Yet another player has rescinded his contract with cash-strapped Liga de Honra side Ovarense (see below). Forward André Soares brings the total now to 11 (the others are Edu, Inzaghi, Eduardo Sousa, Gisvi, Miguel Soares, Serginho, Rodolfo, Adilson, Artur and Hugo Coelho). It leaves coach Manuel Correia with just 14 players to face top club Beira-Mar on 8 January, three of them goalkeepers.
Ovarense, bottom club in the Liga de Honra (second division), is, like many of the smaller clubs in Portugal, going through dire financial straits. Ten players have now rescinded their contracts citing several months' wages overdue. Given the club's parlous state, the president Carlos Brás has also resigned. Ovarense's upcoming fixture with top club Beira-Mar now looks in jeopardy.
Former Portuguese international Abel Xavier saw his appeal against an 18-month suspension following doping charges quashed by UEFA Wednesday. He was caught after the September 29 UEFA cup game between his current side Middlesboro and Greek club FC Xanthi.
Former captain Hélio Filipe Dias de Sousa has been named the new coach at cash-strapped Vitória de Setúbal. Hélio hung up his boots at the end of last season. Meanwhile, the club made a vaialble an undisclosed sum for payment of overdue wages to the players and technical staff. However, it was reported that five players have now rescinded their contracts with just cause (salaries in arrears). They are Fabien, Tchomogo, Diakité, Fonte and Dembelé, who was presented as a Standard Liége player Monday. The Players Union confirmed the rescissions, while president Chumbita Nunes said that nothing concrete had been received at the club. What must be a traumatised Vitória face Benfica Wednesday ... if the threatened strike by the players does not go ahead.
Coach Luís Norton de Matos rescinded his contract with Vitória de Setúbal Sunday morning. The club faces serious financial problems, and there is a conflict between the players and technical staff, with two and a half months' salary owing, and the board, especially president Chumbita Nunes. Despite the internal problems, the team occupy a notable third place in the Liga.
Vitória de Setúbal's B team have said that they will support the first team in a strike, threatened to coincide with the upcoming game against Benfica. It was mooted that the B team and juniors would stand in for the A team if they didn't show, in protest at overdue salaries. The fragile situation at Vitória was not helped Thursday when players found out that club president Chumbita Nunes had apparently paid himself 16,000 euros for November, plus Christmas subsidy.
Sporting have commissioned a watch to commemorate their 100th anniversary. Designed by master Swiss watchmaker Franck Müller in 'green' gold (gold with 25% copper), the 36 watches produced sell for 19,800 euros apiece. That is, they would sell ... if they weren't already sold out. Why 36? Because that's the sum total of Sporting's domestic titles to date (Liga, Taça and Supertaça).
Vítor Pontes has been confirmed as the new coach at Vitória de Guimarães after the exit of Jaime Pacheco from the struggling northern club, third from bottom of the Liga and out of the UEFA Cup. Pontes was coach at União de Leiria until the end of last season. His contract at Vitória is until the end of the season, with one more year as optional. He will be presented officially Thursday.
The Portuguese Footballers' Union has voted FC Porto winger Ricardo Quaresma Player of the Month for November. His teammate, the Argentinian midfielder Lucho Gonzalez, was second.
Vitória de Setúbal's players, currently riding high in third place in the Liga, have formally warned the club and authorities that they will go on strike if they are not paid at least two months of the three months of salary they are owed. The strike, if it took place, would affect next week's top of the table clash against Benfica.
FC Porto and União de Leiria face disciplinary action from the Liga for the absence of winger Maciel in last weekend's Liga game. Maciel is on loan from Porto, but Liga regulations state that clubs that loan out players cannot prevent them from playing in games against them.
Jaime Pacheco has left Vitória de Guimarães. The team are second from bottom of the Liga and have just been knocked out of the UEFA Cup at the group stage. For the moment, former player Basílio Marques will coach the team, certainly for their next game against bottom club Penafial.
The Vitória de Setúbal players, with various months of salary overdue, issued a press release Friday bemoaning their plight. Among other things, it said : "We have lost confidence in the chairman of the club and we reserve the right to take extreme measures, which we are loath to do, but which we hope will urgently resolve our problems." Despite their difficult position, the players have been exemplary in their commitment and currently occupy third spot in the Liga.
Manuel Cajuda resigned as Naval coach Monday, to be replaced Tuesday by former coach Álvaro Magalhães, who has most recently been assistant coach at Benfica. After a promising start after being promoted this season, Naval have slumped and are now in the relegation places of the Liga.
The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) made a net profit of 7.172 million euros for the last financial year, a rise of 37% over the previous year.
Sporting are Portugal's top team, according to the International Federation of Football Statistics and History ranking, down eight places at 24th. Benfica are in 70th (down from 56th) and FC Porto are 98th (from 73rd).
The Angolan-born former Benfica, now Málaga winger Edgar, who represented Portugal at youth level and once at full international level in a friendly against Mozambique, has had his request to be eligible for selection for the Angola squad in the World Cup turned down by FIFA. Edgar missed the deadline for registration, which was last December ... before Angola's presence in Germany was confirmed.
Sporting's Ricardo and João Moutinho, along with Jorge Andrade of Deportivo La Coruña, will take part in the third annual Game Against Poverty, to be played in Düsseldorf on 22 December. The game will be organise by ronaldo and Zidane of Real Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo's house in England was burgled recently while the Manchester United winger was away on international duty. The thieves made off with jewellery, including a collection of Cartier watches, worth 43,000 euros, but the Portuguese international decided not to pursue the matter.
Evandro Luís Brandão Campos, second highest scorer in the Liga de Honra last season for Maia (17 goals), this season signed to Santa Clara, has retired at the age of 23 due to heart problems. He has rescinded with the Azores side and has returned to Brazil
FC Porto issued a press release Wednesday criticising the Liga's disciplinary department for not suspending Benfica striker Nuno Gomes for a gesture during Sporting Braga's defeat of Benfica at the weekend. Just after Braga scored their winner, Gomes simulated an injection into his forearm, suggesting that the Braga players were doped up. The press release also criticised Braga for not defending its dignity more actively.
Middlesborough utility player Abel Xavier, 32, has been suspended by UEFA for 18 months following a positive doping test in September after an UEFA cup game against Greek club Xanthi. The former Portuguese international has three days to appeal the decision.
Sporting Clube Farense, the 'biggest' club in the Algarve, in the south of Portugal, has announced that it will no longer have a professional team due to its inability to pay off debts of 500 thousand euros. The club was founded in 1910.
The players of Liga de Honra club Ovarense have threatened a strike for overdue wages.
Manuel José, who coached Benfica, Sporting and Boavista, among others, in Portugal, has led top Egyptian side Al-Ahly to the African Champions League title, beating Tunisian side Étoile du Sahel 3-0 in the second leg of the Final.
José Peseiro, the coach sacked by Sporting last month, has won an award for Top Coach of the Year, presented by the Portuguese Sports Confederation at Estoril Casino Thursday. National coach Luíz Felipe Scolari won the award for Top Footbal Personality of the Year.
