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Tuesday, 29 July 2014 10:05

U19s give Portugal fans renewed hope

Seleção make final of the European Championship

portugal-u19-in-hungary.jpgPortugal reached the final of the 2014 European Championship being staged in Hungary yesterday, beating Serbia in a penalty shoot-out after the semi-final had finished goalless. Hélio Sousa’s side face Germany in the final on Thursday.
The Seleção had waltzed through the group phase, scoring 11 goals in three straight victories, but yesterday’s match was a hard-fought encounter against the reigning champions Serbia. Both sides had chances to win it, but it was Portugal’s substitute goalkeeper Tiago Sá who was the hero of the hour, saving Serbia’s final penalty in the shoot-out to book a place in the final.
“This generation has been winning since U16 level, they have never lost their confidence, and have always shown their character to overcome difficulties. We could have won in normal time, but so could have Serbia who were an enormous team, which makes our achievement all the better,” said Portugal coach Sousa.
After the senior team’s disappointing showing at Brazil 2014, this young generation gives Seleção fans real hope for the future. PortuGOAL picks out some of the players who have shone brightly for Portugal in Hungary.
Marcos “Ronny” Lopes is the golden boy of this particular generation and he has lived up to the billing. Superb while scoring a brace in the 3-0 victory over Israel, the Manchester City player, who will play for Lille on loan this season, has excellent close control, dribbling skills, speed, passing and finishing ability. He is comfortable playing out wide or as a central attacking midfielder. Portugal can be thankful the Brazilian born Lopes chose to represent the European Seleção rather than the South American version, and a call-up to the senior side is surely not far away.

Striker found?

Next up is that rarest of species in Portuguese football – a high-quality striker. Porto’s André Silva has enjoyed a superb tournament, and against the hosts played a match he will never forget, scoring four goals in a thumping 6-1 win. Extremely mobile with predatory instincts, should Silva develop his undoubted potential he could have a big role to play for the Seleção.
Portugal, and especially Sporting, have a rich tradition in producing wingers of the highest quality, and Gelson Martins looks set to continue the lineage. Speedy, skilful feet and with an unquenchable thirst to take on his man, Martins has even outshone Lopes at times, such as when scoring a magnificent solo goal after dancing past a series of adversaries against Hungary.
In midfield Ivo Rodrigues and captain Tomás Podstawski (both Porto) have impressed, as have the central defensive partnership of João Nunes (Benfica) and Domingos Duarte (Sporting), behind solid goalkeeper André Moreira (Ribeirão).
Whether or not these players go on to become stars for the senior Seleção side will depend heavily on the amount of playing time they are afforded at their respective clubs. Given the talent they have shown in Hungary, there is no doubting they deserve to be given every chance to develop.
by Tom Kundert

Comments (33)
Steve it could be...
33 Saturday, 09 August 2014 13:16
Orlando Mac
I was hoping to get rid of Gaitan before the summer window closes.. much to the chagrin of some others.

As for Salvio I like him, but he cost us 14mil Euros.. so we have to recoup some of that cash. So I wouldn't be adverse to selling him on.

He runs really hard every game and that is why he is injury prone, but nonetheless I like him as a player.

Not the greatest defender but unlike Gaitan he tries and hustles back.

Ran across a very interesting read while traveling through the net...


Gut feeling - @Orlando Mac
32 Thursday, 07 August 2014 23:37
@Orlando Mac loved your post but just quickly sorry as I'm short on time, I have a gut feeling that the low fee received in the Garay deal will involve Zenit buying Gaitan at a later stage at a higher price than his market value (much like the James\Moutinho deal).

Does anyone else think this could be the case or in fact have some insight into this? I hope it is not Salvio that will be sold off instead :(
Just Opinions
31 Monday, 04 August 2014 02:20
Eddie, if Coentrao is so great how come he can't get past Marcelo, who's a poor defender?
I may agree with you that Coentrao is better than Marcelo, but yet managers see them both in training every day and he gets overlooked. That's a fact.

As for Barca's youth, can you please point out Portugal's Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Puyol,etc...?
You mean to tell me the great Sporting Academy had those type of players in place all at once and missed them? Benfica? Porto?

The fact is that we're "couch" managing, while managers get to see players day in day out. It doesn't mean that we can't be right, but I think everyone can agree that managers have better looks than us.
I've killed Bento because of his team selection, due to the fact of giving himself no options except old/injured legs. Club futebol is different since managers have a full season to assess players and their conditions.

All I'm saying is that fans have always overrated their clubs or countries talent. I get it. I think I overrate guys all of the time. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don't.
As for people wanting more portuguese in the league, I have no problem with that and welcome it. I just want to make sure that we have Champions League caliber clubs.

I've put out this challenge before. Please go ahead and put together a club of Portuguese players that have been sent off and could start at the Big 3. And by "sent off" I don't mean guys that were sold off for profit.
Lost again at the finals!
30 Sunday, 03 August 2014 17:08
I read somewhere that half of those German kids already play in their league.

Portuguese kids are hardly called to play in the Liga, yet they are just as talented.

What's with the Portuguese clubs, are they allergic to homegrown talent or what? Yes Benfica and Porto, I mean you!
FPF should only compensate clubs that promote the "P' in FPF.
Orlando Mac Some Good Points
29 Sunday, 03 August 2014 15:51
Tony, CA (the original Tony in CA, not Tony in Turlock, CA)
Orlando Mac, good dialogue appreciate your thoughtful and in depth analysis. I am open to many of your ideas about Portuguese clubs, I can concede that Portuguese clubs can play a greater role in developing players.

Given that we live abroad we have been exposed to other sports that provide good backgrounds for young athletes to develop in their chosen sport. Steve Nash a fabulous NBA guard from Canada became a better basketball player because as a kid he learned to play soccer. Abroad that maybe possible for physical and mental development, and I agree that Portugal may benefit from a few gems.

Somehow Portuguese players in Portugal need to be developed to not only love the ball and taking on players but to be well rounded athletes who are though physically and mentally. I am not sure in a country like Portugal with limited resources you make that happen but I think over time it can evolve by exposing kids to other alternatives that will help them develop as athletes. We need to develop a striker, DM, and CM mentality where these positions are emphasized and valued in the soccer culture.
Andre I feel you my brother.. yesterday was embarassing!!
28 Sunday, 03 August 2014 15:22
Orlando Mac
Just wanted to clarify that I have always been hard on LFV for his Russian Roulette style of Management.. buy 30 to make 3 good players. The only reason you didn't hear about it so much.. was because for a few seasons there.. it looked like he had figured it out.. bought less foreigners and made some smarter purchases. But last season he went back to his old ways.. and bought way too many players.. and the same goes for this year.

The reason he had to sell so many this year, is because last year with a lot of clubs worried about their financial fair play.. their wasn't as many big ticket purchasers.. and he held out for too much money on a few players. So too many came in without enough money going the other way. He was forced to make a bunch of sales this year, to balance the books a bit more.

I liked Markovic would've liked to have gotten a couple of more seasons out of him.. still thought he was a bit too raw and selfish at times last season. But in the end he got a decent enough return on him, jury is still out if he will turn into anything.

Oblak to be fair to him came to the club at a very young age.. and they abused him, basically treating him like a Benfica Jr.. and loaning him out constantly to second rate clubs.. so he was done. I don't blame him, he had a couple of really good seasons with the lower rungs of the Liga.. performed well and barely got a sniff.. so at the first opportunity he left.

Same goes for Gomes.. who got less than 300 mins last year, it wasn't going to get any better... so he packed his bags.

