general news - 2003



FC Porto confirmed Tuesday that they will continue to play at their old Antas Stadium, at least for the coming two home games, against Rio Ave in the SuperLiga and Felgueiras in the Taça de Portugal. The pitch at the new Estádio do Dragão needs more time to settle.


FC Porto's Brazilian striker Derlei, the SuperLiga's top scorer but out for several months after injuring himself in the recent game at Alverca, underwent surgery Monday on the cruciate ligament of his right knee. The operation was by all accounts a success, but the player is unlikely to return this season.

Rio Ave's Brazilian striker Evandro is the professional footballers' union, SJPF's player of the month for December. Top of the list are:

1. Evandro (Rio Ave)
2. Rochemback (Sporting)
3. Sokota (Benfica)
4. Derlei (F.C. Porto)
5. Maniche (F.C. Porto)
6. Liedson (Sporting)
7. Alan (Marítimo)
8. Miguel (Benfica)
9. Casquilha (Gil Vicente)


FC Porto trained for the first time Saturday in the new Estádio do Dragão. The newly-sown pitch was in a bad state at the time of the inauguration game against Barcelona, and it was given time to settle. Those who took part in the training were tight-lipped afterwards, leaving the doubt as to whether the pitch will be up to its scheduled SuperLiga baptism next weekend against Rio Ave. There is a chance that the old Antas stadium will still be used if necessary.

Egyptian forward Sabry, currently at Estrela da Amdora, has his former club Benfica in court for an unpaid 300,000 euros. Sabry's rights have been confirmed by the courts, but the club wants now to negotiate a repayment schedule.


FC Porto forward Derlei, who tore the cruciate ligament in his right knee in the game against Alverca Monday, will be operated on in January and will be out for the rest of the season, at least. As a sign of solidarity with the player, the club have extended his contract for one more season until 2007.

Diminutive Benfica winger João Pereira, 19, has extended his contract with the club until 2008.

Following the club's request for his release from duty, Benfica central defender Luisão ("I'm sad") will not now be joining the Brazilian Olympic squad after Christmas and so will be available for the Lisbon derby on January 4th. On the other side of the barricade, Sporting midfielder Rochemback will have to join the squad. Sporting had also requested his release but were turned down by the Brazilian Football Federation.


Sporting midfielder Fábio Rochemback and Benfica central defender Luisão will both be unavailable for club games for a month after having decided to accept the call to join the Brazilian Olympic squad in preparations for next summer's Olympic games. Sporting will be the hardest hit as Rochemback, on loan from Barcelona, has proved a key element in their play. Luisão has missed most of the season through injury and has only now returned, scoring the winner for Benfica in the Taça victory over Académica on Wednesday.

António Simões, a team-mate of Eusébio's in Benfica and Portugal's magnificent 60s teams, has been made Benfica's new Director Desportivo.


FC Porto said goodbye to their dear old Estádio das Antas Wednesday. The Antas was inaugurated on May 28th, 1952 with a 2-8 (!) defeat at the hands of Benfica. Wednesday's 3-0 win over Maia in the Taça was the club's 999th game at the stadium, 800 of which were victories, 119 draws and 80 defeats. Porto scored 2642 goals and conceded 610. On such an historic occasion, it was a pity that only 13,000 could be bothered to turn up to say goodbye to the old place. FC Porto will now move definitively to the nearby Estádio do Dragão, built from scratch to coincide with Euro 2004.


A group of Portuguese international referees have refused to referee games involving Vitória de Guimarães following constant griping and formal complaints to the Liga by the club. The referees are: Lucílio Baptista, Paulo Paraty, António Costa, Paulo Costa, Olegário Benquerença, Duarte Gomes, João Ferreira and Pedro Proença.

Luís Figo has been voted FIFA's 11th best player in the world. Zinédine Zidane was voted the best player by the coaches of all the national teams of the world. Thierre Henry of Arsenal was second, Ronaldo of Real Madrid third.

The St. Jakobs Stadium in Basle, Switzerland, was the venue for a charity game 'against poverty' Monday between 'The Friends of Zidane' and 'The Friends of Ronaldo' and in which various Portuguese players were involved: 'keepers Ricardo of Sporting and Baía of FC Porto, and defenders Paulo Ferreira of FC Porto and Fernando Couto of Lázio. Brazilian defender André Cruz, formerly of Sporting, and Dutchman Mitchell van der Gaag of Marítimo also played. Portugal's coach Felipe Scolari and former national coach Carlos Queirós both coached the sides. For the record, Ronaldo's team won 4-3.

The teams lined up:

Ronaldo's Friends: Ricardo, Michel Salgado, Fernando Couto, Aldaír, Roberto Carlos, Nakata, Mijhatovic, Rivaldo, Diego, Robinho and Ronaldo. (Also: Pletikosa, Smoje, Júnior, Van der Gaag, Corrales, Petrovic, Sávio, Roberto Soldado and Cacá.) - Coaches: Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlos Alberto Parreira.

Zidane's Friends: Vítor Baía, Paulo Ferreira, Contreras, André Cruz, H. Yakin, Djalminha, Vampeta, Zidane, Beckham, Etoo and Suker. (Also: Van der Sar, Donato, Zahovic, De Pedro, Jordi, Luís Fabiano, Palencia, Hedrera, David Degen, M. Yakin.) Coaches: Carlos Queirós and Christian Gross.


FC Porto have been voted the fifth best team in the world by readers of the magazine World Soccer, and their coach José Mourinho the third best coach. AC Milan were the top team, followed by Juventus, Real Madrid and Boca Juniors.

FC Porto's South African striker Benni McCarthy has withdrawn himself from selection for the national side that will compete in the African Nations Cup in Tunisia between January 24th and February 14th.


Jorge Jesus, who was previously coach at Vitória de Setúbal and Estrela da Amadora, is the new coach of Vitória de Guimarães after Augusto Inácio was shown the door following a disastrous start to the season for the northern club.


FC Porto will leave it until January to inaugurate their Estádio do Dragão in official games. It has already been inaugurated with a friendly match against Barcelona, but the pitch, planted in September, was cut up very badly and needs time to mature. December's games against Beira-Mar (in the SuperLiga) and Maia (in the Taça) will be played at the old Antas, while the first official game should be the SuperLiga reception of Rio Ave on the weekend of January 4th.

Benfica midfielder Zlatko Zahovic has announced that he will no longer play for the Slovenian National team, which failed to qualify for Euro 2004 in the play-off against Croatia. Zahovic has played in 77 games in 11 years and has scored 34 goals.


Boavista president João Loureiro has said that he will be standing for another term, and that he will maintain faith with coach Erwin Sanchez.


The last of Sporting's famed Cinco Violinos ('Five Violins'), the core of the team that dominated Portuguese football in the late 40s/early 50s, died at the weekend. Jesus Correia was 79. At his peak, he played football and roller hockey for Sporting, at the same time working in a warehouse. In 1953 he gave up football to dedicate himself to roller hockey. He recently performed the ceremonial kick-off at the inauguration of Sporting's Alvalade XXI stadium. The other four 'Violins' were Fernando Peyroteo (died 1978), Albano (1990), Travassos (2002) and Vasques (2003).



Lisbon's Parque das Nações will host a nine day football fair, starting on Saturday. ALLFOOTBALL has been arranged to coincide with the draw of groups for the final stage of the EURO 2004 tournament, to be held in Lisbon on Sunday (See official Euro 2004 Website)


Luís Campos has taken over from Ruca as coach at Gil Vicente. Ruca lasted just one game as chief coach and was replaced after a home defeat at the hands of Sanjoanense in the Taça. Ruca had replaced Mário Reis.


FC Porto's midfield maestro Deco has been suspended for three games by the Liga following the boot-throwing incident in the recent Boavista-Porto derby. Deco was sent off by referee Paulo Paraty for a second yellow after kicking the ball without a boot on (he had just been fouled and had lost his boot). He promptly threw the boot at (or was it 'to'?) the referee, and the sentence has now been handed down. A side-issue scandal is the fact that the sports press knew about the suspension on Friday, but the club only got official confirmation on Monday. Valentim Loureiro, president of the Liga, has said they will be looking into the leak.