The Confederation gave the 'Top Prestige' award to Chelsea coach José Mourinho. His father, Félix, who confessed that he can't watch his son's games, collected the award on his son's behalf and commented on his success: "I can't teach him anything any more. At one point I realised that he'd overtaken me ... His arrogance isn't arrogance - it's professionalism! ... José Mourinho's mother can watch his games "from beginning to end". She told reporters that her son "wasn't very naughty - he didn't give me a lot of trouble ... football helped to motivate him in his studies. I realised that from an early age, he had a passion for football ... Arrogant and vain!? That makes me laugh. I know him very well and he's nothing like that. He's a great father, a great husband and a great son."
Following the problems faced by Vítoria de Setúbal in paying the club's players, it has been revealed that Liga de Honra (second division) club Estoril Praia are in the same boat. If by Friday the board has not come up with at least one month's money from the three monthly pay packets currently in arrears, the squad has threatened to proceed with a collective rescission of their labour contracts. António Figueiredo, Estoril's president, warned that Setúbal, Estoril and also Ovarense (of the Liga de Honra) are not the only clubs in financial difficulties. "Before the start of next season, between 10 and 20 clubs from the Liga and Liga de Honra will close their doors," he predicts.
Vítor Baía launched his autobiography Tuesday. With a print run of 30,000, '99 - Vítor Baía' reveals that he was a benfiquista, (a Benfica fan) until he was ten. He also rounds on Filipe Scolari, the national coach, for not picking him since the debacle of Korea 2002, despite his form being consistently good. He says he repsects the coach's decision but does not understand it. Profits from the book will revert to the Fundação Vítor Baía, a charity to help underprivileged children. 99 is Baía's shirt number ... the year he returned to Porto from Barcelona.
Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira has admitted that he will not be resigning his post, despite the fact that sales of the so-called 'Kit' to attract more associate members has not met with expectations. At the time of the launch of the 'Kit', Vieira said he would resign if Benfica did not have 300,000 members by October. At the last count the club had an estimated 155,000 .
The poor relationship between FC Porto coach Co Adriaanse and the press hit new depths Friday with the moody Dutchman's almost monosyllabic press conference ahead of Sunday's game with Paços de Ferreira. Adriaanse is angry about what he considers to have been a bad translation of his comments after the midweek defeat at Inter. The Portuguese press quoted him as saying that Raul Meireles had been "sleeping" on the line and had thus failed to clear Júlio Cruz's headed winner, but Adriaanse claims he said the midfielder "slipped". In fact what he said was that Meireles "was slipping" ... even so, a strange choice of tense ...
Cash strapped Vitória de Setúbal, with months of wages owing to their players, are just "the tip of the iceberg", according to Players' Union president Joaquim Evangelista, with more clubs facing the same cash flow problems. "During the months of July and August, last season's problems were not dealt with and they carried over to this season," he said. He also warned of an even more serious situation in the Liga de Honra (second division): "At the moment there are clubs in the LH that have seven months'wages overdue - four from last season, and three from this. This year is going to be a dramatic one for Portuguese football."
As predicted, José Couceiro has been named the new coach at Belenenses. Couceiro, formerly of FC Porto, was all set to sign a contract to coach in Japan when he got the offer. The contract is until the end of the season, with another as optional. Belenenses are currently a disappointing 13th in the Liga and have two tricky games coming up: at top club Sporting Braga on Monday and at home to Boavista next weekend.
Vitória de Setúbal have found 275,000 euros to pay some of the overdue wage bill to players, thus averting a mass rescission of contracts for just cause. The money was raised by contributions from a group of five club members, including the president Chumbita Nunes. At an EGM to debate the crisis, Nunes also said there was a good chance of raising over four million euros in a deal with a British bank.
Along with the much-publicised Vitória de Setúbal case, Gil Vicente are another club with grave cash-flow problems. President António Fiuza told the club's General Assembly Thursday that income from membership fees was 10,000 euros a month, while outgoings were 360,000. The club is in the red to the tune of 3.2 million euros, and the president said that it could go the way of clubs like Farense and Salgueiros, who have lost their professional status in recent years and descended to the minor leagues.
Belenenses have sacked coach Carlos Carvalhal. After a bright start to the season in which the team produced some good football, Belenenses lost their last four league games. The last straw was Wednesday's defeat in the Taça de Portugal at Liga de Honra (second division) side Desportivo das Aves. At the front of the queue to take over from Carvalhal is José Couceiro, sacked by FC Porto last season.
Benfica's international goalkeeper Quim has been operated on (groin) in Munich, but it is hoped that he will be fit for the Champions League match at home to Villarreal on 2 November. Meanwhile, with the other main 'keeper Moreira also out for two months after an operation on his right knee, the club has had to draft in the 'B' Team's Rui Nereu, 19, to cover (which he did against Villarreal away and Estrela da Amadora at the weekend). Benfica may ask for special dispensation from FIFA to contract a goalkeeper before the transfer window opens.
Vitória de Setúbal's entire playing squad have sent letters threatening rescission of their contracts if they are not paid outstanding salaries by the club. The club has three days to come up with the cash. At Sunday's 0-1 home defeat to Vitória de Guimarães, a banner in the crowd pleaded: "Mourinho - help your club!" (Chelseaa's José Mourinho is from Setúbal, and the club is supposedly his first love.)
FC Porto striker Hélder Postiga has been relegated to the 'B' team for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. It is thought that the club may try to off-load him during the transfer window.
The whole of the Vitória de Setúbal squad have threatened a mass rescission of contract if they do not see the colour of the money owed them since the start of the season (and in some cases even further back). "That's enough of promises and untruths. Once again they promised that things would be sorted out today, but no one showed up this morning, and no one said anything," said players' representative, the goalkeeper Marco Tábuas.
Paulo Bento was officially presented as the new Sporting coach Friday ... but former club captain Oceano, who it was thought would be named assistant to Bento, turned down the offer from the club.
Sporting's new coach will be Paulo Bento, who was a player at the club until two seasons ago. The official announcement is expected Friday. Last season he took the Sporting junior side to the respective national title. As a player in Portugal, he represented Vitória de Guimarães, Benfica and Sporting. His number two will be another former Sporting player, Oceano. Their first game in charge of the Lions will be at Gil Vicente Sunday.
Correction to the news item on Cristiano Ronaldo (below): the Manchester United player was 'bailed', not 'freed on bail'.
Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been questioned by the British police following an alleged sexual assault that occurred on 2 October. The player's agent Jorge Mendes, via the website of his company Gestifute, has insisted that the interview was purely routine, that Ronaldo went along to the police station of his own accord, and that the situation is a mere "product of the young girls' imagination and fancy." The questioning lasted several hours and the player was later freed on bail.
Sporting president António Dias da Cunha resigned from the post Wedesday. In a press release, he cited the intolerable strain of having to accept the resignation of the coach and a director Tuesday (see below), but the general cloud of crisis hanging over the club on and off the pitch will have forced his hand. The reins will be taken over for the time being by businessman Felipe Soares Franco.
Benfica's first-choice 'keeper, José Moreira, will be out of action for six months following an operation on his right knee Wednesday.
Sporting coach José Peseiro has resigned from the position, along with director of football Paulo Andrade. Sporting's recent performances and the contestation from the fans forced president' Dias da Cunha's hand. He said Tuesday that both had waived compensation. No successor for Peseiro has yet been found.
The Penafiel Board has decided not to accept coach Luís Castro's resignation (see below), despite the fact that the club is rock bottom of the Liga with just one point from seven games. President António Oliveira, former Portugal national team coach, has said that he will be standing down in December.
