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:

August:
vs. Marítimo (Home)
vs. Paços de Ferreira (Away)
vs. FC Porto (Home)
September:
vs. Moreirense (Home)
vs. Rio Ave (Away)
vs. Estoril (Home)
October:
vs. Vitória de Guimarães (Away)
vs. Tondela (Home)
vs. Nacional (Away)
November:
vs. Arouca (Home)
vs. Boavista (Away)
December:
vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Home)
vs. Benfica (Away)
vs. Braga (Home)
vs. Belenenses (Away)
January:
vs. Feirense (Home)
vs. Chaves (Away)
vs. Marítimo (Away)
vs. Paços de Ferreira (Home)
February:
vs. FC Porto (Away)
vs. Moreirense (Away)
vs. Rio Ave (Home)
vs. Estoril (Away)
March:
vs. Vitória de Guimarães (Home)
vs. Tondela (Away)
vs. Nacional (Home)
April:
vs. Arouca (Away)
vs. Boavista (Home)
vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Away)
vs. Benfica (Home)
vs. Braga (Away)
May:
vs. Belenenses (Home)
vs. Feirense (Away)
vs. Chaves

Transfer Round-Up 2014: Arrivals

So, we already reviewed the departures but here we go with this years summer signings. Starting with our new coach…

Marco Silva from Estoril (Free): When the news broke that Marco Silva would not be renewing his contract with Estoril rumours had him being linked with all the big clubs. Then, when the rumours started that Leonardo Jardim was heading to Monaco things made a lot more sense. It’s a tough job for Marco Silva having only previously managed Estoril although he’s done some incredible things for them in that time. Sporting is certainly a different prospect. Still, we will see how it goes – so far signs are positive.

Simeon Slavchev from Litex Lovech (Undisclosed): The battling midfielder hasn’t played too much football for Sporting thus far. A few knocks disrupted his pre-season but at just 20-years old there’s plenty of time for him to improve and adapt to Portuguese football.

Paulo Oliveira from Vitória de Guimarães (Undisclosed): It was almost certain Marcos Rojo was going to leave the club this summer and so Sporting made sure to sign a new centre-back as soon as possible. Oliveira impressed during his time at Guimarães but now needs to establish himself in the first team as so far Marco Silva seems to prefer Naby Sarr.

Oriol Rosell from Sporting Kansas City (Undisclosed): The former Barcelona youth player seems to have settled in well already and has been promising so far. Signed as a back-up to William Carvalho with possibly a view to replacing him when the inevitable big money for him arrives.

Jorge Santos from Padroense (Undisclosed): A signing for the B-team, the 21-year old forward was once part of Porto’s youth set up but left to join minnows Padroense. Still, he clearly did enough to impress there and will have a rather large step up to adapt to.

André Geraldes from İstanbul Başakşehir (€600,000): Signed as the new back-up to Cédric Soares after a solid time spent last season at Belenenses. Geraldes though has plenty of competition to get into the team with the recently instated Miguel Lopes and the very promising Ricardo Esgaio coming through the youth system. It could be a tough season for Geraldes.

Junya Tanaka from Kashiwa Reysol (€750,000): Had an excellent pre-season in which he scored plenty of goals although will now find it difficult to get ahead of Islam Slimani and Fredy Montero. So far, signs are promising – his attempt that hit the post in the final minute against Arouca was the one that lead the Carlos Mané’s winner. So far, a promising singing.

Ryan Gauld from Dundee United (€3,750,000): Sporting’s biggest investment in this transfer window is Scotland’s “mini-Messi”. So far Gauld has been put in the B team to help him adapt to life in Portugal but already he is impressing and it shouldn’t be too long before he breaks through to the first team but at just 18-years old he still has plenty of time on his side – a very exciting prospect!

