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    (Original post by aa22)
    Porto have made some absolutely amazing signings. Casemiro can be bought for relatively cheap after the end if the season too. He's a good replacement for Fernando.

    Martins Indi is another excellent signing to replace Mangala. And Quaresma and Tello on the wings will be scary.

    Seriously cannot see anyone other than Porto winning the title next season. Wouldn't be surprised with a good CL run or even a Europa League win.

    Benfica have lost SOOOOO many players, I barely recognised the team that played in the Taça da honra matches.

    Sporting look like they are gelling well, so in all honestly I think the coming season will be a disaster for us. Can't see anything other than Porto to win the title and benfica will spend the whole season trying to figure out what is our first eleven meaning we'll lose ground to Sporting in the meantime. So disappointing that such an excellent squad that we had last season is pretty much gone now :/ (at least I managed to see them live once though against Tottenham)

    I'm still in Lisbon but I Haven't managed to go to even see the stadium yet, but I am 99% sure I'll be going to watch the Eusebio Cup match! Can't wait.. Hopefully we'll have a couple more of our usual players back.


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    We have certainly been busy and we’re not into the final month of the transfer window. Adrian, Bruno Martins Indi, Brahimi, Tello, Oli Torres, Casemiro, Opare, Sami, Ricardo and Evandro. We simply cannot have a repeat of last season so we’ve had to be this active during this summer transfer window otherwise the fans would begin to turn their back on the club as no one would be happy.

    Haha, don’t give up on the title without even kicking a ball! I really wouldn’t say that you can’t see anyone but Porto winning the title this season. I know we lost two big players in James and Moutinho last season but the signings we had made (Quintero, Hector Herrera, Diego Reyes, Licá, Josué, Carlos Eduardo, Ricardo, Ghilas) seemed to be a good enough bunch to win us at least one trophy and we completely failed. So, although we’ve made some decent signings I’m not getting my hopes up like I did at the beginning of last season.

    Yeah, a completely different Benfica side to what you watched last season. When did you sign Talisca? I didn’t realise he had even left Brazil until I saw the name in your squad for the Taça da Honra matches. He’s a good buy from Bahia, certainly stood out for them last season. Yesterday you signed Bebe. Very interesting to see what JJ can do to him. Obviously it just didn’t work out for him in England but he didn’t do too badly in a Paços squad who were absolutely woeful last season so certainly interesting to see which way it will go for him. And you have also completed the signing of yet ANOTHER left back, Eliseu. This position is such a problematic position for you lot since Coentrão left.

    I guess with Sporting it’s just key that they hold onto their players now. If they were to lose Rojo, Slimani and William within this next month then Sporting will have to rush and buy some decent replacements. They haven’t really bought anyone that significant who could come in and be a like-for-like replacement for them. Signed a few younger guys though, so they’re sticking with their youngsters.

    Ah, just seen the final score was 1-0 Ajax. A shame you didn’t watch Benfica win but you got to see a few of your new guys, I see Bebe came on for a little bit. Although you didn’t watch them win, hopefully you still enjoyed being there and being in Lisbon too. Lisbon is one of those cities that I could always visit and not get fed up of the place. I love that place.

    I’ve managed to watch the first two Portugal games in the U19s and I see they managed to grab a late winner yesterday to make it 3/3 and into the semi-final on Monday. A couple of impressive displays by André Silva in those first two games, the guy has looked great. Hopefully I’ll be around to watch them on Monday but it’s great to see them doing well. At least our youngsters look pretty promising – it would be even more bleak for the Portugal NT if we didn’t have these lot around!


    EDIT: No point quoting you again...

    But since that post we have added two more Spaniards to our squad - José Ángel on a free and then GK Andrés Fernández from Osasuna. I'd like to think José Ángel is more of a back up than anything else - I don't want Alex Sandro losing his spot but last season he played a ridiculous amount so i guess it gives a bit of depth to the squad.

    I flicked between the Portugal-Serbia match yesterday. Didn't really look the best of matches every time I turned it over but the penalties were good. Even more of a story with Tiago Sá coming on in extra time because Moreira picked up an injury so for him to be the "hero" as such with saving the final penalty was great to see. Final tomorrow vs Germany.
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    Good news for BT Sport subscribers, you can all have a taste of the Portuguese Liga this coming season...

    BT Sport has announced a deal to show up to four exclusively live matches a week from the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

    The announcement takes BT Sport's total to six European leagues. In addition to the Barclays Premier League, BT Sport also shows exclusively live matches from Germany's Bundesliga, France's Ligue1, Italy's Serie A and the Scottish Professional Football League.

    The Portuguese rights include exclusively live home and away matches played by the league’s ‘Big Three’ teams, current league champions Benfica, Porto FC and Sporting Lisbon. The channels will also have the rights to show the eagerly-awaited ‘O Classico’ matches between Benfica and Porto. BT Sport has won the rights for the UK and Ireland.
    Also, I like how Sky Sports will be showing the Eredivisie this season. So much European football on our screens!
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    (Original post by ra-ra-ra)
    We have certainly been busy and we’re not into the final month of the transfer window. Adrian, Bruno Martins Indi, Brahimi, Tello, Oli Torres, Casemiro, Opare, Sami, Ricardo and Evandro. We simply cannot have a repeat of last season so we’ve had to be this active during this summer transfer window otherwise the fans would begin to turn their back on the club as no one would be happy.

    Haha, don’t give up on the title without even kicking a ball! I really wouldn’t say that you can’t see anyone but Porto winning the title this season. I know we lost two big players in James and Moutinho last season but the signings we had made (Quintero, Hector Herrera, Diego Reyes, Licá, Josué, Carlos Eduardo, Ricardo, Ghilas) seemed to be a good enough bunch to win us at least one trophy and we completely failed. So, although we’ve made some decent signings I’m not getting my hopes up like I did at the beginning of last season.

    Yeah, a completely different Benfica side to what you watched last season. When did you sign Talisca? I didn’t realise he had even left Brazil until I saw the name in your squad for the Taça da Honra matches. He’s a good buy from Bahia, certainly stood out for them last season. Yesterday you signed Bebe. Very interesting to see what JJ can do to him. Obviously it just didn’t work out for him in England but he didn’t do too badly in a Paços squad who were absolutely woeful last season so certainly interesting to see which way it will go for him. And you have also completed the signing of yet ANOTHER left back, Eliseu. This position is such a problematic position for you lot since Coentrão left.

    I guess with Sporting it’s just key that they hold onto their players now. If they were to lose Rojo, Slimani and William within this next month then Sporting will have to rush and buy some decent replacements. They haven’t really bought anyone that significant who could come in and be a like-for-like replacement for them. Signed a few younger guys though, so they’re sticking with their youngsters.

    Ah, just seen the final score was 1-0 Ajax. A shame you didn’t watch Benfica win but you got to see a few of your new guys, I see Bebe came on for a little bit. Although you didn’t watch them win, hopefully you still enjoyed being there and being in Lisbon too. Lisbon is one of those cities that I could always visit and not get fed up of the place. I love that place.

    I’ve managed to watch the first two Portugal games in the U19s and I see they managed to grab a late winner yesterday to make it 3/3 and into the semi-final on Monday. A couple of impressive displays by André Silva in those first two games, the guy has looked great. Hopefully I’ll be around to watch them on Monday but it’s great to see them doing well. At least our youngsters look pretty promising – it would be even more bleak for the Portugal NT if we didn’t have these lot around!


    EDIT: No point quoting you again...

    But since that post we have added two more Spaniards to our squad - José Ángel on a free and then GK Andrés Fernández from Osasuna. I'd like to think José Ángel is more of a back up than anything else - I don't want Alex Sandro losing his spot but last season he played a ridiculous amount so i guess it gives a bit of depth to the squad.

    I flicked between the Portugal-Serbia match yesterday. Didn't really look the best of matches every time I turned it over but the penalties were good. Even more of a story with Tiago Sá coming on in extra time because Moreira picked up an injury so for him to be the "hero" as such with saving the final penalty was great to see. Final tomorrow vs Germany.

    Well, I'm back, and I am glad to say that I managed to go to Estadio da Luz and watched us play. Too bad we lost, and sucked even more that I couldn't celebrate a goal, especially because we missed a penalty! Really enjoyed the atmosphere and all that though. I was sitting really close to where the subs were warming up so I managed to see Bebe, Andre Almeida and Eliseu close up, as well as Salvio whenever he took a corner from there.

    Super cool to finally go watch a match there. Been wanting to go ever since it was built. Went to see Eusebio's statue too, all decorated and stuff..

    Definitely enjoyed my time in Lisbon btw.. managed to do a lot of the touristy stuff and ate loaaaaaaaaaaads of pasteis de natas (they even had pasteis de nata with chocolate inside in one place)!



    As for Benfica themselves. OMFG, I seriously don't think I have ever been less excited for a new season to start. I've only been able to watch bits of our friendlies, but I saw the match against Arsenal and we were atrocious. We have pretty much lost everyone and it doesn't even feel like I'm watching Benfica anymore.. it's as if I'm watching Gaitan and Salvio playing for some mediocre team..

    None of the new signings look any good either. Talisca looks OK, and that Joao Teixeira kid has done well, but that's about it. All these signings like Bebe, Eliseu, Candeias, etc aren't exactly brimming with potential.. they're all fairly average. Cesar is probably even worse than Sidnei.

    We still don't have a new goalkeeper (Artur has been so bad), no defensive midfielder and now we need another striker too with Cardozo's departure (yet another loss).