Penafiel coach Luís Castro has resigned after a dismal start to the season, in which the team has won just one point from seven games and sits dejectedly at the bottom of the Liga table. The club has yet to name a successor.
Vítor Paneira has left Liga de Honra (second division) side Moreirense. The northern club, relegated last season from the Liga, have one win to show from seven games. Paneira will be replaced by João Carlos Pereira.
Much-travelled defender Abel Xavier, who has been at the service of English club Middlesborough for about a month, has tested positive in a doping test. The test, after the UEFA Cup game against Xanthi on 29 September, triggered a FIFA suspension for the 32-year-old former Portugal international.
Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Sociedade Anónima Desportiva (SAD) recorded a net loss of 5.8 million euros in 2004/05, it was reported Monday.
Vitória de Setúbal, in dire financial straits with players' salaries months late, have received some welcome, if no more than symbolic, support from a group of fans concerned about he club's plight. They are selling packs (at 10 euros) containing a T-shirt, a ticket for a picnic and a voucher to get a ticket for an upcoming home game for just five euros. The T-shirt reads: "Vitória needs you! Everyone to Bonfim! (the club's stadium)"
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United and Deco of Barcelona are on the list of 30 players vying for the title of FIFA World Player of the year. The best player will be voted by the captains and coaches of all the National teams in the world.
Cable TV channel SportTV has shown a touching documentary on the plight of 60s Benfica (12 seasons) and Portugal centre forward José Torres. 'The Gentle Giant' (Torres is 1m90) won the Bola de Prata as the top scorer in the first division for the 1962/63 season (26 goals) and scored three goals for Os Magriços in the 1966 World Cup, in which Portugal came third. Torres is now 67 and suffering from Azheimer's disease. The documentary showed him surviving thanks to the love of his marvellous wife Alcinda (who he calls Delfina, his mother's name).
União de Leiria have sacked coach José Gomes after a poor start to the season. They have brought in perennial firefighter Jorge Jesus to try to put things right.
Brazilian coach Paulo Bonamigo has arrived in Madeira to take over the reins of struggling Marítimo, who removed Rui Rodrigues from the job last week. Trainer João Abel took over for one game (a 0-1 defeat at Vitória de Guimarães) before the arrival of the new man. Bonamigo has coached Brazilian sides Atlético Mineiro, Botafogo, Paraná and Palmeiras.
Marítimo have sacked coach Rui Rodrigues, better known as 'Juca', just four games into the season proper. The team has started badly, with a mere two points to show. Former União de Leiria coach Vítor Pontes is in line to take over.
José Gomes of União de Leiria, Jaime Pacheco of Vitória de Guimarães and Norton de Matos of Vitória de Setúbal may be the next to go, the latter in a dispute with the club, the other two because of weak starts to the season.
Historic Porto club Salgueiros, founded in 1911, have had to withdraw from participation in the 3rd division this season due to extreme financial difficulties. The club has also withdrawn from the Taça de Portugal , so that their opponents in the first round, Monção, have been given a bye.
Chelsea have fined Portuguese cente-back Ricardo Carvalho 125,000 euros for recent comments made to sports daily A Bola, where he complained about not getting regular first team football.
Following on from the expulsion from the Liga de Honra of Alverca and Felgueiras for debts to the State (the latter may even have to close its doors), it was revealed Friday that the top clubs also owe some 24 million euros. The weekly financial paper Semanário Económico said that Benfica and Sporting owe 2.5 and 2.7 million euros respectively, but that FC Porto has its accounts in order. The reason the top clubs have not been expelled are that they have either submitted appeals to the notice of debt, or are negotiating a painless method of payment of it.
With debts to the taxman and coaching staff and players, Liga de Honra (second division) side Felgueiras will not now be able to participate in the season's competition, joining Alverca in the same boat. Their places in the division have been offered to two clubs that were relegated last season, Gondomar and Chaves, and if either of these sides does not take up the offer, it will be extended to Sporting Espinho, also relegated. The games involving the two clubs on the opening day this weekend have been cancelled.
The 'Yugoslavian' coach who won the Portuguese title with Benfica in 1975, 'Misha' Pavic, has died aged 85. Pavic also had a season at Sporting (1978/79), as well as spells at Atlético Madrid and Red Star Belgrade, among other clubs.
England coach, Seven-Goran Eriksson, has told the BBC that José Mourinho could be his successor in the job. "He has personality, he's a good organiser and he's excellent at motivating his players", said the Swede, who has a contract with the FA until 2008 but could well leave after the 2006 World Cup. Mourinho, in turn, is on record as saying he would like to be Portugal coach in ten years.
Former Boavista and Benfica midfielder Erwin Sanchez has been banned for 18 months by the Bolivian Football Association for head-butting a referee in a game in March. The Bolivian Sanchez, nicknamed the South American Platini, was also Boavista coach for half of the 2003/04 season. At 36, he will now surely hang up his boots.
Portugal lost the Final of the 10th Beach Football World Cup in Portimão, Algarve, Sunday to eternal rivals Brazil, 4-9. France were third, beating the Ukraine 7-6 . It was Brazil's eighth title.
Benfica won the SuperTaça Saturday, beating Vitória de Setúbal 1-0 in front of 26,000 at the Estádio do Algarve. Neither team really impressed, although it was Benfica who had most of the play. Their goal, however, came from a move that started with a foul by Geovanni on Ricardo Chaves, not given by a weak referee, Olegário Benquerença. When the ball broke, Beto sent it through to an on-song Nuno Gomes who had all the time in the world to turn and sweep it in past Moretto. That was on 51 minutes, and Benfica quite comfortably held on to the lead, despite late chances for Dembele, Fábio and Sougou, all squandered.
It was only Benfica's fourth victory in this pre-season trophy, the last 15 years ago.
The record by club is:
F.C. Porto, 21 presences/14 wins
V. Guimarães, 1/1
Sp. Braga, 2/0
U. Leiria, 1/0
E. Amadora, 1/0
Beira Mar, 1/0
V. Setúbal, 1/0
Saturday's curtain-raiser to the season, the SuperTaça between Benfica and Vitória de Setúbal, is set to be a sell-out. There are just 2,000 tickets left for the game (available from 11.00 a.m. Saturday), to be played at the 30,000-capacity Estádio do Algarve. Only around four thousand tickets were taken up by Vitória fans. The SuperTaça Cândido de Oliveira is played every season and pits the SuperLiga champions (Benfica) against the winners of the Taça de Portugal (Vitória) from the previous season.
Alverca have decided not to register to play in this season's Liga de Honra (second division) due to severe financial difficulties. Their place in the division may be taken by Gondomar , or it may be decided that the division goes ahead with 17 clubs instead of 18.
Former Sporting captain/ midfielder Pedro Barbosa has hung up his boots at the age of 35. Barbosa spent a decade at Alvalade but left under a cloud after being released rather brusquely by the club at the end of last season. He was previously at Vitória de Guimarães.
Former Marítimo coach Mariano Barreto, who has been out of a job since the middle of last season after he resigned, has joined Saudi club Al Nassr, which was once coached by Artur Jorge.
FC Porto coach Co Adriaanse has once again left club captain Jorge Costa and left back Nuno Valente out of the squad to face Penafiel Wednesday, but this time, it appears that the central defender has an injury to a knee.
