Result: Penafiel 1-3 SPORTING

Sporting were knocked out of the Taça da Liga despite victory against Penafiel due to overall goals scored.

It’s a cruel end to the competition for Sporting who had played so well against Porto in the first round of games and due to the controversial nature of Porto’s victory against Marítimo last night.

For the game Leonardo Jardim made a few changes. Marcelo Boeck, as usual, started in goal. Eric Dier started in defence along side Maurício, Vítor Silva took the place of André Martins in midfield and Carlos Mané started again.

It was the home side who took the lead with a superb strike from Aldaír that Marcelo Boeck’s stretched hand could not stop from stopping after just 19 minutes in the game gone.

With Sporting needing goals Leonardo Jardim made a tactical change in the 37th minute bringing on Wilson Eduardo for Vítor Silva.

Sporting levelled just before half-time. Fredy Montero was fouled on the edge of the area. The Colombian’s freekick hit the wall but William Carvalho was the first on to the ball and cross for Carlos Mané to head in from close range. Two goals in two starts now for the 19-year old winger.

The away side pushed more after the break to try and get ahead and, eventually, it was the substitute Wilson Eduardo who found the net.

Some good play by Fredy Montero found André Carrillo on the left wing. The Peruvian’s excellent cross found Wilson Eduardo, playing almost as a second-striker, to latch on to the end and put Sporting in front.

The third goal game as a result of penalty when Eric Dier, making a surging run, was brought down in the box. Adrien Silva stepped up to make it 3-1 and ensure the win for Sporting even though it did not turn out to be enough in the end.

Sporting club president Bruno de Carvalho certain had plenty to say after the game about how things turned on on the night: “I want to congratulate Sporting’s players, because they did what they could to quality for the next round. I also what to thank the fans who came to the game. This isn’t a peculiar situation, it is just the usual stuff. Sporting and a few other clubs felt the need to put together some ideas for the remodelling of Portuguese football. Coincidences like this keep happening and we are going to pretend that we don’t notice them. When the fourth goal in the FC Porto-Penafiel game was off-side; when Sporting had qualified at the end of the game and you see us then eliminated due to a penalty that only certain people could see, then you have to ask questions. Those are the kinds of coincidences that happen in football, because we let them. The sort of things that happened today are what make people say that football isn’t played on the pitch. When things are already decided before games have even kicked off, there is no point making proposals.”

Leonardo Jardim, as usual, was a little more conservation in his assessment of the night: “We won, but it is a shame that Sporting has not achieved one of our objectives. Looking at the supremacy that we showed against FC Porto, the only down side is that we didn’t score. We won 7 points in total, but we didn’t qualify for the next round. Now we have to focus on the League.”

SPORTING XI: Marcelo Boeck; Cédric Soares (YC), Maurício (YC), Eric Dier, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva (Scored, 82′), Vítor Silva (Wilson Eduardo, 37′, Scored, 68′); André Carrillo (YC) (Ricardo Esgaio, 87′), Carlos Mané (Scored, 44′) (Diego Capel, 64′), Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Rui Patrício, Rúben Semedo, André Martins, Gérson Magrão

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Result: SPORTING 3-0 Belenenses

Sporting went 5 points clear at the top of the Primeira Liga table with a 3-0 victory of Belenenses. Adrien Silva opened the scoring with a controversial penalty before André Martins and Wilson Eduardo wrapped up the scoring for Sporting.

Match report from PortuGOAL.net:

Visitors Belenenses were without Miguel Rosa who was close to returning to fitness for this game. Meanwhile Leonardo Jardim selected what now seems to be his first eleven with André Carrillo and Diego Capel the two singers.

Belenenses have frustrated both Porto and Benfica already this season and they showed glimpses in the Alvalade of how they did it. Marco Paulo’s men doing well to pressure Sporting players early and high up the pitch.