    I really am not looking forward to the new season at all. I saw your post about BT Sports getting the Portuguese league, and I am extremely tempted to get it, but Benfica really aren't helping the cause..


    As for Porto's new signings, I used to buy Jose Angel all the time when I played Football Manager.. he's supposed to be pretty good. But now that you've reminded me of Alex Sandro, you've also reminded me that Porto definitely have a ridiculous squad. Dunno who the new goalkeeper is, but he must be good too. Seriously, I'd bet anything Porto will win the league this season.


    Didn't manage to watch any of the U19's matches, but too bad they lost the final. Had to be Germany too :/

    Hopefully some of those kids can make the jump to the first team in the future..
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    (Original post by aa22)
    Well, I'm back, and I am glad to say that I managed to go to Estadio da Luz and watched us play. Too bad we lost, and sucked even more that I couldn't celebrate a goal, especially because we missed a penalty! Really enjoyed the atmosphere and all that though. I was sitting really close to where the subs were warming up so I managed to see Bebe, Andre Almeida and Eliseu close up, as well as Salvio whenever he took a corner from there.

    Super cool to finally go watch a match there. Been wanting to go ever since it was built. Went to see Eusebio's statue too, all decorated and stuff..

    Definitely enjoyed my time in Lisbon btw.. managed to do a lot of the touristy stuff and ate loaaaaaaaaaaads of pasteis de natas (they even had pasteis de nata with chocolate inside in one place)!



    As for Benfica themselves. OMFG, I seriously don't think I have ever been less excited for a new season to start. I've only been able to watch bits of our friendlies, but I saw the match against Arsenal and we were atrocious. We have pretty much lost everyone and it doesn't even feel like I'm watching Benfica anymore.. it's as if I'm watching Gaitan and Salvio playing for some mediocre team..

    None of the new signings look any good either. Talisca looks OK, and that Joao Teixeira kid has done well, but that's about it. All these signings like Bebe, Eliseu, Candeias, etc aren't exactly brimming with potential.. they're all fairly average. Cesar is probably even worse than Sidnei.

    We still don't have a new goalkeeper (Artur has been so bad), no defensive midfielder and now we need another striker too with Cardozo's departure (yet another loss).

    I really am not looking forward to the new season at all. I saw your post about BT Sports getting the Portuguese league, and I am extremely tempted to get it, but Benfica really aren't helping the cause..


    As for Porto's new signings, I used to buy Jose Angel all the time when I played Football Manager.. he's supposed to be pretty good. But now that you've reminded me of Alex Sandro, you've also reminded me that Porto definitely have a ridiculous squad. Dunno who the new goalkeeper is, but he must be good too. Seriously, I'd bet anything Porto will win the league this season.


    Didn't manage to watch any of the U19's matches, but too bad they lost the final. Had to be Germany too :/

    Hopefully some of those kids can make the jump to the first team in the future..
    Ah, good to hear you were able to catch a game whilst in Lisbon – just a shame you didn’t get to see them win. I hate when that happens, you go all that way so all you want to do is cheer for a goal but they fail to find the back of the net. Ah well, at least you got to see the stadium and get a taste of the atmosphere, and see the Eusebio statue too! Bet that has become quite a thing to see since the last time I was there.

    Haha, I must admit I’m not a huge fan of pasties de natas but they’ve got that famous place in Belém that everyone seems to rave on about so when I went to Belém I had to try one. They have them everywhere though so I can understand why you ate loads ha. My problem was with that little Ginjinha place in the Rossio area, again I’m not a huge fan of the thing but I seem to find myself always visiting there when I’m in Lisbon. I definitely prefer Lisbon to Porto though – if it wasn’t for football then I probably wouldn’t return to Porto.

    JJ has a tough job on his hands. So many key players have left but he hasn’t really signed anyone who could “replace” them. I know he said something along the lines of no team can lose eight key players and expect to have a new team in four weeks BUT I think there has been players out there that would help a whole lot more than the ones he’s currently signed.

    I see Jardim has come out and said that he is pretty keen to sign Gaitan, if you lose him then God help you even more! With the squad you’ve got Gaitan is the best you currently have so losing him would just hinder any chance you have even more. Same with Enzo Perez, you’re currently hanging onto him. It’ll be interesting to see what squad JJ goes with for the Supertaça vs Rio Ave. Even though it’s just the Supertaça he knows losing would just get everyone in uproar even more than they currently are after those friendly results, so that is a must win purely for pride more than the meaning of getting a trophy. Time for your Fejsa’s and Sulejmani’s to stand up!

    I really liked Artur before Oblak came along and then you could tell the difference between the two and now that you’ve gone back to Artur it has made Artur look terrible during these friendly matches. I’m surprised Cardozo has gone. I thought if he was to go it would have been after the fight last season and now things seemed to be sorted with JJ he would stay, especially considering how many have gone this summer.

    I really don’t know how it’s going to work out with BT Sport. Not sure what the deal will be like with the Benfica home matches because of the Benfica TV rights. It’s good for people in the UK to see the league though but we will see how long I can last with the English commentary (as normally when we play in Europe I get fed up with the commentators on Sky and ITV within the first 10 minutes), so it’s either choose BT and have a clear HD picture with English commentary or stick with our Portuguese channels with a not so clear picture but Portuguese commentary.

    Not sure if Andrés Fernández will be number one though. Helton is still out injured so I was guessing he’s just back up to Fabiano. But then it wouldn’t surprise me if Lopetegui makes him number one seeing as we’re turning Spanish. Hopefully that won’t happen as I quite like Fabiano. Can we safely say that we have Jackson for one more season too? Just signed a new contract and said he was very happy here. Although he was the top goal scorer last season I still think he was a bit hit and miss, many chances weren’t taken whereas the season previously he would have had them in the back of the net. But then I guess everyone was pretty poor for us last season. Maybe he’ll have a repeat of his first season so then we can sell him for €25-30m.

    To be fair Germany completely deserved that victory as Portugal weren’t great. It’s a shame as it started so well for them but the goals really dried up. Definitely a future for a few of them though.
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    (Original post by ra-ra-ra)
    Ah, good to hear you were able to catch a game whilst in Lisbon – just a shame you didn’t get to see them win. I hate when that happens, you go all that way so all you want to do is cheer for a goal but they fail to find the back of the net. Ah well, at least you got to see the stadium and get a taste of the atmosphere, and see the Eusebio statue too! Bet that has become quite a thing to see since the last time I was there.

    Haha, I must admit I’m not a huge fan of pasties de natas but they’ve got that famous place in Belém that everyone seems to rave on about so when I went to Belém I had to try one. They have them everywhere though so I can understand why you ate loads ha. My problem was with that little Ginjinha place in the Rossio area, again I’m not a huge fan of the thing but I seem to find myself always visiting there when I’m in Lisbon. I definitely prefer Lisbon to Porto though – if it wasn’t for football then I probably wouldn’t return to Porto.

    JJ has a tough job on his hands. So many key players have left but he hasn’t really signed anyone who could “replace” them. I know he said something along the lines of no team can lose eight key players and expect to have a new team in four weeks BUT I think there has been players out there that would help a whole lot more than the ones he’s currently signed.

    I see Jardim has come out and said that he is pretty keen to sign Gaitan, if you lose him then God help you even more! With the squad you’ve got Gaitan is the best you currently have so losing him would just hinder any chance you have even more. Same with Enzo Perez, you’re currently hanging onto him. It’ll be interesting to see what squad JJ goes with for the Supertaça vs Rio Ave. Even though it’s just the Supertaça he knows losing would just get everyone in uproar even more than they currently are after those friendly results, so that is a must win purely for pride more than the meaning of getting a trophy. Time for your Fejsa’s and Sulejmani’s to stand up!

    I really liked Artur before Oblak came along and then you could tell the difference between the two and now that you’ve gone back to Artur it has made Artur look terrible during these friendly matches. I’m surprised Cardozo has gone. I thought if he was to go it would have been after the fight last season and now things seemed to be sorted with JJ he would stay, especially considering how many have gone this summer.

    I really don’t know how it’s going to work out with BT Sport. Not sure what the deal will be like with the Benfica home matches because of the Benfica TV rights. It’s good for people in the UK to see the league though but we will see how long I can last with the English commentary (as normally when we play in Europe I get fed up with the commentators on Sky and ITV within the first 10 minutes), so it’s either choose BT and have a clear HD picture with English commentary or stick with our Portuguese channels with a not so clear picture but Portuguese commentary.

    Not sure if Andrés Fernández will be number one though. Helton is still out injured so I was guessing he’s just back up to Fabiano. But then it wouldn’t surprise me if Lopetegui makes him number one seeing as we’re turning Spanish. Hopefully that won’t happen as I quite like Fabiano. Can we safely say that we have Jackson for one more season too? Just signed a new contract and said he was very happy here. Although he was the top goal scorer last season I still think he was a bit hit and miss, many chances weren’t taken whereas the season previously he would have had them in the back of the net. But then I guess everyone was pretty poor for us last season. Maybe he’ll have a repeat of his first season so then we can sell him for €25-30m.

    To be fair Germany completely deserved that victory as Portugal weren’t great. It’s a shame as it started so well for them but the goals really dried up. Definitely a future for a few of them though.

    Yeh, that Eusebio statue is sure something. All covered with Benfica paraphernalia and inside a big glass enclosure. I remember back when I was a kid, I had a picture taken literally sitting on the ball in that statue.