Manuel José has left Belenenses. The coach is heading for the Middle East (Al-Ahly of Egypt) and will be replaced by the Serb Bogicevic. Manuel José leaves under a cloud after breaking his contract.

Former Portugal, Benfica and FC Porto coach Artur Jorge has been appointed coach of CSKA Moscow, taking with him as assitant Raúl Águas.

Former Benfica star and recently assistant coach at Benfica and Paços de Ferreira, Fernando Chalana, has been named first team coach at Oriental of the Segunda B, his first time at the helm of a club.


Benfica full-back, the Portuguese international Miguel, 23, has extended his contract with the club for another four years.


União de Leiria will after all get to use the newly built Municipal Stadium, one of those to be used at Euro 2004. The club will receive up to 1.25 million euros for the privilege, while the local council will be responsible for the costs of running the stadium, organising games and paying off depreciation, all of which will amount to over 1.5 million euros a year. The council-linked company responsible for the administration of the stadium will retain rights including advertising space for all non-televised games, advertising for four televised games, executive boxes, season tickets sales and the exploitation of the bars and restaurants in the stadium. The stadium will be inaugurated Wednesday with a friendly between Portugal and Kuwait.

Belenenses coach Manuel José is wanted by Egyptian club Al-Ahly after another Portuguese, the former Benfica coach Toni, was sacked. Manuel José (who would be returning to the Egyptian club) is apparently demanding 500,000 euros a year to do the job (A Bola). Toni in turn is set to receive 120,000 euros compensation for the dismissal.

Sporting are to take their former player Simão Sabrosa (currently at Benfica) to court to demand the payment of three million dollars. Sporting sold Simão to Barcelona at the end of the 90s and he was bought by Benfica at the beginning of the 2001/2002 season, but Sporting apparently had first refusal on the player should he be transferred back into Portugal, and they did not get it.

União de Madeira of the Divisão de Honra beat Marítimo of the SuperLiga on penalties to win the Taça da Madeira Sunday. The game had finished 1-1 with goals from Laguna for União and Joel Santos for Marítimo.

There were two heavy goleadas (thrashings) in the lower divisions at the weekend: In the Divisão de Honra, Santa Clara of the Azores beat Desportivo de Chaves 6-0 (which may force the dismissal of Chaves coach José Alberto Costa) and in the Segunda B, Freamunde beat Leça 8-0.


FC Porto inaugurated Sunday their Estádio do Dragão, which will be the venue for the opening game of EURO 2004, with a friendly against Barcelona, which they won 2-0. Derlei was the first to score in the new stadium, a penalty on 55 minutes after a foul on the same player. Hugo Almeida, on as sub, headed the second on 68.

The evening was marked by a feat of magic at the end of the game, Portuguese magician Luís de Matos unlocking a safe that contained his prediction for the final score of the game. He did, of course, get it right. He did not, however, predict that the pitch would be in such a bad condition - it was like a battlefield by the end of the game. The club will want to put his right before it is used in competition.


Portuguese players Figo (Real Madrid), Pauleta (PSG) and Deco (FC Porto) are on the 'short' list of 50 to win this year's Golden Ball for the best player in Europe, awarded by French magazine France Football.

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson was in Lisbon Wednesday finalizing the squad's accommodation for Euro 2004, which will be the Hotel Amazona near the Estádio Nacional. He took advantage of the visit to confirm that he will be taking Benfica to court for money owing him from his time in charge at the club more than a decade ago: 460,000 euros .


The eagle that flew so gracefully at the inauguration of Benfica's new Luz Stadium recently was apprehended Friday and its owner arrested for trafficking in protected animals. They were in Faro in the Algarve at the time to perform at a fair. The eagle, whose name is 'Vitória', originates from the Russian Steppes.

Fernando Brassard, who was Portugal's 'keeper when they won two U-20 World Cups (with João Pinto, Figo, Rui Costa, Paulo Sousa, et al) has won a case against an insurance company Desporto Seguro, which went all the way to the Supreme Court of Justice. In his last club, Vitória de Setúbal, Brassard broke a bone in his hand in training during the 2000/2001 season, which caused him to cut short his career at the age of 29. The Supreme Court finally awarded him a lifetime pension of over 46,000 euros a year. The case is sure to set a precedent and may imply an increase in insurance premiums and increased costs for clubs.

FC Porto's South African striker Benni McCarthy has said that he's prepared to put club before country ahead of a possible call-up for the African Nations Cup in January. If he had to attend for the entire call-up period, he would be away from the club for a month and might miss important Champions League games (if Porto qualify)


Former Vitória de Setúbal and Varzim coach Luís Campos may be on his way to Bordeaux, where Portuguese players Caneira, Bruno Basto and Paulo Costa play.


Sporting's players have all passed a doping test following the discovery of used syringes in a hotel room used by them on their recent trip to Malmö for a UEFA cup match.The test was done by the National Anti-Doping Council in Portugal.


João Alves was dismissed Monday as coach of Estrela da Amadora, who Alves had brought up from the Segunda Liga. Estrela are currently rock bottom of the SuperLiga with just four points from ten games.


Benfica club members voted in Luís Filipe Vieira as their new president Friday, replacing Manuel Vilarinho, who introduced Vieira into the club three years ago. Vieira was previously president of Alverca and has been until now president of Benfica plc. According to exit polls, he won over 90% of the votes, the other two candidates getting 5 and 1%.



Benfica inaugurated their magnificent new stadium Saturday. The new Luz will be the venue for the final of the Euro 2004 championship. All of its 65,000 seats were filled for the first game, preceded by various 'entertainments' of varying quality, plus speeches from the President of the Republic, Jorge Sampaio, the Prime Minister Durão Barroso and various other dignitaries. Eusébio kicked off. The game, aganst Nacional of Montevideo, was, thankfully, won, with two goals by Nuno Gomes (he was the first to score in the new stadium), spearated by a single goal for Nacional from Mello.

The stadium itself is very beautiful, but the only half-finished access to it is appalling, many of the spectators having to trudge through mud to get in. Work on access will now be a priority for the club.


The President of the Republic, Jorge Sampaio, will be one of those packing Benfica's new Luz Stadium at its inauguration Saturday. Benfica will play Nacional of Montevideo, Uruguay. The club will hope to re-kindle enthusiasm for watching the team with the move back to their own stadium - during the time at the borrowed National Stadium, on the outskirts of Lisbon, crowds fell to around 5,000.

The stadium has yet to have 100% approval from the authorities in terms of security - the central Fire-fighters Association has Ok'd the venue, but the local fire-fighters, who would have to deal with any problems arising, were apparently not consulted.


Coach José Mota has returned to Paços de Ferreira to replace José Gomes, sacked this week. Mota leaves Azores side Santa Clara, of the Liga de Honra, after just five months in charge.


Paços de Ferreira, bottom of the SuperLiga, have sacked their coach José Gomes and his assistants, including former Benfica legend Chalana. Saturday's 0-3 home defeat at the hands of Boavista was the last straw. Previous boss José Mota, now of Azores side Santa Clara, of the Liga de Honra, has beeen mooted as a replacement, but the smart money is on former Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco, out of work after being sacked recently by Spanish club Majorca. Gomes' dismissal was the first psychological whipping of the season.

Benfica took their first training session on the pitch of the new Luz Tuesday, in front of 4 to 5,000 fans. The stadium, according to most who have visited it, is magnificanet; it will be inaugurated Saturday against Nacional of Montevideo, Uruguay.


Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United's young star winger, is to be sponsored by Portuguese bank BES to the tune of 250,000 euros over a two-year period (1 + 1 optional).

The new pitch has been laid at Sporting's Alvalade XXI stadium. It should be ready for the SuperLiga match against Beira-Mar on October 20th. It was a drastic solution to lay a new pitch after the first one in the new stadium proved unplayable.

A multiplex with 16 screens was inaugurated Friday at the Alvalade stadium. It's the first phase of a leisure complex called Alvaláxia which will have 15,000 square metres and include a megastore for Sporting merchandise, a bingo hall, a bowling alley and a shopping centre.

Tickets went on sale Friday for the inauguration of the new Luz stadium on October 25th, marked by a friendly against Nacional of Uruguay. One fan waited seven hours in the queue, only to find when he got to the window that as a lifelong member of the club, his tickets would be sent to his home ...

