News Round Up / We’re Back!

Apologies one and all, for the pure laziness of your blogger (since I’ve gone… Sporting even won a game). So, here’s a round up of some of the more recent stories I’ve missed (not all – I don’t have all day.

Vice-President Carlos Barbosa has resigned with the club saying his reorganisation of the commercial structure is done. I’m not sure what this really means to the club.

Unsurprisingly after his moment of madness, Valeri Bojinov has been loaned to Lecce. Don’t expect to ever see him return and the Bulgarian will probably be sold in summer for an incredibly cheap price. Lecce do have am apparent €2.5m buy-out cause at the end of the season but other clubs may well be interested.

Yannick Djaló incredibly ended his transfer limbo by moving to not Nice or Aston Villa… but Benfica. Yep. It’s fairly satisfying to know that Benfica fans will also soon become incredibly frustrated by his combination of great-talent-bad-brain.

Now your blogger will not be here to post about this weekend’s clash against Gil Vicente but rumours are that Marat Izmailov, Fabián Rinaudo could be in line to start although Ricky van Wolfswinkel may need another week to wait.

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Yannick Djaló Now Going to Aston Villa?

It seems there has been another turn in Yannick Djaló’s long running transfer saga. Yannick Djalo now could instead be joining Aston Villa in January.

The former Sporting player was sold to OGC Nice on transfer deadline day, but the transfer was not completed as FIFA did not acknowledge the transfer due to Nice failing to provide the proper documents before transfer deadline.

Portuguese radio station Antena 1 is now claiming though that the Guinea-Bissau-born forward could instead be on his way to Birmingham to play for Aston Villa.

The details of the transfer are still incomplete, it could be that Yannick joins Villa on loan from Nice or that, with the complications in his transfer, he is free to do so.

Yannick Djaló Still in Transfer Limbo

Yannick Djaló remains in transfer limbo as his deadline day transfer to OGC Nice still remains incomplete.

Initially all seemed well with the transfer and it seemed the Sporting forward would be on his way to play in Ligue 1 after a €4,500,000 transfer to Nice (although this transfer figure is in doubt with some sources saying it could be as low as €1,000,000).

FIFA though have since decided that the transfer can not be completed due to the appropriate documents not being completed before the transfer deadline. It seems that his is a possible error by Nice with Sporting’s documents having been sent in good time.

Now, OGC Nice’s officials have lodged an appeal against FIFA as they claim the deal was done with 3 minutes left to spare, and will be looking into finding a way to complete the transfer.

Yannick has been in France with his possible new team and has even played a friendly for them but could now have to wait until January to make a permanent move.

Transfer Deadline Catch-Up: Postiga, Djaló, Grimi, Turan, and Zezinho

It was a busy transfer deadline day at Sporting Clube de Portugal to finish off an extraordinary summer of transfer activity. Sporting today have sold 2 players and and also loaned out 2 players today to reduce the size of the squad with no more signings after yesterday’s capture of Elias.

The most surprising transfer news of the day are the departures of Yannick Djaló and Hélder Postiga to OGC Nice and to Real Zaragoza respectively. Leandro Grimi has moved out on loan to Belgian Champions, Genk. Zezinho has also moved out on loan to the recently promoted Liga de Honra side Atlético Clube de Portugal. Finally, new boy Atila Turan has moved on loan to Beira-Mar.

Firstly, Hélder Postiga has moved on from Sporting Clube de Portugal to the financially troubled La Liga side, Real Zaragoza – probably due to the influence of Jorge Mendes a the club. Postiga’s transfer went for €1,000,000 with the possibility of that transfer price doubling depending on performance clauses. Due to a deal with Porto, the club from which Sporting signed Postiga (for a fee of €2,5000,000 back in 2008), the Dragões will get €500,000 of the transfer fee. The surprising factor of the deal is that Postiga seemed to be a part of Domingos Paciência plans as he, like Yannick Djaló, had played every game so far this season.

