that beat Belenenses 2-0 in the Taça de Portugal last Monday.

A win is important to get back on track in the league leaving the game against Lazio free for Domingos to field fringe and youth-team players with no consequence for defeat.


Rui Patrício

João Pereira – Oguchi Onyewu – Ânderson Polga – Emiliano Insúa

Daniel Carriço

André Martins – Elias

André Carrillo – Ricky van Wolfswinkel – Diego Capel

Match Report: SPORTING 2-0 Belenenses

Sporting progressed into the quarter-finals with a hard fought 2-0 victory over Belenenses with the Dutchmen Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Stijn Schaars providing the goals.

Domingos Paciência chose a strong first XI with just one change from the side who beat Zurich midweek with Elias coming in to replace André Martins.

Belenenses start the game off well playing solid in defence and managing to strike on the counter-attack. Indeed, O Belém had a superb chance to opening the scoring after 25 minutes when they found themselves with a man over on the counter attack. The ball fell to Rodrigo Antônio in a great position but fortunately for Sporting his shot was well saved by the feet of Rui Patrício.

The away side continued to threaten as Sporting found it hard to break-down José Mota’s excellent defensive system and the two sides went into the break goalless.

For the start of the second half Domingos Paciência made a change bringing on the returning André Carrillo for the ineffectual Valeri Bojinov.

It took only 5 minutes for Sporting to take the lead after the restart. Emiliano Insúa was released down the left hand side and his early ball in found Ricky van Wolfswinkel to finish at the far post.

Sporting bad the ball in the back of the net again when André Carrillo found Diego Capel finishing cleverly past goalkeeper Coelho. The assistant referee was proven on replays to have been correct to disallow the goal.

After 66 minutes Stijn Schaars linked up well with Ricky van Wolfswinkel, the striker returned the ball for Schaars to chip the goalkeeper and put Sporting into a secure lead.

The two goal lead meant Domingos could afford to give time to André Martins and later Santiago Arias as Sporting in the end breezed through to the quarter finals after an even first half. Sporting will now face a tough fixture against Marítimo on the 21st December.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (YC, Santiago Arias 72′)), Ânderson Polga, Oguchi Onyewu, Emiliano Insúa; Daniel Carriço, Stijn Schaars (Scored 66′), Elias (André Martins 72′); Diego Capel (YC), Valeri Bojinov (André Carrillo 46′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Scored 50′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Evaldo Fabiano, André Santos, Diego Rubio

Diego Capel Wins Player of the Month

Diego Capel was crowned Player of the Month for October by the SJPF (Sindicato dos Jogadores Profissionais de Futebol) the month after Ricky van Wolfswinkel won the first award of the season for September.

Capel finished ahead of fellow team mate Stijn Schaars and third place the Vitória de Guimarães goalkeeper Nilson.

Sporting players have now been crowned SJPF Player of the Month for the last three months running for the first time since Ânderson Polga, Liédson and Leandro Romagnoli picked up the awards back in 2007.

Match Report: Feirense 0-2 SPORTING

Sporting made it 10 wins in 10 games win a 2-0 win against Feirense from Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s penalty and a Stijn Schaars strike.

Domingos Paciência made just one change from the team that beat Gil Vicente 6-1 on Monday with Oguchi Onyewu returning in the place of Ânderson Polga in defence. Jeffrén Suárez also made his return on the substitutes bench.

Sporting initially struggled to impose their game on a Feirense side that defended well. Indeed, it was Feirense who came closest to opening the scoring after 10 minutes when Miguel Pedro whipped in a dangerous corner, Daniel Carriço got a touch to it and Varela was inches away from making contact with the ball that would have certain resulted in a Feirense goal.

The first real chance for Sporting came in the 23rd minute when Diego Capel whipped in a low cross that Ricky van Wolfswinkel was just too late to reach.

The biggest moment of the first half was a big penalty shout as Elias was bundled over by Varela. The Brazilian midfielders fall was somewhat theatrical but there was certainly contact and it would not have been a surprise to see referee André Gralha point to the spot.

Just before the break Ricky van Wolfswinkel forced goalkeeper Paulo Lopes into a fine save but for the most part the first half lacked the sort if incision that Sporting have shown in recent games.

As the teams began the second half it was again Feirense who started off the bright of the two teams and perhaps had the best chance of the game so far. Carlos Fonseca’s shot forced Rui Patrício to save but he could only palm the ball into the path of Nuno Henrique who could not convert an easy chance.

Feirense were at it again shortly after when a Alexandre Ludovic shot from long-distance only just went over the Sporting goal – almost a spectacular goal from the Feirense midfielder.

From there though it went all downhill for the home side (although Sporting fans were certainly the majority in the stadium) when Nuno Henrique was booked for a foul on Diego Capel. Just 3 minutes later and once again Henrique fouled Diego Capel and was then give his second yellow card and sent off.

The advantage of an extra man meant Paciência could add an extra attacking emphasis to Sporting and he brought on André Carrillo on for Elias. The next substitution though will have been more popular as Jeffrén Suárez finally returned after his injury troubles in the place of his compatriot Capel.

Sporting were awarded a penalty on the 63rd minute when Cris foolishly brought down Stijn Schaars unnecessarily in the area. Ricky van Wolfswinkel stepped up once again and smashed the ball into the top left hand corner to give Sporting the lead.

Feirense were lucky to still have 10 men just a couple of minutes later when Sténio Santos lunged into Jeffrén with two feet but received only a yellow card for his dangerous tackle.

Jeffrén was close to scoring not long after that when his long range strike forced Paulo Lopes into a superb save and the Feirense goalkeeper just managed to tip the strike onto the woodwork.

Sporting managed to finish the game in the 77th minute when Daniel Carriço’s blocked shot fell to Stijn Schaars who hammered a shot from the edge of the area into the lower right hand corner leaving Paulo Lopes helpless to react.

The rest of the game was played out fairly without incident and Sporting in the end cruised to a very impressive 10th straight victory leaving the Verde e Brancos 3rd in the Liga table.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Daniel Carriço, Oguchi Onyewu, Emiliano Insúa; Fabián Rinaudo (YC), Stijn Schaars (Scored 77′), Elias (André Carrillo 57′); Matías Fernández (Valeri Bojinov 79′), Diego Capel (Jeffrén Suarez 63′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Scored 64′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Bruno Pereirinha, Evaldo Fabiano, André Santos

Sporting Players Called for International Duty

A whole host of Sporting players have been called up for international duty by their respective clubs.

The international week will take place this week until Sporting return to action in the Taça de Portugal to take on Famalicão on the 15th October.

Below is the full list of Sporting players who will be on international duty this week;

Argentina: Emiliano Insúa and Fabián Rinaudo
Brazil: Elias
Bulgaria: Valeri Bojinov
Chile: Matías Fernández
Netherlands: Stijn Schaars
Peru: Alberto Rodríguez
Portugal: Rui Patrício and João Pereira
Portugal U21: André Martins, Luís Ribeiro, Cédric Soares, Pedro Mendes and Wilson Eduardo
USA: Oguchi Onyewu