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Wednesday, 21 May 2014 20:58

Marco Silva signs four-year contract at Sporting

Ex Estoril coach succeeds Leonardo Jardim at the Alvalade

marco-silva-sporting-20140521.jpgOne day after announcing Leonardo Jardim was leaving the club, Sporting called another press conference to unveil Marco Silva as their head coach. The news was not a surprise as rumours of the switch had circulated for days, but the duration of the contract was. The former Estoril tactician has been handed a four-year contract.

Jardim did an excellent job in 2013/14, putting Sporting on an even keel after a traumatic campaign the season before - literally the worst in the club's entire history. He led the Lions to the Champions League, and his exploits have apparently persuaded moneyed French club Monaco to acquire his services.

"The doors of this club will always be open for Leonardo Jardim," said Sporting president Bruno de Carvalho yesterday, while also stating that the Lisbon club will receive €3 million in compensation for releasing Jardim.

Far from being a blow to Sporting's aspirations, most of the club's fans are excited at the development given that the new man in the dugout, Marco Silva, has a magnificent track record in his 3-career and is tipped to go far in the game.

The 36-year-old oversaw an astonishing rise at modest Estoril, getting the club promoted to the top flight in his first season in charge, and following it up with 5th and 4th place finishes in the next two years - both club records - despite having to constantly sell his team's best players.

"I honestly think it's a perfect marriage, as our (the coaching team's) philosophy fits Sporting's," said Silva "We want a team that dominates, bosses possession, constantly looks to score but is also balanced. We want an ambitious team that looks to win all its games."

Sporting president Bruno de Carvalho explained his reasoning behind handing Silva such a long contract. "Sporting has a defined path. It's a project of competence, ambition and stability, and Marco has the profile to lead the project. Both parties are committed to fulfilling the contract."

Two in, three out

The curtain on the domestic season only came down on Sunday, but Sporting have wasted no time in preparing for 2014/15. As well as switching coaches, the Lisbon outfit brought in two acquisitions earlier this week.

Highly rated 20-year-old Bulgarian midfielder Simeon Slavchev, who was voted young player of the year in his home country (14 goals in 35 games), was signed for €2.5 million. Vitória Guimarães centre-back, Paulo Oliveira, who has been on the fringes of Paulo Bento's Portugal squad, was snapped up for a fee of around €2m. Both players have €45 million buyout clauses in their new contracts.

In the opposite direction go Gerson Magrão, Ivan Piris and Welder, with the club releasing all three players who played only bit-part roles in the season that has just finished.

Marco Silva will no doubt have a big say in all comings and going from here onwards, but was not surprised the club went ahead with its transfer dealings before he had signed on the dotted line.

"When a club is in the process of changing its coach it can't stand still. That's why a structure is in place. From tomorrow we will be working together and always with what is best for Sporting in mind."

Exciting times at the Alvalade.

by Tom Kundert

Comments (14)
great manager signing
14 Saturday, 31 May 2014 18:30
it was be fabulous signing!
BDC is masterful & passionate about SCP & continues to make the right moves & takes no bull from other teams & especially the press
Slightly Off-Topic
13 Thursday, 29 May 2014 22:04
With Rodrigo confirmed to leave Benfica, I think it's time to bring Nelson Oliveira back. I think the play style Lima and Rodrigo have put together can really help Oliveira be a little less selfish and work better with the national team. He has a lot of potential, and I think now is the perfect chance to keep him.

Just thought I'd bring it up, because of signings and stuff.
Ben Fiquista/Canada
12 Friday, 23 May 2014 01:12
@ Z

Next season ou Sporte va ACABOUUUUUUUUU.
Marco Silva
11 Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:11
Matthew Marshall, Sydney Australia
Very happy with this appointment. It will be difficult for Porto to reclaim the crown now I think and having Sporting in with a shot is great for Portuguese football.
We'll see
10 Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:03
It seems to be a good choice for Sporting. Unlike Fonseca at Porto, who was coming off a no expectations position with no resume to speak of.
Silva has guided Estoril to European play, and might be ready to take the next step. Again, expectations will be much different at Sporting so that has to be a bit of a concern.
This off season is pivotal for Sporting. They really need to strengthen the squad in order to compete on all fronts. As they stand, the squad isn't deep enough and needs more talent.

The following is upsetting;

"Vitória Guimarães centre-back, Paulo Oliveira, who has been on the fringes of Paulo Bento's Portugal squad, was snapped up for a fee of around €2m."

How exactly does Guimaraes let an up and coming player go for 2 million. It points to how badly a run organization, Guimaraes are. Please keep in mind that his value around 3 million, to begin with.
I know that the fan base has plenty of crazies, but they are very loyal. They finished 4th in total attendance ahead of Braga and having played one less home match.


They continue to showcase how incompetent some Portuguese clubs are.
Just a Thought
9 Thursday, 22 May 2014 14:50
Bubba Zanetti SCP
You could've called me crazy a few seasons ago for saying this, but I don't think it would be a bad piece of business for Sporting to bring in Bebé and give him a shot. Why not?

He was a flop at Man U, but that was expected for a multitude of reasons (culture, maturity, injury, fact that he wasn't even scouted by Sir Alex), but he I think he has played incredibly well after recovering from a big injury and being on loan @ Paços. He scored 12 goals for them this season and he scored another crucial goal last night in the playoff game that kept Paços in the top tier. He is a strong, physical presence and you cannot deny his game has drastically improved and he is developing as a player. Being back in Portugal has completely rejuvenated his career and he is definitely on the upswing.