Naby Sarr from Lyon (€1,300,000): There was some pessimism after hearing some negative comments from French football fans after Sporting completed the signing of Naby Sarr. The giant centre-defender so far has been very solid in alongside Maurício in defence and seems to have won Marco Silva’s early trust over Paulo Oliveira. Sarr is just 21-years old so there is plenty of time for him to mature and settle down.

Ramy Rabia from Al-Ahly (€750,000): It took a long, long time for Sporting to complete the signing of Ramy Rabia this summer but eventually they got their man. The 21-year old can play at centre-back or defensive midfield but has so far been playing alongside Tobias Figueiredo in the B team. He’s looked very promising in his first few games although has recently picked up an injury. Another player with bags of potential.

Jonathan Silva from Estudiantes de La Plata (€2,800,000): Signed as competition for Jefferson at left-back with a big price too. Silva only turned 20 in June so he’s another promising youngster. The Argentinian made a fantastic debut for the B team with a fantastic goal and it shouldn’t be too long until he gets his first team shot.

Nani from Manchester United (Loan): Bruno de Carvalho’s coup of the transfer window was the arrival of Nani on loan from Manchester United as part of the Marcos Rojo sale. Not only could the returning Nani could hugely improve the side once he regains his match sharpness – Sporting won’t be paying any of his wages. We’ll forget that his second debut began with him missing a penalty – there’s definitely more to come.

Hadi Sacko from Girondins de Bordeaux (€1,4000,000): Another signing based on potential is the forward Hadi Sacko. Sacko spent the beginning of 2014 on loan at Le Havre and will be beginning his Sporting career with the B team. At just 20-years old there’s plenty of time for the France U20 international to improve and break into the first team.

Estimated Transfer Spending (€14,350,000– Estimated Transfer Income (€23,000,000): +€8,650,000

In all it’s a very promising window for Sporting with plenty of young talent brought into the club that can be nurtured and improved. The oldest signings being Tanaka and Nani both at 27 but the average of the signing was 21.8 years old (23 if for some reason you wanted to include Marco Silva) it shows the obvious transfer policy of the club.

The club spending well within their means and making sure the new players have plenty of future resale value only bodes well for the club.

Official: Sporting Sign Simeon Slavchev and Paulo Oliveira

Sporting have completed the signings of Paulo Oliveira and Simeon Slavchev from Vitória de Guimarães and Litex Lovech respectively. The pair are the first signings for the upcoming 2014/2015 season.

Bulgarian midfielder Slavchev has signed a 5-year deal with the club and the 20-year old’s contract has a €45,000,000 release clause. Slavchev made his debut in October 2010 at just 17 and made his international debut for Bulgaria back last October.

Defender Paulo Oliveira also signs with a 5-year deal with a €45,000,000 release clause. The Portugal U21 international made his first professional appearance whilst on loan to Penafiel back in 2011 against Freamunde before breaking into the Guimarães first team.

No word yet on the transfer fees for either player.

Transfer News 19/05

Plenty of news to catch up as the papers keep doing what they do to sell more. Indeed, if all these stories are believed Sporting look set to sign an impressive 6 players.

Sporting look set to shortly finalise the signing of Bulgarian midfielder Simeon Slavchev from Litex Lovech should he pass his medical with the club. All of the papers are running with this and it looks like the 20-year old will be the club’s first summer signing.

Record have quoted Litex Lovech’s technical director and former player Stoycho Stoilov who said: “It’s official. He signed a three and the agreement that includes an option clause for another two years.” The paper speculates the deal will cost Sporting are €2.5m.

A Bola say further as they say that Vitória de Guimarães defender Paulo Oliveira is set to follow him soon after. The 22-year old has been linked with the club several times in the past and with the large possibility that Marcos Rojo is to leave the Portugal U21 player may soon be competing with Maurício and Eric Dier for a space in defence.

Dorin Rotariu, an 18-year old forward at Dinamo București, is another transfer thought to be close to finalising shortly. Although the Romanian club are said to want to try and keep the player if possible.