Garay is the interesting one and the one we will miss the most.. he was promised out last season.. and even tho there was some 22 mil range offers.. LFV held out.. so was forced to sell him this year. Although there is something very fishy about that deal. Because he was majority owned by Real.. I think there is some shady deal going on here.. to lower the price. LFV is a sneaky dude.. and to be a good salesperson.. sometimes you have to be. So I believe there is either already another deal in place with Zenit going forward that Benfica buys a higher asset player at a lowball price.. or that a deal is in place for a player.. that they will get over the top money on. That is my gut feeling.

There is a 3rd option and that is that Real forced him to sell.. so in spite he did sell him.. and sold him cheap. I hope it is not the latter.

But LFV did get near $4 mil pounds for Kardec.. and that is a bonus..

Siqueira wanted way too much money and they could not afford him, Silvio's loan deal ended.. too much money too.

Rodrigo is a bit of an annoyance because of the way he got coddled ahead of others..and then turned his back on JJ and the rest of his team mates.. he might think he is ready for bigger leagues.. but he is not. He will be a flop down the road.. so in the end it does not matter..

My concern is that they sold Cardozo.. they did get 5 mil pounds for him.. but with Cardozo's style.. age is not going to affect him.. and I believe he could've performed well at the club until the age of 35 or 36 coming off the bench, scoring important goals. That will be missed.

The fact is Lima is already 30 and his game does rely on speed, Bebe is still inconsistent.. and that worries me for goal production.. My hopes were that we would keep Lima and Cardozo and add a young guy every year to the strike force.. that would make it a lethal force every year.

But C'est la vie.. and LFV was protecting JJ.. couldn't sell Cardozo last season because teams were trolling for a bargain.. so with the expectation that JJ would play him even less.. LFV cut his losses.

I have also softened my stance on JJ a bit.. after being tortured with Bento at the NT.. I realized at some point last year.. that if we got rid of JJ.. we would probably get a Bento type.. that would play the shit out of the 4-3-3 and after one bad season would turn Benfica into a park the bus team.. too.. win at all costs.. the main cost being our enjoyment of the game.

JJ does create some talking pieces.. with his selections.. formations.. tactics.. but let's face facts.. it makes it interesting nonetheless.. and at some point he gets the team to work together.. and the results start coming. Especially if LFV keeps making some good purchases. Which I think he has.

Doesn't mean I will use the kid gloves on him.. I won't.. but better the devil you know than the one you don't.

This brings us back to yesterdays game and the starting line-up that consisted of:

Gaitan, Salvio, Ola
Talisca - Amorim
Eliseu - Sidnei - Cesar - Pereira

Not a juggernaut of defence in there.. looked at times like a 7-1-2 formation although Maxi can still get the job done.

Ola is really the only one that can defend out of those front 4. Talisca is an attacking mid.. Amorim is more a box to box.

Eliseu suffers from Joao Perreira syndrome and only knows to play one way.. Then the CB's are brutally horrible, I think Roderick is better.. and that is saying some because I think Roderick sucks.

But in fairness to JJ he is dealing with a lot of injuries at the moment.. and a lot of players being out for other reasons.

It will probably be Luisao and Jardel at CB this year (Jardel fulltime will be interesting if not challenging hopefully it is Vittoria (where is he btw). Why they sent Lisandro Lopez on loan I have no idea..

Fesja at DM or Almeida would've helped also.. so you can see it is no where near the squad we will play to start the season.. of course that is dependent on when these guys come off of the IR.

Pizzi is also out.. but I have a feeling because of yesterdays loss the chances of selling Gaitan will get thrown out the window.. and that is not a good thing as his defensive liabilities.. will come back to haunt us.

He would be addition by subtraction.

We are not hurting for wingers.. and we will never get the money that we could get for him this year. His ability to throw up a monster play every 4 games.. does not worry me.

I would like to see the Portuguese wingers get more action.. and we have a bunch of them.. and could also move Eliseu up the pitch if we need.

For me Enzo is the player we should be keeping.. he is an all-rounder who can provide offense, and can slot into many roles.

I hope after yesterdays result LFV doesn't get trigger happy.. although a solid CB would be most welcome, but instead you know he will go out and buy 20 attacking players because we need a CB.

This squad will be fine.. given time.. my concern now is about scoring goals, and keeping others out of our net. But the B Team has a lot of players with potential.. maybe this is the season they get a good crack at it (chuckles under breath.. as if...lol).

But hang in there buddy.. I know the ride has been painful so far.. but there is some bright spots in there.. and a lot of injured players.. hopefully that all gets rectified.

Should be an interesting season nonetheless... looks like Bebe is going to get a real shot at it.. I am not sold.. although those free kicks yesterday were awesome.. but I have my fingers crossed.. it would be great to get him firing on all cylinders.. as I think he has more potential than Rodrigo.. and it would be awesome if he could link up with Eder at the NT.

As for the Sales genius part.. I meant it in his sales.. he makes money.. and sells players for the most part for great value... not so much for his buying acumen.. although.. he has been good.. just rather do with more Nationals.. and less of the Russian roulette.

I personally just want to see all Big 3 do well in Europe.. not as bothered as to who wins the Liga this year.. all 3 are regrouping.. and it should make for some awesome games.

I would of course wish that Benfica won.. but I personally think if we are to get out of the selling role (as much).. we have to continue to drive the Liga up.. as it will help sell our games to world wide TV markets.. and it would increase the money at all 3 clubs.

Passing Italy this year was a monster feat.. but we have to stay there for it to mean something.. as we have a more exciting product than theirs.

Of course this also means developing more of our own.. as part of the answer.. I don't think you can do one without the other, and as a bonus our NT as you so eloquently put would benefit also.

Nonetheless.. it is going to be an interesting year.. I still hold out the belief that Benfica will do well.
Great post Orlando Mac
27 Sunday, 03 August 2014 13:18
You totally described the situation! Imagine FABIO COENTRAO ONE OF THE BEST LEFT BACKS IN THE WORLD almost got thrown to the side by JJ. Its true what you say, that Fabio is unique in that way he's a real fighter one of the most determined people I've seen in football! Its been seen even in his time in Real when for no reason the fans in Spain were harsh on him because of his seemingly high price tag or his Portuguese nationality or whatever it was. Fact is it was unwarranted, yet he was harassed and treated badly by the media suffered for game time, YET despite that he never gave up! And whenever he got the chance to play he totally showed his worth always as one of Real's best players in games. He showed he's an all around better left back than Marcelo (great defensively as well as good offensively, whereas Marcelo is just great offensively). Anyway, the man is clearly one of the best. So as you say the talent is there it has been there, he was almost wasted as well. Fortunate to have Queiroz' intervention and his own strong will. But to think that people doubted Fabio Coentrao's so called "talent" back then lol. Look at what he has gone on to do!

Fact is there were more talents within Benfica's ranks over the years that they could've utilized as well. Let's hope this season forward things change for the better!
26 Sunday, 03 August 2014 11:13
Yeah man, I totally agree with your points about the young local talent. Sporting is a good example, 2 seasons back the majority of their first team were foreigners and they had their worst season ever, last year they reverted to the faith in youth with a few supplement foreign players, and look at the difference.

Benfica has to start doing much more of this, we are clearly going to lose all of our main talent every summer with LFV remaining as president (more on that later), and if this is the case why not investing more in local talent, young players who are fans of the club and proud to wear the shirt (instead of only investing in the constant one-season stepping-stoners from South America), then even if they really shine and have to be sold off (e.g Coentrao, Andre Gomes), at least the Selecao is being benefited by young local players being developed. If we're gonna lose the players anyway, the Selecao should at least benefit, and as you state there is clearly a lot of young local talent.