Liga de Honra club Alverca, facing extinction if it doesn't come up with 2.5 million euros in four days, is claiming a large debt from Benfica for the transfer of Pedro Mantorras to the Luz in 2001. Manuel Fernandes, the Chairman of the club's General Assembly, said: "It's a significant amount of money that would be enough to keep a squad at Alverca for two seasons." The General Assembly was to meet Tuesday but could not because of the absence of key shareholders.
Vitória de Setúbal have passed four thousand of their allocation of tickets for Saturday's SuperTaça on to Benfica. The 30,000 capacity Estádio do Algarve is expected to be near to full, with around 24,000 benfiquistas and the rest supporters of Taça de Portugal winners Vitória.
Club captain Jorge Costa has once again been left out of the FC Porto squad, this time to face Tottenham in London on Saturday. Also out are left back Nuno Valente and winger Ricardo Quaresma. The decision by coach Co Adriaanse, following a similar decision for the mini-tour of Holland, would seem to suggest that the emblematic Costa is not part of the Dutchman's plans for the coming season.
Sporting are the highest Portuguese club in the world club ranking of the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), published Tuesday. The Lions stay at 21, Benfica are up one to 27 and FC Porto are down one to 77. The ranking is topped by Inter Milan, followed by AC Milan and Liverpool.
Benfica full back Miguel has pressed charges for verbal abuse against the journalists who pressed charges against him for assault after incidents in a discoteque in the Algarve Saturday (see below). If Miguel were found guilty of a criminal act, the maximum sentence would be three years imprisonment. If the case is only heard in the civil courts, the maximum compensation would be 750,000 euros.
Benfica confirmed Monday that they will be changing the name of the famous Estádio da Luz before the end of the year for commercial purposes.
The club also confirmed that the passses of five of its players are collateral for the cost of building of the stadium, along with gate receipts and tv rights. The guarantees were given to construction company Somague, which is still owed 19.3 million euros for the work, to be paid in installments. The players are Petit, Dos Santos, Giovanni, Fyssas and Carlitos. Should any of the players be transferred, another pass of a similar value will be offered as guarantee.
Meanwhile, Benfica full-back Miguel, in dispute with the club, was reportedly involved in a disturbance at popular Algarve discoteque Casa do Castelo Saturday. He and a group of friends allegedly hit and kicked some freelance photographers who were working a party at the Albufeira nightspot. The journalists will apparently press charges.
FC Porto Club Captain Jorge Costa and left back Nuno Valente have been left at home by Dutch coach Co Adriaanse as the squad travel to Amsterdam for an international tournament. Both were key members of José Mourinho's team that won the Champions League twwo seasons ago.
Portugal beat France, coached by Eric Cantona, 6-2 at beach football in Figueira da Foz Saturday, but the game ended in a brawl between players, coaches, organisers and security personnel.
Referees will be nominated for games in the coming season. Last season there was a restricted draw. The new method is widely unpopular because it is open to suspicions of partiality and match-fixing, but it was decided upon by the Liga dos Clubes and so will stand.
Belenenses' training period in Italy came to a shambolic end Sunday when the luggage containing kits and equipment remained in Italy while the squad flew home. Belenenses have two friendlies in France against Mónaco (20/07) and Toulouse (23/07) and will be embarrassed if they don't meet up with their stuff before then ...
Former England international Paul Gascoigne has agreed to manage the fledgling Algarve United, who will this season play in the first division of the Faro (Algarve) District League. The Italian, Corrado Correggi, owner of the one-year-old club, has made it his objective to reach the SuperLiga within six years.
The Liga confirmed Tuesday that there are twelve clubs from the SuperLiga and Liga de Honra that are in debt to the taxman and social security. They are: Rio Ave, Naval and Estrela da Amadora from the SuperLiga and Marco, Leixões, Maia, Varzim, Felgueiras, Ovarense, Alverca, Santa Clara and Estoril from the Liga de Honra.
Benfica fans wanting to go to the SuperTaça on 13 August at the Estádio do Algarve can buy tickets, priced at between 20 and 30 euros, as of Wedensday from the Estádio da Luz ,
Sporting's debenture issue, the offer for which closed Friday, raised 18 million euros (3.6 million debentures with a nominal value of 5 euros). The offer was over-subscribed by 55%.
Marítimo presented the squad to press and fans Monday. One of the highlights was the appearance of José Mourinho's protegé at Chelsea Filipe Oliveira.
Penafiel were also presented, but without former FC Porto and Sporting winger Clayton. The Brazilian is stil in negotiations with the club. President António Oliveira, former national team coach, announced that this will be his last season in charge.
On Académica's first day back, there were few new faces, but there was a cup-winner: ex-Vitória de Setúbal central defender Hugo Alcântara. Missing was striker Dário , who was recalled to Al Jazira of Dubai.
Boavista confirmed Monday that the club will increase its capital before the end of the year by 9 million euros, some of which underwritten by "a strategic international partner".
FC Porto begin a two-week spell in Doorwerth, Holland, Monday. The training camp will allow coach Co Adriaanse to trim the squad down from the current 32 to his ideal of 25.
Weekly broadsheet Expresso reports this weekend that Boavista are planning a partnership with Media Sports Investments, in which Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich has a stake. If the deal goes through, MSI would acquire 20% of the shares in the club.
A dozen clubs from the top two divisions are prohibited from registering players until their debts to the State have been cleared. There are three SuperLiga clubs on the list: Rio Ave, Estrela da Amadora and Naval.
There was a friendly played Thursday in honour of Hugo Cunha, the União de Leiria player who died of a heart attack while playing in a kickabout with friends last month. The game drew around a thousand people to the Barreirense stadium (where Hug unha beegan his career).
Nigerian central defender Enakarhire has finally returned to Sporting and took part in Friday's training session. He had gone AWOL in Sporting's first week of preparation, apparently because of possible transfer opportunities.
Portuguese Champions Benfica's first training session proper was watched by around 2,000 fans at the Luz Stadium Tuesday. It was the first chance for benfiquistas to see new signings, Anderson , Karyaka and Beto.
Hugo Cunha, the União de Leiria midfielder who died Saturday while playing a game of football with friends, will be buried Tuesday. The Portuguese Players' Union is to arrange a benefit match at the stadium of Barreirense in the coming week (the player was from Barreiro, on the other side of the River Tagus to Lisbon). Proceeds will go to Cunha's family.
Popular English club Manchester United, including Portuguese favourite Cristiano Ronaldo, arrived in the Algarve Monday for a week's pre-season training. The group, made up of about 90 people, will stay and work at the Vale de Lobo luxury resort in Almancil.
União de Leiria player Hugo Cunha, 28, died Saturday morning during a kickabout with friends in the town of Montemor-o-Novo. Heart trouble is suspected. The midfielder played for Barreirense, Campomaiorense and Vitória de Guimarães before moving to Leiria.
Former player Aloísio has been named coach of FC Porto's B Team, taking over from another former player, Domingos Paciência.
Benfica beat arch-rivals Sporting 7-4 after extra-time of the play-off Final to win the National Futsal title.
If all goes to plan, Benfica will have their own cable TV channel as from September. The club hopes to earn 1.5 million euros a year from the channel.
Sporting are about to close a joint sponsorship deal that will net the club 34 million euros over the next five years. Three of the sponsors are thought to be EDP (energy company), PT (Portugal Telecom) and BES (Banco Espírito Santo). They will have their names placed at strategic points around Alvalade XXI Stadium and at the training complex (the Academia). The different stands in the stadium will be sponsored by the companies, as happens now at Benfica's Luz.