Rafael Martins, who is free to move from his club Audax São Paulo after an exemplary season with Vitória de Setúbal, apparently has an offer on the table from Sporting. The 25-year old forward scored 15 goals in 34 games at the club this season including against Sporting in the ridiculously farcical 2-2 draw back in March.

Another player who has been talked about much in the last few weeks is Red Star Belgrade right-back Marko Petković. The 21-year old has yet to talk with the club and is apparently waiting on Red Star and Sporting to agree a deal.

And finally Sporting are still being linked with Sporting Kansas City midfielder Oriol Rosell. The 21-year old came through the Barcelona youth system before transferring to the MLS in 2012. Record expects some developments on that transfer in the next week.

Transfer News 03/04

According to A Bola Sporting are shortly going offer Eric Dier a new deal. The English defender’s contract is currently set to expire in 2016 with a bargain release clause of €20m (one of the smallest in the squad). Sporting wish to extend that deal until 2018 with a much higher release fee (likely to be at least €45m).

Sticking with Record they think Sporting are interested in Nacional’s Aly Ghazal. The club say they will not sell for €3m for 80% of the player. Porto, West Brom and Rayo Vallecano are also said to be interested.

A Bola say Sporting are going to try and sign Vitória de Guimarães’ 22-year old defender Paulo Oliveira once again. The club were said to have had a previous offer rejected but are still determined to sign the player. Paulo Oliveira has a €4m release clause.

Moving on to O Jogo they think Sporting are after Vitória de Setúbal’s winger Ricardo Horta. The 19-year old began his career at Benfica before moving to Setúbal and has turned plenty of heads in the Liga this season. Sporting have good links with Setúbal and could even get the player for between €800,000 and €1m.

After being put in La Gazzetta dello Sport’s top 60 young players recently, Carlos Mané has apparently also impressed Juventus.

Result: SPORTING 1-0 Vitória de Guimarães

Sporting came out on top in a hard fought win against Vitória de Guimarães thanks to Marcos Rojo’s second half goal.

The game came one year after Bruno de Carvalho was elected Sporting president. The occasion saw the Sporting players don the names of sócios on the back of the shirts.

Leonardo Jardim elected to keep Carlos Mané in the team ahead of André Martins as Martins returned from injury. Elsewhere Héldon Ramos and Diego Capel supported Islam Slimani up front.

Sporting had the better of the first half but failed to create much in the way of clear goal scoring opportunities with the visitors defending well. Islam Slimani though was causing plenty of trouble for the Guimarães defence.

The game was more open in the second half and it wasn’t long until Sporting had the lead.

Marcos Rojo pounced on a cleared ball to see his deflected shot go past goalkeeper Douglas in the 48th minute.

Sporting scored a second goal only for it to be wrongly disallowed by the officials. A superb ball by Jefferson found Fredy Montero at the far post who slotted home.

Fortunately, despite late Guimarães pressure that decision did not prove to be costly for Sporting and they passed a tough test at the Alvalade to keep the pressure on Benfica and stay clear of Porto.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Maurício, Marcos Rojo (YC) (Scored, 48′), Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva (YC), Carlos Mané (André Martins, 81′); Héldon Ramos (Fredy Montero, 46′), Diego Capel, Islam Slimani (YC) (André Carrillo, 74′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Eric Dier, Vítor Silva, Wilson Eduardo

Result: Vitória de Guimarães 0-1 SPORTING

Match report from PortuGOAL.net:

Islam Slimani made the difference for Sporting as he tapped home the winner in the 90th minute in Guimarães in what was an otherwise low quality encounter.The Lions now return to second place in the Primeira Liga ahead of Benfica.

Rui Vitória’s Guimarães side have lost their last 4 games in a row in all competitions and sat 7th in the Primeira Liga going into the game at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques. André Santos started against the club he was released from over the summer.

Sporting were without Macros Rojo and Wilson Eduardo after they were sent off in the defeat to Benfica in the Taça de Portugal before the international break. Eric Dier took the place of Rojo and André Carrillo started in the place of Wilson Eduardo.