It took a while for Sporting to get going in the match because of this but a brief flash of skill from André Carrillo almost set up and opening goal. His cross was just behind Diego Capel who could only attempt a flick to try and score but Matt Jones had an easy save to make.

There was huge controversy in the 27th minute when referee Hugo Pacheco gave Sporting a penalty for a foul that had clearly happened outside of the box when Filipe Ferreira brought down Cédric Soares.

Adrien Silva stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake sending Matt Jones the wrong way to put Sporting ahead.

Matt Jones did make a very good save to deny Jefferson from doubling Sporting’s lead from a well struck freekick.

Though Sporting’s penalty was most definitely unfair they were denied a more clear cut penalty just before half time. Fredy Montero was looking to get onto the end of a loose ball in the box when he was pulled back by João Meira. Not only should have been a penalty, had he given it Hugo Pacheco would probably have had to send João Meira off for the foul as well.

Sporting really had Belenenses on the back foot at the end of the half with Fredy Montero missing a great chance just seconds before the restart.

Belenenses were forced into a change for the second half with Mamadou Diawara picking up an ankle injury. Fábio Sturgeon was brought on to replace him.

Sporting doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half. A Diego Capel cross found André Carrillo in the box. The Peruvian did well to bring the high ball down and pulled back a pass for André Martins to finish.

The second goal seemed to kill Belenenses off. Scoring goals has been a huge problem for the Belém side this season and it seems the team had no belief they could get back into the game.

The visitors going forward lead to Sporting’s third goal in the 85th minute. André Martins putting a superb ball through into substitute Wilson Eduardo. The winger then finishing an excellent counter attacking move off to add gloss to the scoreline.

Another comfortable win for Sporting who are playing with the great confidence that their lead at the table suggests. The three goals from three academy products in particular a highlight for Sporting fans.

Meanwhile Belenenses did not look the team that disrupted Benfica or Porto and they’re still sorely missing the creativity of Miguel Rosa.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Maurício, Marcos Rojo, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva (Scored, 28′), André Martins (Scored, 53′) (Vítor Silva, 86′); André Carrillo, Diego Capel (Wilson Eduardo, 73′, Scored, 85′), Fredy Montero (Islam Slimani, 80′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Eric Dier, Fabián Rinaudo, Carlos Mané

Wilson Eduardo Sent Off at the End of the Derby

After the dramatic Taça de Portugal game had finished last night the drama wasn’t quite over with.

Wilson Eduardo was given a red card after the game by Duarte Gomes for protesting against the referee’s decisions.

So that now means Sporting will be without Wilson Eduardo and Marcos Rojo for the next game away to Vitória de Guimarães after the international break.

Result: SPORTING 8-1 SC Alba

Sporting expectedly thrashed a resilient Sport Clube de Alba side 8-1 at the Estádio José Alvalade in the Taça de Portugal.

Leonardo Jardim was making sure there’d be no mistakes with a strong team selection. Fabián Rinaudo made his first start of the season along side Adrien and Vítor Silva in midfield. Vítor making his first start for the first team. Gérson Magrão filled the left-back role whilst Iván Piris played right-back. Jardim went for a very strong front 3 of André Carrillo, Wilson Eduardo and Fredy Montero.

Unsurprisingly Sporting started on top straight away against the minnows from Albergaria-a-Velha. Fredy Montero in particular had an excellent change in the first 10 minutes after being fed in on goal by a great pass from Vítor Silva but his chip sailed over the bar.

Sporting did make the opening in the 16th minute when Fredy Montero was fed down the left-hand channel and he crossed low for Wilson Eduardo to fire home from close range.

After another four minutes the home side then doubled their lead when a Vítor Silva cross was tapped in from close range by Marcos Rojo.

Sporting went close to another goal soon after Iván Piris broke free down the right-side and crossed to Montero who head onto André Carrillo. Carrillo’s close-range shot was well saved by Luís Santos. The Colombian now already in double-figures for the season.