Taça de Portugal winners Vitória de Setúbal will meet Spain's Real Bétis, winners of the Taça del Rei, in the first edition of the Taça Ibérica, to be played in Ayamonte on 28 July. The winners of this Taça will go into the Final of the Torneio Internacional do Guadiana, to be played in the Estádio do Algarve on 30 July, and will face the winners of Sporting v Middlesbro.
Valentim Loureiro handed in his resignation Friday as president of the Liga de Clubes, the institution that organizes the Portuguese football leagues and refereeing. Loureiro has been under investigation in the so-called Apito Dourado ('Golden Whistle') referee-bribery scandal and has only recently returned to his functions at the Liga.
Former Benfica coach, the Italian Giovanni Trapattoni, has signed a two-year deal with German club Stuttgart, who have Portuguese international Fernando Meira in their ranks. The move is something of a surprise since Trapattoni claimed the reason for leaving Portugal was to be with his family.
Benfica will plan the new season in Nyon, Switzerland, as they have done in recent years. They will be there from 6 to 14 July, with two friendlies organised for 10 July (Sion) and 13 ( Étoile Carouge).
Former Boavista captain Martelinho is claiming 140,000 euros from the club in unpaid salary and bonuses stretching back to the 2001/02 season. If the club do not pay up, they may be prohibited from signing any new players for the upcoming season.
Benfica have called in former player Fernando Chalana to be one of new coach Ronald Koeman's assistants.
Trapattoni's assistant at Benfica, Álvaro Magalhães, has been released by the club. The new coach, Ronald Koeman, will be bringing his own coaching staff to the club. Magalhães, who was also Antóinio Camacho's assistant when he was at the Luz, was angry about the timing of the board's decision as most of the coaching jobs in Portuguese football have been taken up.
Chelsea and former FC Porto coach José Mourinho will be awarded the Gold Medal of the City of Setúbal next Saturday. Mourinho is from Setúbal, and the award by the City Council will be to show the city's gratitude for Mourinho's feats in the last couple of years, which have helped to put the city on the international map.
German club Stuttgart are interested in former Benfica coach Giovanni Trapattoni. If 'Trap' goes to Germany, it will contradict somewhat the reasons given by the Italian coach for leaving Benfica and Portugal: that he was missing his country and family.
Manuel Cajuda has been named as coach of Naval, newly-promoted to the SuperLiga.
The vice-president of the Assemblei da República (Parliament), Manuel Alegre, lodged a formal complaint Thursday with the Assembleia over State-controlled TV channel RTP 's airing of commercials during the playing of the Portuguese national anthem before this week's game against Estonia. Alegre believes RTP should uphold the values befitting a 'public service'.
Ronald Koeman is Benfica's new coach (theoretically on a two-year contract) and was presented to the media Wednesday. Although recognizing the good work done by Trapattoni last season and the sound inheritance, he said that he could not guarantee any titles, but that he would work hard towards that end. The press conference to present Koeman came to an abrupt end when one journalist dared to question the financial health of the club, president Luís Filipe Vieira marching off.
Benfica captain and top scorer Simão Sabrosa, released from the National Team, will undergo surgery on a hernia in Munich Wednesday.
After taking Vitória de Setúbal to only their third national trophy, the Taça on Sunday, and to a respectable tenth place in the SuperLiga, coach José Rachão has been given the push by the club. He was offered the job of 'B' Team coach but declined. It is widely thought that Luís Norton de Matos, formerly of Salgueiros, will take over some time next week.
Benfica will be sponsored by Portugal Telecom for the next five years, it was officially announced Wednesday. The club's shirts previously bore the name of Vodaphone.
Giovanni Trapattoni announced Tuesday what had been expected for some time now - that he will not be Benfica's coach next season. After a season in which he gave Benfica its first title in 11 years , the call of his homeland and family were stronger than the chance of taking the club into the Champions League.
Barreirense have been promoted to the Liga de Honra (second division) after winning on the last day of the season (see here). They beat União Micaelense 2-1 at home, while the only team that could have displaced them, Pinhalnovense, also won, 2-0, at União de Madiera. But it was not enough to supplant Barreirense.
Sporting won the Taça Amizade ('Friendship Cup') Friday, beating Hertha Berlin on penalties at a three-quarters empty Charlety Stadium in Paris. Wichniarek and Mansiz put the German side in front going into the break, but Sporting reacted well in the second half to come back to 2-2 through Sá Pinto from the spot and Paíto. Sporting won the penalty shoot-out 5-4. The Cup will come as scant consolation to Sporting fans, who have seen the SuperLiga title and the UEFA Cup slip through their fingers in the last fortnight.
António Sousa was formally presented as the new coach of Rio Ave Firday, replacing Carlos Brito, who moves to Boavista. Sousa was formerly with Beira-Mar.
The Liga dos Clubes presented their awards for the season in Porto last night:
Team of the Year: Benfica
Coach of the Year: José Peseiro (Sporting)
Best Goalkeeper: Vítor Baía (FC Porto) (plus Career Award)
Best Full Back: Jorge Luíz (Sporting Braga)
Best Central Defender: Luisão (Benfica)
Best Defensive Midfielder: Manuel Fernandes (Benfica)
Best Offensive Midfielder: João Moutinho (Sporting) (plus Revelation)
Best Forward: Liedson (Sporting) (plus Most Valuable Player and Top Scorer)
Best Referee: Pedro Henriques
Co Adriaanse, the former AZ Alkmaar coach, is in Porto to finalise details that should see him signing for two years as FC Porto coach, with another as optional. He has brought his assistant Jan Olde Riekerink with him. Last season Adriaanse, who will be presented officially Tuesday, took modest AZ to third place in the Dutch league and to a semi-final place in the UEFA Cup, where they were knocked out by Sporting. The Dutchman takes over from José Couceiro, who declined an offer to stay on at the club as assistant.
Giovanni Trapattoni has not yet decided whether he will stay at Benfica or return to Italy, although it is certain that he will stay until at least the Final of the Taça de Portugal against Vitória de Setúbal. Speaking Monday, he said: "I'm trying to convince my wife ... I'd like to stay at Benfica and participate in next season's Champions League, but I'm feeling a little nostalgic for Italy because I have my family there, my grandchildren. Let's wait until the Final of the Taça and then we'll see ... Let's say that at the moment, that there's a 50% chance either way."
FC Porto's Brazilian international midfileder Diego underwent an operation Monday on a fractured bone in his foot, suffered in Sunday's home draw with Académica.
FC Porto coach José Couceiro handed in his resignation after the 1-1 home draw with Académica Sunday. It has been common knowledge for some time that Porto are in contact with AZ Alkmaar coach Co Adriaanse to take the reins next season, and it was clear that Couceiro saw his position at the club as untenable.
The funeral took place Friday of João Manuel, who died Wednesday. He had multiple sclerosis. He played for several clubs, but made his name at União de Leiria, where he spent nine seasons. His last club was Moreirense, for which he played two games this season. There will be a minute's silence in his memory before games on the last day of the SuperLiga Sunday. João Manuel was 37.