Postiga had began the season in misfiring fashion having failed to find the net so far and his total record with Sporting comes to 18 goals in 109 matches. His departure means Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Valeri Bojinov, and Diego Rubio will all be fighting to start as the main forward.

Yannick Djaló has moved on to the Ligue 1 side OGC Nice. The Guinea-Bissau-born Portugal international has been at the club since he was 11-years old, coming through the Sporting Academy. Djaló was sold for €4,500,000 for 75% of his ownership and will sign a 3-year deal with the Nice-based club.

Yannick Djaló made his debut for the club on the 16th September 2006 and has this season started every game for Domingos Paciência. With the signings of Diego Capel and Jeffrén it seems that the generally inconsistent but sometimes brilliant forward is no longer surplus to requirements at the Alvalade.

Leandro Grimi, who has been seen as not being part of the future plans of Sporting, has been moved on loan to KRC Genk. The former AC Milan left back had only been on the fringes of the squad last season with the arrival of Evaldo and this season’s arrival of Emiliano Insúa ensured that Grimi would need to go out on loan if he is to find football this year.

Youngster Zezinho has moved on loan to the newly promoted Atlético Clube de Portugal. The Guinea-Bissau has previously had a loan spell with Estoril and will now gain experience with Atlético in the Liga de Honra.

Atila Turan has yet to make his debut at Sporting after having signed this summer from Grenoble Foot, the Frenchman probably would have played his part at some point this season and his loan move is because of an injury to another Sporting player on loan at the Aveiro club, André Marques. Although it is also possible that the signing of Emiliano Insúa is a factor in this deal and it ensures Turan will play more football this year.

And so concludes Sporting Clube de Portugal’s amazing transfer window. 16 new players have signed to the club and many have gone to perhaps begin a new era for the club.

Nordsjælland vs. SPORTING Preview

Sporting Clube de Portugal are a much different team than the one that successfully knocked out FC Nordsjælland in the Third Qualifying Round of the Europa League last season and it seems for the better. Much like last time Sporting will be traveling to Denmark for the first leg before the return leg in Lisbon.

Simon Vukčević got the goal that day and although he currently is still with the club his days are numbered. Amongst the  team that night were the likes of Pedro Mendes, Maniche and Carlos Saleiro whilst under the management of Paulo Sérgio.

Sporting will be without Luis Aguiar and Valeri Bojinov who although being included in the squad will only possibly be fit for the return leg. Matías Fernández is in contention and it is likely that the Chilean could make his appearance of the bench.

There are some decisions for Domingos Paciência to make again after the 1-1 draw at home to Olhanense on the opening weekend. Some players though, like Jeffrén and Fabián Rinaudo will feel like did enough on the first day to warrant another place in the team.

Diego Capel could be favoured ahead of Yannick Djaló which would only add more interest into the possibility of Djaló possibly leaving the club before the end of the  transfer window, especially if Yannick does not play at all – meaning he would not be cup tied for the Europa League. Djaló has been an apparent target of Juventus as of late, with other clubs apparently monitoring the situation.

Daniel Carriço missed out on the first match to Olhanense as Paciência went for a centre-back partnership of Ânderson Polga and Alberto Rodríguez so it will be perhaps likely that the Sporting captain be played against Nordsjælland.

Up front Hélder Postiga was mightily unlucky not to score on day 1 of the Liga and so his position as the first choice striker may be under threat from Ricky van Wolfswinkel who has a point to prove after not being brought on for the bench as Sporting chased for a goal in the last game.

Sporting fans will no doubt be expecting a win, even Nordsjælland coach Kasper Hjulmand only rates his team’s chances of progressing as “10 or 20%” but any form of draw, preferably a score draw, will be a bonus. That’s not to say Sporting should be winning but with this being a new team they can’t be expected to function fully straight away.