However we disagree on your assertion that LFV is a "sales genius". Not in my book. This summer his decisions to sell HALF the great first team of last season and replace them with what have been looking like very average players, have been terrible. I'm losing patience with LFV. Some of the the players we've sold have been good deals (David Luiz, Witsel, Javi Garcia) but others have been bad deals (Di maria, Matic and most of the guys this summer certainly Garay, Markovic). We got a 1 million profit on Garay, one of the very best CBs in the world, how can this be explained? The result of these terrible decisions and negotiating is yesterday we got spanked by an Arsenal team that just a few months back we would've definitely beaten with all those quality players. LFV totally lost the plot this summer. How could all 3 of Oblak, Garay and Siqueira (most of our defence) be allowed to leave? Yesterday's match showed the severity of that decision.

You always heap all the praise on LFV and criticise JJ for everything. I beg to differ, particularly the way this summer has been going. LFV has been president since 2003, way before JJ joined, and although the club has recovered from the terrible phase of the late 90s, we still haven't had any real continuous success (that lasts more than a solitary season anyway). Everybody gets sold, practically every summer and it's impossible to build a long-term team this way. I actually think we've been lucky in the midst of all this that JJ has been able to quickly build teams and get us some major titles. Imagine the stress he must be under coaching the club, and knowing every summer and January there will be an exodus of key players sold, and he has to quickly pull a rabbit out the hat with new players every season. JJ has done well in the circumstances. LFV needs to be able to start playing harder ball with our key players and creating more of a long term vision for success at the club.
Also I would like to add...
25 Saturday, 02 August 2014 15:27
Orlando Mac
I think our striker issue the answers are abroad... not in some Brazilian NT outcasts, not in our colonies in Africa... it is in North America.. the training in the mainland affords us a lot of flair.. artistry.. etc... where as in North America we have a crop of super strong, talented, big, all around athletes that are trained in some hard man sports.. they are direct, feisty, fast, hard, and most with goal in mind.

Sporting opened up an Academy here in Toronto a few years ago.. Porto does special camps every year, and Benfica too has now opened up an Academy here this year. For me this is the beginning to an end.. these sons of immigrants coming not from the elite.. but hard working stock.. are our future in the areas we need them.. they are the tough ass CB's, DM's, and strikers that we have been clamouring for..

I have watched so many wasted around me for years.. North America is weird that way.. good level of youth ball.. but at a certain point.. there is nowhere to go (that is changing with MLS and the Academy's popping up).

My younger cousin at 14 was highly sought after and ended up in a lot of Canadian Finals.. Benfica at the time came calling.. but the deal had him moving to Portugal.. with only my uncle.. paid as support.. at half his wages.. would've separated the family.. for a pipe dream. They declined, but he was one of the few.

My nephew Braydon just turned 8 but he has had scouts out on many occasions, because of his play.. he averages 4 goals a game.. but in pure Portuguese style.. he prefers to take them out to the wings.. challenge and beat them one on one.. even tho i have been grooming him as a striker.. this season he is the sub-striker.. after much cajoling.. scores at will.. even bends the ball with both feet. But dammit.. he has that Portuguese flair.. and would rather dance around 6 defenders than be more direct.. he could score 10 a game.. if he did.. he is playing at the highest end of his league.. but we know he has to get better training than just me..

My sister is lazy.. but between my dad and I, I think we are committed to taking him to the higher level.. so even tho we live far outside the city.. we are looking at both the Sporting Academy and the Benfica Academy for next year.

This is my question to you folks.. my Dad is a Hard line Benfiquista as NJ is.. I am a moderate.. but both of us are leaning to send him to the Sporting Academy.. which is a really sad state of affairs if you ask me.

Is it not?

I am sure many Portista's in the area are facing the same concerns.

There is lots of love for club.. but no faith.. and I think this undermines.. the potential at all levels.. for Portugal.

If they are being wasted at home.. just imagine what they will do to the foreign nationals..

My nephew is young and with his athleticism.. he will get lured most likely into other sports.. Hockey, Basketball.. etc.. here.. and another one will be wasted..He is just a microcosm of the huge Portuguese landscape.. probably not even at the elite level of that foreign group.. but I am trying to create a larger debate.. that hopefully can change that. I wish the narrow minded at the top of the continent.. would realize that all the answers they need can for the most part come from within on a grander scale.

Wishful thinking.. because I don't think they will ever change.. and we will be relegated to Lowered Expectations.. with mediocre results.. from small minded people.
Thank you gentlemen for the input gentlemen..
24 Saturday, 02 August 2014 14:19
Orlando Mac
Eddie, Tony, and Andre you gentlemen are legends of these boards and why I still come here after so many years.. whether I agree with you or not on any particular subject.. I always read your posts and enjoy.

So thank you...

Eddie clearly understands the various points I have tried to make in this thread. I made a lot of points.. so don't expect for everyone to agree across the board. Credit to Eddie who is a Sporting fan and is generous enough to address some Benfica centric points.

In fairness to Sporting, Andre they have been grossly mismanaged at the top for a long time. It started with being cash strapped and selling off the likes of CR, Nani, etc.. on the dirt cheap ages ago.. clearly they haven't had the sales geniuses the likes of PDC & LFV, two gentlemen that are probably the best at it in the world.

What they do is what has so many highly talented young foreigners cuing up at the door to come to our beautiful country. But like I said.. in fairness to Sporting 9 years ago.. they were in the Europa League Finals also... They also went through some turmoil, changed direction drastically under the God... over-relying on foreigners... and are still paying somewhat of a price for it.. but I am glad to see them turning it around and getting back on plan. I think they will be highly competitive this year, and have the potential to win the Liga. I am also hoping they do some damage in Europe.. as they were sorrily missed.

Their cupboards of Portuguese stars are filling up quite rapidly and I expect some awesome performances from many in their stable.

Eddie's eagle eye caught the Barca reference which was just a plain bad one, and only goes to prove some of my points.

Now I never wanted to make the Nelson comparison I said so in my original post.. but a lot of folks on here thought he was the next Eusebio type scorer for Portugal.. but I never viewed him as such. I always saw him as I saw Rodrigo.. as a sub-striker..a set-up man.. that could with his pace add a few himself.

Many Portuguese fans had him miscast. The only point I was trying to make, is at the time, they were both being highly touted. One was afforded playing time with the monsters at Benfica and one wasn't even in the plans.. before he even arrived back from the U20.

If this had been Germany, Spain, or Italy they would've played the crap out of Oliveira.. sadly that was not the case.. and he was kept on the bench... before being dispatched to Second Rate Land.

Also my other point on Oliveira was a common one amongst highly touted players in the Benfica stable, you can't expect to loan them out to second rate clubs and expect them to come back world beaters.. the reason CR got so high was because he was playing with quality team mates throughout his development, from an early early age.. he always played with the best.. at Sporting, Man U, and Real.

So just looking at statistics that are skewed as NJ does... is wrong.. there is a PROBLEM that is why we are discussing it.. but to pull out stats on how we have failed.. when everyone agrees we have failed in homegrown development is ludicrous, the stats only show the failures of Porto & Benfica not the crop of talent.

Let us take Fabio Coentrao as an example. For me one of the best Left Backs in the world today. Coentrao was a highly touted winger coming off the u20's a little raw.. undersized.. lacked the game breaking pace.. but was very creative.

Benfica owned him, what did they do.. of course they loaned him out straight away.. he got into 16 games which sucks at a lowly club but what do Benfica expect.. the interesting part was he tallied 4 goals.. pretty good considering.. Andre was super impressed with Gaitan last season.. and even tho he takes 10 cracks at goal a game..in 2074 mins he too could only score 4 goals last year. So impressed..