The Italian press has reported that Benfica coach Giovanni Trapattoni will be returning to Italy at the end of the season, possibly to Lázio. Rumours circulated Friday that Spanish coach José Camacho may be returning to Benfica after a season away and an unhappy spell at Real Madrid.
FC Porto president Pinto da Costa is in Holland to finalise the contracting of AZ Alkmaar coach Co Adriaanse. Current coach José Couceiro is intersting Turkish club Fenerbahçe .
Three Sporting players are having operations. Fábio Rochemback was operated on for a hernia Friday, while Miguel Garcia (hernia) and Hugo Viana (shoulder) will go under the knife in the close season.
FC Porto won the Taça BES/A Bola for the second year in a row. The trophy, sponsored by Banco Espírito Santo and A Bola, is awarded to the Grande that has the best record in SuperLiga matches against the other two Grandes, (Benfica and Sporting). There was also a cash prize of 35,000 euros, which went to charity.
Sporting president Dias da Cunha said Tuesday that coach José Peseiro will continue at the club, even if Sporting don't win the UEFA Cup Final on Wednesday. Dias da Cunha stuck by his man earlier in the season when many were calling for his head.
The so-called G-14 group of clubs, including this time FC Porto and Sporting, are taking advantage of the UEFA Cup Final to meet in Lisbon. One of the matters under discussion is compensation to clubs for ceding players to national sides.
At the Laureus Awards in Estoril, Greece were voted the team of the year for winning the Euro 2004 tournament, against Portuga in the final, ahead of FC Porto, who won the SuperLiga, Champions League and World Club Trophy.
União de Leiria coach Vítor Pontes has been mooted as a possible replacement for Oleg Romantsév at Dynamo Moscow. The club has already nabbed a number of Portuguese players, including most recently Manich and Costinha from FC Porto.
Various footballers were involved in a road accident in the early hours of Monday morning:: FC Porto's Bosingwa, Boavista's Nélson and Édu, Jaime Linhares of Ovarense and Sandro Luís of Azores side Santa Clara. The latter has been told by the doctors that he will probably not play professional football again.
Carlos Brito is set to join Boavista next season. The Rio Ave coach, who has done wonders at the northern minnow, would replace Pedro Barny, caretaker after Jaime Pacheco was left the club in April. António Sousa, formerly of Beira-Mar, will take over at Rio Ave.
Vítor Pontes will not continue as coach at União de Leiria past the end of the season. No replacement has yet been found, but Barreirense's Daúto Faquirá has been mooted. Faquirá has also been linked to Vitória de Setúbal.
The end-of-season musical-chairs session begins. Vitória de Guimarães coach Manuel Machado will be at Nacional next season. Vitória are hoping to contract Jaime Pacheco, who recently resigned from Boavista. Pacheco was at Vitória between 1996 and 1997 but left under a cloud after disagreements with the then president Pimenta Machado.
Leading sports daily A Bola has pledged not to print any news, quotes or interviews that might incite violence or put pressure on the referees ahead of the crucial last two games of the season.
Benfica and Sporting invited the 34 other clubs from the SuperLiga and Liga de Honra to discuss Tuesday the problems facing Portuguese football. Nine showed up: Benfica and Sporting, plus Belenenses, Sporting Braga, Vítoria de Guimarães, Moreirense and Marítimo from the SuperLiga and Olhanense and Feirense from the Liga de Honra.
Thanks to the end-of-season high on the pitch, the value of Sporting's shares rose by 6.4% Tuesday to 3.66 euros, the highest valuation in three years.
The funeral took place Tuesday of the popular commentator Jorge Perestrelo, who died of a heart attack Friday. Perestrelo was famous for his enthusiastic, irreverent commentaries of games, often more interesting than the games themselves.
Players Union representatives met with the president of the Liga, Valentim Loureiro, Tuesday to warn of serious situation of overdue salaries. According to the president of the Union, Joaquim Evangelista, who said that 90% of Portuguese clubs are late paying their players.
Portuguese coach José Mourinho was unable to take Chelsea to their first European Cup Final Tuesday when they went down 0-1 at Liverpool, losing 0-1 on aggregate. Ricardo Carvalho and Tiago were in Chelsea's starting line-up.
According to France Football, José Mourinho is the best paid coach in Europe. The Top 5 are:
1. José Mourinho, Portuguese, 7.5 m euros
2. Alex Ferguson, Scottish, 6
3. Sven-Goran Eriksson, Swedish, 5.8
4. Arsene Wenger, French, 4.4
5. Ottmar Hitzfeld, German, 3.3
The same magazine has also published a list of the best paid footballers, and Luís Figo of Real Madrid is 10th. The Top 10 are:
1. David Beckham (GBR/Real Madrid), 25 m euros
2. Ronaldo (BRA/Real Madrid), 19.6
3. Zinedine Zidane (FRA/Real Madrid), 13
4. Christian Vieri (ITA/Inter), 12
5. Alessandro del Piero (ITA/Juventus), 9.5
6. Frank Lampard (ENG/Chelsea), 9.4
7. Raúl González (SP/Real Madrid), 9.3
8. Thierry Henry (FRA/Arsenal), 9.2
9. John Terry (ENG/Chelsea), 8.6
10. Luis Figo (POR/Real Madrid), 8.5
Boavista and coach Jaime Pacehco have parted company. Pacheco handed in his resignation after Friday's 0-1 defeat at Académica and it was accepted by the board. Boavista are fifth in the SuperLiga, which would give them a place in the UEFA Cup next season, but recent performances and results have been disappointing. Back-room coach Pedro Barny takes over as caretaker until the end of the season.
Naval and Estrela da Amadora joined Paços de Ferreira in the SuperLiga next season when they made certain of promotion from the Liga de Honra Saturday. Naval drew 0-0 at Varzim while Estrela beat Feirense 4-2 at home.
Portuguese coach José Mourinho has taken English Premier League side Chelsea to their first title in 50 years, clinched with a 2-0 win at Bolton.
Another Portuguese coach, Manuel José, has taken Al-Ahly to the Egyptian title. Al Ahly were unbeaten all season, dropping only four points.
Training at third division club Farense was halted for the second day in a row Wednesday after a shot was fired at the ground, presumably from a nearby building. The police collected the bullet and are investigating the incident.
Paços de Ferreira return straight away to the SuperLiga after clinching promotion from the Liga de Honra at the weekend. Almost certain to join them are Estrela da Amadora and Naval, both ten points clear of the team in fourth, Marco, with only five games left.
Chelsea coach José Mourinho has cancelled his contract with TV channel SIC for an interview programme. Mourinho claimed, among other things, that he was misquoted by the international press following the first of what was meant to be a series of monthly interviews.
National weekly Expresso reported Saturday that an FC Porto director, Reinaldo Telles, allegedly treated the match officials, including referee Jacinto Paixão, to a night with prostitutes prior to a game last season. FC Porto beat Estrela da Amadora 2-0 with two dubious goals in the 19th jornada. The lead for the story came from a written despatch, by the judge in charge of the so-called Apito Dourado ('Golden Whistle'), based on a phone tap on FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa.
National daily Correio da Manhã reported Sunday that should these facts be proven, FC Porto will be subject to automatic relegation to the Liga de Honra (second division), according to Article 51 of the Liga's disciplinary regulations.
FC Porto have been in contact with Dutch coach Co Adriaanse, 57, currently with AZ Alkmaar, about the possibility of him taking over from José Couceiro next season. Couceiro, who has not overly impressed in his short spell with the club, has been told he will have a place somewhere in the Porto organigram.