In the 30th minute Wilson Eduardo found Fredy Montero who cleverly finished past Luís to make it 3-0. Replays showed that the striker may have been fractionally offside.

Vítor Silva almost made it 4 in the 38th minute after being put through on goal by Fredy Montero but the midfielder his shot over when he should have easily scored.

The first-half had been an easy game for Sporting, perhaps best proven by the 75% possession they enjoyed.

Leonardo Jardim made one change at the interval with youngster Rúben Semedo on for Marcos Rojo. The young centre-back making his full debut for the first team.

The second-half started much slower than the first with Sporting well in control of proceedings.

There was a big worry when Adrien Silva went down and looks to have took a knock. The midfielder was about to be substituted when Fredy Montero popped up again to grab the fourth goal after an excellent cross from the left-hand side by Gérson Magrão. Montero taking his goals tally for the season up to 11 goals.

Diego Capel made his return for the injured Adrien Silva. It took the Spanish winger just a minute before getting on the scoresheet after somehow excellently getting on to the end of André Carrillo’s cross.

Vítor Silva was the next to get on the scoresheet after some good play by André Carrillo and then Wilson Eduardo who crossed the ball low. Fredy Montero did well to dummy for the charging Vítor Silva to side foot the ball into the net to make it 6-0.

A mix up at the back between Marcelo Boeck and Rúben Semedo meant that Alba managed to get consolation goal. Carlos Santos was left with an empty goal for an easy tap in. Considering the excellent attitude of the Alba team and, especially, their supporters it was a great moment for the club.

Islam Slimani had an excellent opportunity to get his first goal for Sporting but Luís Santos made an excellent save to deny him one-on-one.

The Algerian forward did manage to get his first goal at last in the 85th minute to make it 7-1 to the home side. Vítor Silva again was the man who made the goal, the midfielder giving Leonardo Jardim a headache before his selection against Porto.

The scoring wasn’t done there though as Fredy Montero managed to grab another hat-trick at Sporting. Piris cut back the ball to Montero who did well to go past one play and smash the ball past Santos to make it 8 on the night. Montero getting his 12th goal in just 8 games.

In all it was a comfortable game, as expected, for Sporting. With focus now fully shifted onto the game against FC Porto next week.

Sporting XI: Marcelo Boeck; Iván Piris, Maurício, Marcos Rojo (Scored, 20′) (Rúben Semedo, 45′), Gérson Magrão; Fabián Rinaudo (YC), Adrien Silva (Diego Capel, 57′, scored, 59′), Vítor Silva (Scored, 67′); Wilson Eduardo (Scored, 16′), André Carrillo (Islam Slimani, 68′, Scored 86′), Fredy Montero (Scored, 31′, 57′)
Substitutes Not Used: Rui Patrício, Cédric Soares, André Martins, Carlos Mané

William Carvalho Wins SJPF Young Player for August / September

The SJPF (Sindicato dos Jogadores Profissionais de Futebol), the Portuguese football player’s union, announced the winner for the Young Player award for August and September.

William Carvalho was the winner with 31% of the overall vote and it is a hugely well deserved award to the midfielder who has excellent this season so far. The full list, Sporting-filled list, is as follows:

William Carvalho (31%)
Diogo Viana (Gil Vicente) (24%)
André Martins  (19%)
Wilson Eduardo (13%) 
Cédric Soares (13%)

William Carvalho could well claim a double as the award for Best Player of August / September has yet to be announced. He faces teammates such as Wilson Eduardo, Jefferson, Fredy Montero and Estoril’s Evandro.

The last person to win an SJPF award was Tiago Ilori who won the Young Player award for March last season.

Result: SPORTING 1-1 Rio Ave

Sporting could only manage a draw at home to a defiant Rio Ave side. Wilson Eduardo opened the scoring in the first half but Tarantini’s header meant to points were shared.

Leonardo Jardim named what he seems to feel is his strongest XI currently, with only Marcos Rojo still absent through injury. Diego Capel and Wilson Eduardo kept their positions in the wide areas with André Carrillo on the bench.

