Champions League Squad Announced

The squad for Sporting’s Champions League campaign has been announced. UEFA has yet to publish the “B” list, meaning some youth team players like Matheus Pereira and Gelson Martins don’t feature but that should follow shortly.

All of the new signings feature, the only missing name from the first team squad proper is goalkeeper Ažbe Jug.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Beto, Vladimir Stojković*, Luís Maximiano*, Pedro Silva*
Defenders: Ezequiel Schelotto, Jefferson, Sebastián Coates, Paulo Oliveira, Douglas Teixeira, João Pereira, Rúben Semedo, Ricardo Esgaio, Marvin Zeegelaar, Pedro Empis*, Mauro Riquicho*, Ivanildo Fernandes*, Guilherme Ramos*, Abdu Conté*, Gonçalo Vieira*, Jefferson Encada*
Midfielders: Radosav Petrović, Bruno César, William Carvalho, Elias, Adrien Silva, Marcelo Meli, Bruno Paulista, Alan Ruiz, Bubacar Djaló*, Gelson Martins*, Bruno Paz*, Pedro Ferreira*, Fábio Martins*
Forwards: Lazar Marković, Joel Campbell, Bryan Ruiz, André, Luc Castaignos, Bas Dost, Luís Eloi*, Matheus Pereira*

*B list

Edited 13/9 to include to include the B squad.

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Transfer Round-Up 2015: Departures

As always with Sporting, there were plenty of entrances and exits throughout the transfer window, so here’s a breakdown of all of those who left the Alvalade albeit temporarily or permanently.

Maurício to Lazio (€2,600,000): A transfer that was essentially made in January but was made permanent by Lazio over the summer adding a little bit extra to Sporting’s transfer budget.

Cédric Soares to Southampton (€6,500,000): Considering the right fullback had only a year left on his contract this wasn’t a bad fee and Cédric has already made a solid start to life in England. However, had his contract been sorted out sooner Sporting could have kept or got a far greater fee for the Portugal international.

Lewis Enoh to Lokeren (€350,000): Not a bad profit for a player who cost only a tenth of that when brought in Sourense back in January 2014. The Cameroonian performed adequately enough for the B team and demonstrated that Sporting can make profit from their second string players.

Nuno Reis to Metz (free): It’s sad to see Nuno Reis not make it at Sporting after spending so long with the club and being so impressive at youth level. A move to Metz though may give his career a kickstart.

José Postiga to Rio Ave (free): Unable to agree to a new contract with Sporting the young striker has moved to Rio Ave on a free transfer. Postiga has yet to play for his new club as he faces some stiff competition to become a first pick Primeira Liga striker.

André Geraldes to Belenenses (loan): Geraldes has rejoined the club where he so impressed two seasons ago. Under Ricardo Sá Pinto the fullback will hopefully return to Sporting for next season ready to slot into the first team.

Liu Yiming to Pinhalnovense (free): The young Chinese defender was unable to break in the B team so has been given a free transfer to join 3 of his compatriots at Pinhalnovense. Some regular first team football is exactly what he needs at this time in his career.

Lisandro Semedo to Reading (free): A frustrating situation in which Semedo and Sporting were unable to come to terms with a new contract for the promising winger. Joining Championship side Reading is an interesting choice for the player.

José Marinheiro to Coruchense (free): The young goalkeeper has been released from Sporting and has joined up with GD Coruchense in the Campeonato Nacional Seniores Série G.

Naby Sarr to Charlton Athletic (€2,000,000): Sporting did well to double their money after selling Naby Sarr after just one season. The physically excellent but error-prone centre-back was ousted by Tobias Figueiredo, Paulo Oliveira and later Ewerton last season. He will face a very different challenge in the Championship.

Miguel Lopes to Granada (loan): Another move for Miguel Lopes who is still suffering from the high wages he was given when he joined the club under Godinho Lopes. The right-back had a solid run in the team last season under Marco Silva but Jorge Jesus seems to prefer João Pereira and Ricardo Esgaio.

Héldon Ramos to Rio Ave (loan): Still unable to break into the first team at Sporting, Héldon will be joining Rio Ave for the remainder of the season.

Simeon Slavchev to Apollon Limassol (loan): Another player unable to find a way into Jorge Jesus’ plans. The Bulgarian midfielder still seems to be struggling to adapt to Portuguese football.

Betinho to Belenenses (undisclosed): It’s a shame that Betinho never made it into the Sporting team after having been so promising at youth level. A wasted year last season with Brentford this move to Belenenses could be a huge boost for the young striker’s career.