Pedro de Felipe, António Camacho's agent, has denied rumours coming from Spain that the Benfica coach has been sounded out for the job at Atlético Madrid.

Mário Jardel is back in Portugal to visit friends and family. Asked how things are going with his new club Bolton of the Premiership, he beamed: "Everything's excellent - couldn't be better!" His first weeks at the English club were difficult until he began to regain his fitness, and now it seems that his career is back on course. He inimated, however, that a return to play in Portugal one day was not out of the question.


Pedro de Felipe, the agent of Spanish coach José Camacho, currently at misfiring Benfica, has denied reports in the Spanish press that have him returning to Spain to coach Atlético Madrid.

Benfica will inaugurate their new stadium on October 25th against Nacional of Uruguay.


João Bartolomeu, president of União de Leiria, said Thursday that the club will be using the Municipal Stadium of that town once it has been completed for use at Euro 2004. There was previously a suggestion that the club would not be using it because of the high charges to be paid to the lcoal council.



Nacional of Montevideo (Uruguay) will be Benfica's opponents for the inauguration of the new Estádio da Luz on October 25th. Nacional were the club chosen to present the Benfica squad to the fans in 1978; the game finished twenty minutes before the end (Benfica were winning 2-0) after a punch-up on the pitch.

Former National Team Coach Humberto Coelho helped his current team South Korea to their biggest ever victory Monday, 16-0 over Nepal. Their previous record had been 11-0 ... over Nepal. It was also Nepal's worst ever result. The match was for the Asia Cup.


Sporting are to go back to square one and lay a new pitch at their spanking new Alvalade XXI Stadium. Ever since the inauguration game in August against Manchester United, when the turf was flying up as if it were a mass of bathroom mats scattered carelessly across the pitch, the club has been apologising and trying to fix the situation. After the last game against Malmö, where the pitch actually showed some signs of improvement but was still appalling in patches, the club has decided to rip it all up and start again. They will start work on it on Tuesday following the home game against Gil Vicente on Monday evening. They will then have almost three weeks before the next game on October 19th against Beira-Mar to kick it into shape. The club has not yet decided if it will try to seed the turf or lay it.


After a mini-scandal behind the scenes at Benfica during the close season when last year's captain Simão was voted out by his peers and Hélder voted in, coach Camacho has put his foot down and made Simão captain again following recent poor results, at least while Hélder is not getting a first team place. Simão accepted the job.


Luís Figo's home in Madrid was robbed Friday. The armed robbers forced their way in when the maid opened the door. Niether Figo nor his wife were at home at the time.

Former Benfica president João Vale e Azevedo, still serving a prison sentence for embezzlement from the club, heard Friday that he had lost the court action in which he was claiming that the club owed him seven million euros.

Benfica hope to inaugurate their new Luz stadium on October 25th. Marítimo have agreed to postpone the game they were to play against Benfica in Madeira on the same weekend. The opponents for the inauguration have yet to be announced, but the club is hoping to get either real Madrid or AC Milan.

FC Porto's Estádio do Dragão will be inaugurated with a friendly match on November 16th, "pitch permitting", according to club president Pinto da Costa.


Benfica are set to fine Petit and Miguel following their night out on Sunday (see below). Their fine can only be up to a third of their monthly salary. Sokota, meanwhile, denied the accusations of tabloid 24 Horas and asked for an apolgy from the paper. Sporting, on the other hand, accused the paper of paparazzism.


Six players of Sporting and Benfica were on the front page of tabloid 24 Horas Tuesday, accused of being out on the town while their teams were struggling to find convincing form. From Benfica: Petit, Sokota and Miguel; from Sporting: Ricardo, Lourenço and Carlos Martins. All were allegedly out until 05.00, with training the next day. Sporting have already reacted to try to play down a possible scandal.


Vítor Damas, Sporting's and Portugal's ´keeper during the 60s and 70s, died early Sunday morning after a long illness. He was 55. He was a highly respected ´keeper, dubbed "The Eusébio of Sporting" . The four remaining games in the SuperLiga had a minute's silence before kick-off as a mark of respect.


FC Porto striker Benni McCarthy has been suspended for two games by the Disciplinary Committee of the Liga for punching Sporting captain Beto in the eye as they both went up for a ball in the recent clássico. The decision was based on video evidence. He will miss the game against Benfica next week. Porto have called for the the whole Committee to be sacked.

Sporting's former striker Mário Jardel, now at Bolton, has been sent to Spain to get fit by Bolton's coach Sam Allardyce. Jardel arrived at the club late and missed Bolton's pre-season preparation (see comment)


The pitch of Sporting's new Alvalade XXI stadium, widely criticised for its poor playing surface after only a couple of games, should now be playable. Officials of the club have explained that the cause of the problem, a fungus called pitium, has now been dealt with. Sporting play Nacional there Sunday in the SuperLiga.


The National Association of Firefighters has said that the Estádio Don Afonso Henriques, home of Vitória de Guimarães, is not yet apt for competition as there is not yet an emergency plan in place. Portugal play Spain there Saturday evening.


Elections for the next president of Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Benfica) will take place on October 31st, the chairman of the club's General Assembly confirmed Thursday.


Sporting are considering making a formal complaint with the Liga against FC Porto's Benni McCarthy. the forward clashed with Sporting captain Beto near the end of the clássico on Tuesday (4-1 to Porto) and Beto needed nine stitches in a cut over his eye.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the heavy defeat, Sporting's shares fell by 5% on the stock market.

Artur Jorge has left Académica de Coimbra under a cloud. He is thought to have been unhappy with the constant delays in payment of salaries to the coaching and playing staff. Vítor Oliveira , formerly of Gil Vicente, takes over.


Pedras Rubras beat Lousada 3-1 in the Northern Zone of the Segunda B at the weekend. Nothing strange there ... except that two of the Pedras Rubras goals were scored in his own net by Lousada central defender Monteiro ... and the fact that he was on as a sub.



Estrela da Amadora have had a reprieve from relegation. There was a chance that they would go back down to the Segunda, and Naval be promoted in their place, after a controversial last day in the Segunda at the end of the last season (See below). But the Federation's Council of Justice have confirmed the Liga's Disciplinary Council decision to find for Estrela. Naval stay in the now Liga de Honra. (Second Division)


Shares in Sporting had jumped 8% by midday Tuesday in the wake of the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United, reaching their highest value since February.

The (Banco) BES/ A Bola Cup was formally presented in Lisbon Monday. The idea of the Cup is that when the Três Grandes (FC Porto, Benfica, Sporting) play against each other in the SuperLiga, they will in parallel be clocking up points for the new Taça. The team that gets the most points will win the Cup, but all points won will also be translated into money for charity, the number of points being doubled and three noughts added to give the total in euros.


FC Porto won the Portuguese SuperTaça (the winners of the SuperLiga versus the winners of the Taça - in this case finalists of the Taça) by beating União de Leiria 1-0 in the neutral stadium of Vitória de Guimarães, full with 30,000, Sunday. Porto got the only goal ten minutes into the second half, but Costinha scored after UDL 'keeper Helton appeared to have been impeded.


Farense, threatened with relegation to the lowest levels of Portuguese football (see below) have found a loophole: if they fail to turn up for their first two scheduled games in the Segunda B , they will be automatically relegated to the Third Division, rather than to the District Leagues, which is what would happen if they said they were not going to participate in the Segunda B.


Farense, the 'biggest' club in the Algarve, in the south of Portugal, will be without senior football for at least two years; the club will dedicate itself mainly to coaching youngsters. Farense were relegated to the Segunda B at the end of last season because of financial problems, but needed to come up with 300,000 euros in debts to former players, who had taken them to court, to stay in the Segunda B. The club appealed to fans to help with the sum, but all they could come up with was 815 euros (!!). Thus the decision to, in effect, close down the professional side of the club. The Algarve has only one other currently 'viable' club, Portimonense of the Divisão de Honra, who narrowly missed out on promotion to the SuperLiga last season. The Algarve has a 30,000-seater stadium being built for EURO 2004.

Benfica hope to inaugurate their new stadium in October, Vice-President Mário Dias said Friday.


Sporting's victory over Manchester United helped shares in the club jump by 4.03% on the Portuguese Bolsa to 2.84 euros Thursday.