    I did go to Belem and to Pasteis de Belem (which is the place you mentioned). That was probably one of the best Pasteis de Natas I've ever had... sooooo goooood. I would've stayed in there longer but we were a bit tight on time since we were going to the match afterwards.

    I also went to Rossio, but I didn't know about the ginjinha thing... we only went there for the shopping, but I'll have to check it out next time.



    RE: Football stuff. I really hope that we aren't just holding on the Enzo until the Supercup and then allowing him to leave. Something similar happened with Matic too, we kept him until the match against Porto and then let him go.

    If Gaitan also leaves, we are gonna be so ****ed. Such a huge lack of quality compared to last season.

    Pretty sure Fejsa is gonna stay injured for another few months, so he can't be counted upon. And Sulejmani is almost always on the injury table too.

    Cardozo is gone, a bit disappointing to see someone who has done so much for the club leave, but tbf, it was starting to look like his time had passed.

    Ivan Cavaleiro is going out on loan to Deportivo. Surely Candeias can't be much better than him? I mean, he's even already got one seasons-worth of JJ tactics in him, I really think he could have been useful this season.

    We still haven't got the GK situation sorted.. seems like all sorts of names are being thrown about, but I have no idea who has any real quality.



    Good point about the Benfica home matches on BT Sports. I also don't know how that will work out, might be worth waiting a month and checking out how many fixtures BT Sports shows and then making a decision based on that...

    And also a good point about the English commentary... I too would prefer to watch it in Portuguese whenever possible, but I'd also really rather be sitting comfortably in the living room and watching HD quality football on the big screen. I'd probably try to somehow sync TSF or Antena 1 so that it matches the TV stream and then Mute the TV. Pretty sure it would be totally possible to do - for me at least - since I have Virgin Media's TiVo box, which would allow me to easily rewind or forward the TV as necessary..

    Plus, lets not forget that BT Sports would also give you a load of Premiership matches (and some other leagues) too, so theres that benefit as well..



    I'm not surprised Jackson has decided to sign a new contract and looks likely to stay another season. He has just seen the rest of his squad become absolutely stacked with quality and he knows the possibility of a good season is very high. No point in leaving right now when he can have a great season this year and then leave at the end for a better team than he would get right now.
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    (Original post by aa22)
    Yeh, that Eusebio statue is sure something. All covered with Benfica paraphernalia and inside a big glass enclosure. I remember back when I was a kid, I had a picture taken literally sitting on the ball in that statue.

    I did go to Belem and to Pasteis de Belem (which is the place you mentioned). That was probably one of the best Pasteis de Natas I've ever had... sooooo goooood. I would've stayed in there longer but we were a bit tight on time since we were going to the match afterwards.

    I also went to Rossio, but I didn't know about the ginjinha thing... we only went there for the shopping, but I'll have to check it out next time.



    RE: Football stuff. I really hope that we aren't just holding on the Enzo until the Supercup and then allowing him to leave. Something similar happened with Matic too, we kept him until the match against Porto and then let him go.

    If Gaitan also leaves, we are gonna be so ****ed. Such a huge lack of quality compared to last season.

    Pretty sure Fejsa is gonna stay injured for another few months, so he can't be counted upon. And Sulejmani is almost always on the injury table too.

    Cardozo is gone, a bit disappointing to see someone who has done so much for the club leave, but tbf, it was starting to look like his time had passed.

    Ivan Cavaleiro is going out on loan to Deportivo. Surely Candeias can't be much better than him? I mean, he's even already got one seasons-worth of JJ tactics in him, I really think he could have been useful this season.

    We still haven't got the GK situation sorted.. seems like all sorts of names are being thrown about, but I have no idea who has any real quality.



    Good point about the Benfica home matches on BT Sports. I also don't know how that will work out, might be worth waiting a month and checking out how many fixtures BT Sports shows and then making a decision based on that...

    And also a good point about the English commentary... I too would prefer to watch it in Portuguese whenever possible, but I'd also really rather be sitting comfortably in the living room and watching HD quality football on the big screen. I'd probably try to somehow sync TSF or Antena 1 so that it matches the TV stream and then Mute the TV. Pretty sure it would be totally possible to do - for me at least - since I have Virgin Media's TiVo box, which would allow me to easily rewind or forward the TV as necessary..

    Plus, lets not forget that BT Sports would also give you a load of Premiership matches (and some other leagues) too, so theres that benefit as well..



    I'm not surprised Jackson has decided to sign a new contract and looks likely to stay another season. He has just seen the rest of his squad become absolutely stacked with quality and he knows the possibility of a good season is very high. No point in leaving right now when he can have a great season this year and then leave at the end for a better team than he would get right now.
    Wow, needing penalties to beat Rio Ave in the Supertaça in a game that was completely dominated by Benfica. A lucky escape that Artur decided to pull off a couple of decent saves when it came to the penalties so that Benfica were able to save the blushes.

    Watching Benfica tonight reminded me of what it was like watching Porto last season. So much possession, so many chances but really struggled to find the back of the net. There is no doubt that you have lost a lot of quality over the summer but I found the starting XI tonight of Artur, Maxi, Luisão, Jardel, Eliseu, Enzo Perez, Nico Gaitan, Talisca, Salvio, Amorim and Lima not as bad as I expected your starting XI to be. By no means is it the standard you were used to last season but it’s not too bad considering the amount of exits this summer. Even the bench wasn’t as bad as I expected with Paulo Lopes, Cesar, Andre Almeida, Bebe, Franco Jara, Derley and Ola John. I guess the majority of these players are more your average type of players though with no real quality that Benfica are used to having in their team. If Nico Gaitan, Salvio, Enzo or Luisão (and possibly Maxi?) get injured for a significant period of time or leave between now and the end of the transfer window then this will create greater problems for Benfica as there is no real depth to the team with players that have that special quality similar to what those 4/5 bring to this team.

    I actually think if Talisca managed to score one of those chances in the first half then this game would have been plain sailing for Benfica, as I think that one goal would have got them rolling.

    I am absolutely with you that JJ needs to get a new goalkeeper asap. Artur does look awful though, quite a few mistakes crept into this game. First with the two Rio Ave players that closed him down and got the ball but they were unable to do anything with it and then they had that great chance towards the end of extra time where they had a corner and Artur just punched it away but it was a rubbish punch and somehow ended up hitting the bar. I guess in this game he made up for it with the saves when it came to the penalties but against a better team these two mistakes could have easily cost you the game.

    I think Rio Ave deserve some credit with being able to frustrate Benfica so much and defend fairly well but Cassio was rarely tested. I think it was in the second half when Benfica had a free kick and it was whipped into the box and he made a decent save and then one of their defenders knocked it out for a corner but apart from that save I can’t think of another save where I thought “great save” as the saves he had to make were ones you expect your GK to save.

    I guess with Cardozo maybe his time was up, especially with the likes of Bebe and Derley being signed but I still don’t think I rate either of them over Cardozo. I actually think he is one of those players that is more of a loss than people realise he will be.

    I’ll let you know what the Portuguese Liga coverage will be like but just looking at the schedule for next weekend there seems to be no games in the listings. It might change closer to the time but Porto kick off the season on Friday so if they were going to show Porto then I would have expected it to already be in the listings. We shall see what it is like with Portuguese football but it is a decent channel with the amount of games they show on there from all around the world. But if you are into all sorts of leagues like myself then you are pretty much spoilt for choice with all the German, Italian, EPL, MLS, Brazilian and Copa Libertadores matches that they show. They even manage to throw in Conference football so there has been a couple of times when even Wrexham (and myself ) have made the odd appearance on there.

    Whereas I am looking forward to seeing how this Porto side will properly work (we can't be any worse than last season, surely?) and for the Portuguese League to start, I have a feeling you would rather there was still a month to go so you could build a stronger team?

    I'm intrigued to how your first two games will go. First game up against a Paços side who only avoided being relegated because of play-off match. Then of course a bit more will be added to this game considering it will be Paulo Fonsecas first game in charge back at Paços and seeing if he can upset the old rival of JJ (and Benfica fans) if they manage to take all three points. Then the second game vs Boavista. Whilst i feel they will need a miracle to stay up this season and get some decent results, if Benfica fail to get three points against them it will be a shock. I'm also genuinely excited to see the Bessa back in this Liga too!
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    Considering how important Garay was at Benfica and the same with Mangala at Porto, and then compare the Garay to Zenit deal next to the Mangala to Man City deal and it's absolutely laughable.

    We get €30.5m for selling just under 57% of Mangalas rights that we owned.
    Benfica got €2.4m for selling 40% of Garays rights that they owned.

    I know that we had more rights of Mangala and that with the players themselves there is a 5 year age difference between the players, but both held the same importance with their individual club, so for Benfica selling Garay for €6m and only picking up €2.4m from the deal was always a ridiculous deal, made even more ridiculous now that we were able to get €30.5m for Mangala.

    Absolutely ridiculous deal on our part, I expected around €30m for the whole transfer alone, never mind just for Portos side of the deal. Porto at it again.
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    (Original post by aa22)
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    It won't let me edit my last quote to you from my phone, just comes up with error when I click on it for some reason.

    BUT ignore what I said about this weeks matches not being in the listings on BT Sports because Porto vs Maritimo will be on ESPN on Friday, along with Academica vs Sporting on Saturday. No signs of the Benfica match on Sunday, but we'll see how these two games go first!