Beira-Mar wasted no time in appointing a new coach after Luís Campos resigned following Sunday's home defeat to Penafiel. Former coach of FC Porto, Sporting, Vitória de Guimarães and most recently Al Ahly of Qatar, Augusto Ignácio, signed Monday until the end of the season. His job will be to lift Beira-Mar off the bottom of the SuperLiga to safety in the seven games remaining.
Veteran midfielder Rui Costa has extended his contract with AC Milan until the summer of 2007. He has been with the club since the 2001/02 season.
Beira-Mar and Moreirense, respectively bottom and second from bottom of the SuperLiga, both lost their coaches Sunday, both through resignations after desperate home defeats. Luís Campos left his second club of the season (he was sacked from Gil Vicente) as his Beira-Mar went down 1-3 at home to Penafiel. Beir-Mar are now into their fourth coach of the season after Mick Wadsworth, Manuel Cajuda and now Luís Campos. Vítor Oliveira was on the receiving end of white handkerchiefs as his Moreirense went down 0-1 to Belenenses. He saw his position as untenable and in went his resignation.
José Mourinho is ready to quit Chelsea, according to sports daily A Bola. He is apparently not happy with the fact that the club did not appeal against his recent two-match ban. This was handed down by UEFA following an incident at the Barcelona v Chelsea Champions League game in February, where Mouurinho claimed that Barça coach Frank Rijkaard had been seen in the referee's room at half time. The referee of that game, the Swede Anders Frisk, subsequently gave up refereeing after receiving death threats, allegedly from Chelsea fans. Mourinho will not be able to be on the bench for Chelsea's two upcoming CL quarter-final games against Bayern Munich.
Chelsea have refused to comment on the news, claiming that it is a bad April Fool's joke.
Sporting Braga have been ordered to pay compensation of 830,000 euros (plus interest) to Spanish former coach Fernando Castro Santos, sacked last season with a season and a half left on his contract.
Rui Costa of AC Milan had a brush with death Tuesday when a private jet he was in crash-landed at Malpensa airport in Milan. He and his family were returning from holidays in Egypt.
The mother of Sporting's Brazilian midfielder Rogério has been kidnapped in Brazil. She was snatched from her home in Campinas, São Paulo, by three men on Monday night. There has been a spate of such crimes involving the mothers of Brazilian footballers recently, including FC Porto striker Luís Fabiano's. She has yet to be located.
The Portuguese Football Federation will sign a protocol Wednesday with the Portuguese fashion designer Fátima Lopes for the A team and the U-21's official suits.
Rui Rodrigues, up until now coach of the junior side, has been named as replacement for Mariano Barreto at Marítimo. Barreto resigned under a cloud of suspicion that he was allegedly involved in some way in the so-called Casa Pia paedophilia scandal.
Mariano Barreto has resigned as coach of Madeiran club Marítimo. Barreto has been linked to the Casa Pia paedophilia scandal, and cited the need to be in Lisbon to defend his good name as grounds for his resignation, which was accepted by the Marítimo board. Assistant coaches Nélson Calderia and Humberto Fernandes will take over provisionally and may stay in charge until the end of the season. Marítimo visit league leaders Benfica next, in two weeks' time.
Marítimo coach Mariano Barreto has been implicated in Portugal's 'Casa Pia' paedophilia scandal, currently the subject of a major trial in Lisbon. Barreto has said that he will seek legal redress for the stories that have emerged in the press connecting him to the case. Meanwhile, Marítimo see their dream of European football fading after a 1-2 home defeat, their first of the season, against Vitória de Guimarães.
FC Porto's Brazilian striker Luís Fabiano learned Friday that his mother had been kidnapped in São Paulo, Brazil. This follows similar recent incidents involving the mothers of players Robinho and Grafite. However, Luís Fabiano insisted that he continue on the team list for Friday's SuperLiga game against Nacional, which Porto lost 0-4.
Portuguese ref Paulo Costa will referee the upcoming England v Azerbaijan international in Group 6 of the 2006 World Cup qualifying phase. He will be assisted by Bertino Miranda, João Ferreira dos Santos and Paulo Paraty (fourth official).
José Mourinho won his first trophy for Chelsea Sunday when his team, containing the Portuguese players Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira and Tiago, beat Liverpool 3-2 after extra-time in a taut battle to take the English League Cup at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. Mourinho was, and will be, at the centre of a storm after being sent off following Chelsea's equaliser, an own goal by Steven gerrard. He appeared to be making a gesture to silence the Liverpool fans behind the bench, but later claimed that it was a gesture to silence the English press, which, he said, had the knives out after two straight defeats from his side. He also told Portuguese State TV channel RTP that he was incensed that the English press had been calling Portugal and himslef "third-world". He said that in England at the moment, there was only one coach who, like him, had won a Champions League: Sir Alex Ferguson. Mourinho can expect some flak from the English press after his controversial stance and comments.
José Mourinho's image is worth gold in England. The Chelsea coach, already on a salary reported to be seven million euros a year, will, according to the British daily The Times, make a further 4.5 million over the next 18 months from advertising alone. A recent one-hour shoot for American Express brought him one million euros.
Sporting's Chilean striker Pinilla has claimed he almost died Monday because of an antibiotic shot administered by the club's medical department. The player was asked if he was allergic to penicillin and he said no. But after the shot, he had a violent allergic reaction and was saved only by further shots to stop it.
Players of the Liga de Honra (second division) side Felgueiras are boycotting training until they are paid four months of salary owing to them. The club is third from bottom of the division.
Former Benfica president João Santos died Tueday, aged 90. He was voted in as president in 1987 and under him, Benfica went to two European Cup finals: against PSV Eindhoven in 1988 and AC Milan in 1990. (See UEFA article)
Sporting's Brazilian striker Liedson took his personal goalscoring tally to 18 at the weekend, making him the 14th best in Europe (positions calculated using a coefficient of difficulty of the respective leagues). The top 15 in Europe are:
1. Vincenzo Montella, AS Roma, (Ita), 18 goals
2. Samuel Eto´o, Barcelona, (Sp), 17
3. Thierry Henry, Arsenal, (Eng), 17
4. Andrew Johnson, Crystal Palace, (Eng), 15
5. Marek Mintál, Nürnberg, (Ger), 15
6. Ricardo Oliveira, Betis, (Sp), 15
7. Tomasz Frankowski, Wisla Kraków, (Pol), 19
8. Dirk Kuijt, Feyenoord, (Hol) 19
9. Frode Johnsen, Rosenborg, (Nor), 19
10. Adriano, Inter, (Ita), 14
11. Diego Forlán, Villarreal, (Sp), 14
12. Andriy Shevchenko, AC Milan, (Ita) 14
13. Vjateslav Zahovaiko, FC Flora, (Est) 28
14. Liedson, Sporting (Por) 18
15. Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Zenit, (Rus), 18
Belenenses, riding comfortably in mid-table and only five points away from the European places, have reported a profit for the financial year 2004 of 493,000 euros , which would have been greater but for extensive work to the club's Restelo stadium.
FC Porto have entered a press blackout in protest at the summary punishment (three and two games respectively) meted out by the Liga to Benni McCarthy and Seitaridis for violent conduct (proven via TV images) in two different games recently. The club are unhappy about the arbitrary nature of the punishment. The blackout is expected to last at least until the crucial clássico against Benfica at the end of the month.