It was an energetic and rather chaotic first half in which neither side managed to hold the ball and chances were at a premium.

Vitória de Guimarães were the team with the best of the chances though in the first half. The first, coming after just 7 minutes gone in the match saw Moussa Maåzou through on goal after a long ball over the top. The Nigerian forward’s powerful shot hit Patrício’s near post.

Maåzou was causing problems for Sporting after a half hour played when he once again saw him self through against Rui Patrício. This time his shot was on target but well saved by the Portugal goalkeeper.

Although Sporting went into half-time with 54% of possession. it was Guimarães’ 8 chances to 1 that was the most prevalent statistic of how the game had gone thus far.

The second half followed in a similar pattern to the first although Sporting were able to find some greater quality whilst going forward but still looked lethargic.

André Carrillo’s 56th minute shot was perhaps Sporting’s first real chance of the game but Guimarães goalkeeper Douglas did well to save.

There was some controversy 5 minutes later when Guimarães countered after a Sporting corner. André André was bearing down on goal only to be fouled by the tracking back Cédric Soares. The were shouts from the home fans for a red card for the Sporting right-back but referee Paulo Baptista only produced a yellow. Perhaps Diego Capel, who was not far away from the incident, helped determine that Cédric was not stopping a clear goal-scoring chance.

Leonardo Jardim brought on Carlos Mané after 72 minutes to try and chance things for Sporting who were still failing to create much whilst going forward, the young forward replacing André Carrillo. Rui Vitória’s first chance saw Nii Plange replace Jean Barrientos. Plange had made debut for Sporting under Jesualdo Ferreira back in May after a spell with Sporting B.

There will be some concern for Rui Vitória when Guimarães had to bring of Tomané with an injury with Ricardo Gomes taking his place. Meanwhile Jardim was throwing in his last rolls of the dice with the inculsion of DIogo Salomão and Islam Slimani. Although none of the substitutions improved the quality of the game on display.

For a moment, Sporting thought they had taken the lead in the 87th minute. Douglas parried a good Cédric Soares shot into the path of substitute Islam Slimani but the assistant referee correctly raised his flag with the Algerian forward a yard offside.

It looked like the game would finish goalless, perhaps fitting to an occasion that lacked genuine quality but Islam Slimani stepped up once again for Sporting.

The goal came from another corner, which neither side had managed to make use of thus far in the game despite their frequency, Eric Dier rose highest and his header on caused chaos in the box. The in-form Algerian striker pounced first from inches away from the goal to put Sporting ahead with 90 minutes gone.There was no time for the home side to come back and so Sporting take a somewhat fortunate victory in light of the performance to put them back in second place in the league.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares (YC), Eric Dier, Maurício (YC), Jefferson; William Carvalho (YC), Adrien Silva, André Martins (Islam Slimani, 83′ – Scored, 90′); Diego Capel (Diogo Salomão, 78′), André Carrillo (Carlos Mané, 72′), Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Iván Piris, Fabián Rinaudo, Vítor Silva

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 News Round-Up

It’s been a busy week for Sporting with a few games, the close of the transfer window, and the Europa League groups drawn so it’s time for another huge round-up of all the Sporting news.

First, we’ll catch up with Sporting’s last two games in which Sporting had varying success.

The first was a massively disappointing 0-1 defeat at home to Rio Ave. Edimar’s well worked goal in the 40th minute was enough for the visitors to secure the win. The game was typical of the first opening games for Sporting. Sporting had plenty of possession but failed to break through the Rio Ave defence and at times looked hugely out of ideas – and when they did make chances proceeded to miss them. In the second-half also saw the debut of the new Argentine forward Valentín Viola.