    I've realised as well that on Sunday it's Braga vs Boavista at 7pm and Paços vs Benfica on at 7:15. Terrible timings as I want to watch both so will be the case of flicking between the two.
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    (Original post by ra-ra-ra)
    Wow, needing penalties to beat Rio Ave in the Supertaça in a game that was completely dominated by Benfica. A lucky escape that Artur decided to pull off a couple of decent saves when it came to the penalties so that Benfica were able to save the blushes.

    Watching Benfica tonight reminded me of what it was like watching Porto last season. So much possession, so many chances but really struggled to find the back of the net. There is no doubt that you have lost a lot of quality over the summer but I found the starting XI tonight of Artur, Maxi, Luisão, Jardel, Eliseu, Enzo Perez, Nico Gaitan, Talisca, Salvio, Amorim and Lima not as bad as I expected your starting XI to be. By no means is it the standard you were used to last season but it’s not too bad considering the amount of exits this summer. Even the bench wasn’t as bad as I expected with Paulo Lopes, Cesar, Andre Almeida, Bebe, Franco Jara, Derley and Ola John. I guess the majority of these players are more your average type of players though with no real quality that Benfica are used to having in their team. If Nico Gaitan, Salvio, Enzo or Luisão (and possibly Maxi?) get injured for a significant period of time or leave between now and the end of the transfer window then this will create greater problems for Benfica as there is no real depth to the team with players that have that special quality similar to what those 4/5 bring to this team.

    I actually think if Talisca managed to score one of those chances in the first half then this game would have been plain sailing for Benfica, as I think that one goal would have got them rolling.

    I am absolutely with you that JJ needs to get a new goalkeeper asap. Artur does look awful though, quite a few mistakes crept into this game. First with the two Rio Ave players that closed him down and got the ball but they were unable to do anything with it and then they had that great chance towards the end of extra time where they had a corner and Artur just punched it away but it was a rubbish punch and somehow ended up hitting the bar. I guess in this game he made up for it with the saves when it came to the penalties but against a better team these two mistakes could have easily cost you the game.

    I think Rio Ave deserve some credit with being able to frustrate Benfica so much and defend fairly well but Cassio was rarely tested. I think it was in the second half when Benfica had a free kick and it was whipped into the box and he made a decent save and then one of their defenders knocked it out for a corner but apart from that save I can’t think of another save where I thought “great save” as the saves he had to make were ones you expect your GK to save.

    I guess with Cardozo maybe his time was up, especially with the likes of Bebe and Derley being signed but I still don’t think I rate either of them over Cardozo. I actually think he is one of those players that is more of a loss than people realise he will be.

    I’ll let you know what the Portuguese Liga coverage will be like but just looking at the schedule for next weekend there seems to be no games in the listings. It might change closer to the time but Porto kick off the season on Friday so if they were going to show Porto then I would have expected it to already be in the listings. We shall see what it is like with Portuguese football but it is a decent channel with the amount of games they show on there from all around the world. But if you are into all sorts of leagues like myself then you are pretty much spoilt for choice with all the German, Italian, EPL, MLS, Brazilian and Copa Libertadores matches that they show. They even manage to throw in Conference football so there has been a couple of times when even Wrexham (and myself ) have made the odd appearance on there.

    Whereas I am looking forward to seeing how this Porto side will properly work (we can't be any worse than last season, surely?) and for the Portuguese League to start, I have a feeling you would rather there was still a month to go so you could build a stronger team?

    I'm intrigued to how your first two games will go. First game up against a Paços side who only avoided being relegated because of play-off match. Then of course a bit more will be added to this game considering it will be Paulo Fonsecas first game in charge back at Paços and seeing if he can upset the old rival of JJ (and Benfica fans) if they manage to take all three points. Then the second game vs Boavista. Whilst i feel they will need a miracle to stay up this season and get some decent results, if Benfica fail to get three points against them it will be a shock. I'm also genuinely excited to see the Bessa back in this Liga too!
    Yeh, we got pretty lucky in the end to win the match via penalties. We really should have finished the match off in the first half though, we had so many chances... I really hope that we don't become like the Porto of last season like you mentioned.

    True, that lineup didn't look TOO bad to be fair. However I still expect that Enzo will definitely leave, and Fejsa doesn't come back until 2015, so we are badly in need for more reinforcements. The bench didn't look very good IMO.. full of very average players, Derley was the only one with any real quality off the bench, because once Ola John and Bebe came on for Gaitan and Salvio, we became a completely different team, without any real attacking threat. And I don't think Jara will stay in the squad..

    There is still Sulejmani at least, so he can provide some decent backup. I also would have thought that this would have been a perfect opportunity for Bernardo Silva, Cavaleiro and Cancelo to step up, but for some ridiculous reason, we've sent them all out on loan! I really hope that the reports about Peter Lim having bought them up isn't true because I would like at least Bernardo to get a chance at Benfica.

    Luisao and Jardel definitely added a lot of defensive strength, and there is still Lisandro Lopez who is supposed to become first choice at some point, so we aren't looking too bad in central defence at the moment. Eliseu and Benito, whilst nothing amazing, can both do an OK job too. We still need a GK though, and I would really prefer if it wasn't this Karnezis bloke that keeps getting mentioned. Never liked the look of him whenever I've seen him play.. I get vibes of another Roberto waiting to happen..

    I wouldn't say I would have liked another month of preparations for Benfica though.. in fact, I'd prefer if we were already at the end of August and the transfer window slammed shut. But I will say I am extremely disappointed with the preparations that have happened. Complete disaster. From losing a crazy amount of players, to replacing them with very average players to showing some useless performances in the preseason matches. Nothing has gone well in terms of preparing for the coming season. I mean, the season is almost about to start and we are still looking to fill important positions.

    Start of the season will be critical. We usually never start well, so I hope it can change this season Pacos should be an interesting tie, but I expect a good win against Boavista. And like I've said, I am almost a 100% certain that Porto will definitely have an excellent season. That squad is far too good... in terms of quality in depth, it definitely reminds me of Benfica's squad from last season. It's just full of excellent players.




    That Mangala deal is absolutely INSANE. 30m for just 55%?! I mean, I know he's a good prospect and all, but Porto have completely screwed City over with that fee. Like you said, I would have expect 30m total at a maximum, not the 50m-ish deal that has happened.

    A big loss for Porto, but I think you've more than taken care of that already with Martins Indi.. he looked good during the World Cup.

    And yeh.. it's a bit of a joke when you compare the Garay deal to the Mangala deal. Did Mangala also only have one year left on his contract? Because I think that played a big part on the low value. I don't think there was much room for negotiation either.. We either got something for him now, or lost him for free next year. To be honest though, like I've said, I'd have rather kept him for another year than received just the 2.4m, but its possible that since we only had 40% of him, the third parties didn't want to lose money on him so we had to sell now.



    Good spot about the matches being on ESPN. I mean, I would have preferred if it was actually BT Sports showing it instead for some reason (maybe because it would make it a little bit more mainstream?), but oh well.. it's not like I was planning to listen to their commentators anyway. At least ESPN also has an HD channel.

    It is a bit annoying that Benfica isn't there, however, our first game is at home so maybe we are already seeing evidence that our home matches won't be shown? Will be really quite disappointing if that is true. Will keep an eye out for what happens on Matchday 2 and 3.. although Matchday 3 already has the derby vs Sporting, so I might have to act quick >_>
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    (Original post by aa22)
    Yeh, we got pretty lucky in the end to win the match via penalties. We really should have finished the match off in the first half though, we had so many chances... I really hope that we don't become like the Porto of last season like you mentioned.

    True, that lineup didn't look TOO bad to be fair. However I still expect that Enzo will definitely leave, and Fejsa doesn't come back until 2015, so we are badly in need for more reinforcements. The bench didn't look very good IMO.. full of very average players, Derley was the only one with any real quality off the bench, because once Ola John and Bebe came on for Gaitan and Salvio, we became a completely different team, without any real attacking threat. And I don't think Jara will stay in the squad..

    There is still Sulejmani at least, so he can provide some decent backup. I also would have thought that this would have been a perfect opportunity for Bernardo Silva, Cavaleiro and Cancelo to step up, but for some ridiculous reason, we've sent them all out on loan! I really hope that the reports about Peter Lim having bought them up isn't true because I would like at least Bernardo to get a chance at Benfica.

    Luisao and Jardel definitely added a lot of defensive strength, and there is still Lisandro Lopez who is supposed to become first choice at some point, so we aren't looking too bad in central defence at the moment. Eliseu and Benito, whilst nothing amazing, can both do an OK job too. We still need a GK though, and I would really prefer if it wasn't this Karnezis bloke that keeps getting mentioned. Never liked the look of him whenever I've seen him play.. I get vibes of another Roberto waiting to happen..

    I wouldn't say I would have liked another month of preparations for Benfica though.. in fact, I'd prefer if we were already at the end of August and the transfer window slammed shut. But I will say I am extremely disappointed with the preparations that have happened. Complete disaster. From losing a crazy amount of players, to replacing them with very average players to showing some useless performances in the preseason matches. Nothing has gone well in terms of preparing for the coming season. I mean, the season is almost about to start and we are still looking to fill important positions.

    Start of the season will be critical. We usually never start well, so I hope it can change this season Pacos should be an interesting tie, but I expect a good win against Boavista. And like I've said, I am almost a 100% certain that Porto will definitely have an excellent season. That squad is far too good... in terms of quality in depth, it definitely reminds me of Benfica's squad from last season. It's just full of excellent players.