So really Coentrao had a great year at Nacional, and should've afforded himself some playing time at the big club... nope.. he was loaned out to Zaragoza (a pathetic club) straight away that had no use for him.. played him in one game and discarded him.

He ended up being transferred again in the winter time this time to Rio Ave.. and in half a season and with only 16 games.. scored another 3 goals.. again deserving of a look.

Now half way through this journey let me point out... remember Coentrao was highly touted coming out of the U20's, we know in hindsight Coentrao is an extremely hard worker.. and talent with him and many of his contemporaries in the youth development phase of their careers for Portugal talent is not the question. They have it.. they just need to be properly developed.

Tony this whole Coentrao story I am more directing your way (as well as NJ).. because I know you have had issues with the talent levels of Portuguese players over the years. The cupboard hasn't been bare, it just has never been opened.

So this brings us to 2010 pre-season.. and although I had Coentrao as a man to watch in the pre-season after two campaigns of him succeeding the hard way.. with little playing time but promising results. Even I was astounded.. that pre-season he was clearly our best player.. didn't score a ton but boy did he ravage defenses and link up well with Cardozo, Gomes, and Saviola. If you remember that season it was the year of DiMaria.. he too was a highly touted U20 talent.

DiMaria was afforded the best of the best.. unlike Coentrao.. DiMaria started most of those preseason games.. with the best of the bunch playing alongside of him. He did well, but was not super impressive, and Benfica were actually losing or tied in the majority of those games.. enter Coentrao late in the second half.. and ba boom.. goals.. assists.. and major mayhem he caused for opposing defences.. the Benfica fans chanted his name.. it was awesome really.

Hey we all knew DiMaria.. was the princess jewel.. in the real world or in an Italian one.. to start the season.. Coentrao would've got the nod for his better play, and would've been first choice to start the season.

But this is Benfica land and JJ was in charge, so even tho Coentrao was not in their plans before arriving.. he had impressed enough that they weren't going to loan him out again to a Third World team. But even tho he was the best player in pre-season on a very good team, he was JJ's 3rd choice..to start the campaign.

Behind the power house Peixoto... this is where I have to insert a sidebar.. JJ has disdain for most Portuguese youngsters.. but if you are older.. and nearly washed up.. then he will play you... this is where Bebe and Eliseu this year should get better treatment than any youngster has been afforded of late. Plus they have bigger pay cheques... which is JJ's main consideration.

Anyways back to the Coentrao story.. JJ takes a lot of credit for Coentrao.. but in actual fact.. Coentrao was a kid that could not be put down... because there was some clamouring in the media about Coentrao not playing at the time... which was national news one day when Queiroz who at the time was NT Manager was asked.. said if he was JJ he would play Coentrao as a Fullback to get him into the games.

Then the skies opened and God (not Godinho) said..let there be light.. at the Luz.. and Peixoto went down with an injury.. and with that recent Nationally aired Queiroz interview in his mind.. I think JJ wanted to actually show up Quieroz.. and inserted Coentrao at LB, probably thinking he would fail.

Most pundits thought Coentrao a Forward would be a little light in defence.. but that he could provide some added offense.. offense he did add.. but boy was everyone wrong about the defensive side of the ball.. Coentrao's work rate.. made him hard to handle.. and his overlaps with DiMaria brought an added spark to DiMaria.. who all of a sudden was a house on fire, and with the added space that he was afforded because of Coentrao, and that we had 2 strikers in the box tying up the CB's, DiMaria became one of the most sought after players in the world. So too was Coentrao who was snapped up by Real..

Unfortunately for me as a Portuguese fan.. I wish Coentrao had gone to a different team.. the Galaticos only use him moderately and if he had gone to England he would've seen much more playing time.. on a high end team. So for me he has been wasted the last few years.. even tho he has had some success at the biggest club in the world.

So you see gentlemen.. my point is not all Portuguese players are as head strong as Coentrao.. very few of them will shine without the confidence in them.. and without being developed in a world class program such as the Big 3 have..most will be wasted away playing for second rate teams.. and will never have the confidence of performing against the best in Europe.

It is our clubs faults.. no one else's... all Big 3 clubs.. have to do a better job of balancing.. Sporting needs to find that balance too.. and buy a few A stock foreigners to combine with their awesome stable... Benfica and Porto.. have to understand that for business to be better.. they need to buy less foreigners.. and have more nationals competing for starting roles in essence buy and develop your own in abundance... what will shake out from that tree will be some awesome players. If that were to happen I still think we would be highly successful..

I will remind you folk that when Porto won the Europa League & Champions League they had many top level Portuguese players in their side to go with their awesome foreign purchases. They haven't been so successful of late.. with a depletion of Portuguese players from their roster.

So NJ my point here being that you can win at the highest levels.. with the approach I am suggesting. For me it is a win win at all levels.. because it is the more profitable approach also.

Portuguese players are cheaper than their Brazilian & Argentinian counterparts.. so you can buy more of them... and have only the best of the best get jobs. Then you can integrate them with some savvy foreign veterans.. and have them develop comfortably. Clearly two lesser lights without the highend resume in Gomes and Almeida were able to do it, even if they were held back to so few minutes.

Both are sought after players.. Gomes in his 200 odd minutes of play.. captured the attention of one of Spain's bigger teams.. and there was a lot of interest in Almeida also.

Eddie brought up Danilo who was a disgruntled Benfica man.. we owned him, and he was one of the most impressive at that U20 tournament that we ended up as finalists.. for Eddie to compare him to Carvalho is very high praise indeed.. and at the time.. we needed a solid DM.. what did Benfica do.. they let him walk.

To Italy of all places.. a death row.. for most Portuguese players.. especially at DM.. like they don't have their own stables full of defensive minded players.. he literally got into 5 games at Parma over two seasons.. he is now only starting to get his legs back at Maritimo.. what a frikkin waste of talent. We could've developed him and sold him for more than Javi Garcia.. at huge profit.. that kid was a beast.. and was ready for prime time then.. at a young age.

Benfica's Jr teams are filled to the brim.. as is the Sporting Academy.. with little monsters.. some so highly touted that Big clubs are already trying to purchase them.

Joao Filipe at the age of 15 is already being called the next Cristiano Ronaldo.. Man U, Chelsea, Barca, Man City, Liverpool and a few others are trying to buy them up now.. including his team mate Joao Virginia a highly touted Goalkeeper..

If I was Benfica I wouldn't let it happen and I would play the crap out of them, develop them, and ease both into the B team, and progressively into the Senior A squad.. over time.

But the fact is we know Benfica will blow this.. and I hope.. they get the love they need wherever they go.. England is not a bad place to go.. toughen up the skin a bit.. learn not to dive.. but the fact is many super talented youngsters have gone their before ala Bebe.. etc... and they never did succeed..

I still think it is too early in their development to go abroad.. and think Bebe was wasted because of it.

Those are just two of the little devils we have running around in the jr ranks.. time to change the plan and invest more Big game time for them and their peers.

Joao Cancelo was a monster the other day against Ajax's full squad.. and he has been knocking at the door for years..

My plan isn't to have 50% of the players or anything.. it is just to be afforded more time and consideration a balance.. because clearly they deserve it.

The outside world sees the talent, they value our youth more than we do. Why don't are Big 2 see that.

Players like Carole, Emerson, Jara, Kardec, Melgarejo, Cortez, Duricic, Sidnei, Jardel and Rodrigo have been afforded much more quality time than Luis Martins, Joao Cancelo, Nelson Oliveira, Gomes, Almeida, Cavaleiro, Mika, Vittoria, Vitor, Miguel Rosa, Danilo, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Varela, and Co... unfairly in most accounts.