João Palhinha to Moreirense (loan): João Palhinha seemed to impress Jorge Jesus and was quickly integrated into first team training during pre-season. A loan to Moreirense could give the midfielder some much needed Primeira Liga experience to develop even further. Will hopefully come back better and stronger.

Wallyson Mallmann to OGC Nice (loan): Surprisingly, Nice have an option to buy Mallmann at the end of this loan. Wallyson looked like he may have been likely for a first team berth this season but instead will be playing in Ligue 1. If the Brazilian midfielder does return to Sporting next season he will hopefully be able to fight his way into the first team.

Rúben Semedo to Vitória de Setúbal (loan): Another play who looked like he had convinced Jorge Jesus of his talents but just fell short of being integrated into the first team. Semedo did play in the Supertaça before being loan to Setúbal where he will hopefully develop like João Mário did there a few seasons ago.

Mica Pinto to Recreativo de Huelva (loan): One of the trio of players loan to Recreativo managed by former B team manager José Dominguez. The left-back is in need of a loan move out after so long playing B team football.

Luís Ribeiro to Recreativo de Huelva (loan): Similar to Mica Pinto in as much as he has perhaps played too much B team football and needs a move to develop further.

Kikas to Recreativo de Huelva (loan): A different challenge for Kikas after his season in Romania last year. It’s probably only a matter of time before he departs the club on a permanent basis.

Michaël Ciani to Espanyol (free): Well, that was quick. Ciani came, saw and left. Sporting could still profit from the French defender as they retain a small amount of his rights for a future transfer.

Diego Capel to Genoa (€1,300,000): Sad to see the Spanish winger leave after such a long stint at the club but after being unable to feature for Marco Silva often last season coupled with his high wages the writing was on the wall. The transfer fee is low for a player of his quality but Sporting will be happy to free up space on the wage bill for new contracts. Best of luck to Diego Capel!

Iuri Medeiros to Moreirense (loan): Iuri Medeiros impressed on loan at Arouca last season but didn’t impress Jesus enough, the manager preferring the young Gelson Martins over him. There’s still plenty of time for the exiting winger though and hopefully this loan deal helps.

Shikabala to Zamalek (€650,000): FINALLY! Shikabala has been a disaster of transfer. It was always a risky move but regardless, nothing went well. After so long AWOL, Shikabala returns to Zamalek for a profit. Not sure how Bruno de Carvalho managed that one.

Filipe Chaby to União da Madeira (loan): Chaby helped União da Madeira get promoted to the Primeira Liga and now he can help them stay there. This is a step up un level that could be key in the midfielder’s development.

Diego Rubio to Real Valladolid (free): An excellent signing from the perspective of Valladolid. The Chilean was in fantastic form for the B team when he returned from Norway last season. Rubio may well go on to score plenty of goals for the Spanish side.

Ramy Rabia to Al Ahly (€750,000): Rabia returns to Al Ahly for about the same fee as when was signed, the defender just wasn’t able to make an impression in the first team with Tobias Figueiredo ahead of him in the pecking order.

Wilson Eduardo to Braga (free): Another player it’s sad to see go. Wilson Eduardo has plenty to offer and will undoubtably do well for Braga. A good move for the player and for Braga though Sporting will be disappointed not to get a transfer fee they retain rights to the player for any future transfers.

Jorge Santos to Salgueiros (free): Gazela just wasn’t able to make the step up to Sporting B’s level of football after his mve last season as was loaned to Salgueiros last season. Jorge Santos has now moved there on a permanent basis.

Estimated transfer sales: €14,150,000

Youngsters Called Up to Portugal U17 Squad

Four Sporting youth players have been called up the Portugal U17 squad by Hélio Sousa for a friendly tournament at St. George’s Park in England.

Defender João Oliveira, midfielder Miguel Luís, and forwards Leandro Tipote and Rafael Leão have all be called up.

Portugal will face Turkey on August 26th, Italy on August 28th and, finally, England on August 30th.

Week Round-Up: Win, Lose, Draw

There were varying results for all 3 of Sporting’s sides on Wednesday: the U19s beat Maribor, the B team lost to Chaves and the first team threw it away against Maribor.

Match report from PortuGOAL.net:
Sporting contrived to throw away two points in Slovenia after a defensive calamity allowed Maribor to equalise in the final seconds of the game upon their Champions League return.