    That Mangala deal is absolutely INSANE. 30m for just 55%?! I mean, I know he's a good prospect and all, but Porto have completely screwed City over with that fee. Like you said, I would have expect 30m total at a maximum, not the 50m-ish deal that has happened.

    A big loss for Porto, but I think you've more than taken care of that already with Martins Indi.. he looked good during the World Cup.

    And yeh.. it's a bit of a joke when you compare the Garay deal to the Mangala deal. Did Mangala also only have one year left on his contract? Because I think that played a big part on the low value. I don't think there was much room for negotiation either.. We either got something for him now, or lost him for free next year. To be honest though, like I've said, I'd have rather kept him for another year than received just the 2.4m, but its possible that since we only had 40% of him, the third parties didn't want to lose money on him so we had to sell now.



    Good spot about the matches being on ESPN. I mean, I would have preferred if it was actually BT Sports showing it instead for some reason (maybe because it would make it a little bit more mainstream?), but oh well.. it's not like I was planning to listen to their commentators anyway. At least ESPN also has an HD channel.

    It is a bit annoying that Benfica isn't there, however, our first game is at home so maybe we are already seeing evidence that our home matches won't be shown? Will be really quite disappointing if that is true. Will keep an eye out for what happens on Matchday 2 and 3.. although Matchday 3 already has the derby vs Sporting, so I might have to act quick >_>
    I’m beginning to feel Enzo might surprise both of us (and probably everyone else) by staying at the club. I know Ojogo reported that Valencia were sniffing around but I really don’t know with this one. It is the depth in the squad which seems to be lacking within the Benfica squad. There is no one really you can truly rely on for a like-for-like replacement if one of your better players (like your Salvios, Gaitans etc) get injured.

    How long is Sulejmani out injured for? That’s not a bad player to have around once he’s back. I’m more surprised they’ve let Ivan Cavaleiro go out on loan as I feel he would have had a good chance to get a bit of playing time in this current Benfica squad. He’s someone you could stick on your bench and throw on if you need to shake things up a bit. But then I guess that’s why you have Derley and Bebe. Also, what about Pizzi and Nelson Oliveira, what’s going on with them two?

    Yeah, after the Sporting game it advertised for next week it will have Paços vs Porto and Boavista vs Benfica, so I imagine the Benfica home matches won’t be shown otherwise it would have been on there tonight. So that will be a huge part of the Benfica games that won’t be shown. As for Porto and Sporting I feel we can pretty much guarantee that the majority of their games will be shown on either ESPN or BT Sport. The downfall to Benfica TV having the rights for all the home games. Coverage wasn’t too bad of the Porto and Sporting games, I noticed with the Porto match it was a little bit behind the Portuguese TV coverage but that wasn't a major thing to have to deal with. However tonight whilst I had the Benfica game on I had the Bordeaux-Monaco match on via the Bt Sport app and they were showing the Benfica goals as they happened during that game, so maybe they don’t have the full rights to show it live but can give the updates like that during another match?

    I’ll take our 2-0 win vs Maritimo. We were pretty dominate and should have scored more but with it being the first game for the season I’ll take that. If Brahimi plays like that each week then he looks to be quite a steal for us on the wing, it was really good first game for him. Can’t go without talking about Ruben Neves’ debut game for the club too. I didn’t expect him to start and then for him to get a goal too was really pleasing, but realising he was born in 1997 helped make me feel a little on the old side!

    A disappointing first game (well mainly the second half) for Sporting and stupidity by William Carvalho which just added to the disappointment. There was no need for that tackle when he was already on a booking. First half I thought they were good but then with Cedric going off injured really hurt them as they were missing him in that second half. Then obviously going down to 10 never helped them. Good job it was two yellows so he’ll only miss the Arouca match next week, I wouldn’t be happy if he was to miss the Benfica match due to being suspended again! Although, he still has plenty time to leave and seeing as that game will be played on the weekend the transfer window shuts, possibly they will be without him in one of those late deals on the very last day of the transfer window.

    Watched the first 15 minutes of the Braga-Boavista game to see Boavista concede not even a minute into their return to the Liga. And then I watched the first 15 minutes into the second half whilst it was HT in the Benfica game to see them concede again very early on. You feel it’s going to be a long season for Boavista. I see that ended 3-0 and sadly I can’t see them having much luck vs Benfica next weekend.

    Artur saved Benfica a couple of times tonight but you got that important second goal to just ease the pressure otherwise I feel that would have been like the Sporting game with a nervy last 5 or so minutes. Two nice goals by Benfica though and Gaitan looking as important as ever within this squad, good game by him. A bit like how I feel with the Porto game – I’d take that with it being the first game of the season. Played pretty decent but can certainly improve as the season goes on but with it being the first game I don’t think you can complain much about it.

    I did throw a fair bit of criticism at Paulo Fonseca last season when he was our manager but there is something about him that I enjoy seeing when he is the Paços manager. That Paços side played completely different to the mess they were in last season. I know they still lost but there were plenty more positives in that game for them than there were throughout last season. They had a few chances but Artur managed to save Benfica a couple of times, not forgetting the penalty save too. They looked less like they were all over the place and more organised as well. I feel there is something to PF and Paços that works well. Hopefully he can have a successful season with them as I didn’t enjoy seeing them struggle last season.

    Intrigued to see if Estoril can have another successful season, and even more intrigued to see how Toze will get on for them so will definitely be keeping an eye on them tomorrow night to finish the first set of games in the Liga.

    Then Porto have the CL play-off to look forward to on Wednesday vs Lille. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by ra-ra-ra)
    I’m beginning to feel Enzo might surprise both of us (and probably everyone else) by staying at the club. I know Ojogo reported that Valencia were sniffing around but I really don’t know with this one. It is the depth in the squad which seems to be lacking within the Benfica squad. There is no one really you can truly rely on for a like-for-like replacement if one of your better players (like your Salvios, Gaitans etc) get injured.

    How long is Sulejmani out injured for? That’s not a bad player to have around once he’s back. I’m more surprised they’ve let Ivan Cavaleiro go out on loan as I feel he would have had a good chance to get a bit of playing time in this current Benfica squad. He’s someone you could stick on your bench and throw on if you need to shake things up a bit. But then I guess that’s why you have Derley and Bebe. Also, what about Pizzi and Nelson Oliveira, what’s going on with them two?

    Yeah, after the Sporting game it advertised for next week it will have Paços vs Porto and Boavista vs Benfica, so I imagine the Benfica home matches won’t be shown otherwise it would have been on there tonight. So that will be a huge part of the Benfica games that won’t be shown. As for Porto and Sporting I feel we can pretty much guarantee that the majority of their games will be shown on either ESPN or BT Sport. The downfall to Benfica TV having the rights for all the home games. Coverage wasn’t too bad of the Porto and Sporting games, I noticed with the Porto match it was a little bit behind the Portuguese TV coverage but that wasn't a major thing to have to deal with. However tonight whilst I had the Benfica game on I had the Bordeaux-Monaco match on via the Bt Sport app and they were showing the Benfica goals as they happened during that game, so maybe they don’t have the full rights to show it live but can give the updates like that during another match?

    I’ll take our 2-0 win vs Maritimo. We were pretty dominate and should have scored more but with it being the first game for the season I’ll take that. If Brahimi plays like that each week then he looks to be quite a steal for us on the wing, it was really good first game for him. Can’t go without talking about Ruben Neves’ debut game for the club too. I didn’t expect him to start and then for him to get a goal too was really pleasing, but realising he was born in 1997 helped make me feel a little on the old side!

    A disappointing first game (well mainly the second half) for Sporting and stupidity by William Carvalho which just added to the disappointment. There was no need for that tackle when he was already on a booking. First half I thought they were good but then with Cedric going off injured really hurt them as they were missing him in that second half. Then obviously going down to 10 never helped them. Good job it was two yellows so he’ll only miss the Arouca match next week, I wouldn’t be happy if he was to miss the Benfica match due to being suspended again! Although, he still has plenty time to leave and seeing as that game will be played on the weekend the transfer window shuts, possibly they will be without him in one of those late deals on the very last day of the transfer window.

    Watched the first 15 minutes of the Braga-Boavista game to see Boavista concede not even a minute into their return to the Liga. And then I watched the first 15 minutes into the second half whilst it was HT in the Benfica game to see them concede again very early on. You feel it’s going to be a long season for Boavista. I see that ended 3-0 and sadly I can’t see them having much luck vs Benfica next weekend.

    Artur saved Benfica a couple of times tonight but you got that important second goal to just ease the pressure otherwise I feel that would have been like the Sporting game with a nervy last 5 or so minutes. Two nice goals by Benfica though and Gaitan looking as important as ever within this squad, good game by him. A bit like how I feel with the Porto game – I’d take that with it being the first game of the season. Played pretty decent but can certainly improve as the season goes on but with it being the first game I don’t think you can complain much about it.

    I did throw a fair bit of criticism at Paulo Fonseca last season when he was our manager but there is something about him that I enjoy seeing when he is the Paços manager. That Paços side played completely different to the mess they were in last season. I know they still lost but there were plenty more positives in that game for them than there were throughout last season. They had a few chances but Artur managed to save Benfica a couple of times, not forgetting the penalty save too. They looked less like they were all over the place and more organised as well. I feel there is something to PF and Paços that works well. Hopefully he can have a successful season with them as I didn’t enjoy seeing them struggle last season.