Possible Sporting XI:

Rui Patrício

João Pereira – Daniel Carriço – Alberto Rodríguez – Evaldo Fabiano

Fabián Rinaudo – André Santos

Jeffrén Suárez – Stijn Schaars – Diego Capel

Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Week’s News Round Up: Nordsjælland, Ramón de Carranza

Since your author has been away for the last week obviously there hasn’t been any new posts over the past week so it’s time to just remind everyone and myself of what happened over the past week:

Sporting were drawn against the Danish Superliga side Nordsjælland in the Europa League qualifying round. FC Nordsjælland qualified for the tournament after winning the the 2011 Danish Cup. The first leg will be played in Denmark at Nordsjælland’s Farum Park on the 18th August before the return leg at the José Alvalade on the 25th August.

Interestingly, included in the UEFA squad for the Europa League games is Valeri Bojinov. Bojinov was thought to be out until September but his inclusion may indicate a more rapid recovery than expected. Matías Fernández features for the first time after his summer in the Copa América with Chile. There had been rumours of Yannick Djaló departing the club but his inclusion means should he play then he would be cup-tied in Europe.

The squad for the game follows beneath but changes are allowed until midnight the day before the first tie.

SPORTING Squad to face Nordsjælland:
Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Tiago Ferreira and Marcelo Boeck
Defenders: Alberto Rodríguez, Daniel Carriço, Ânderson Polga, Oguchi Onyewu, Evaldo Fabiano, João Pereira, Atila Turan
Midfielders: Stijn Schaars, Marat Izmailov, Diego Capel, Matías Fernández, Fabián Rinaudo, Luis Aguiar, Bruno Pereirinha, André Santos, Jeffrén Suárez, André Carrillo, Yannick Djaló
Forwards: Valeri Bojinov, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Diego Rubio, Hélder Postiga

Last weekend there was the Ramón de Carranza Trophy in Cádiz between Cádiz, Málaga, Udinese and Sporting. Sporting finished last in tournament having lost out to Spain’s big-spenders Málaga 3-1 and Italy’s most entertaining team, Udinese, on penalties. The game against Málaga also featured the debut of the new signing, Jeffrén and Atila Turan made his debut against Udinese.

Diego Rubio though was perhaps the most outstanding player over the two games as he continued to try and force his way into the starting XI for Saturday’s opening Liga game at home to Olhanense.

For point of reference here’s the details for both of the games:

Sporting XI vs. Malaga: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Oguchi Onyewu (Daniel Carriço 45′), Alberto Rodríguez, Evaldo Fabiano; André Santos; Yannick Djaló (Fabián Rinaudo 45′), Stijn Schaars (André Martins 58′), Diego Capel (Jeffrén Suárez 45′); Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Diego Rubio 58′, Scored 61′), Hélder Postiga (André Carrillo 45′)
Subs Not Used: Tiago Ferreira, Marcelo Boeck, Atila Turan, Ânderson Polga
(Goals for Málaga: Júlio Baptista 35′ & 76′, Ruud van Nistelrooy 42′)

Sporting XI vs. Udinese: Marcelo Boeck; Bruno Pereirinha, Daniel Carriço (Alberto Rodríguez 45′), Ânderson Polga, Atila Turan (Evaldo Fabiano 45′); Fabián Rinaudo, André Martins; Jeffrén Suárez (André Carrillo 76′), Stijn Schaars (André Santos 45′), Yannick Djaló (Diego Capel 45′); Hélder Postiga (Diego Rubio 45′, Scored 48′ & 90+3′)
Subs Not Used: Tiago Ferreira, Rui Patrício, Oguchi Onyewu, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, João Pereira
(Goals for Udinese: Almen Abdi 14′, Antonio Floro Flores 81′)
(Sent off for Udinese: Danilo Larangera)

Penalties:
SPORTING 9-10 UDINESE

André Martins Scored
Diego Rubio Scored
Diego Capel SAVED
André Carrillo Scored
André Santos Scored