The Lisbon club had taken the lead in the 80th minute when Nani struck superbly to grab his first goal since returning to the club. That goal was cancelled out when Naby Sarr and Maurício both produced awful clearances leaving 18-year old Luka Zahović to equalise for Maribor.

Sporting may have been 5 years without Champions League football but their opponents for the night, Maribor, have been out of the competition for a full 15 years. Only Adrien, Diego Capel and Nani were not making their Champions League debuts.

Marco Silva made just one change from the team that disappointed at the Alvalade against Belenenses in the last game, Cédric Soares returning to his right-back slot at the expense of the capable back-up, Ricardo Esgaio.

Sporting had the better of the opening stages of the half but it was Maribor who had the better of the chances, Agim Ibraimi finding too much space and forcing a decent save out of Rui Patrício.

The best moment of the first-half for Sporting came in the 28th minute when André Carrillo, Sporting’s best player so far this season, played a fantastic one-two with Islam Slimani before hitting his effort straight at goalkeeper Jasmin Handović. The Peruvian picked up the rebound and curled a superb shot onto the bar.

From that point on came Maribor’s best stint of the game in which they created plenty of opportunities. Marcos Tavares had a decent opportunity when he found space to head the ball but his attempt was straight at Patrício.

The home side’s best chance of the half though fell to defender Aleksander Rajčević. The defender’s header struck Patrício’s post with the goalkeeper well beaten.

Marco Silva made one change at half-time with the ineffectual André Martins taken off and João Mário on to replace him.

The change balanced Sporting’s play and soon they were on top again. Nani picking out a great cross for Islam Slimani, but the Algerian’s header was straight at the goalkeeper.

Despite Sporting’s better control of the second half their defence was shaky. Tavares had another great opportunity but Cédric Soares’ block was essential.

Nani grew into the game and had a decent chance in the 64th minute but Handović was there to stop him.

There was nothing the goalkeeper could do about Nani’s eventual goal in the 80th minute. The winger did well to find space for himself to shoot from outside the box and drilled an effort low into the bottom right corner.

It looked like Sporting were going to kick off their Champions League place with a win but calamity struck in the 2nd minute of stoppage time. Naby Sarr headed a loose clearance that Maurício tried to boot clear, but only succeeded in shanking the ball horribly towards his own net, placing it perfectly for the Portugal-born Luka Zahović to head past Rui Patrício and give Maribor a well-earned point.

This 5th draw in 6 games for Marco Silva and is a cause for concern. Defensive errors are becoming too frequent with the current centre-back partnership and it may not be long before there is a change at the back.

Although Sporting may have thought it unlikely to get out of the group stages this really makes it an uphill struggle. Realistically, Sporting will need to get something out of Schalke and Chelsea now to go through to the knock-out stages, otherwise the Europa League will beckon.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Maurício (YC), Naby Sarr, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, André Martins (João Mário, 46′); André Carrillo (Carlos Mané, 66), Nani (Scored, 80), Islam Slimani (Fredy Montero, 90+1)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Ricardo Esgaio Paulo Oliveira, Diego Capel

Francisco Barão’s Sporting B were 2-0 down after just 7 minutes gone in their game away to Chaves.

Luís Pinto had opened the scoring after just 5 minutes before shortly afterwards Arnold Issoko doubled the home side’s lead.

Sporting managed to pull one back just after the half-hour mark through the returning Salim Cissé.

Chaves scored a crucial 3rd goal in the 63rd minute through Hugo Santos.

After that Sporting B threw everything they could at Chaves but only managed to get one more goal, Francisco Geraldes getting Sporting’s 2nd in the 79th minute.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro; Mauro Riquicho, Sambinha, Tobias Figueiredo (YC), Mica Pinto; Wallyson Mallmann (YC), Filipe Chaby (YC) (Francisco Geraldes, Scored, 79′), Iuri Medeiros (YC); Daniel Podence (Ousmane Dramé, 56′), Hadi Sacko (Gelson Martins 73′), Salim Cissé (Scored, 31′)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, Rúben Ribeiro, Lewis Enoh

And finally some good news, Sporting’s U19 side won 3-1 away to Maribor as they took part in their first ever UEFA Youth League.

Sporting had the better of the game through out and took the lead through a penalty converted by José Postiga.

José Lima’s youngsters found it difficult to make further headway until an exciting end to the game.

José Correia doubled Sporting’s advantage on the 76th minute but that didn’t last long at all when Nik Lorbek pulled one back for the home side.

That made it a very nervy finish for Sporting but Luís Elói managed to make the game certain in stoppage time to provide an excellent start Sporting’s UEFA Youth League campaign.