Sporting inaugurated their Alvalade XXI Stadium Wednesday. There was a lazer show, the Sporting anthem sung by popular Portuguese singer Dulce Pontes and the official opening by President of the Republic Jorge Sampaio. The jubilation was taken down a notch with a minute's silence before the kick-off, in remembrance of those who have lost their lives in the recent spate of forest fires in the country. Sporting's team took it back up several notches, beating Manchester United 3-1 in the friendly that followed the official inauguration (see match reports). The match was also the début for Brazilian international central defender Anderson Polga, who came on ten minutes from time.

Erwin Sanchez of Boavista and Vítor Pontes of União de Leiria can continue as coaches for their respective clubs after the Oporto Labour Court declared itself not competent to judge the issue of whether the two were qualified to coach in Portugal.


'Coaches' Erwin Sanchez (Boavista) and Vítor Pontes (União de Leiria), who do not have the required qualifications to be bona fide coaches in the Superliga, will have their cases heard in Oporto Wednesday

No Portuguese players are on the list of possible 'players of the year' drawn up by UEFA for this past season. The candidates are:

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Francesco Toldo (Inter Milan).
Defender: Cristian Chivu (Ajax), Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan), Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid), Lilian Thuram (Juventus).
Midfielder: Edgar Davids, Pavel Nedved (Juventus), Claude Makelele, Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid), Paul Scholes (Manchester United).
Forward: Raúl, Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan), Ruud van Nistelrooij (Manchester United), Christian Vieri (Inter Milan).

Farense of the Algarve, relegated from the Segunda to the Segunda B because of financial problems, may have to drop still further to the amateur district leagues if the club does not come up with 300,000 euros by Thursday to pay off debts to the taxman.


Portugal won the Mundialito of Beach Football Sunday, beating Brazil 7-4 in the final in Figueira da Foz in the centre of Portugal. Brazil had held the title for the last five years. Spain were third, beating Uruguay 7-6.


Portugal are in the final of the Mundialito of beach football, currently being played out in Figueira da Foz, in the centre of Portugal. They beat Spain 3-2 Saturday after being 2-0 down, and will face Brazil in the final after they beat Uruguay by the same score.


Boavista celebrate 100 years of existence Friday. The day will be topped off with a friendly against Benfica at the Bessa.



FC Porto remain 6th in the IFFHS club rankings. The top ten:

1. AC Milan
2. Real Madrid
3. Manchester United
4. FC Barcelona
5. Arsenal
6. FC Porto
7. FC Juventus
8. Internazionale
9. Celtic
10. Boca Juniors


Felgueiras, ostensibly relegated from the Segunda Divisão (now to be called A Divisão de Honra), have been reinstated, taking over the place left vacant by Farense , relegated because of financial problems.


Former Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco was officially presented Friday as the new Mallorca coach for the season. He immediately promised a lot of hard work - his trademark.


Former Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco has joined Spanish club Mallorca, replacing Gregório Manzano.


FC Porto president Pinto da Costa and his estranged wife Filomena Morais apparently and allegedly exchanged physical attacks Thursday night and both filed complaints with the police.


There is controversy in the changing room at Benfica after last year's club captain, winger Simão Sabrosa, was voted out by the players and replaced by central defender Hélder. Simão has accused Hélder of campaigning, but said on his official site that he wants the thing forgotten, and that he will sort out the problem internally. But the situation has cast a shadow over the club's pre-season preparation in the South of Spain.

Leixões, of the Segunda, are the final team to be confirmed for Boavista's 'Centenary Tournament', to be held between August 1st and 3rd. The other teams are Boavista, Benfica and Sporting.

The Portuguese SuperLiga has risen to eighth in the world, according to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. Here is the top ten:

1. Spain
2. Italy
3. Argentina
4. Brazil
5. England
6. Colombia
7. France
9. Holland
10. Germany


Coach Rui Aguas, who left Marítimo under a cloud at the end of the season, has joined Sporting Braga as Jesualdo Ferreira's assistant.


Romanian striker Mariusz Niculae, a favourite at Sporting but dogged by injury last season, will be out for two months after injuring a foot in training.


A coach carrying Benfica's futsal team and a private vehicle collided Saturday, causing the death of the four people travelling in the private vehicle. The coach was returning from a friendly match in the north of Portugal.

José Peseiro has signed a two-year deal to be Carlos Queirós's assistant at Real Madrid.


Nelo Vingada has confirmed that he will continue at Zamalek of Egypt and will not join Carlos Queiróz at Real Madrid. Meanwhile, the name of Nacional coach José Peseiro has been mentioned as a possible assistant to Queiróz.

The charity match between the Luís Figo Foundation and UNICEF ended in a 5-5 draw Wednesday. Raúl, Ronaldo and Pauleta (3) scored for the Foundation, Sérgio conceição, Micehel Salgado, Zidane, Van Nistelrooy and Sol campbell (O.G.) for UNICEF. Michael Scumacher was voted the Man of the Match with three passes for goals. thge match was also the occasion of the inauguration of the South End at Boavista's Bessa Stadium. There are now three sides of the ground up.

It is 25 years since Benfica's General Assembly voted to allow foreign players to play for the club. Brazilian Jorge Gomes was the first.

Estrela de Portalegre, the club which made the Guiness Book of Records two seasons ago for the longest run of consecutive victories (19), have dropped from the Segunda B to the district leagues because of financial problems.


The squads have been announced for Wedensday's 'Luís Figo Foundation' charity match at Boavista's Bessa Stadium.

Fundação Luís Figo:

1. Gianluigi Buffon, Ita (Juventus, Ita)
2. Christian Panucci, Ita (AS Roma, Ita)
3. Roberto Carlos, Bra (Real Madrid, Sp)
4. Fernando Hierro, Sp (Real Madrid, Sp)
5. Sol Campbell, Eng (Arsenal, Eng)
6. Claude Makelele, Fra (Real Madrid, Sp)
7. Michael Schumacher, Ger (Formula 1, Ferrari)
7. Luís Figo, Por (Real Madrid, Sp)
8. Leonardo, Bra (AC Milan, Ita)
9. Ronaldo, Bra (Real Madrid, Esp)
10. Rui Costa, Por (AC Milan, Ita)
11. Raúl, Sp (Real Madrid, Sp)
12. Nelson, Por (Sporting)
13. Willy Sagnol, Fra (Bayern Munich, Ger)
14. Aldair, Bra (AS Roma, Ita)
15. Fernando Couto, Por (Lázio, Ita)
16. Chivu, Rom (Ajax, Hol)
17. Samuel Etoo, Cam (Mallorca, Sp)
18. Pep Guardiola , Sp (Bréscia, Ita)
20. Andy Cole, Eng (Blackburn, Eng)
21. Pauleta, Por (Bordeaux, Fra)


1. Ricardo, Por (Boavista, Por)
2. Michel Salgado, Sp (Real Madrid, Sp)
3. Sergi, Sp (Atlético de Madrid, Sp)
4. Jorge Costa, Por (FC Porto, Por)
5. Laurent Blanc, Fra (Manchester United, Eng)
6. Edgar Davids, Hol (Juventus, Ita)
7. Luís Figo, Por (Real Madrid, Sp)
7. Michel Schumacher, Ger (Formula 1, Ferrari)
8. Robert Pires, Fra (Arsenal, Eng)
9. Ruud van Nistelrooy, Hol (Manchester United, Eng)
10. Zinedine Zidane, Fra (Real Madrid, Sp)
11. Sérgio Conceição, Por (Inter Milan, Ita)
12. Stipe Pletikosa, Cro (Hajduk Split, Cro)
15. Flávio Conceição, Fra (Real Madrid, Sp)
16. Zlattko Zahovic, Sl (Benfica, Por)
17. Rigobert Son, Cam (Lens, Fra)
18. Geremi, Cam (Middlesbrough, Eng)
19. Deco, Por (FC Porto, Por)
20. João Pinto, Por (Sporting, Por)
21. Kezman, (PSV Eindhoven, Hol)
22. Andrei Schevchenko, Ukr (AC Milan, Ita)

António Oliveira, former coach of the national team (twice) and FC Porto, has been elected president of Segunda club Penafiel. He also previously coached the northern club.

After their exceptional season, FC Porto have risen to 6th in the IFFHS rankings from ninth. The rankings are topped by AC Milan.