    Intrigued to see if Estoril can have another successful season, and even more intrigued to see how Toze will get on for them so will definitely be keeping an eye on them tomorrow night to finish the first set of games in the Liga.

    Then Porto have the CL play-off to look forward to on Wednesday vs Lille. :rolleyes:


    RE: Enzo, I don't think there is any chance of him staying. He's already picked up an injury apparently, but I think its just covering for not playing for Benfica and keeping himself fresh for Valencia.

    Dunno how long Sulejmani is out for, hopefully he comes back soon because as you said, we don't have quality in depth to replace Gaitan or Salvio. I think Pizzi might be staying in the squad, but he's also currently injured, and I would be surprised if Nelson Oliveira stays in the squad.. it seems like JJ is adamant on not giving him any more chances. He'll probably be sent out on loan again.

    We've signed Julio Cesar though, so that's the GK position sorted, even though I don't particularly like Julio Cesar that much. He isn't the GK he used to be at Inter.



    I watched all three of the big team matches during the weekend. Firstly, Porto were extremely impressive. Gave almost no chance to Maritimo (apart from that one 1v1 which the Maritimo player completely messed up) and dominated the match completely. Ruben Neves was a surprise to me.. had never heard of him, but to be making a start at such a young age, he showed why he was chosen ahead of Casemiro, solid performance and got the goal to boot! And Brahimi was amazing.. I was surprised to see him play on the wing though, I am sure he's more of a central midfielder (similar to Enzo Perez). An excellent player you've got there.

    And then you still had Tello on the bench, who showed exactly why he's a Barcelona player as soon as he came on. Very direct and very quick. And that assist right at the end was excellent.

    Sporting were good in the first half, but faded in the second. William's red card didn't help either, but I thought Marco Silva should have brought on midfield cover much earlier after the sending off and should have taken off an attack in order to hold on to the lead. Oh well, I'm not complaining.

    As for Benfica. Decent enough performance. Didn't start too well though, Artur definitely saved us by saving that penalty. If that had gone in, we almost definitely would not have won the match. Pacos played really well.. you can already tell the difference that Paulo Fonseca has made. They should be fine this season.

    Our starting eleven looks good enough to beat most teams in Portugal, but we really have no quality in depth whatsoever. It is gonna be a looooong season for some of those players. Even more so if we lose the likes of Enzo or Gaitan. Or even Luisao now, it seems.


    Not too surprised that Boavista conceeded so quickly. They are still a lower league side to be fair. Braga were always gonna have too much quality for them. They might have some joy against the smaller teams though, but I wouldn't hold out much hope, especially with Benfica next.



    So Rojo has left Sporting, but flipping NANI has joined Sporting! What a signing that is. He will be a big boost for their 2nd place bid (because 1st place is still a definite for Porto IMO), if they don't lose any more players they'll cause Benfica a lot of problems in getting that automatic CL spot.


    Looking forward to Lille-Porto tonight. Lille will be a good test as they have some really good players like Enyeama, Origi, Kalou and such. Still expect a Porto win though.. or at least a draw.
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    (Original post by aa22)
    RE: Enzo, I don't think there is any chance of him staying. He's already picked up an injury apparently, but I think its just covering for not playing for Benfica and keeping himself fresh for Valencia.

    Dunno how long Sulejmani is out for, hopefully he comes back soon because as you said, we don't have quality in depth to replace Gaitan or Salvio. I think Pizzi might be staying in the squad, but he's also currently injured, and I would be surprised if Nelson Oliveira stays in the squad.. it seems like JJ is adamant on not giving him any more chances. He'll probably be sent out on loan again.

    We've signed Julio Cesar though, so that's the GK position sorted, even though I don't particularly like Julio Cesar that much. He isn't the GK he used to be at Inter.



    I watched all three of the big team matches during the weekend. Firstly, Porto were extremely impressive. Gave almost no chance to Maritimo (apart from that one 1v1 which the Maritimo player completely messed up) and dominated the match completely. Ruben Neves was a surprise to me.. had never heard of him, but to be making a start at such a young age, he showed why he was chosen ahead of Casemiro, solid performance and got the goal to boot! And Brahimi was amazing.. I was surprised to see him play on the wing though, I am sure he's more of a central midfielder (similar to Enzo Perez). An excellent player you've got there.

    And then you still had Tello on the bench, who showed exactly why he's a Barcelona player as soon as he came on. Very direct and very quick. And that assist right at the end was excellent.

    Sporting were good in the first half, but faded in the second. William's red card didn't help either, but I thought Marco Silva should have brought on midfield cover much earlier after the sending off and should have taken off an attack in order to hold on to the lead. Oh well, I'm not complaining.

    As for Benfica. Decent enough performance. Didn't start too well though, Artur definitely saved us by saving that penalty. If that had gone in, we almost definitely would not have won the match. Pacos played really well.. you can already tell the difference that Paulo Fonseca has made. They should be fine this season.

    Our starting eleven looks good enough to beat most teams in Portugal, but we really have no quality in depth whatsoever. It is gonna be a looooong season for some of those players. Even more so if we lose the likes of Enzo or Gaitan. Or even Luisao now, it seems.


    Not too surprised that Boavista conceeded so quickly. They are still a lower league side to be fair. Braga were always gonna have too much quality for them. They might have some joy against the smaller teams though, but I wouldn't hold out much hope, especially with Benfica next.



    So Rojo has left Sporting, but flipping NANI has joined Sporting! What a signing that is. He will be a big boost for their 2nd place bid (because 1st place is still a definite for Porto IMO), if they don't lose any more players they'll cause Benfica a lot of problems in getting that automatic CL spot.


    Looking forward to Lille-Porto tonight. Lille will be a good test as they have some really good players like Enyeama, Origi, Kalou and such. Still expect a Porto win though.. or at least a draw.
    A bit ridiculous if that is the case with Enzo and he isn’t actually injured. You’ve just signed Samaris too so whether that tell us anything about Enzo leaving?

    I’m surprised you just don’t let Nelson Oliveira leave instead of continuously sending him out on loan, as it seems like he'll never become a regular feature in the Benfica squad. He’s already had spells in the French and Spanish leagues, then of course the Portuguese league too. Where next for him? Italy?

    With the GK situation I really thought you were set on getting Karnezis, so I didn’t expect for you to get Julio Cesar. I think I rather him over Karnezis though, but saying that I haven’t watched many of Karnezis games. We'll see how long it is before Artur gets dropped!

    What will make it an even longer season for Benfica (and everyone else really but possibly Benfica will feel it that little bit more out of the top teams due to lack of depth) is that we have an extra four games to play in the league too with it being extended to 18 teams. If it’s anything like last season for Benfica where they were in the final of everything then they could really fatigue towards the latter stages.

    Yeah, the Luisão interest from Juve was a bit of a surprise as out of the players you have left then I wouldn’t have put him at the top of the list to leave before a few of them. Intrigued to see how this one will go and if he actually leaves

    Regardless of Nani’s form he will also be in Paulo Bento’s Portugal squad so I’m hoping his move back to Sporting will help him regain a bit of form so he can bring that to the national squad when it comes to our Euro qualifiers next month.

    We managed to do what we had to do against Lille and got an important away goal. The introduction of Tello certainly helped but Ruben Neves is still continuing to impress. Certainly didn’t let the CL stage bring any nerves to him. That bit of skill that he managed to do was great, really difficult to believe he’s only 17. Don’t want to start getting too excited just yet, but so far two games played and two very impressive performances by him. We shall see how he gets on later this evening.
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    (Original post by ra-ra-ra)
    A bit ridiculous if that is the case with Enzo and he isn’t actually injured. You’ve just signed Samaris too so whether that tell us anything about Enzo leaving?

    I’m surprised you just don’t let Nelson Oliveira leave instead of continuously sending him out on loan, as it seems like he'll never become a regular feature in the Benfica squad. He’s already had spells in the French and Spanish leagues, then of course the Portuguese league too. Where next for him? Italy?

    With the GK situation I really thought you were set on getting Karnezis, so I didn’t expect for you to get Julio Cesar. I think I rather him over Karnezis though, but saying that I haven’t watched many of Karnezis games. We'll see how long it is before Artur gets dropped!

    What will make it an even longer season for Benfica (and everyone else really but possibly Benfica will feel it that little bit more out of the top teams due to lack of depth) is that we have an extra four games to play in the league too with it being extended to 18 teams. If it’s anything like last season for Benfica where they were in the final of everything then they could really fatigue towards the latter stages.

    Yeah, the Luisão interest from Juve was a bit of a surprise as out of the players you have left then I wouldn’t have put him at the top of the list to leave before a few of them. Intrigued to see how this one will go and if he actually leaves

    Regardless of Nani’s form he will also be in Paulo Bento’s Portugal squad so I’m hoping his move back to Sporting will help him regain a bit of form so he can bring that to the national squad when it comes to our Euro qualifiers next month.

    We managed to do what we had to do against Lille and got an important away goal. The introduction of Tello certainly helped but Ruben Neves is still continuing to impress. Certainly didn’t let the CL stage bring any nerves to him. That bit of skill that he managed to do was great, really difficult to believe he’s only 17. Don’t want to start getting too excited just yet, but so far two games played and two very impressive performances by him. We shall see how he gets on later this evening.
    So all three teams managed to get a 1-0 win. Wasn't an easy game any of them either.. surprised at how much difficulty Porto had, but then again you DID rest a bunch of players and you were away to Paulo Fonseca's Pacos. A win is a win though, and considering you managed to do it with some second choice players, really says a lot about the quality of the squad. Ruben Neves has been a revelation.. what a player! Portugal have a lot of high quality midfielders coming through at the moment! William, Andre Gomes, Bernardo Silva, Joao Mario, Bruma, Mane, Marcos Lopes and now Ruben Neves, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some more too!