It was Sporting who opened the scoring in front of a packed Alvalade. Wilson Eduardo took advantage of a mistake by Rio Ave goalkeeper Romain Salin and curved the ball into the new from an incredibly acute angle.

Just before the break there was cause for concern for Jardim and Sporting when Diego Capel had to be withdrawn after picking up and injury. André Carrillo was the man to replace him.

Rio Ave had the best of it after the restart and when their goal did come it seemed to be a fair representation of how the game had gone.

From a set-piece Tarantini rose highest to head past Rui Patrício in the 72nd minute.

Late on there were appeals for a possible handball in the Rio Ave penalty area but referee Carlos Xistra waved those appeals away and the game finished 1-1.

A disappointing night for Sporting who failed to control games as they have done previously this year and showing whilst there has been some massive improvements not everything is quite perfect yet.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares (YC), Maurício, Eric Dier, Jefferson (YC); William Carvalho (Islam Slimani, 78′), Adrien Silva (YC), André Martins; Wilson Eduardo (Scored, 25′) (Fabián Rinaudo, 69′), Diego Capel (André Carrilo, 43′), Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Rúben Semedo, Vítor Silva, Gérson Magrão

Transfer Round Up 2013: Signings

Well, that last post sure had a lot of outgoing. Now let’s see who arrived at the club.

Leonardo Jardim: Well, we have to start with the manager. There were some who wanted Jesualdo Ferreira to stay in charge of Sporting after he rescued what was a disastrous season but injecting some youth into the team. Bruno de Carvalho however wanted former Braga and Olympiacos manager, Leonardo Jardim. So far, it is looking like an excellent recruitment but only time will tell.

Jefferson from Estoril (€400,000): After the sale of Emiliano Insúa back in January and after the loan finished of the distinctly average Joãozinho, Sporting were after a new left-back. Jefferson was one of Estoril’s best players as he helped the club have one of its best ever seasons. From early signs so far it seems that Sporting have grabbed quite the bargain.

Seejou King from Nordsjaelland (undisclosed): Seejou King originally arrived on loan from the Danish club to compete in the B team but impressed enough to warrant making contract permanent. There is no word on any transfer fee but with the left-back having only one year of his contract with his former club remaining the fee would likely have been a compensatory one.

Sambinha from 1º Dezembro (undisclosed): A versatile player who impressed enough to gain a contract from Sporting. Sambinha is likely to be spending most of his time in Sporting B and indeed was part of the team that won the Taça da Honra earlier in pre-season.

Fredy Montero from Seattle Sounders (loan): Initially a loan move but more than likely to be turned into a transfer with the player already agreeing terms to stay at the club for longer. No word yet on what the future transfer fee might be but should he continue to play as he has started this season (5 goals in the opening 3 games) then any fee will be worth it.

Hugo Sousa (free): Hugo Sousa had been playing in Cyprus but left his club AE Paphos due to unpaid wages. The young central defender has signed a 5-year deal with Sporting and will initially start life in the B team but may well be cover for the central defenders in the first team as the season goes on.

Maurício from Sport Recife (€330,000): I was unable to find an official transfer fee for Maurício but the player did have a buy out clause of €330k at Sport and so that figure would have to be the maximum. Rumour has it that with the player’s intention to leave and his relatively short remaining contract that Bruno de Carvalho did manage to get an even better deal for the player. So far he seems to have settled in nicely and may well end up much better than Xandão at the very last. Indeed, Maurício scored on the first day of the season against Arouca – a great way to mark your debut.

Salim Cissé from Académica (€300,000): Signed as back up to Fredy Montero from Académica (who will receive 10% of any future transfer fee). Cissé is likely to be frequently playing for the B team to keep up his match fitness as he tries to become the number one back-up ahead of another new signing in Islam Slimani.