Sporting XI: Patrício; Cédric Soares (YC), Khalid Boulahrouz, Marcos Rojo (YC), Emiliano Insúa; Gelson Fernandes (YC) (Valentín Viola 72′), Adrien Silva (Zakaria Labyad 46′), Elias (André Martins 46′); André Carrillo (YC), Diego Capel, Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Daniel Carriço, Danijel Pranjić, Jeffrén Suárez

After the game Ricardo Sá Pinto was furious and promised a win and goals in the next game in the Europa League against AC Horsens. Last week the sides drew 1-1 and Horsens goalkeeper Frederik Rønnow stole the show.

Sá Pinto’s side truly delivered with a thumping 5-0 victory to secure a place in the Europa League group stages (draw to follow). Danijel Pranjić started ahead of Emiliano Insúa at left-back to make his full Sporting debut.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who had been misfiring in previous games, opened the scoring after 8 minutes with a lovely half-volleyed finish. Thomas Kortegaard was unfortunate to see a ball bounce cruelly off his knee and then into the net to put Sporting 2-0 ahead at half-time.

After the restart Ricky van Wolfswinkel got his second goal from close range after some poor Horsens defending from a corner. André Carrillo scored the goal of the game when his superb strike from the edge of the area hit the underside of the cross bar and went in before a good Elias strike finished the hammering.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Khalid Boulahrouz, Marcos Rojo, Danijel Pranjić; Gelson Fernandes (Daniel Carriço 74′), Adrien Silva (André Martins 65′), Elias; André Carrillo (Jeffrén Suárez 65′), Diego Capel, Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Xandão, Emiliano Insúa, Zakaria Labyad

On Friday 31st August came the Europa League draw which saw Sporting drew in Group G alongside FC Basel, KRC Genk, and Videoton FC.

Interestingly, Hungarian side Videoton are managed by one-time Sporting player Paulo Sousa. As well as that Renato Neto is also on loan at the Hungarian club from Sporting and it is where former Sporting player Marco Caneira is currently playing.

Full fixtures:

20th September: SPORTING vs. Basel
4th October: Videoton vs. SPORTING
25th October: Genk vs. SPORTING
8th November: SPORTING vs. Genk
22nd November: Basel vs. SPORTING
6th December: SPORTING vs. Videoton

Before we move onto all the transfer news there will be Sporting players involved for Portugal over the next international window:

Portugal: Rui Patrício
Portugal U-21: Cédric Soares, André Martins and Pedro Mendes

Speaking of Rui Patrício. Patrício signed a new contract with the club keeping him at the club now until the end of the 2017/2018 season. On top of that Rui Patrício’s release clause has been increased to €40,000,000.

So now to the transfers.

Sporting completed only one transfer in to the club and that was of Júlio Alves (brother of Bruno Alves) joining Sporting B on loan for the season from Turkish club Beşiktaş.

There were plenty of moves out of the club though, albeit almost all loan deals…

Florent Sinama Pongolle cancelled his contract with Sporting meaning he is now a free agent. Pongolle spent last season on loan at Saint-Étienne and will be widely remembered as being one of Sporting’s most wasteful signings.

Wilson Eduardo will be spending next season on loan at Académica after almost making it into the first team this year.

Valeri Bojinov, who was certainly never going to play for Sporting again, has moved on loan to Hellas Verona. Bojinov had long been rumoured to be joining Torino but ended up at Hellas instead.

B-Team defender João Gonçalves will join Vitória de Guimarães on loan.

Another B-Team defender, Atila Turan, will be in Turkey next season playing for Orduspor. He’ll be playing alongside former Sporting player Miguel Garcia.

And finally, in the most surprising move, Oguchi Onyewu will be playing for Málaga next year. Onyewu did little wrong last season with Sporting but his loan deal will mean he get more first-team football. The arrivals of Rojo and Boulahrouz made his departure more likely.

So there you have it! The B-Team are facing Marítimo B later today with a report to follow later.

Sporting News Round-Up

It’s been a while since our last update so there’s plenty of news to catch-up on before Sporting take on Rio Ave in the first home league game of the season tomorrow.