We don't need most of those foreign cast offs.. there are too many to list btw.. as LFV has a penchant to buy 30 outcasts a year.

Thanks for the debate gentlemen.. it is folks like you that make it so much fun here.. even when we don't agree..

Benfica has done a great job of producing young homegrown talent in the last decade, the problem is there is no plan after they hit the B team level. No integration, no plan to maximize their talent. They are caught in the crossroads of.. playing well enough to sit on the bench of the A squad, loaned out to a second rate team in another league.. most of which are below our liga in rankings.. or best.. be loaned out to a second rate team in our Liga and hope that they get lots of playing time..

Time for a NEW PLAN.. we can have it all at club and country.. nothing worse than growing a crop of vegetables.. and never picking them.. if they aren't harvested.. the animals will eat them.. or they will just whither away.. and erode.

Some points
23 Saturday, 02 August 2014 08:51
You guys all make interesting points. I too would like to see the young Portuguese talents given much more playing time for our clubs. Most of all for the benefit this would bring to the Selecao. It was glaringly obvious at the Mundial how little opportunity the youngsters are being given for the Selecao, and as a result the national team has suffered. It's not only the big 3, but as others have mentioned, there's a high quota of foreign players at all the clubs in the top flight in Portugal. We really must take a leaf out of Germany and Holland's books, look how much they invest in youth and look how strong their national teams always are.

However NJ does have a point too, there has to be a balance and the talent has to be good enough, regardless of nationality. Sporting always play the most Portuguese of the big 3, but they also haven't won any major trophy for 12 years and counting. On the other hand I looked at Porto's squad the other day, and saw a mere 3 Portuguese players in it, and all those 3 will likely be a lot more on the bench than in the first team. This is way too few, like Benfica a few seasons back. SLB look much more balanced in that regard this season though, and I reckon at the start of the season there will be 10 or more Portuguese in the squad, most of whom will likely get to see first team action. As Eddie says, this is the way it should be: a mixture of local talent and foreign players who bring other elements to the table.

And Orlando amigo, some interesting points too. However as usual we disagree on valuation of some players. Rodrigo and Nelson Oliveira being compared? Sorry mate they're not even in the same category! Nelson in like 3 years now, still hasn't progressed from being a "potentially" good player. He just doesn't score goals, have a look at his statistics, not only at SLB but everywhere he's been. Sorry but he's still not good enough for Benfica's first team. To totally blame Benfica for his situation is unfair, why must a team be forced to play a "potentially" good striker who just doesn't score goals, when they are constantly fighting for major titles? As NJ states sometimes the talent simply isn't as good as we thought, and that's the impression I have with Oliveira. Perhaps he will still prove the doubters wrong, we shall see.

Recently you also stated that Ola John is "way better" than Gaitan? No ways, a couple of years ago I was with you on Gaitan, very inconsistent player, but last year he finally proved himself in my valuation, and now he is clearly one of our most important players in the squad, and definitely the most creative player. Holding on to him is paramount as he's a unique player and very experienced in our team. With all the changes in the squad it's important to keep some experience in there. Ola John is also still in the same "potentially good player" bracket, but needs to find consistency. He's shown a lot of promise in this pre-season though and hopefully gets his chances this season. Anyway interesting discussion guys!
Portuguese Players Need to Step Up
22 Saturday, 02 August 2014 08:47
Tony, CA (the original Tony from CA, not the Turlock Tony)
Orlandomac, you come with all kinds of data and stats which are impressive and I commend you. My life has been too busy to get into deep analysis but I still suscribe that these players are given chances to play.

Many go abroad to play at other clubs, some play on Portuguese club B teams, and some are loaned out to other Portuguese teams. The fact that many major clubs are no longer grabbing Portuguese young players at a high rate tell me that many of the young players are not highly rated. We must stop making excuses for players who don't perform. I do not believe Portuguese clubs who are in the business of winning games and developing players to sell (all backgrounds) have intentions to not develop Portuguese players. Nelson O is a perfect example,he was given chances and didn't make it. He has a track record of coming up short where ever he goes. This is not the fault of any Portuguese club.

Granted we do have a very strong young generation in the works and these players may demand a higher transfer rate or work themselves through the Portuguese club ranks. Lets test our theories with this next generation, time will judge if these players are developed or not.

BTW despite a great group of young players, once again a Portuguese team when playing in a semi-final and finals failed to score. Our U-19s with so much hope come up short in not being able to score in a major tournament in the latter rounds. This is a pattern at all levels. All this technical skill with the ball does not produce the mental fortitude, physical ability, and toughness needed to compete. Portugal must look at the mentality of our players, put them in a boot camp to make these guys more physical and tougher to compete. This is disappointing to see all this promise come up with no goals.
21 Saturday, 02 August 2014 01:53
Orlando Mac knows what he's talking about. NJ always goes back to "oh I don't want the Liga to be the Scottish League" "It doesn't have to be all Portuguese". Nobody is asking for all Portuguese. Obviously there has to be a mix, as is being done by Sporting. What Orlando Mac and others are saying is that when there is a Portuguese talent, they ought to be given a fair chance.

And NJ about your Barcelona comment how so much foreign talent passes through there as well. Yes a lot of foreign talent has been there over the years. BUT the best Barca of all time that we saw couple years ago remember had a starting lineup filled with 9 players from La Masia sometimes, 8 of those being Spanish players excluding Messi. So its funny you even bring up them as an example. Yes throughout history barca has signed loads of foreign players but the fact is also that their best period ever was when they had that dream crop of homegrown players together.

That is a one off of course you can't realistically expect dream team generations of homegrown players every year. Nobody is asking for teams to just play all Portuguese players. BUT when you have a Portuguese talent, capitalize and utilize the player, develop. Players get better by playing, by getting experience.

I agree that after the U20World Cup Nelson Oliveira was on a par with Rodrigo. Totally in my opinion. One was given better treatment and we've seen how that has panned out. Somebody said oh that U20 2011 generation was a fluke, they weren't that good etc. Sure they weren't the best all around, but they had some top talents! Mika, Cedric, Danilo, and Nelson in my opinion were all top talents at the time. What in the world has Benfica done to Mika (Mika was voted best goalkeeper of that tournament don't forget!)? Danilo should've been kept at Benfica and valued. He was at least as good as William Carvalho at the time. Its just not right how the club has handled them.

At the end of the day I don't really care too much cause Sporting is my club anyway and I'm happy with my players in my team, but as a Portugal fan in general it irks me how Benfica seems to not care about their Portuguese young talents.
Just to add...
20 Friday, 01 August 2014 19:14
Orlando Mac
I was streaming both games on dual monitors.. the U19 and Benfica.. and had the volume on the Portugal game...
Thanks NJ for the response...
19 Friday, 01 August 2014 19:07
Orlando Mac
The truth is those percentages are skewed because Benfica has lots of Portuguese players in the squad.. they just don't play them as much as others.

In total Portuguese players played 2750 mins last season just 200 mins more than Luisao.foreigners played 26917 mins that isn't 50% that is 10 times the amount of time. That is 91% of the playing time is foreign.

Why is it that Valencia value Andre Gomes 272 mins play way more then Benfica..??

You mentioned Bayern, and they definitely are win at all costs... so what is the comparison...?

16250 mins of German talent... Foreigners 17406 mins
Now Austrians for me are German too.. which changes the numbers to... 18698 Germanic 14958 Foreign which is 56% of the playing time.

I would love anywhere near 45% of the playing time at Benfica.. but Portuguese players get 9% of the action in the liga.

Don't tell me that is the quality levels of the player.

When Bruno Cortez gets almost 8 times the amount of playing time than Joao Cancelo you know there are major issues with the management.