Welder from Palmeiras (loan): The 22-year old Brazilian signs on loan from Palmeiras. No word of any deals for future fees for the player. Welder can play either his preferred right-back role or at left-back as well.

Gerson Magrão from Esporte Clube Primavera (free): Magrão has spent the last few years on loan at Santos and also Figueirense after a spell with Dynamo Kiev. The 28-year old midfielder has plenty of experience to add to Sporting although his debut didn’t go so well. He was replaced by André Martins midway through the first-half having failed to make an impact on the game. He can only improve from there.

Islam Slimani from CR Belouizdad (Undisclosed): Forward Slimani will join Fredy Montero and Salim Cissé as our set of strikers for the forthcoming season. Slimani has an excellent scoring record in his native Algeria but we are yet to see whether that will convert to Portugal. No word on the fee paid for the player.

Tiziu from Corinthians (free): Promising youngster who had at one point been hugely rated in Brazil before his exceptional development stalled. At just 19-years of age there is still plenty of time for the player to grow as he will be giving Betinho competition leading the line of the B team.

Iván Piris from São Paulo (undisclosed): The Paraguayan right-back had spent last year on loan at AS Roma but the Italian club did not take up the option to sign him. Indeed, Sporting have yet to announce whether the signing of Piris is a similar deal to Roma’s or a full transfer but it is perhaps most likely that it will start of initially as a loan. Perhaps the best bit of Piris’ transfer is that the player had apparently been on Benfica’s radar.

Vítor from Paços de Ferreira (undisclosed): An unexpected last minute signing but Vítor has plenty of experience and should add depth to midfield. Vítor had been linked with Middlesborough, Hull City and other English clubs but eventually ended up at Sporting for an, as of yet, undisclosed fee. It seems that super-agent Jorge Mendes was instrumental in the deal. Rumour has the deal could be worth up to €600,000.

Total spent from player purchases (estimated): €1,630,000

Estimated total summer spending: -€18,470,00

As well as the new signings, perhaps the best aspect of Bruno de Carvalho’s first summer as Sporting president was the long term contracts handed out to some incredibly promising players. With the early departures of several youth prospects in recent years (João Carlos, Agostinho Cá, Edgar Ié, etc.) this should help ensure Sporting profit from what they help cultivate.

From tvi24, a full list of this summer’s new deals:

Mauro Riquicho: until June 2016, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Rúben Semedo: until June 2017, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Diogo Salomão: until June 2018, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Mica Pinto: until June 2018, (€45,000,000 release clause)
João Mário: until June 2018, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Wilson Eduardo: until June 2018, (€45,000,000 release clause)
William Carvalho: until June 2018, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Luís Ribeiro: until June 2018, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Ricardo Esgaio: until June 2018, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Edelino Ié: until June 2018, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Carlos Mané: until June 2018, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Filipe Chaby: until June 2019, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Cristian Ponde: until June 2019, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Iuri Medeiros: until June 2019, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Kikas: until June 2019, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Tobias Figueiredo: until June 2019, (€45,000,000 release clause)
Betinho: until June 2018, (€60,000,000 release clause)

So. All in all a successful summer for Sporting. Bruno de Carvalho is quickly righting the many wrongs of the Godinho era and it seems that the club have not only made a tidy profit but with various clauses in contracts will stand to make future profits as well. What more could we ask for at this stage?

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

So, since it’s been a while since the last Leões/Lions post (yes, it’s been a really long while) here is a round-up of all the transfers and other pre-season news so far. As you know, there is always something happening at Sporting so there is a lot to write about.

Transfers in:

Zakaria Labyad was a deal done way back during the season but he has now officially become a Sporting player. Labyad will be in London over the summer representing Morocco at the Olympics. PSV Eindhoven, Labyad’s former club, are now seeking financial compensation for the deal.

Sporting’s next signing was Gelson Fernandes on the 4th July. Fernandes came from French side Saint-Étienne after having spent the second half of 2012 on loan to Udinese. Gelson’s deal is a 4-year contract with a buyout clause of €25m.