Ânderson Polga Scored
Bruno Pereirinha Scored
Evaldo Fabiano Scored
Fabián Rinaudo Scored
Marcelo Boeck Scored
André Martins SAVED
Antonio Floro Flores Scored
Giampiero Pinzi Scored
Juan Surraco Scored
Neuton SAVED
Diego Fabbrini Scored

Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu Scored
Dušan Basta Scored
Joel Ekstrand Scored
Giovanni Pasquale Scored
Samir Handanovič Scored
Antonio Floro Flores Scored

Report: SPORTING 2-1 Juventus

Picture via A BolaSporting put in arguably their best performance thus far in pre-season in Toronto, winning 2-1 against the Italian giants Juventus. The scoreline probably didn’t reflect the superiority that Sporting showed – especially in the first half.

The weather in Toronto was hardly ideal with heavy rain and blustering winds, and yet it seemed to have little effect on the football. Sporting once again went with the same shape as in their past few games under Domingos Paciência – a sort of 4-1-3-2, with Fabián Rinaudo as the destroyer and Stijn Schaars playing the ball around.

Schaars and Rinaudo in fact were two of the stand out players for Sporting, but in the first half the star of the show was Yannick Djaló.

Yannick opened the scoring after 13 minutes when a Stijn corner was headed down by the American Oguchi Onyewu into the past of Yannick. His close range finish gave Sporting a deserved lead.

In the 36th minute Yannick beat two Juventus players before rifling an effort that left even Gianluigi Buffon helpless to stop it. Yannick proved what he can, on his very best, be capable of producing.

After the half-time break Juventus changed almost their entire squad, only Giorgio Chiellini remained from the Juve team that began the match. Sporting made a substitution of their own with Marcelo Boeck coming on for Rui Patrício.

Like with many other friendlies like this, the quality of the game dipped in the second half. Regardless Sporting still looked lively and showed great passion to win back possession should it be conceded. Rinaudo especially stood out as the main man in the centre of the field.

With 63 minutes gone Juventus looked to be back in the game. Substitute Luca Toni headed home but the goal was disallowed for offside – a decision with replays proved to be the correct one.

As the 67th minute passed it was now Sporting’s turn to ring in a large amount of changes. Diego Rubio, André Santos, André Martins, Tiago Ilori and Ânderson Polga all entered the fray. The substitutions lead to Sporting no longer as secure with their lead – as Juventus desperately tried to crawl one back.

When Juventus did score, it was a brilliant one. Alessandro Del Piero beat the offside trap to bringing the ball forward and chip Marcelo Boeck with an absolutely beautiful lob. It was a sensational goal from a player who despite being a couple of months away from 37, has still remained a fantastic football player.

Juventus threatened Sporting again later on in the match that left for a slightly nervous finish for Sporting. In the end though, the Leões took what was their most impressive win so far since the beginning of pre-season and will be hoping to do well again in their next match against Valencia.

SPORTING Team (4-1-3-2): Rui Patrício (Marcelo Boeck 45′), João Pereira (João Gonçalves 82′), Daniel Carriço (Ânderson Polga 67′), Oguchi Onyewu (Tiago Ilori 67′), Evaldo; Fabián Rinaudo; Bruno Pereirinha (André Santos 67′), Stijn Schaars, Yannick Djaló (Scored 13′ & 36′) (Valeri Bojinov 82′); Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Diego Rubio 67′), Hélder Postiga (YC) (André Martins 67′).
Subs Not Used: N/A

Report: Braga 0-1 SPORTING

Sporting Clube de Portugal’s end to a pretty poor Liga season didn’t end with much excitement but it did end with a win. It’s probably an important one for moral, more than the 3rd place the Leões have now gained after Yannick Djaló’s 5th minute goal proved to be the winner.

It was the perfect way for Sporting to quieten down the Quarry. Alberto Zapater was the man with the assist feeding it perfectly for Yannick to slot past Artur in the Braga net.

It should have be a game in which many of the Sporting players staked a claim to stay at the club but once again there was something lackluster about it all. André Santos was perhaps one of the better players on the pitch, doing well to break up Braga’s play.