All I am asking is for a level playing field, not even 50%, just more playing time for these young talented players with some great foreign investments.

Only the bottom half of the squad would change.. we wouldn't need to buy 25 foreign players a season.. we would only need 10, well bought high level guys.

I knew you wouldn't be able to resist on the Rodrigo/Oliveira situation...

So here are links to the squads they played with in the last two seasons:









You take a look at those rosters and tell me which players you would rather play with, and if those other players could make a difference in not only scoring, but also in player development.

If you play with second rate players you are developing to be a second rate player.

They were at similar levels at the time.. is all I said.. what does Benfica usually do.. play them both then decide.. Nelson never got that chance.. and it wasn't like Rodrigo was lighting it up early.

I think if Nelson had been afforded some of that time that Rodrigo had.. surrounded by such an awesome roster he would've been doing better right now. Why is it that Rodrigo was afforded the patience to gain more consistency.. and playing time.. and the homegrown athlete with a similar resume.. was dispatched.. to foreign.. B rate teams to develop.

I am not saying Oliveira is the next coming of Eusebio or anything.. I don't think Hot Rod is that either.. he is completely wasteful.. and misses 3 times the amount that he scores..same as Oliveira.. but why the hate for your own.

NJ it is not that your comments aren't popular.. they are in the boardrooms of Porto & Benfica.. clearly.. but the fact is that all of you are deluded in your opinions..

The talent is there.. it needs to be developed.. no more Russian roulette with foreign players with 3 bullets in a 30 bullet cartridge.

Time for the Big to take responsibility for their actions.. they have to develop their own in a world class program.

It is not about talent, are youth are more talented than most in the world. Time to afford them some playing time.
Requested answers
18 Thursday, 31 July 2014 21:15
I actually watched neither, and was sad to see that both squads lost.
Your questions?
"You think Germany's youth rise.. is because they don't focus on their nation.. do you think in Spain, Italy, England.. they don't run out theirs first, and give them a healthy chance by slotting them with their big foreigners????"

- They don't. Germany's big club (s) only care about winning. 50% of Bayern's squad is foreign, same with Dortmund's. Yes they play more domestic players, but they also a hell lot more to choose from. Still, 46.6% of the BundesLiga is made up of foreign players.
England has tried to revive their youth system multiple times in the last decade. You mean to tell me English players are suffering because they don't get chances due to the foreign players? Many will tell you, you'll only get better by playing the best. There's plenty of Brits playing, but just don't advance/get better.Premiership is 66.6% foreign.
LaLiga is 39% foreign, Lique 1 44% foreign, Serie A is 52% foreign, Turkey and the Dutch are only 29% foreign, Greece is 34% foreign and Scotland is 40% foreign.
Portugal comes in at 51% foreign, granted transfer window is still open.
Players get a shot as they earn it. Yes, some may fall through the cracks, but can you please point out this great Portuguese talent that went abroad and became great. Carrico has a shot, since he was dumped for nothing.

"This next Gen of players.. do you think they will get the same love...?? (The talent has always been there.. it has always been mismanaged...)"

- Don't know if they'll get a shot or not. What you are purposing is that clubs are awful at scouting and tracking domestic talent, yet great at scouting foreign talent. It doesn't make much sense. It's about talent, and our guys haven't gotten it done.
I for one thought that Bento did a horrible job in bringing guys along. We should have had better younger options in Brazil. There's talent there, but let's not go crazy over their U-19 play.

"You think that would happen in Germany, Spain, and Italy.. that they would give an equally credible player the nod over one of their own??"

- Since you campared them, Nelson was never in Rodrigo's class even after the good tourney. The stats actually point that out.

Nelson: 89 games, 3,394 minutes (3 teams)
Goals: 15
Assists: 4

Rodrigo: 118 games, 6,573 minutes (1 team)
Goals: 45
Assists: 16

You mean to tell me if Benfica had given those minutes to Nelson, he would have produce as much. I remember when people were actually clamoring for JJ to play Rodrigo more.
Talent being equally, the club will always pick the cheaper option in order to cash in the most. They don't care if they're domestic or foreign.
It also goes in trends. There's Brazilians everywhere due to their futebol culture and potential.
Keep in mind that the Portuguese league has awful clubs. Horrible run organizations that are lucky to be alive and running.

My thoughts aren't popular, but I don't believe that clubs would choose foreign players over Portuguese players, should the talent be the same.
Just because I love club futebol, it doesn't mean I don't care for the Selecao, or am any less passionate.
My brother only follows futebol during the Euro's and World Cup. Do you think he's rooting for Portugal more than I. I don't think so, but others will say yes.
Sporting has a well respected academy, and thats what they are known for. But take a look at Barca. Great academy, yet plenty of excellent foreign talent goes through there.
Clearly NJ your retort was headed my way..
17 Thursday, 31 July 2014 18:34
Orlando Mac
Since I was the only poster since you posted.

I asked many questions and singled you out.. yet in your retort had no answers, never even bridged any of my questions.. because clearly you have no answer for them or my statements...

You were eloquent in your ability to be vague and evasive.

We know you are a Benfica first guy.. I am not I am a Portuguese Football fan first.. then a Benfica guy.

Our views are much different.. but I tackled my argument with your view.. the Benfica first way.. yet you had no answers.. or nothing to add.. besides being ambiguous of the discussion.

It is all opinions until it becomes fact...

Good way of saying.. the status quo should stay in order..

But what you neglect is that Porto & Benfica's success is very easily modeled.. by the BIG Euro squads by creating associations with much cheaper teams in their own league.. consistent middle of the road clubs..they can just purchase all the southern stars they want.. than loan them out to these middling clubs.. who don't have to worry about huge transfer fees..

There is no question that the Big 3 in Portugal do an over the top job in developing talent.. the question posed is why Porto & Benfica don't develop more of their own.. with the benefits they provide.. buying up more Portuguese players is much more economical than buying a whole cast of southern outcasts..and in the end is much more profitable in sale.

I outlined a plan that would buy good southern talent and mix them with a batch of our homegrown talent.. in a competitive format.. that would allow for many more roles going to homegrown players.

LFV & PDC would make less purchases abroad.. that go to waste.. and we still have high competition for jobs.

I believe in both clubs ability to elevate players I just wish they would they could focus on meeting their objectives with the talent pool that is definitely there, and is homegrown.

It is like they don't believe in their own internal system for recruiting and evaluating.. because they would rather trust a foreign nation to do it for them.

There are more big ticket foreign busts in these two squads than homegrown.

No one is questioning that we are a selling league.. or that we develop players that can shine at the highest levels.. Benfica & Porto wouldn't be in the top 10 in club co-efficients the last few year if they weren't.

I am also not saying that we shouldn't buy foreign talent to develop.

I just think the system has to change to stay viable, profit, and get better results.

There are many big clubs eyeing up the homegrown talent.. looking to purchase them on the cheap... Bebe is prime example although not a great one of that and was wasted.

There is two games this afternoon NJ... U19 Final Portugal vs Germany and the Benfica game... at around the same time...

Which game are you going to watch???

The FACT is the talent has been there... and it has been wasted.
It's all opinions until it becomes fact...
16 Thursday, 31 July 2014 13:55
...that's to be decided by talent
I'm not underestimating anything. Clubs fail all the time when evaluating talent.
Chelsea just let Lukaku go for a ton of money. Was it wise to let such potential go or was it a great piece of business to get that much for a 21 year old. Especially since he didn't have a place on the Chelsea squad, unless Torres was off loaded. Yes Torres has become useless, but they are paying him too much so they're stuck. As fans we don't care and would sit or drop Torres, but it's a lot of money to throw away, especially with FFP looming.