SPORTING U19 XI: Vladimir Stojković; Gonçalo Araújo, Bruno Wilson, Ivanildo Fernandes, João Serrano; Bubacar Djaló (Rafael Benevides, 65′), Diogo Barbosa (YC) (Rúben Varela, 73′); Lisandro Semedo (YC) (Arilton Ebó), José Correia (YC) (Scored, 76′), Luís Elói (Scored, 90+2′); José Postiga (Scored, 30′)
Substituted Not Used: Pedro Silva, Hugo Meira, Felício Quiaque, Heriberto Tavares

Champions League Team News

Marco Silva is able to recall Cédric Soares to his squad as Sporting announced the squad travelling to Slovenia to face Maribor on Wednesday.

The full squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck
Defenders: Cédric Soares, Ricardo Esgaio, Maurício, Paulo Oliveira, Naby Sarr, Jefferson, Jonathan Silva
Midfielders: William Carvalho, Oriol Rosell, Adrien Silva, João Mário, André Martins
Forwards: André Carrillo, Carlos Mané, Diego Capel, Nani, Fredy Montero, Junya Tanaka, Islam Slimani

Elsewhere the squad has also been announced for the UEFA Youth League game earlier that day. José Lima squad is as follows :

Goalkeepers: Pedro Silva, Vladimir Stojković
Defenders: Gonçalo Araújo, Hugo Meira, Ivanildo Fernandes, Bruno Wilson, João Serrano,
Midfielders: Bubacar Djaló, Felício Quiaque, Luís Elói, Rafael Benevides, Rúben Varela, José Correira
Forwards: Lisandro Semedo, Diogo Barbosa, Arilton Ebó, Ronaldo Tavares, José Postiga

Sporting Players Called Up to Portugal U19

Five Sporting players have been called up to Hélio Sousa’s Portugal U19 training camp squad.

The players set to go to Lousada are goalkeeper Vladimir Stojković, defenders Bruno Wilson, João Serrano and Ivanildo Fernandes and finally striker José Postiga.

Week Round-Up 29/08

It’s been a very busy week for Sportinguistas. There was the Champions League draw, a new signing, Sporting B won and the international call ups. Here’s a round up of the week…

First there were Paulo Bento’s Portugal call-ups. Rui Patrício, Adrien Silva, William Carvalho and Nani all made it into the squad. Cédric Soares presumably missing out through injury. Portugal will be hosting Albania in a European qualifying game.

Rui Jorge’s U21 side named 5 Sporting players for their games against Norway and Azerbaijan. Paulo Oliveira, Ricardo Esgaio, João Mário, Iuri Medeiros and Carlos Mané all feature.

Elsewhere Simeon Slavchev has been called up to Bulgaria, André Carrillo to Peru, Junya Tanaka to Japan, Islam Slimani to Algeria, Héldon Ramos to Cape Verde, Ramy Rabia and Shikabala to Egypt, and Ryan Gauld has been called up to Scotland U21s.

Following up on Cédric Soares, A Bola reports that Sporting expect him to return in time to face Belenenses.

Thursday saw the draw for the Champions League. Sporting’s first participation in the tournament since 2008/2009. Sporting have been drawn along side Chelsea, Schalke 04 and Maribor.

Sporting’s fixtures are as follows:

17th September: vs. Maribor (A)
30th September: vs. Chelsea (H)
21st October: vs. Schalke 04 (A)
5th November: vs. Schale 04 (H)
25th November: vs. Maribor (H)
10th December: vs. Chelsea (A)

The draw also affects Sporting’s U19 side who will face the same teams in their UEFA Youth League draw. Coach José Lima describing it is a “very difficult” group.

Also on Thursday Sporting announced the signing of another forward. 20-year old Frenchman Hadi Sacko has joined from Girondins de Bordeaux after having spent 2014 on loan at Le Havre. The fee for the player is believed to be €1,400,000.

Sacko has signed a 6-year contract with a €60,000,000 release clause.

Elsewhere there was the departure of Hugo Sousa from the B team. The 22-year old defender was released from his contract and has joined Belgian side Waasland-Beveren for 3 years.

Finally, on Tuesday Sporting B moved up to second place in the Segunda Liga with a 3-0 win over Desportivo das Aves. Francisco Barão started with a strong team as Simeon Slavchev, Ramy Rabia and Jonathan Silva all made their B team debuts. Sporting B were also without the suspended Ousmane Dramé leaving the starting line-up with no recognised striker.