Nelo Vingada, removed from his position as coach of Marítimo during last season, is reported to be Carlos Queiroz's choice as assistant coach at Real Madrid . Vingada had signed a 2-year contract with Zamalek of Egypt (assistant coach) but has travelled there to try to rescind amicably. The Portuguese pair won two World Cups together at junior level in 1989 and 1991 with players like Rui Costa, Luis Figo and Paulo Sousa..


In a meeting of the clubs of the SuperLiga and Segunda Divisão Friday, it was voted that the deadline for submission of a certificate saying that the clubs were all square with the taxman would not be shifted to September. The clubs will now have to prove that they are paid up by July 4th.

They also voted to reduce the number of years of coaching course necessary for coaches to hold the position of head coach in a club, from four to three. This conveniently lets in Boavista's Erwin Sanchez, who was in danger of not being able to coach Boavista for this reason.


Carlos Queiróz has signed as coach of Real Madrid for two seasons. He will earn three million euros net. FPF president Gilberto Madaíl called it: "A great honour for Portugal."

Carlos Carvalhal, previously at Leixões, has been named Vitória de Setúbal's new coach. The club were relegated from the SuperLiga last season.


Portuguese coach Carlos Queiróz, currently no. 2 to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, has said that all will become clear in the next 48 hours with regard to his signing for Real Madrid as replacement for outgoing Vicente del Bosque. Queiroz has two years left on his contract at Manchester United, and Ferguson is apparently loath to let him go.


Benfica have confirmed Spaniard José Camacho as their coach for at least one more season. And former Benfica player Álvaro Magalhães, coach of Naval of the Segunda, who narrowly missed promotion to the SuperLiga just a month ago, was named Monday as his assistant.


Luís Campos, who coached Vitória de Setúbal in the first half of the season and Varzim in the second, has rescinded his contract with Varzim. Both clubs were relegated to the Segunda. His successor is Rogério Gonçalves, who took Varzim up to the then Primeira in 2000-2001.

The Socialist Party of Faro in the Algarve have suggested that local club Farense, in the Segunda and wracked by dire financial problems, should sell its Estádio de São Luís for development to clear its debts. The club would then be able to play in the Estádio do Algarve, a 30,000-seater being built for Euro 2004.

Meanwhile, Algarve neighbours Portimonense, who missed promotion to the SuperLiga by a whisker, are on the verge of going into administration. The club is 89 years old.


The elections for President of Vitória de Setúbal, relegated from the SuperLiga, ended in pandemonium Wednesday. 2003 votes were cast, the challenger Júlio Adrião 'beat' current president Jorge Goes by 1002 votes to 998. Adrião was declared winner by the Chairman of the Assembly, Mata Cáceres. But the losing side protested as the total of votes didn't tally, and demanded a recount. The 'winners' refused, saying they had officially been declared winners. There was fighting, during which voting ballots were scattered across the hall. Cáceres went back on his word later and said that there should be a re-count, but that there were no conditions for one. There will very likely have to be a re-vote in the near furture.


Nelo Vingada, sacked by Marítimo in February, has signed to coach Egyptian side Zamalek. Vingada was perviously coach of the Saudi Arabian national side and Al Ain of the UAE.

Benfica won at leasst one football trophy this year ... the Futsal National Championship. They beat local rivals Sporting 5-2 Saturday to confirm the title with one game still to play.


Russian coach Anatoly Byshovets has rescinded his contract with Madeiran side Marítimo after just two-and-a-half months in charge. Rumours have been rife for weeks that he was on his way, with the atmosphere in the changing room not the best, by all accounts. Manuel Cajuda, who is leaving União de Leiria after the Final of the Taça de Portugal, is though to be in line for the job.

August Inácio has extended his contract with Vitória de Guimarães for another season.

João Alves has also renewed his contract with Estrela da Amadora for another season. Esrtrela have just confirmed promotion to the SuperLiga.

Former Paços de Ferreira coach José Mota is in the Azores to negotiate a possible contract with Santa Clara, who have just been relegated to the Segunda.

Former Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni has signed for French club Rennes, who finished in the bottom half of the First Divisaion table last season.

Benfica's Portuguese international striker Nuno Gomes has had an operation on a troublesome ankle injury and is expected to be out of action for at least two months.


Fernando Santos was officially announced as Sporting's new coach for next season, taking over from the Romanian Laszlo Bölöni. Santos previosuly coached Estrela da Amadora and FC Porto in Portugal, and AEK and Panathinaikos in Greece.

José Mourinho has signed a contract for three more years with Champions and UEFA Cup winners FC Porto.

The former fitness coach of Benfica José Gomes has been made coach of Paços de Ferreira, taking over from José Mota. Following Gomes from the Luz is Benfica legend Chalana , an assistant coach at Benfica last season.

José Peseiro, coach of Nacional of Madeira, has renewed his contract with the club for one more season. the team finished 11th in the SuperLiga.

The first edition of 'The Price of Glory' - the book of the life and career so far of FC Porto's Brazilian midfielder Deco - has sold out its 10,000 copies after just a week.



The new Portuguese season starts officially on August 10th (the SuperTaça Cândido de Oliveira, between FC Porto and União de Leiria) and finishes on May 16th next year. The first SuperLiga games are on August 17th.


Alverca confirmed their promotion to the SuperLiga next season with a 3-1 win at home to Sporting Covilhã. Rio Ave are already up. The final place will go to one of Naval, Estrela da Amadora or Portimonense.


Portugal have fallen two places to 14th in the FIFA rankings, overtaken by Italy and the Czech Republic.


Rio Ave returned to the SuperLiga Sunday by beating Farense 1-0 (Evandro) at home. The other two clubs to go up are yet to be decided, but it's between Alverca, Naval, Portimonense and Estrela da Amadora.


Vitória de Setúbal president Jorge Goes has resigned following the club's poor season that has seen the team helmed by three different coaches. He has suggested that he will stand again.


Jaime Pacheco is to leave Boavista at the end of the season. The coach has been at Boavista for six years and helped the club win the only league title in its history two seasons ago. Club and coach part on the best of terms.

FC Porto's new stadium is likely to be called Estádio do Dragão. Os Dragões ('The Dragons') is Porto's nickname, given to them in the late 70s by club president Pinto da Costa. There have been moves to name the stadium after Pinto da Costa himself, but he has resisted the idea.

Feirense are the third club to be promoted to the Segunda Liga after Leixões (north) and Estoril Praia (south). Feirense confirmed promotion with a 5-2 win over Fátima.

Marinho Peres, until January coach of Belenenses, has joined Juventude de Caxias, of Rio Grande do Sul in the South of Brazil. The team is currently near the bottom of the Brazilian first division.


Pedro Pauleta of Bordeaux was voted Player of the Year in the French league for the second year running.

Mário Reis has been named as the replacement for Vítor Oliveira as coach at Gil Vicente.


Two coaches announced Wednesday that they would not be continuing with their clubs next season. Pedro Mota is to leave Paços de Ferreira after 16 years at the club as player and coach. While the motive for his departure is ambition to go on to a bigger club, the motive for Vítor Oliveira's leaving Gil Vicente, also at the end of the season, appears to be a difference of opinion with the administration of the club about various conditions for the coming season.

The FC Porto players Costinha, Jorge Costa, Capucho, Hélder Postiga, Pedro Emanuel, Nuno Valente and Paulinho Santos arrived at training Wednesday in stretch limousines . FC Porto clinched the league title at the weekend.


FC Porto were voted the best club side in the world for the month of April by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. Porto were also considered the best in January. their coach José Mourinho said: "We could be a candidate for the best side of the year if we win all our competitions." FC Porto are practically certain of the Portuguese title, and they are in the finals of the UEFA Cup and the Taça de Portugal.

Porto are currently ninth in the overall rankings (up from 17th), which are led by Real Madrid. Other Portuguese teams in the ranking are Boavista (55th), Sporting (85th), União de Leiria (149th) and Benfica (235th).

Sporting SAD (Sociedade Anónima Desportiva) announced a loss of 15.5 million euros for the half-year August-January.