9 days later and Sporting completed another signing by signing former Bayern München player Danijel Pranjić. The Croatian has had his injuries in recent times but will reinforce Sporting in midfield was well as occasionally on the left-hand side in defence or attack.

The signings didn’t stop there as Khalid Boulahrouz joined the club for free just 4 days after that on the 18th July. The Netherlands and ex-Chelsea defender has been at VfB Stuttgart until his contract expired. Boulahrouz can play at both right-back and centre-back and has been handed a two-year contract.

Most recently Sporting completed the signing of Marcos Rojo the Argentinian left-back / centre-back from Spartak Moscow. The former Estudiantes player had been rumoured to join Benfica months ago but in the end chose Sporting instead.

Transfers out:

As already ported on the blog João Pereira has moved onto Valencia. Ânderson Polga left the club too and is still yet to find a new team. Long-time servant Tiago also retired.

Deportivo de La Coruña signed André Santos on loan as well as being able to keep Diogo Salomão for another season. More recently both Alberto Rodríguez and Evaldo Fabiano have also joined the newly promoted Spanish team.

Jaime Valdés officially became a Parma player after he was on loan there last season.

Edgar Ié and Agostinho Cá were all set to join Internazionale last month. Indeed, the deal had been reported as completed by various media outlets. Since then it emerged that the deal had in fact not gone through and now the pair have joined Barcelona instead and will play for the B team next season.

Other Sporting players have been released and found new clubs such as Diogo Rosado (Genoa), Mexer (Nacional), André Marques (FC Sion), Mateus Fonseca (FC Chiasso), and Rodolfo Simões (Marítimo).

As well as the following players leaving the club on loan: William Owusu (Westerlo), William Carvalho (Cercle Brugge), and Miguel Serôdio (Varzim).

Pre-Season Games:

Sporting opened Pre-Season with an 11-0 win over minnows Atlético Clube do Cacém. The Sintra club were unsurprisingly soundly beaten thanks to goals from Iuri Medeiros, Filipe Chaby, Emiliano Insúa, Adrien Silva, André Martins, Ricky van Wolfswinkel (x2), Diego Rubio (x2), and Wilson Eduardo (x2).

Last Thursday Sporting ended up losing 1-0 to Charlton Athletic in a game played at the Municipal de Lepe, the home of lower league side San Roque de Lepe. A last minute goal from Johnnie Jackson game the London club the win.

Sporting’s team for the game was:

Marcelo Boeck; Bruno Pereirinha (Cédric Soares 46′), Daniel Carriço (YC) (Nuno Reis 59′), Xandão (Oguchi Onyewu 59′), Emiliano Insúa (Danijel Pranjić 59′); Fabián Rinaudo (Gelson Fernandes 46′), Adrien Silva (Stijn Schaars 59′), Elias (André Martins 46′); Jeffrén Suárez (Wilson Eduardo 46′), Diego Capel (André Carrillo 56′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Diego Rubio 59′)

Sporting next face Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow night with kick off at 20:30.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel Wins Player of the Month

Sporting Clube de Portugal striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel has won the September’s SJPF (Sindicato dos Jogadores Profissionais de Futebol) Player of the Month. The striker, who has scored in every league game during September, placed above 4 other Sporting players in a list that also did not feature a single Benfica or Porto player.

The Player of the Month top 10 list in full:

1. Ricky van Wolfswinkel
2. Danilo Dias (Marítimo)
3. Wilson Eduardo (On loan at Olhanense from Sporting)
4. Elias
5. Fabián Rinaudo
6. Diego Capel
7. Nuno Gomes (Braga)
8. Baba Diawara (Marítimo)
9. Ibrahim Sissoko (Académica)
10. Diego (Setúbal)

Ricky van Wolfswinkel becomes the first Sporting player to win Player of the Month since Liédson back in March 2010.