Twenty-six coaches from the junior levels of Penafiel have resigned following the appointment of ex-player at the club Drulovic as chief coach of the juniors. The president of Penafiel is António Oliveira, formerly FC Porto and Portugal coach.
Ernie Walker, the Scot who became a familiar face in Portugal in the run-up to the EURO 2004 tournament on his regular visits as stadium inspector for UEFA, will receive Saturday the Gold Medal for International Merit from the Portuguese Football Federation. The presentation will be made by the FPF president Gilberto Madaíl in Leiria.
Sporting Braga's offices were broken into in the early hours of Tuesday morning and a sum of money and a number of tickets for Saturday's game against Benfica were stolen. The club has warned fans about buying tickets from touts because the stolen ones are apparently easily traceable
Sporting's 0-3 defeat at Marítimo Sunday had its repercussions at home: the club's share price fell by 5.42% and the vice-president, Miguel Ribeiro Teles resigned.
Vitória de Guimarães coach Manuel Machado has not, after all, left the club, although he recently offered his resignation (as reported here). The recent upturn in the team's fortunes seems to have convinced both him and the fans that he's the right man for the job ... for the moment, at least.
Felgueiras, second from bottom of the Liga de Honra (second division), are in dire financial straits and may have to withdraw from the championshjip. the players have not been paid for four months, and coach Diamantino Miranda resigned Monday in protest.
Beira-Mar have fired Slovakian defender Marian Zeman. The player allegedly left for his Christmas holidays before time and without permission, and the club immediately set into motion disciplinary procedures aginst him which have now reached their end.
The man chosen to replace sacked coach Vítor Fernandez at FC Porto is José Couceiro, up until Monday coach at Vitória de Setúbal. Couceiro, 42, was previously at Alverca and signs for the European Champions on a one-and-a-half year contract. "FC Porto have only one objective for this year - to be national champions," he said.
The deadline has come and gone for the professional clubs to pay the State a total of 18 million euros in back taxes, and the Government has rejected appeals from the Football Federation and the Liga to re-evaluate the amount. If payment is not forthcoming, the Government will enforce it.
FC Porto and Spanish coach Vítor Fernandez have parted ways. Brought in to replace Italian Luigi Neri at the beginning of the season, Fernandez never really left his mark and leaves after an unheard-of third home defeat Sunday in the SuperLiga (against Braga, 1-3). Porto won the Portuguese SuperTaça and the Intercontinental Cup this season, but were knocked out of the Taça de Portugal and dropped a lot of points in the SuperLiga, which left them in second behind Braga as at Sunday.
Vitória de Guimarães are in the market for a new coach after Manuel Machado handed in his resignation Wednesday when his side lost 3-1 at Vitória de Setúbal in the Taça. The team have been struggling to find their form in the SuperLiga and have stalled in mid-table. The defeat at Setúbal will have been the last straw for the former Moreirense coach.
International referee Lucílio Baptista was heard by the Portuguese fraud squad Thursday in the context of the Apito Dourado ('Golden Whistle') case, but it was reported that he gave evidence as a witness only. Apito Dourado, an action to combat corruption in Portuguese football which was set into motion in April 2004, now has 23 in the dock, including Liga president Valentim Loureiro, FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, Isabel Damasceno (Mayoress of Leiria) and a number of match officials.
FC Porto's Benni McCarthy is on the short-list to be named African Player of the Year. The other players on the five-man list are Emmer Adebayor (Mónaco), Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona) and Jay-Jay Okocha (Bolton).
The Minister of Finance, Bagão Félix, has demanded bank guarantees from the professional clubs to cover the approximately 19 million euros owed to the taxman. It seems that the Minister wants to clear the debt ahead of February's legislative elections.
National Team coach Luís Felipe Scolari has told Lisbon daily A Capital that he intends to stay in coaching for only five or six more years, after which time he will move into 'sports consultancy'. He did not rule out the possibility of renewing his contract with the FPF when it expires in June 2006.
João Carlos Pereira, who recently parted company with Académica, has been named the new coach of Nacional of Madeira to replace Casemiro Mior, who will take charge of the team for the last time against Sporting at the weekend.
It seems that there will be no Portuguese referees at the World Cup Finals in Germany in 2006. The preliminary list of 46 officials that will be tested in the coming months does not contain a single Portuguese.
The Brazilian press reported Wednesday that Nacional coach Casemiro Mior is set to move to Brasileirão runners-up Atlético Paranaense. Nacional were fourth in the SuperLiga under Mior last season but are struggling to find their rhythm this.
Former Benfica president João Vale e Azevedo was sentenced to a total prison term of six years Tuesday. He has already served three years of a term for wrongdoing over the transfer of Russian goalkeeper Ovchinnikov from Alverca to Benfica in the late 90s: To that has now been added three counts of forgery with respect to the so-called 'EuroArea' affair, involving land on which the old Estádio da Luz stood. He was found not guilty of embezzlement from the club and money- laundering. Vale e Azevedo is likely to appeal.
Artur Jorge, who has been the coach of FC Porto, Benfica, PSG and the Portuguese national team, among others, has signed a year-and-a-half contract with the Cameroonian national team. He will be joined by Raúl Águas as his assistant.
Practically all of the press ran stories Monday about a supposed crisis at Benfica, who slipped to fifth after the defeat Saturday at Sporting. There was talk of trouble in the changing room after the game, and indirect calls for coach Giovanni Trapattoni to be shown the door. However, president Luís Filipe Vieira appeared on TV in the evening to try to pour oil on troubled waters, saying that he had faith in the Italian and implying that he would be there for the duration.
Lisbon airport had a throughput of 10.7 million passengers in 2004, an all-time record for the country. The figure was swelled with visitors for the Euro 2004 tournament.
Sporting coach José Peseiro has picked up a two-week suspension for misconduct in the recent Sporting v Pampilhosa Taça de Portugal tie. The suspension takes effect as from notification, so Peseiro will be able to coach from the bench for the Sporting v Benfica clássico Saturday.
The Federação and the Liga are hoping to meet the Minister of Finance, Bagão Félix, in the near future to discuss football's controversial tax debt claimed by the tax authorities. According to the Ministry, football (the clubs, the Federação and the Liga) owe 21 million euros. The amount was arrived at by calculating the shortfall in receipts from the pools-like lottery TotoBola.since 1996. Dubbed TotoNegócio ('TotoBusiness'), receipts were meant to contribute to the clubs' tax bills over that period, but TotoBola's popularity has plummeted in the face of competition from TotoLoto and the new European lottery. The Ministry wants the money to be paid by the football authorities, and has threatened to take enforcement measures such as seizing players' passes.
União de Leiria's Brazilian ´keeper Helton has been voted player of the month of December by the Players' Union. "99.9% of this distinction belongs to my teammates," he said.
The FC Porto squad who recently won the Interconintental Cup, to round off two years of brilliant achievement, were awarded Medals of Sporting Merit by the Prime Minister, Pedro Santana Lopes Wednesday. "Portugal should be proud of FC Porto," he said.
A group of Sporting Braga fans were attacked by Celta skinheads after Tuesday's game in Vigo to raise funds for the tsunami victims. One of the fans was stabbed in the back, but he was not seriously wounded. There were a mere 1,000 in the stands for the game.