FC Porto stay fifth in the CNN/ World Soccer Rankings for international club sides, published Wednesday. The top five (previous position) are:

1 (2) Real Madrid - 117 points
2 (1) Manchester United - 99 pts
3 (3) Juventus - 95 pts
4 (4) Inter Milan - 66 pts
5 (5) Porto - 56 pts

The Catalan sports daily Mundo Desportivo has suggested that FC Porto coach José Mourinho and star midfielder Deco are headed for Deportivo La Corunha next season.

Boavista's Bolivian midfielder and club captain Erwin Sanchez had an operation Tuesday on the cruciate ligaments of his left knee. He will miss the beginning of next season.



Sporting have announced that Romanian coach Laszlo Bölöni will definitely not be in charge of the team next season. Despite winning the title, the Taça de Portugal and the Portuguese SuperTaça in his two seasons at the club, Bölöni's stock has plummeted in recent months following poor displays from his side that have let local rivals Benfica in to grab second place in the SuperLiga and the corresponding second Champions League slot. Former FC Porto coach Fernando Santos looks a possibility to take over the job.

Former Belenenses, Campomaiorense, Alverca and Seixal player Bruno Silva has died from a brain tumor, aged just 27.

Deloitte & Touche published Tuesday their annual report on the state of Portuguese football, referring to season 2001/2002, and it doesn't make happy reading. Liga president Valentim Loureiro was quick to criticise the clubs for their irresponsibility, saying that "There are clubs paying twice what is possible [in salaries]." Payroll expenses ate up, on average, 78% of the clubs' revenue in that season. The SuperLiga clubs Sporting, Vitória de Setúbal, Beira-Mar, Santa Clara and Sporting de Braga were all technically bankrupt by the end of the season.


União de Leiria coach Manuel Cajuda is to leave the club at the end of the season. The two sides could not agree on the terms of the renovation of Cajuda's contract, although the coach says he wanted no more money than he is already getting. He has taken the club to the top reaches of the SuperLiga and to the final of the Taça de Portugal. UDL have also qualified for next season's UEFA Cup as at least losing finalists (the other finalists are FC Porto, certain winners of the league title).

Manchester United will be the guests for the inauguration of Sporting's Alvalade XXI Stadium on August 6th.

With a 1-1 draw at home to Mafra, Estoril Praia guaranteed their return to the Segunda from the Segunda B (South) Wednesday.

Portugal is going to apply to stage the fifth Women's World Cup in 2007. Applications have to be in by May 31st, and the result will be announced on December 31st.


Carlos Manuel has been sacked as coach of Segunda club Salgueiros after a run of bad results that has made it difficult for the club to gain promotion to the SuperLiga. Luís Norton de Matos has been appointed the new coach.

Former Leixões coach Carlos Carvalhal has protested the fact that he was promised the coaching job at Sporting Braga, but Former Benfica coach Jesualdo Ferreira has been appointed. Braga's next game is against Benfica. Benfica need points to confirm their second place in the SuperLiga, and the consequent place in the Champions League. Benfica and Sporting Braga signed a protocol of mutual co-operation this weekend.

Ferreira took his first training session with the team Monday and was promptly floored by a rocket of a shot by captain and resident free-kick taker Barroso that hit him on the head. He needed medical attention.


Former Benfica coach Jesualdo Ferreira will take over from Fernando Castro Santos at Sporting Braga. The Spaniard has recently been relieved of his post at the northern club.

Leixões guaranteed their return to the Segunda Divisão Saturday with a 2-0 win at home to Freamunde.


Farense of the Segunda have decided after all to show up for their game at Alverca at the weekend. There was a danger that they would call a strike and refuse to play in the wake of problems with payment of salaries.

FC Porto have ended their press blackout that has lasted months.


The players of Segunda club Farense of the Algarve have warned that they may go on strike this weekend, meaning that the game against top of the table Alverca will be affected. The Liga administration have said that in the event of a strike, Farense will lose the three points and be fined. Salaries to the players are up to five months behind, while other members of staff are owed up to fifteen months' salary.


The official UEFA site has paid tribute to the work done by coach José Mourinho at FC Porto; they are calling it "Mourinho's Perfect Year"

Former Benfica president João Vale e Azevedo, still in prison for embezzlement of club funds, told TSF Radio Thursday that he is a creditor of the club and is taking it to court for the £4.5m he says he is owed.


Sporting Braga coach Fernando Castro Santos has been suspended indefinitely. The precise reasons are not known as the club has initiated disciplinary action against him. The club has yet to name a possible replacement.

Carlos Cardoso has been named coach of Vitória de Setúbal until the end of the season, replacing Diamantino Miranda, who left the club Tuesday after barely a month in the job.

Benfica president Manuel Vilarinho was hospitalised Wednesday with chest pains. He will remain in hospital for two or three days for checks.

Algarve club Farense of the Segunda Divisão are in deep financial trouble, with several months' salary owed to players and staff. As a protest, the playing staff have threatened not to show up at their forthcoming match with Segunda leaders Alverca.


Diamantino Miranda has left bottom club Vitória de Setúbal after just a month in charge. He took over from Luís Campos (now of Varzim) after Vitória had lost 2-6 at home to Benfica and Campos had been shown the door. Diamantino managed two league defeats and two draws during his time in the post, but refused to accept blame for the club's perilous position. Former ´keeper Conhé takes over on a temporary basis until a permanent replacement can be found.

Sporting striker Mário Jardel appears to be finishing the season where he started: in trouble. The club has inititated disciplinary action against him for incidents that allegedly took place in a Lisbon hotel Monday night.

Paulo Futre, who recently quit as Director of Football at Atlético Madrid, has denied that he has been invited to perform the same function at Benfica, despite having met with SAD president Luís Filipe Vieira.


The Portuguese department of Social Security is going to take 60 players from the second and third divisions to court. They have been found to be claiming umemployment and other benefits while taking wages from their clubs. The offences could mean a prison term of up to three years.


The 'Luís Figo Foundation', aimed at helping underprivileged youngsters to have an opportunity to do sports, has just been officially formed and will shortly be presented publicly by its president, Luís Fiigo.


Former FC Porto coach Fernando Santos is at the top of the list of possibles to take over from Romanian Laszlo Bölöni at Sporting at the end of the season. (A Bola)

The bulldozers have moved in and started to demolish Benfica's old Luz Stadium. Demolition is expected to be completed by August.


FC Porto stalwart Paulinho Santos has decided to retire at the end of the season, aged 32. Santos, a no-nonsense midfielder, has been involved in various controversial situations over the last few years, not least an incident in an FC Porto v Benfica match when Santos broke João Pinto's jaw.



SuperLiga club Paços de Ferreira made a profit last year of 916 thousand euros, the AGM of the club heard Friday.


The sports daily Record reported Wednesday that the replacement for Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni, certain to leave the club at the end of the season, will not be Portuguese.

Sporting's shares reached an all-time low Wedensday of 2.5 euros. At one point last year, after Sporting had won the Taça de Portugal, the price of the shares was 8.15 euros.


Quinito has been appointed Director of Football for struggling Vitória de Setúbal. He will be directly responsible for contracting, releasing and extending the contracts of players.


Félix and Agasson of Segunda club Farense are refusing to train. Players at the cash-strapped club are owed six months' back pay. With injuries and suspensions, the club is in danger of not having enough players to travel to Chaves for this weekend's match.


The USA have won the Mundialito of Women's football, held in the Algarve in the South of Portugal. They beat China 2-0 in the final with goals from Shannon McMillan and Mia Hamm . Portugal were 10th in the competition (out of 12).


Sporting president Dias da Cunha has announced that he will not stand after his current term ends in 2006. The Sporting No.1 will soon be 70.

The Portuguese Fraud Squad has returned to Vitória de Guimarães to examine their books, following the accusation of embezzlement and forgery aimed at president Pimenta Machado. He was arrested on December 15th last year and released on bail two days later. (A Bola On-line)


want Russian coach Anatoly Byshovets, 55, to take over from Nelo Vingada, sacked last week. Byshovets has been coach at Dynamo Kiev and also for the Russian Olympic and National teams.

Boavista are a step away from taking Spanish club Atlético Madrid to court. At the bottom of the problem is the absence of payment of the transfer two season ago of central defender Litos to Málaga, a debt assumed by Atlético. Litos is set to line up against his old team in the first leg of the quarter-final of the UEFA Cup in Málaga Thursday.


coach José Alberto Costa resigned Tuesday following the humiliating 0-7 Cup defeat at the hands of FC Porto. He will be substituted by Luís Campos , who recently left Vitória de Setúbal after a bad string of results.