After the break it was more of the same, Sporting defended well and Braga seemed to lack too much ambition. It was apparent that although 3rd place makes little differences in the grand scheme of things, the Braga players weren’t as bothered about it. They are not part of the “Big 3” of Portugal and so are not expected to always be in the Top 3. Of course, the Minhotos also have a big game on Wednesday to come.

It seemed most of the games action was on the sidelines, as Domingos Paciência, surprisingly, was taking up a huge amount of screen time. It seems almost certain that Paciência will be at Sporting next year so with him possibly facing his future employers it makes for an interesting paradigm.

Braga’s best chance came mid-way through the second half when Meyong headed the ball in the corner of the net. The assistant referee raised his flag right away for offside, and the replays showed that he was right too.

As the score remained 0-1, it was clear Sporting were happy to sit back and retain possession, perhaps best demonstrated by José Couceiro as he brought on the more defensive minded Nuno André Coelho for Matías Fernández. It seems this will almost certainly be José Couceiro’s last game in charge of Sporting.

In the end there was not too much for Rui Patrício to really do and the game ended in a bit of a disappointing whimper. It was probably a fitting end to Sporting’s season.

Positives:

  • A win! After the disappointment against Vitória de Setúbal last time out it was at least nice to see 3 points and a clean sheet.
  • Despite the defensive frailties this season, it was for the most part at least, fairly comfortable.
  • It’s the end of the season. Time to look forward again.

Negatives:

  • It’s still not vintage stuff from Sporting. There was little swashbuckling football.
  • Although he scored the winning goal, Yannick Djaló probably should have had a hatrick. He, as we all know, can be brilliant at times.
  • It’s the end of the season. Now what do we do?

SPORTING TEAM: Rui Patrício (YC); Cédric Soares, Ânderson Polga, Daniel Carriço (YC), Evaldo; Alberto Zapater, André Santos; Yannick Djaló (Scored 5′, YC), Matías Fernández (Nuno André Coelho 87′, YC), Jaime Valdés (Diogo Salomão 78′); Hélder Postiga (Carlos Saleiro 90′)
Subs not used: Tiago, Marco Torsiglieri, Leandro Grimi, Cristiano

Team News for the Vitória Match

There’s plenty of news ahead of the penultimate game of this season, against Vitória in Setubal.

  • It seems to be a good week for Yannick Djaló. Yannick looks set to be fit after early worries of whether or not he would be able to participate in Sunday’s game. Although he has been doing specialised training, there is confidence that he will play this weekend. On top of that the attacking midfielder is set to be handed a new and improved contract to keep him at the club. It’s also his 25th birthday today, so happy birthday Yannick.
  • Maniche looks set to return and fill the roll of the suspended André Santos after he was sent off in the last match against Portimonense. It will be Maniche’s first match since February 27th in the 1-0 defeat to Nacional.
  • Carlos Saleiro is looking unlikely to make the cut for the squad. Saleiro has been doing individual training at the gym, and could be a late inclusion should training progress from today. The Lisbon born striker will be reassessed tomorrow.
  • Caretaker coach José Couceiro has been absent lately due to personal issues which has meant he has been in Angola. It’s not certain what these issues are or when he will return. José Lima and Oceano have been in charge of the training sessions so far
  • The referee in charge with be Paulo Batista, and he will be assisted by Paulo Soares and Jorge Cruz. We’ll be hoping that Batista can do a much better job than Duarte Gomes and Artur Soares Dias recently.

Transfer Rumour: Yannick Djaló to West Ham United?

West Ham United are apparently tracking Yannick Djaló according to the (fairly) dubious English tabloid, the Daily Mirror. The Mirror also claims that Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham have all been tracking the forward.

The paper claims that the club would be prepared to sell Yannick for a fee of around about €9,000,000.

The scouts will have been pretty impressed if they saw Yannick’s goals against Académica last weekend.