    Interesting to see Quaresma dropped for two matches straight too..


    I watched Sporting purely for the Nani hype and it was nice to see him back in Sporting's colours. Wasn't a great performance by him though, and that penalty miss will probably hit his confidence a bit. Sporting themselves were absolutely atrocious too, so many missed passes and wrong decisions on attacks. They will lose badly if they play like that at the Luz. I guess William Carvalho was out so he was a huge miss and will improve them for the next match. Arouca were unlucky to have lost it so close to the end.. Mane made a big difference...


    As for Benfica... that was a faaar tougher match than I expected. Boavista played really well and frustated us. Lima is badly out of form which doesn't help at all. Eliseu had looked dangerous all match though, and I am glad he managed to pop up with a goal. We weren't good at all and missed Enzo Perez a lot. Artur even made some good saves, it would be kinda sad to drop him now in favour of Julio Cesar.

    The worst thing to come out of the match though, was that Ruben Amorim got injured again and now he's out until 2015!! This just keeps getting worse and worse for Benfica. Luckily, it looks like Valencia might finally have given up on Enzo, and we've just brought in this Samaris bloke, so HOPEFULLY he turns out to be useful.

    I'd like to see Joao Teixeira moved up to the first team too, he was impressive in pre-season and should get a chance now that all these injuries have happened, because we really don't have much cover in midfield. Andre Almeida is the only other senior midfielder apart from Talisca, who I haven't liked so far..


    I see Porto have bought Vincent Aboubakar too.. another amazing signing by Porto. Seriously, such an excellent squad Porto have right now. Jackson maybe on his way out? I would be surprised tbh, Porto is a much better side than Milan at the moment.

    Benfica is interested in Abel Hernandez. We'd be much better off giving Nelson Oliveira a chance I think, I've never thought Abel Hernandez was any good whenever I've seen him for Uruguay (granted he has Suarez and Cavani ahead of him, but still). Dunno what is happening with Oliveira btw.. I too would like to see him just sold so he can kickstart his career.
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    (Original post by aa22)
    So all three teams managed to get a 1-0 win. Wasn't an easy game any of them either.. surprised at how much difficulty Porto had, but then again you DID rest a bunch of players and you were away to Paulo Fonseca's Pacos. A win is a win though, and considering you managed to do it with some second choice players, really says a lot about the quality of the squad. Ruben Neves has been a revelation.. what a player! Portugal have a lot of high quality midfielders coming through at the moment! William, Andre Gomes, Bernardo Silva, Joao Mario, Bruma, Mane, Marcos Lopes and now Ruben Neves, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some more too!

    Interesting to see Quaresma dropped for two matches straight too..


    I watched Sporting purely for the Nani hype and it was nice to see him back in Sporting's colours. Wasn't a great performance by him though, and that penalty miss will probably hit his confidence a bit. Sporting themselves were absolutely atrocious too, so many missed passes and wrong decisions on attacks. They will lose badly if they play like that at the Luz. I guess William Carvalho was out so he was a huge miss and will improve them for the next match. Arouca were unlucky to have lost it so close to the end.. Mane made a big difference...


    As for Benfica... that was a faaar tougher match than I expected. Boavista played really well and frustated us. Lima is badly out of form which doesn't help at all. Eliseu had looked dangerous all match though, and I am glad he managed to pop up with a goal. We weren't good at all and missed Enzo Perez a lot. Artur even made some good saves, it would be kinda sad to drop him now in favour of Julio Cesar.

    The worst thing to come out of the match though, was that Ruben Amorim got injured again and now he's out until 2015!! This just keeps getting worse and worse for Benfica. Luckily, it looks like Valencia might finally have given up on Enzo, and we've just brought in this Samaris bloke, so HOPEFULLY he turns out to be useful.

    I'd like to see Joao Teixeira moved up to the first team too, he was impressive in pre-season and should get a chance now that all these injuries have happened, because we really don't have much cover in midfield. Andre Almeida is the only other senior midfielder apart from Talisca, who I haven't liked so far..


    I see Porto have bought Vincent Aboubakar too.. another amazing signing by Porto. Seriously, such an excellent squad Porto have right now. Jackson maybe on his way out? I would be surprised tbh, Porto is a much better side than Milan at the moment.

    Benfica is interested in Abel Hernandez. We'd be much better off giving Nelson Oliveira a chance I think, I've never thought Abel Hernandez was any good whenever I've seen him for Uruguay (granted he has Suarez and Cavani ahead of him, but still). Dunno what is happening with Oliveira btw.. I too would like to see him just sold so he can kickstart his career.
    I’ll admit that my social life got the better of me over that bank holiday weekend so all I watched was the first half of the Porto match. I know we’re only two games in but I see such a transformation with Paços already. They made it very difficult for us, regardless of that not being our strongest team. I guess this is what I like already about this season is that even though we had a good side out, we know we have better resting. Guess it just goes back to what we talked about regarding the depth of the squads.

    Quaresma is an odd on though. Again he didn’t feature vs Lille on Tuesday, Lopetegui not mentioning anything about it either. I’ll be disappointed if he is pushed out of the squad. In our first game vs Maritimo, I seem to think I remember seeing him wear our captain armband? So it’s an odd one to drop him for three games after that.

    It’s amazing that when there is no William in the side, Sporting really struggle and you can clearly see it. You know that Sporting will take it up a notch when they visit the Luz though. I’m just waiting to see Nani score the winner in this game. I really like Carlos Mané, he looks likely to be one of the next to become big within this squad.

    In the highlights that I watched of the Boavista-Benfica match it did come across as really frustrating for Benfica, and that Boavista were kicking the **** out of you guys. It was a cracking finish by Eliseu though. Yes, I heard that about Amorim. Such a shame for him as he was getting his playing time in the squad. Samaris might get thrown right in.

    I find the Aboubakar signing an odd one. He failed his medical or something along those lines so that is why we only decided to get 30% of his rights for €3m, and then placed a release clause of €50m on him. Hopefully it doesn’t mean anything about Jackson going. I like how we paid €11m for Adrian and he’s hasn’t made it off the bench yet. :rolleyes: I’m giving him time (and time to get some minutes!) but I was never happy about this signing.

    Well, Abel Hernandez now looks unlikely seeing as he turned down Benfica and has decided to go to Hull. Riiiight!

    Benfica’s group for the Champions League is such a tricky one to call. Looks like you’ll get to see Garay returns to the Luz. And AVB. And Leonardo Jardim. A very interesting group though, I don’t even want to predict on that one as I haven’t got a clue. With Porto in an okay group I feel we will probably make a meal out of it. Very much looking forward to Sporting-Chelsea though! It’s good to see them back in the CL.

    I didn’t catch the Nacional game but I see they are out of the Europa League. As I was typing this I was about to finish on how unlucky it was for Rio Ave, as they kept pushing for a goal but they were having no luck and with already being into added time I was about say it looks like their time has run out. I was even going to say that they were having none of their luck in front of goal that they had at the weekend when they popped five past Estoril (what a crazy score line that was!!) BUT just as I was about to post it THEY SCORED A 93RD MINUTE GOAL!!! Amazing stuff. I’ve never cheered for a Rio Ave goal so much in my life! They absolutely deserved that, they were getting closer and closer and finally got it in the back of the net. It’s great to see them join Estoril in the group stages. Who would have thought it? Rio Ave!



    EDIT: Forget what we said about BT Sport and Benfica TV with regards to the rights for the home games. Tomorrows match is live on BT. Very annoying that this match clashes with the second half of the Porto match as we KO at 6pm.
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    (Original post by ra-ra-ra)
    I’ll admit that my social life got the better of me over that bank holiday weekend so all I watched was the first half of the Porto match. I know we’re only two games in but I see such a transformation with Paços already. They made it very difficult for us, regardless of that not being our strongest team. I guess this is what I like already about this season is that even though we had a good side out, we know we have better resting. Guess it just goes back to what we talked about regarding the depth of the squads.

    Quaresma is an odd on though. Again he didn’t feature vs Lille on Tuesday, Lopetegui not mentioning anything about it either. I’ll be disappointed if he is pushed out of the squad. In our first game vs Maritimo, I seem to think I remember seeing him wear our captain armband? So it’s an odd one to drop him for three games after that.

    It’s amazing that when there is no William in the side, Sporting really struggle and you can clearly see it. You know that Sporting will take it up a notch when they visit the Luz though. I’m just waiting to see Nani score the winner in this game. I really like Carlos Mané, he looks likely to be one of the next to become big within this squad.

    In the highlights that I watched of the Boavista-Benfica match it did come across as really frustrating for Benfica, and that Boavista were kicking the **** out of you guys. It was a cracking finish by Eliseu though. Yes, I heard that about Amorim. Such a shame for him as he was getting his playing time in the squad. Samaris might get thrown right in.

    I find the Aboubakar signing an odd one. He failed his medical or something along those lines so that is why we only decided to get 30% of his rights for €3m, and then placed a release clause of €50m on him. Hopefully it doesn’t mean anything about Jackson going. I like how we paid €11m for Adrian and he’s hasn’t made it off the bench yet. :rolleyes: I’m giving him time (and time to get some minutes!) but I was never happy about this signing.