It was the Argentine left-back who started the scoring with a beautifully hit strike in the 30th minute leaving Quim with no hope of saving.

Sporting B doubled their league in the 63rd minute when Mica Pinto, playing on the right-side of midfield, pulled the ball back for Ryan Gauld. The Scot’s shot was deflected before going in.

The impressive Ramy Rabia helped with the 3rd goal. His 84th minute shot after a Iuri Medeiros freekick was well saved but the ball bounced to substitute Lewis Enoh to secure the win for Sporting B.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro; Mauro Riquicho, Ramy Rabia (YC), Tobias Figueiredo (YC), Jonathan Silva (Scored, 30′); Fabrice Fokobo, Wallyson Mallmann, Simeon Slavchev (Iuri Medeiros, 65′); Ryan Gauld (Scored, 63′); Mica Pinto (YC) (Gelson Martins, 70′), Daniel Podence (Lewis Enoh, 79′, Scored, 84′)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Sambinha, João Palhinha, Jorge Santos

News Round-Up: 16/07/04

Sporting were 4-0 winners in a behind closed doors inter-squad friendly against Sporting B last night. Goals from Wilson Eduardo, Salim Cissé, Héldon Ramos and André Martins gave Marco Silva’s side an expected win over Francisco Barão’s B squad. You’d be worried if it was any other way.

In other news Simeon Slavchev has returned to training after a minor injury meant he missed the game against the Açores XI.

Sporting looked to have captured to youth players to develop with the club next season according to Record. Versatile midfield Diogo Barbosa and and forward Luís Eloi are both 18-years old. Barbosa has already been well travelled despite his age with stints in the youth systems of Benfica, Porto, and Watford.

Sporting have been told by transfer target Alexander Milošević’s agent that the club should hurry up if they wish to capture AIK’s 22-year old Swedish centre-back. The agent claims that there is currently strong interest from a Serie A club. O Jogo speculates that that club is Hellas Verona.

Sticking with O Jogo, they believe recently managerless Juventus are readying a €16m bid for Marcos Rojo. The Argentine’s value has certainly increased after an impressive World Cup but he has been rumoured to join every other club you can think of.

European U19 Championship Call-Ups

Four Sporting players have been called up to the Portugal U19 squad that will participate in the forthcoming UEFA European Under 19 Championships.

Domingos Duarte, João Palhinha, Gelson Martins and Mauro Riquicho have all been called up to the squad by Edgar Borges. Portugal will face Israel on July 19th, Hungary on 22nd July and finally Austria on the 25th July. From there on, hopefully, they will in the semi-final on the 28th July and the final on the 31st.

News Round-Up 02/07: Sporting Sign Ryan Gauld

Sporting have completed the surprising signing of Dundee United Ryan Gauld for a fee of approximately €3,750,000. The announcement was made on the night of Sporting’s 108th birthday with Gauld signing a 6-year contract with a release fee clause of €60m.

18-year old Gauld, who was been nicknamed “Mini-Messi”, had been linked with a whole host of clubs after breaking through into the Dundee United team including Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. Last season Gauld scores 7 goals in 37 games for the Dundee club.

At last night’s birthday gala Sporting (I Gala Honoris Sporting) presented its own awards here are the nominations and results from the football-related categories:

Youth Team of the Year was won by the U16 Juvenis B. They beat out competition from U17 Juvenis A, U16 Iniciados A, and U14 Incidiados B.

Best Academia Sporting football school was won by (Escolas Acadmeia Sporting Club Internacional de Foot-Ball) EAS CIF ahead of EAS Carnide, EAS Póvoa de Santa Iria and EAS Toronto.

Revelation of the Year went to, unsurprisingly, William Carvalho. Almost nominated were Carlos Mané, Cédric Soares, and João Mário.

William Carvalho of course one Footballer of the Year with Adrien Silva, Fredy Montero and Marcos Rojo also in contention.

And finally, Coach of the Year was won by Leonardo Jardim, beating out youth coach José Lima, U16 coach Pedro Gonçalves and U14 coach Tiago Fernandes.

Also presented last night were the club’s new kits for the upcoming season. After Sporting’s deal with Puma expired Macron are now manufacturing the kits. The goalkeeper’s shirt can be second second from left and the away and home kits fifth and sixth in the row.

Elsewhere defender Maurício admitted he would consider a call up to the Portugal national team should he not be called up by Brazil. Although with Paulo Bento’s well known dislike of “naturalised” players this option seems unlikely.