Whether players show well at 19 or 21 or even not until 25, clubs have to make evaluations. Portuguese clubs have a very tough task in front of them, since they can't afford to slip. It is a win now mentality. Benfica is an immense club, but players don't think about coming and staying for their whole careers. That's a fact, whether we like it as fans or not. Due to our transfer history we're looked at as a great stepping stone to possible greatness.
Rodrigo and Gomes were always gone, since it didn't make sense to pay a loan fee for them. If Enzo goes, it's purely for the money since there's no CL play. He's hoping Valencia becomes the next City or PSG.
The Luisao's and Maxi's or the world are rare. Just take a look at players Benfiquistas have embraced. They haven't necessarily stayed a long time, they just embraced the love for the club.

What does what I said have to do with not playing Portuguese players? Everything.
It's not about nationality, it's about quality. Everyone has a different opinion on who's good, but I think that we can agree that most fans overrate their clubs players, foreign or domestic.
Teixeira is looking like the new darling. To be fair, I only watched him once, and for me he was poor. He's a high energy guy that was running all over the place. If anything he put himself in bad positions and had to scramble back. He's also only 20 years old, so he'll most likely go to Benfica B. Would we really put him in ahead of Amorin or Fejsa at defensive mid? I say no. The other discussion is whether we would be hampering his development for sitting him and playing him only in Cup matches?
That discussion needs to happen with all players. Benfica and isn't the only club with such dilemmas. Sporting named Carrico its captain at the ripe age of 21, and the next thing you know he's shipped off for failing. He's slowly but his reputation back up and is now beginning to do well. If he goes on to do very well, Sportinguitas will tout him as one of their own. Fair? I don't know, but they did dump him.

The guys we're discussing in this piece are U-19. Same look really good, but that doesn't always translate to future success. It's a great accomplishment for all them, in getting to the final and hopefully will bring the title home. That can never be taken away from them.
Homegrown Talent
15 Wednesday, 30 July 2014 17:19
Orlando Mac
As usual NJ your deluded view of homegrown talent and young talent exposes you usual sensibilities.

Portugal has the talent at home.. and if anything as I have always hammered home.. has millions more abroad that could fill the ranks easily. If that was the plan. Unfortunately it isn't.. not at Benfica and not at Porto.

I hope you appreciate Sportings worst season was filled with foreigners.. now that their back on form.. their success is rising. Good news to us Portuguese fans.

The waste I have seen over the years at Benfica annoys me..

Two seasons ago.. both Andre Gomes, and Andre Almeida had really good campaigns.. extremely promising on both accounts.. so you would've thought that last season they would get more playing time. The opposite was true. LFV went out and regressed back to his buy 30 to make 3 players BS.. and they both got less playing time.

Benfica's Jr's and B Team are loaded with talent.. some of which deserved call-ups.. they never got it under jJ.. even tho we were hurting at some of those positions..

Joao Cancelo was on a tear before his mom passed away in a tragic accident.. he has been knocking on the door constantly.. the last game against Ajax he was incredible.. in the second half.. will he get a serious look.. F no.. if he is close to playing they will loan him out instead.. and leave his education to a 3rd rate club.. with their own nationalistic interests.

You think Germany's youth rise.. is because they don't focus on their nation.. do you think in Spain, Italy, England.. they don't run out theirs first, and give them a healthy chance by slotting them with their big foreigners????

This next Gen of players.. do you think they will get the same love...??

The talent has always been there.. it has always been mismanaged...

Oliveira came off of that U-20 with as many goals as Rodrigo.. yet didn't see a match till winter with Benfica.. whereas Rodrigo was in games early.. even tho he was ineffective. Oliveira has been playing with third tier players the last few years.. he definitely didn't get to play with the Benfica A team like Rod did.. and he still scored 8 with Rennes.. whereas the super great Hot Rod had 11 with the 5th best team in Europe.

Now I am not saying Oliveira is better.. but how do we know.. one plays with masters.. the other with losers.. and both play the same sub-striker role.. and can dance on the wings.

You think that would happen in Germany, Spain, and Italy.. that they would give an equally credible player the nod over one of their own??

I think he should've been afforded the time that Rodrigo got.

I think instead of buying 25 out of 30 foreigners.. LFV should buy 8 higher pay foreigners.. and bank on 20 cheaper, homegrown guys, with the same if not more talent.. then the Portuguese guys could battle for more spots.

It is not only better for the books, it is better for the squad, and in the end it is better nationally.

JJ clearly has an aversion to Portuguese Nationals.. he would rather play the likes of Emerson, Saviola, Javi Garcia, then some real talent.

The truth is he has wasted many others with more talent.. that aren't even Portuguese, his play by pay cheque philosophy. Ola is twice the player of Gaitan.. faster, better crosser, and greater shooter than Gaitan.. two seasons ago while Gaitan was out we averaged nearly 4 goals a game.. then Gaitan comes.. back.. him and Aimar blow the Porto game.. at home.. and lose points until.. we lose the Liga.. the Europa Cup.. and even a Taca de Merda (I know these are so important to you).

Now the system as I mentioned I would rather see.. with the 20 Portuguese buys a season is 10 get loaned out and the other 10 would hit challenge for spots.. half of which would hit the B team in case of injuries.. in my estimation it would be a huge win win for everyone..

The profits on a Portuguese players are far greater than a foreigner.. especially under a good salesperson like PDC & LFV.. also this system is more sustainable.. and have us stay at the top of the Euro club table..

The hard fact is unless the mentality at the top changes.. this crop too will be wasted.. and it never has been about talent.

FULL CREDIT TO OSCAR FROM AUSTRALIA.. besides your awesome read (report).. the VAMPIRE comment had me laughing my ass off.. I Canadian.. we have some funny people.. so it is not easy to make me laugh.. dude.. i almost PISSED MYSELF... full credit to you sir.. I will use that going forward.

Many great comments in this thread too many to list...

LHE not all Benfiquista's believe as NJ does.. the sheer waste of Portuguese talent at Benfica the last few years has been obscene and I have harped on it regularly.

Forca Portugal!! The lads have already impressed us.. may they crown that glory for themselves!!!
LHE & Eddie
14 Wednesday, 30 July 2014 12:18
Sometimes the talent isn't there. Sometimes players don't get better. Playing in U-19, U-20 and U-21 tourneys is very different then club play.
Take a look at Bruma. He wanted out and now he's playing abroad. It's his job to keep improving and growing into a club.
I'll give a foreign example. Ola John was hyped up a great deal and was supposed to take the next step and really grow at Benfica. He hasn't, if anything he's regressed. Benfica's fault or his?

I'm thrilled we are seeing quality coming through the ranks. Some will go on to good careers, hopefully others to great ones.
The problem is that every fan hypes up their own clubs players to ridiculous levels. Nelson at Benfica is a perfect example. He's now has tailed off horribly while in Spain and France. Not a bust yet, but he really needs to show himself if he wants to earn a spot.
And yes, Benfica, Porto and Sporting need to have the "must win now" mentality. We are a league that depends on that.
I agree that clubs need to do a better job with their youth products. Not just the big 3 but all clubs. But if you want an all Portuguese players league, we can go ahead and become the Scotish League.
13 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 21:49
Oscar, Australia
All I can say is there is Depth at youth level at the moment, alot of very good footballers who cannot crack the squad of the youth sides and try hope is that this depth at youth level will translate to the senior side. A player like Nelson Monte who is part of Rio Aves first team this year cannot even make the squad says alot about the quality this side posses, but the last few year has proved this to be the rule no the exception.