Firstly, last Sunday the Primeira Liga returned to action last weekend and Sporting took on Vitória de Guimarães at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques and the game ended a dull 0-0 after a promising opening. Fortunately Braga, Benfica and Porto also drew all of their opening league games so a false start is not too bad.

The game also saw official debuts for Khalid Boulahrouz, Marcos Rojo, Gelson Fernandes and Zakaria Labyad with the latter appearing as a substitute. Here was Ricardo Sá Pinto’s team for the game:

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares (YC), Khalid Boulahrouz, Marcos Rojo (YC), Emiliano Insúa; Gelson Fernandes (Zakaria Labyad 72′), Adrien Silva (André Martins 46′, YC), Elias; André Carrillo (YC), Diego Capel (Jeffrén Suárez 89′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (YC)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Daniel Carriço, Stijn Schaars, Fabián Rinaudo

After that Sporting opened up their Europa League campaign with a trip to Denmark to face AC Horsens. Again Sporting drew but managed to get a goal too courtesy of André Carrillo after Martin Spelmann opened the scoring for the home side.. Indeed, Ricky van Wolfswinkel will feel aggrieved that he failed to score when the Dutchman wasted a couple of chances throughout the game. The performance at the very least, was an improvement over the game against Guimarães.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Khalid Boulahrouz, Marcos Rojo, Emiliano Insúa; Stijn Schaars (Zakaria Labyad 58′), Adrien Silva, Elias (André Martins 78′); André Carrillo (Scored 79′), Jeffrén Suárez (Diego Capel 66′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Daniel Carriço, Xandão, Gelson Fernandes

There was also news that Rui Patrício has signed a new contract with Sporting taking him with the club all the way until 2018. This will at least put any transfer rumours to bed for a few days.

Patrício said that he was “very happy with this outcome” and “renewing with Sporting was something I really wanted”. Rui also said how he wanted to help the younger players out whilst at Sporting to improve their development.

Meanwhile in the B team for Oceano –

Sporting B picked up their first competitive win since they returned to action this season. Sporting won 2-1 against Sporting Clube da Covilhã after going behind to Gilberto’s early strike. It was Betinho and Diego Rubio (returning from suspension) who got the goals for Oceano. João Gonçalves stepped in for Santiago Arias who was injured in the last game against Guimarães B. Pedro Mendes also saw a red card after receiving a late second yellow card meaning he would miss the next game against Atlético Clube de Portugal.

Sporting B XI: Victor Golas; João Gonçalves (Iuri Medeiros 68′, YC), Pedro Mendes (YC, YC+RC), Tobias Figueiredo, Michael Pinto; João Mário (Filipe Chaby 87′), Zezinho (YC), Ricardo Esgaio (YC); Bruma, Nii Plange (Diego Rubio 72′), Betinho
Subs Not Used: Luís Ribero, Tiago Ilori, Atila Turan, Gaël Etock

Atlético Clube de Portugal proved a tricky tie for Oceano da Cruz’s men at the Estádio Tapadinha. The game was very even with Victor Golas being Sporting’s best player for most of the game.

Bruma was the man who made the difference with an excellent strike to put Sporting ahead after 72 minutes with Atlético goalkeeper Filipe Leão helpless to stop it.

Sporting went further ahead just 5 minutes later via another Ricardo Esgaio penalty after a handball in the area. Atlético pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute when Hugo Carreira headed in from close range to set up a very nervous finish for Sporting.

The game was made certain in the very final seconds when Gaël Etock ran through a tired Atlético defence and slotted under Leão to give Sporting B another win.

Sporting B XI: Victor Golas; João Gonçalves (Filipe Chaby 46′, YC), Tiago Ilori, Tobias Figueiredo, Michael Pinto (YC); Zezinho, Ricardo Esgaio (Scored 76′), Iuri Medeiros; Bruma (Scored 72′), Diego Rubio (Eric Dier 78′), Betinho (Gaël Etock 46′, Scored 90+5′)