Another coach who looks to be on his way is Sporting's Laszlo Bölöni. The home defeat by Second Division side Naval in the Cup was the last straw for Sporting fans in a disappointing season, and although the Romanian coach will see his contract out, it will not be extended. The name of former FC Porto coach Fernando Santos , more recently of AEK Athens and Panathinaikos, appears to be at the top of the list of possible substitutes.

FC Porto's Brazilian midfield star Deco is now officially a Portuguese citizen after his naturalisation process was completed. It is widely believed that the player will now become a part of Portugal's build-up for Euro 2004, especially since Portugal's coach Felipe Scolari is also Brazilian.


It seems that José Alberto Costa could be on his way out of the coaching job at Varzim following the 0-7 humiliation in the Taça de Portugal at the hands of FC Porto Saturday. Carlos Carvalhal (ex-Leixões), Nelo Vingada (ex-Marítimo) or Luís Campos (ex-Vitória de Setúbal) could be in line to take over. Varzim had an explosive start to the season but in the last month or so have struggled to get the results together.

Tirsense of the Third Division, once of the Primeira, have been banned from using their home ground following court action initiated by their former player To-Zé, owed 30,000 euros. The player was the captain of the U-20 National Team that won the World Cup in Riade in 1989.


FC Porto are in a state of 'blackout' after coach José Mourinho found himself under disciplinary action from the Liga. Mourinho made comments alluding to an alleged victimisation of the club after the recent 6-1 home thrashing of Denizlisport in the UEFA Cup.

Benfica's last game in the legendary Luz stadium, before it is demolished to make way for the new Luz, will be on March 22nd against Azores side Santa Clara. Benfica will then play their home games at the National Stadium, on the outskirts of Lisbon, until their new stadium is finished.

Coach Manuel Balela has resigned from Segunda club Farense, citing outstanding payments (five months' salary for coaching staff and players). Farense, of the Algarve on the South coast of Portugal, are going through a tough economic period. It is one of the clubs that will benefit from the Euro 2004 tournament as there is going to be a new stadium built for the Algarve.


It was confirmed Monday that Nelo Vingada will no longer be the coach of Madeiran club Marítimo, after a series of poor results that leave the team very near the relegation zone.No replacement has yet been named. Vingada is the sixth SuperLiga coach to lose his job since the beginning of the season.

FC Porto remain the top Portuguese club in the rankings of the IFHHS (International Federation of Football History and Statistics) at 21st. Boavista are 67th and Sporting 73rd. Benfica are not in the rankings.

Portuguese striker João Tomás, formerly of Académica and Benfica but now at Spanish club Bétis, allegedly ran down two fans as he left the stadium after his team had gone down 0-1 to Seville Saturday. The two fans were apparently protesting the poor perfarmanc of the team, and will be pressing charges.


East-Timor's first ever 'international' match was watched by president Xanana Gusmão and Eusébio. Before the game, Gusmão saved a penalty taken by Eusébio. The game, between East-Timor and Portuguese servicemen, was won 3-0 by the home side.


Totobola, the Portuguese equivalent of the pools, is likely to be scrapped in the coming season. The form of betting, where the punter has to guess whether each game will be a home win, draw or away win (1X2) has decreased in popularity and amount of winnings over recent seasons as the popularity of the straight Totoloto (guessing six numbers from 49 possibles) and scratch cards has increased. Totobola may be replaced by some kind of on-line betting.

Benfica the club celebrated its 99th birthday Friday. Over the years, Benfica have won 30 championships, 23 Taças de Portugal, 3 Portuguese Supertaças and 2 European Cups.



Académica has a new president: João Moreno swept in Thursday with over 2,000 votes of the approximately 2,500 cast. Moreno has been president twice before. The club seems to be recovering on the field under Artur Jorge, but it is in a dire financial state, and it will be one of Moreno's main worries to solve the club's financial problems.


Luís Campos resigned as coach of Vitória de Setúbal after Saturday's humiliating 2-6 home defeat to Benfica. The club has already nominated a successor: Diamantino Miranda, a former Vitória player and most recently coach of Campomaiorense.

Portugal came third in the Beach Football World Cup, held in Rio de Janeiro. They were beaten by the eventual winners Brazil (who beat Spain 8-2) in the semi-finals but beat France 7-4 in the third-place play-off.


The man in charge of Argentina's youth teams, José Pekerman, was at Sporting's Football Academy Thursday, prompting rumours that he may be the one to take over from Laszlo Bölöni as coach of the club next season. He was quick to deny any such plan: "I've come on a kind of know-how exchange, that's all," he said.

Portugal's Futsal (5-a-side) team beat Belgium 3-2 in the final group game of the European Championship in Italy Thursday. Unfortunately, Spain beat the Ukraine 3-0 and go through to the next phase. The Ukraine finished top of the group.

Portugal's Beach Football side are through to the semi-finals of the 9th World Cup, being held in Rio. They beat Uruguay 3-1 Thursday.

Azores club Santa Clara are under investigation by the police for possible administrative irregularities, it was revealed Thursday.


FC Porto's Brazilian midfielder Deco has had his application for Portuguese naturalisation accepted and should be a community player within the next fortnight. This will pave the way for the player to be selected by Felipe Scolari for the Portuguese team for their next friendly against Brazil. It also gives FC Porto an extra slot for a non-community player in their squad.

Mário Jardel of Sporting has also acquired Portuguese citizenship. He cannot play for Portugal as he has already played for Brazil, but the change in status from foreigner to European Community player will help him in the transfer market.

FC Porto have declared a press blackout in light of the suspensions handed down to Jorge Costa and Costinha, and the fine to Maniche, following the aggression on Simão Sabrosa in the FC Porto v Benfica league match of last October.


Mário Jardel appears to be in yet more trouble with his club, Sporting. According to reports, he missed training on Thursday without justification, and was dropped from Saturday's game at Varzim , which ended in a 1-1 draw. The official line is that he is suffering from physical fatigue, or physical and psychological fatigue, whichever source you listen to.


Sporting are preparing a defence for Mário Jardel, threatened with a ban for displaying advertising on his undershirt during his celebrations for his first goal against Paços de Ferreira at the weekend. thye say that FC Porto's Lithuanian striker Jankauskas has been guilty of the same misdemeanor this season but received no penalty.


The board of Sporting Braga the club have resigned, following the same action taken by the board of the Sociedade Desportiva (see 05/02). The president and the other directors are expected to continue in their posts until an alternative solution can be found.

The Vitória de Guimarães midfielder Guga has been suspended after leaking to the press that wages at the club are overdue.

Benfica are to sell off the pitch at their legendary Luz stadium when it is demolished, beginning at the end of March. Also to be sold are the seats.

Segunda B side Amora need to find half a million euros by July to pay off tax and social security debts. The club is considering launching a scheme whereby for 2,500 euros fans can become 'management members', meaning that they can sit at board meetings, analyse the books or suggest players to buy. they will not, however, have the power to decide anything.

Former National Team Coach Humberto Coelho was officially presented as South Korea's coach Tuesday. He has promised to give the team "a Latin touch".


Manuel José
has signed on as coach for Belenenses until the end of next season. He will begin work next Tuesday. He takes over from Brazilian Marinho Peres , who resigned two weeks ago. Manuel José had one foot in the door as National Team Coach after the World cup disaster, but the FPF finally opted for Scolari. He has previously been coach at Benfica, Sporting, Boavista and União de Leiria, among others.

The board of the administrative arm (Sociedade Anónima Desportiva) of Sporting Braga resigned en bloc Wednesday in the face of growing financial problems at the club. According to Rádio Renascença, the players have not been paid for two months.

Former Benfica coach Toni is back in Portugal. He has brought his new team, Shenyang Ginde of China, to the Algarve for a period of training. Also in the Algarve at the moment are Dynamo Kiev , fleeing the firece Russian winter.