    Well, Abel Hernandez now looks unlikely seeing as he turned down Benfica and has decided to go to Hull. Riiiight!

    Benfica’s group for the Champions League is such a tricky one to call. Looks like you’ll get to see Garay returns to the Luz. And AVB. And Leonardo Jardim. A very interesting group though, I don’t even want to predict on that one as I haven’t got a clue. With Porto in an okay group I feel we will probably make a meal out of it. Very much looking forward to Sporting-Chelsea though! It’s good to see them back in the CL.

    I didn’t catch the Nacional game but I see they are out of the Europa League. As I was typing this I was about to finish on how unlucky it was for Rio Ave, as they kept pushing for a goal but they were having no luck and with already being into added time I was about say it looks like their time has run out. I was even going to say that they were having none of their luck in front of goal that they had at the weekend when they popped five past Estoril (what a crazy score line that was!!) BUT just as I was about to post it THEY SCORED A 93RD MINUTE GOAL!!! Amazing stuff. I’ve never cheered for a Rio Ave goal so much in my life! They absolutely deserved that, they were getting closer and closer and finally got it in the back of the net. It’s great to see them join Estoril in the group stages. Who would have thought it? Rio Ave!



    EDIT: Forget what we said about BT Sport and Benfica TV with regards to the rights for the home games. Tomorrows match is live on BT. Very annoying that this match clashes with the second half of the Porto match as we KO at 6pm.
    Hmmm.. I didn't get to watch any of the weekend's matches apart from the last 10 minutes of the Benfica-Sporting match. Not surprised Porto won, and I can accept a draw against Sporting. We're gonna be fighting with them for that second place spot, so as long as we keep the distance to them, we'll be ok. Disappointed with Artur's involvement in Sporting's goal though.. he looked like he was getting some confidence back. At least he still managed to make a good save near the end though. I also expected Samaris to get some minutes, but maybe he wasn't ready..

    Haha, I was also watching that Rio Ave match btw! What an end to the match. They really did deserve to go through to be fair, they dominated most of the match so it would have been harsh to go out like that. Very pleased to see another Portuguese team in Europe, completely deserved after what they achieved last season and what they are building at the moment..



    I think the CL groups have been very kind to Porto.. I don't think they'll have much of a problem getting through. Benfica has a tough one, every team can go through but I really expect Benfica to finish last this time, simply because we don't have good enough depth in attack.

    Sporting have a mixed group, Schalke will be their main rivals.. the two matches against Chelsea will be great to watch!



    The transfer window has shut and WE'VE KEPT ENZO!! What a great "signing" he'll be for us.. hopefully doesn't leave in January, like how Matic did last season. And it turned out to be a fairly eventful last day of the transfer window, Porto signed another highly rated youngster in Otavio and loaned another midfielder who I know nothing about. And Benfica managed to get Cristante off of AC Milan, a player JJ has wanted for a while, as well as securing another loan of Silvio, who will be very useful once he gets back from injury.

    We didn't get our striker though :/ It will suck if Lima doesn't get back to form, or if Derley can't step up. Looks like someone from the B team will be getting chances, Goncalo Guedes looks favourite apparently, but I'd like to see Rui Fonte given a chance.


    RE: BT Sports, I saw that they DID show Benfica's home match this time, but I think I will wait to see if they show the next home match as well. I just want to figure out if they showed Benfica-Sporting purely because it was a big derby match, or whether they showed it because it was a Sporting match. If they show the next Benfica home match, I'll get a subscription to it..


    International break now.. no Ronaldo.. should be interesting. Hope to God we win though, would reeeeeeeeallly prefer not to get the calculators out and go through the playoffs again..
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    (Original post by aa22)
    Hmmm.. I didn't get to watch any of the weekend's matches apart from the last 10 minutes of the Benfica-Sporting match. Not surprised Porto won, and I can accept a draw against Sporting. We're gonna be fighting with them for that second place spot, so as long as we keep the distance to them, we'll be ok. Disappointed with Artur's involvement in Sporting's goal though.. he looked like he was getting some confidence back. At least he still managed to make a good save near the end though. I also expected Samaris to get some minutes, but maybe he wasn't ready..

    Haha, I was also watching that Rio Ave match btw! What an end to the match. They really did deserve to go through to be fair, they dominated most of the match so it would have been harsh to go out like that. Very pleased to see another Portuguese team in Europe, completely deserved after what they achieved last season and what they are building at the moment..



    I think the CL groups have been very kind to Porto.. I don't think they'll have much of a problem getting through. Benfica has a tough one, every team can go through but I really expect Benfica to finish last this time, simply because we don't have good enough depth in attack.

    Sporting have a mixed group, Schalke will be their main rivals.. the two matches against Chelsea will be great to watch!



    The transfer window has shut and WE'VE KEPT ENZO!! What a great "signing" he'll be for us.. hopefully doesn't leave in January, like how Matic did last season. And it turned out to be a fairly eventful last day of the transfer window, Porto signed another highly rated youngster in Otavio and loaned another midfielder who I know nothing about. And Benfica managed to get Cristante off of AC Milan, a player JJ has wanted for a while, as well as securing another loan of Silvio, who will be very useful once he gets back from injury.

    We didn't get our striker though :/ It will suck if Lima doesn't get back to form, or if Derley can't step up. Looks like someone from the B team will be getting chances, Goncalo Guedes looks favourite apparently, but I'd like to see Rui Fonte given a chance.


    RE: BT Sports, I saw that they DID show Benfica's home match this time, but I think I will wait to see if they show the next home match as well. I just want to figure out if they showed Benfica-Sporting purely because it was a big derby match, or whether they showed it because it was a Sporting match. If they show the next Benfica home match, I'll get a subscription to it..


    International break now.. no Ronaldo.. should be interesting. Hope to God we win though, would reeeeeeeeallly prefer not to get the calculators out and go through the playoffs again..
    I think the 1-1 with Sporting-Benfica was rather kind towards Sporting as I feel Benfica could have grabbed the winner in that. Artur again though!! Jeez! He makes a mistake like that for the goal but then he pulled off some cracking saves so it is like do you drop him or not? Tough one for JJ to call. I didn’t realise Slimani was back in the Sporting squad until I saw him in the squad for the game. I thought he would have gone this transfer window, especially after saying he wanted out and having a good WC, I expected there to be some interest from somewhere. It’s good for Sporting that they have managed to hold onto him though, especially with Fredy Montero going through a bit of a tough patch on the pitch.

    As for Porto it took us a bit of time to finally get a goal in that match! I don’t actually remember Moreirense having a shot on target but we got the goals in the end. It was a shame for Oli Torres to score and then get injured with a dislocated shoulder, but as for Jackson... 3 games 4 goals! I was happy to see Quaresma back in the side too!

    It is great seeing Rio Ave sitting at the top of the table at this current moment. I know we’re only three games in but 2-0, 5-1 and 4-0 wins isn’t a bad way to start the season! One of the lowest scoring clubs of last season and here they are with 11 goals in 3 matches. I know it’s still early days but a remarkable start of the season both in the Liga and Europe it has been for them. I’m very happy for Pedro Martins that it is currently going this way for him too as I did like him as the Maritimo manager.

    Well, Enzo, William, Jackson, Nico Gaitan... they’re all still here (unless Zenit do their ugly business by stealing players even though our transfer window has shut!). It’s great that they have all remained in Portugal seeing as we’ve lost a few great players this summer. I did say that towards the end it looked like Enzo was going nowhere. The injury thing from the first game was probably because he was actually injured and nothing to do with keeping him fresh to leave. And yeah, a few signings were made too. The signing of Otavio excites me but he’s not really had that many opportunities at Inter this season. Last season he was really exciting to watch though and I know he was quite the talk in Brazil, so hopefully once he gets a few games under his belt he will pick up that form again. Then we also signed José Campaña on loan until the end of the season, one Lopetegui knows from his Spanish "under" days. Our seventh Spaniard and the 17th addition to our squad this summer. Very busy summer for us, here’s hoping they can all gel quickly and have no repeats of last season!

    I haven’t really seen enough of Cristante for me to make a judgement on him. I imagine at Benfica he get a fair bit more of playing time than he would have done had he stayed with Milan. I guess he is an extra player to add to the team though which is something!
    I’d love for Rui Fonte to get his chance as it was so unfortunate for him to get injured and I know I’ve seen that he has scored a few already in the B team this season so there is a little chance JJ might call him up to the main squad. I won’t mention Derley, I’m still disappointed he left Maritimo. :rolleyes:

    Yes, Internationals! Paulo Bento has called up a few different faces too which I didn’t expect to see! Vezo, Ricardo Horta and Pedro Tiba were certainly shocks whilst it is nice to see Bruma back in there too. We could definitely avoid having to go through the play-offs again though so starting off with a nice comfortable win would be nice, but we struggled the last time we played against Albania didn’t we? Our U21s have kicked off against Norway about 10 minutes ago. I know we're already through but it would be nice to keep that 100% record going, so let's see how they do.
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    Can't believe we lost to Albania. Calculators in the horizon again? Is ridiculous how bad we've become. There were some changes, but not enough. Ricardo Costa still starting ahead of Neto, Adrien not even coming on as sub, Éder. Ugh.

    I guess the on flip side, Paulo Bento is gone! Hopefully someone good comes in and not just another yes man.

    U21s are doing great though. 8 wins out of 8, but I didn't know there are still playoffs to go through. And we got the hardest draw, against Holland. We are better than them though so hopefully we can show this in the match

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