I'm suprised Rafa isn't on your list Tom he has played the last 2 tournaments and is the best Left fullback at youth level we have ever produced, his and Ivo Rodrigues link up play has been a feature of the u19sNT, FC Porto Juniores and B team in the past couple of years, defintely one who will compete with Gurreiro once Coentrao calls time.

I thought when Cristian Ponde got injured that the striker issue would rear its head again for another one of our National Teams but its actually improved the situation, Ponde is more of a false 9 where as Andre Silva has all the skills for a modern day number 9, he was starved of service against a very conservative Serbia but fought all night, admirable performance.

This side has much quality but 93 and 94 had as much quality, slot of very talented players didnt make the roster and the subsequent generation coming through with players like Ruben Neves, Romario, Guedes, Sanches, Idrissa, Morreto, Hildeberto the future seems to suggest there are more strong showings ahead at these uefa tournaments.

Marcos Lopes IMO is ready for the AA side even though Bernardo is starting ahead of him in the 21s I still believe his goal threat gives I'm the edge over alot of his compatriots. It's a scary thought to think that Bruno Fernandes and Ricardo Horta who have been sublime for their clubs cannot even crack the 21s at the moment.

The game against Germany will suit us much better than the Serbia game, they will come out to play and our players will have the space to really hurt them, their keeper IMO is really suspect. He is a Vampire (afraid of crosses) I think with quality ball from out wide will really set the cat amongst the pigeons. They all need to hit Lopes feet alot more, his involvement in play always sends the opposition into panic mode.

I think they will win, they have won 10 games in a row now why not 11
@joe - get excited brother these guys are the real deal
12 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 19:24
Nelson / Toronto
2011 U20 World Cup was a bit of an anomaly. Everyone thought they were a weak team going into the tournament and people were surprised they made it out of the group. They were the Portugal equivalent of Greece 2004. A well organized team that parked the bus but lacked individual superstar talent.

The current U19, U20, U21 have several players that scouts salivate over and these teams play Portuguese flair football. They score at will but could probably use some of the structure of that 2011 team to help them defend. All and all I think we're headed into a platinum generation.

Keep CR7, Coentrao, Moutinho, and maybe Pepe and Patricio and jettison the rest of the 2014 starting lineup from the World Cup. Half veteran half youth is a good way to transition the squad, qualify for Euro 2016 and actual do something during the tourney. Let's hope that some of the veterans force his hand and decide to retire from international play
Don't get too excited
11 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 18:44
Don't forget we also made the 2011 U20 WC final loosing 3-2 in extra time and not a single player is now playing for any team of importance and much less for the senior Selecao.

I don't thinks that's going to change much as long as Benfica, Porto and the Selecao are run by the same "win now at all costs" clowns.
resurgence of youth
10 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 18:39
Very excited to see these players taking off and threatening consistently at a youth level. Bruma starred in two youth tournaments and now at Galatasaray. William Carvalho graduated to the senior team and is now a very coveted asset. Rafa Silva joined him. Joao Mario, andre gomes now at valencia, joao teixeira (both), joao cancelo, Ilori, paulo oliveira, all showing great potential. Ricardo horta now at malaga can break through in a good league, as with lopes with lille in France, who may even get ucl experience. Cavaleiro another promising player. Bernardo silva, the list goes on. I like ivo rodrigues, gelson, and andre silva (need a good striker). Jose Sa a great keeper. Now it's just up to these clubs to develop them and we may be looking at a powerhouse team. 2014 was a much needed occurrence. With many players on the cusp of being obsolete, where better to turn than standout youth. We should all be very excited for at least the next 10 years of Portuguese football. Forca.
@Nelly / Oakville
9 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 16:13
Lol well you put Liverpool in brackets after his name and the only Joao Teixeira with Portuguese and in Liverpool is the one from Sporting.
@ Eddie
8 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 15:44
Nelly / Oakville
Hey Eddie, there are actually two Joao Texieira . Joao Carlos was at sporting and is now at Liverpool and by all accounts is close to the first team although Liverpool are stacked in the midfield so no guarantees he'll break through this year but he's been a top performer for the b team. Joao texeira at Benfica is a year younger I believe and from what I've heard he's likely to make the senior squad this year. Benfica youth is stacked with Portuguese talent and I'm a sporting supporter. Hopefully JJ rediscovers his patriotism and gives them a chance. There's a reason they were runner ups in the youth champions league last year TALENT!
@LHE Hahaha well said man!
7 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 15:39
Love it! Some Benfiquistas will always make excuses as to why they don't want to play their academy graduates.
@Nelly/Oakville Joao Teixeira is (Sporting & Liverpool)
6 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 15:29
Not sure if you made an accidental typo there or what or if you honestly typed that, but he's from Sporting. João Carlos Teixeira. That dumb clown Godinho sold him to Liverpool for a mere £830,000 after he stared in the NextGen Series tournament in 2011/2012 season. That was one of the MOST RETARDED SALES EVER! That guy is a maestro!

To this day I still wish he was in Sporting, he would've been starting ahead of Andre Martins by now if he stayed. Thankfully Sporting also have Joao Mario now in the first team. But Joao Carlos is a gem too.
5 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 15:19
For the past 5 years, our youth teams have been performing brilliantly. These c latest ones, the current U19 and U21, are the best we've had since the early 2000s. If these guys are as good as they appear to be, I have no doubt they will make it into the first squads of Sporting, Benfica and Porto.
They wont get a chance
4 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 14:21
Paulinho South Africa
Let's just hope they're given a run by their clubs. For too long we've been developing players for other nations, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil - it's time to look after our own boys. Doubt it will happen though and another generation will be lost as Porto and Benfica chase their own glory.
3 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 14:17
Ever since I started supporting Portugal I never got to see the senior or junior teams win anything, except in beach soccer. I just hope this Thursday I get to finally see a change. Reaching the final is anything but an accomplishment, and I fear for those young prospects if they fail to win the tournament. Reaching the final in a 5 game tournament might not get Bento's attention, for various reasons; however winning it against Germany of all teams should definitely tell Bento a thing or two about what to expect in the next 2 years.
Winning such tournaments changes players/teams/federations, I'm not saying we will change but I can't see why we can't take it as a possibility. I am 100% sure that had we won the U20 World Cup in 2011 instead of just reaching the final then we would have had a much better World Cup this summer (remind me again, how many of the 2011 U20 WC finalists actually made it into Portugal's senior team in 2014?)
But before we indulge too much into that we need to beat Germany, the same team our senior team has failed to beat for the last decade or so. Here's to hoping for the best. Forca.
Benfiquistas are right...lol
2 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 14:00
"Sometimes the talent just isnt there".

u20 3rd at Toulon

u19 FInals Of Euro

U21 Undefeated and qualified for Euros

Ronny Lopes gets all the hype because hes at City but Bruno Fernandes is the better player.
1 Tuesday, 29 July 2014 13:01
Nelly / oakville
I love that we're producing some really quality midfielders. Looking at the World Cup we lost because our midfield got over run by the Germans and weren't able to provide any service to Ronaldo.

Guys like Rony Lopes, Joao Mario, Bernardo Silva, William Carvalho, Joao Texieria (Benfica & Liverpool) and even the 17 year old kid Ruben Neves should really provide Portugal with a World Class midfield by the next World Cup if not Euro 2016. Let's hope Bento is watching these guys because these guys play like the Portugal of old "sexy football" euro 96 style.

The wingers as always look good too, Gelson Martins reminds me of Bruma, amazing skill with a good eye for goal. Ivo Rodrigues has a lot of talent too.

Andre Silva has potential but I'm not 100% sold yet, but I am hopeful

Let's hope they kick some German arse on Thursday.

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