I think that under the tutelage of Marco Silva and being around the Academy and just being in a club famed for nurturing and developing talent that it would further develop Bebé as a player. He has a lot of raw talent, just needs the right club. Again, why not?

His contract is owned by Man U, but I am sure he would be negotiable. Just a thought, but I am sure the powers that be are fully aware of their requirements and what is feasible.
BdC the new Mazda
8 Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:05
Z for Zendetta (Land of the sardinhas)
BdC got a new Mazda!

Next season and beyond SCP will return excellent fuel economy!!
Great appointment
7 Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:02
Chris (Canada)
I'm going to go ahead and say I think Sporting has now contracted 2 coaches I wish Porto had gotten first. Leonardo Jardim was the first and now Marco Silva is the second. I know nothing about Lopetegui, but honestly, his appointment seems even more underwhelming than Fonseca's last year.

I expect big things from Silva at Sporting. It seems the club are cutting the driftwood (Piris, Magrao etc), and have already made a few signings. They got Paulo Oliveira from Guimaraes which I think is a great acquisition.

Should be a very interesting year. Silva even has some European experience which should pay-off in Sporting's return to the Champion's league.

Taking Care of Business
6 Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:32
Bubba Zanetti SCP
Great to see BdC very much ahead of the game in making preparations for the upcoming season. With Sporting back in contention on all fronts, the team needs to be expanded, prepared and motivated. It is indeed very exciting times at the Alvalade.

If the press stories are correct, LJ will be presented as Monaco's new coach in the near future. This means that Monaco offered the requisite fee which triggered LJ's release clause which is worth the initial 3 million Euros. As part of his release clause, if he achieves certain levels of performance at his new club, the value owed to Sporting will rise to 6 million Euros and if he moves back to coach any of Sporting's rivals within 3 years, the number jumps to 15 million Euros. Excellent contract writing all around. As BdC said LJ is a Sportinguista and leaves on good terms, is appreciated and will be welcomed back with open arms in any capacity .

LJ did an excellent job in his one year at the helm and he leaves a stable, excited and hungry Sporting ready to embrace Marco Silva and begin a new era. I think Silva is a great choice as he is indeed a very promising young coach that achieved great results with Estoril. Based on his young credentials, his knowledge of the Liga, and the fact that he is Portuguese, I think he is definitely a good choice. The four year contract is a testament to the faith Sporting's leadership have in the talents and ability of Marco Silva. It is important that Silva continues down the path that has been laid down for him and that he upholds Sporting's tradition of using one of the club's biggest assets, the Academy.

Like many, I knew nothing of Simeon Slavchev from Bulgaria, so I did my due diligence and looked up some scouting videos and I am am pretty excited about this young player. I hope he pans out. He is a tall, high scoring box to box midfielder with a big motor who can play pretty much anywhere on the field. The adaptation to Portugal and Sporting which is a big step up from what he is used to will be crucial. Bulgaria has provided Sporting with some very historic players in the past, I hope Slavchev delivers.

Paulo Oliveira is a good pickup. Adding depth is always good, especially to the defense. Rotating and maximizing depth is crucial and with Sporting back in Europe after an anomalous one year absence, he is indeed welcome. Oliveira is an under 21 Portuguese international who played well at Guimaraes and again, I hope he finds a productive role at the club.

BdC is doing what he does (Benfas & Tripeiros don't like him, but we sure do!) and Sportinguistas are happy. From
having the worst season ever in club history to finishing second, being in the Champions League again (where the club belongs) and having a young team that is playing well and under the leadership of the most exciting young coaching talent in Portugal, how could Sportinguistas not he happy? This one is.
5 Thursday, 22 May 2014 11:52
John B
A great appointment for Sporting and despite some misgivings about BDC(ie sitting in dugout!) I think this is a very shrewd signing and shows the club is moving in the right direction.
BDC the new Master
4 Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:30
Z / Canada
BDC the new master of Portuguese football

Next season and beyond SCP will return to glory
Not a Sporting fan but I wish them well
3 Wednesday, 21 May 2014 22:46
The league needs a strong top 4, and it's nice to see a young manger develop. .
2 Wednesday, 21 May 2014 22:34
If he had a great season with Sporting then why the release?
Going to be a Great Season
1 Wednesday, 21 May 2014 22:13
For all three teams!

SPORTING: Silva has experience in european football with Estoril. Although they failed to get out of their group, he did manage to handle the schedule. This will let him transfer to a bigger club bet than Fonseca did. The signings so far are great, and if Carvalho stays (which I think he will), they can still fight for a second place spot, and even the league. Plus, he's beaten Porto with Estoril. That will help him challenge Porto + Benfica next year.

BENFICA: Everything seems to be in order. A bunch of young talent, a great squad that just won all three trophies, and a new signing. Rodrigo and Gomes might leave, but this can be the opportunity for Cavaleiro to shine and we have enough people to replace Gomes. Will Benfica win the league again? Maybe. Eusebio's death was a huge impetus for Benfica's success this season. I do believe that Benfica can get more silverware next season.

PORTO: Well, compared to this season, next season must be an improvement. With a couple new players and when Quaresma and coach settle in, they can be deadly once again. Also, now with Silva out of Estoril, I am sad to say that there probably won't be anyone competing for top three.

BRAGA: Not a top three team, but I have high hopes for them next season. I hope they can represent us in the Europa League.

On another note, Benfica has moved up to the 5th best team in UEFA standings, past Manchester United!

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