The state TV channel RTP wants to sell its 33% share in the cable TV channel SportTV owing to rationalization. Eurosport may be a buyer, but they will have to find around 33 million euros for the privilege. (Correio da Manhã)


FC Porto have been named the best club in the world for January by the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History and Statistics). The club won its twelfth league game in a row Sunday, leads the SuperLiga by a mile and is still in contention for the Taça de Portugal and the UEFA Cup. Overall, however, Porto are in 36th (from 54th) in the IFFHS rankings. Sporting are 68th (from 54th) and Boavista are 70th (from 68th). Benfica are not in the top positions. According to the same rankings, Manchester United are now the best club in the world.

The Portuguese Liga de Clubes, in charge of the organisation of the SuperLiga, Segunda Liga and all the divisions below that, is 25 years old today.


Television presenter Carlos Cruz, at the helm of Portugal's successful bid for Euro 2004, has been arrested in connection with the nationwide paedophilia scandal involving the Casa Pia , a chartiable institution for orphans.


The General Assembly of the FPF voted Friday to restructure the top and second divisions in Portugal. In the new system, the so-called SuperLiga would be reduced from 18 to 16 clubs, while the Segunda of 18 clubs would change its name to Primeira and would be divided into two groups of 16, north and south. The decision, however, is likely to be impugned by the Liga dos Clubes as not being procedurally legitimate.


28/01/03 (II)

The president of the General Assembly of FC Porto, Sardoeira Pinto, is gathering support for a move to change the name of the club's new stadium from As Antas (the same name as the old one) to O Estádio Pinto da Costa , after the current president of the club. Pinto da Costa has presided over FC Porto's most glorious years.

FC Porto and Sporting have been fined 2,100 euros and 800 euros respectively by the Liga's Disciplinary Commission.for incidents at the recent Sporting v FC Porto SuperLiga game at Alvalade.

Vitória de Guimarães president Pimenta Machado, recently accused of embezzlement, has been re-elected for an eleventh term at the club. He won 67% of the sócios' votes in the battle with rival Manuel Rodrigues. Machado has said that this will be his last term.

There was uproar Sunday at the Estádio do Bonfim, the home of Vitória de Setúbal. Vitória had just had a clean goal disallowed and Manoel scored the winner for visitors Gil Vicente in the dying minutes. The home crowd went wild, threatening journalists and throwing various objects on the pitch, including ... a crash helmet!

Meanwhile, in the Algarve local derby between Portimonense and Farense (1-2) of the Segunda, members of the Farense claque The South Side Boys were involved in clashes with police and two fans were taken to hospital with dog bites.

Sporting may be struggling to keep in touch with FC Porto and Benfica at the top of the SuperLiga, but it's a different story with their Junior side. They beat Sernache 24-0 Saturday, with Yannick Djaló, 17, netting nine!

However, their futsal (five-a-side indoor football) team could manage no more than a 3-3 draw with eternal rivals Benfica Saturday. Benfica lead the national table, with Sporting in third, six points behind. There were fights outside between fans of the two clubs before the game.


It's all change at some of the top clubs. After Friday's defeat to Académica (1-2), Belenenses' Brazilian coach Marinho Peres put his job at the disposal of the board ... and they agreed that it was time for the club to find a solution to a terrible run of just two points from seven games. Former Boavista, Benfica and União de Leiria coach Manuel José is at the top of the list of possible replacements. Meanwhile, however, assistant coach to Peres, Nené, will take over.

On Sunday, Vitória de Setúbal lost at home to Gil Vicente by the odd goal and saw themselves descend into the bottom three, the relegation zone. Coach Luís Campos immediately placed his job at the disposal of the Vitória board. They are expected to accept his resignation.


midfielder Kenedy, sent home from the World Cup before it began for failing a doping test, has finally had his suspension set by the FPF: 13 months . This will mean that he will be able to resume playing at the beginning of next season.


Portuguese referees may call a strike if pressure on them continues. The president of the Referees' Association Vítor Reis and international referee Paulo Paraty have both mooted the possibility of this extreme response to incessant pre-match pressure and post-match criticism of the men in black from all quarters, notably the press and the directors of clubs. "The wear is becoming apparent in practically all the Portuguese referees ... Perhaps if people have a weekend without football, they'll have a chance to reflect a little," said Paraty.

Portuguese International Pauleta scored two Wednesday in Bordeaux's 4-2 win over Guincamp. This takes his season's tally to 13, making him top scorer in the French League so far.


Superfute, the company owned by players' representative José Veiga and involved among other things in representing players such as Luís Figo, Jardel and João Pinto, are looking to buy a club in Mozambique. One of the clubs on a list of possibles is Maxaquene, formerly Sporting Clube de Lourenço Marques, Eusébio's first club. The idea is to find and nurture local talent and prepare them for the move to Europe.


Shares in FC Porto have risen in value by 42% since the beginning of the year. Monday they rose by 6.82% in relation to Friday's closing value, with 164,500 being exchanged during the session. The final value was 4.7 euros. The buoyant nature of the shares is a direct reflection of the team's magnificent campaign so far; they are 11 points clear at the top of the SuperLiga.

Boavista have arranged a loan of 15 million euros to finish off the new Bessa stadium. The loan will be repaid over ten years. The total cost of 40 million euros will thus be met by 15 million of Boavista's own capital, ten million from the state and these 15 million privately sourced. The new Bessa will be inaugurated in August to mark the 100th birthday of the club. It is one of the ten stadiums that will be used for Euro 2004.


Benfica have signed a 10-year deal with kit manufacturer Adidas that will be worth a minimum of 45 million euros for the club. Benfica are part of an elite, so-called 'A' Symbol group for the company that includes Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, River Plate and the national teams of France, Germany and Spain. Despite the fact that the club has not won a Portuguese title in eight years, "even without winning, Benfica sells more than all the other Portuguese clubs put together," according to Adidas' man in Portugal, Paulo Santos.


and Vitória de Guimarães will have to switch venues for their next home games. Vitória will play in Vila do Conde, 50 kms west of Guimarães on the coast, while Benfica will move to Torres Novas, 100 kms north of Lisbon. The measures come in the wake of the trouble at the match between the two teams at the weekend.

Boavista's Bolivian midfield star, Erwin Sanchez, will be out for up to six weeks with a knee innury contracted after a heavy fall in the game against Nacional at the weekend. Sanchez brushed himself off and continued to the end of the match, but an examination of the player confirmed the club's worst fears.

With a similar problem, Benfica's Hungarian striker Miklos Feher will be out for a month. Brazilian midfielder Roger, also of Benfica, has gone to Real Madrid for treatment on a knee problem, treatment that he hopes will obviate an operation.

Ajax beat Wolfsburg 1-0 Wednesday in the International Tournament of the Algarve, in Faro. Wamberto scored the goal. Wolfsburg had beaten Aberdeen 2-0 in the same tournament on Sunday. Ajax face Aberdeen next Sunday.

Humberto Coelho, this week appointed the new coach of South Korea, will earn a million dollars a year.


The former coach of the Portuguese national team, Humberto Coelho, has been appointed coach of South Korea. The contract is until August 2004 but may be extended to 2006 to take in the World Cup in Germany.

The Portuguese Football Federation issued a press release Monday reminding all concerned that it could legitimately enforce FIFA directives and temporarily close stadiums, deduct points or relegate clubs after a weekend of trouble in stadiums, the worst of which occurred during the Vitória de Guimarães v Benfica match: a firework thrown from the Benfica end injured a Vitória player and a member of the coaching staff, a police officer was injured by a seat thrown from the Vitória section of the crowd and journalists were intimidated by Vitória fans.

Benfica have cut all diplomatic ties with Vitória de Guimarães after what it considered shoddy treatment shown towards the club's directors by its Vitória counterparts at the same match.

FC Porto have sent an official complaint to the Portuguese Home Office after the police charged their fans following Saturday's match at Sporting. In apress release, the club said: "The panic generated by the heavy-handed intervention of the police could have caused another Heysel, in the country which is going to stage Euro 2004."

Cash-strapped Segunda club Felgueiras, in the centre of a corruption storm over re-directed public money, may be forced to fold if the club's players, with several months wages overdue, go ahead and rescind their contracts, claiming justifiable cause.

The junior game between Lajense and Boavista of the Azores finished 47-0, meaning that Lajense would win the local championship. The local Association became suspicious, however, and set up an inquiry, finding that the score had been falsified. The game was replayed and Lajense won 17-0 ... but it was not enough to pip rivals Madalena to the title.


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