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Player profile: Bruno Pereirinha

PereirinhaFull name: Bruno Alexandre Marques Pereirinha

Position: Midfielder

Date of Birth: 2 March 1988

Birthplace: Rio de Mouro, Portugal

Another season, another young gem rolls off Sporting’s Alcochete training academy. Not that many would have thought it likely one year ago that Bruno Pereirinha follow in the footsteps of the likes of Joao Moutinho and Miguel Veloso in establishing himself as a potential star of the future of the Lisbon club.

The slight midfielder was given his debut in the latter stages of the 2006/07 season and Sporting coach Paulo Bento insisted on giving the youngster more and more playing time the following season, despite the fact that he frequently looked out of his depth.

Undeterred, Bento once again proved the virtue of the Lions’ policy of investing in home-grown talent as Pereirinha slowly came out of his shell, before definitively showing the world what he could do with a series of sparkling displays after Christmas.

A testament to the player’s growth is that his most impressive outings have all come in big games, turning in man-of-the-match performances against FC Porto and Benfica and equally distinguished showings in the Uefa Cup.

Pinning down Pereirinha’s main assets is no easy task. He is neither overly skilful, particularly aggressive or possessor of a thunderous shot and is quite the opposite of physically intimidating.

Calmness personified

Yet everything he does he does tidily, with the minimum of fuss, with speed of thought, playing a subtle but vital role in accentuating the cohesion of his team’s movements. His ability to remain remarkably calm and collected in the most frenetic of atmospheres belies his lack of experience.

Such has been his progress in the first three months of 2008 that the Portugal U21 international has earned himself a frequent starting berth for Sporting. Furthermore, the erstwhile retiring Pereirinha has been targeted by the local press as a favourite for post-match interviews, which he has handled with equally commendable composure as shown on the pitch.

It is still too early to say whether or not Pereirinha can produce the goods on a regular basis and set himself up for as glittering a career as surely awaits his midfield team-mates Moutinho and Veloso. But with Bento’s guiding hand nurturing his every step, the player who only turned twenty at the start of this month looks set on maximising his chances of maturing into the finished article.

By Tom Kundert (25/03/2008)

Olivais e Moscavide90

* League only
** Up to 1 March 2009

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