Daily tabloid Correio da Manhã warned Monday of possible unrest within the Portuguese squad come the Euro 2004 tournament given the domestic tax laws that will mean that footballers resident in the country, i.e. players like Simão of Benfica and Deco of FC Porto, will have to pay tax on any earnings from the competition, while 'emigrants' like Figo and Pauleta will not.
Portugal are in Group 3 for the World Cup qualifiers. It's a relatively accessible group ,,, in theory. Portugal's opponents will be: Russia, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Estonia and Slovakia . Games will be played between September 4th 2004 and October 12th 2005. The winners of each group will qualify, along with the two best second teams. The remaining six second teams will play off.
Portugal will be seeded in Friday's draw for the 2006 World Cup, to be held in Germany, thus avoiding the theoretically most difficult teams. The pots look like this:
POT A - Portugal, France, Sweden, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, England, Turkey;
POT B - Holland, Croatia, Belgium, Denmark, Russia, Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Poland;
POT C - Bulgaria, Romania, Scotland, Sebia and Montenegro, Swizerland, Greece, Slovakia, Austria;
POT D - Ukriane, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Israel, Bosnia, Latvia, Wales;
POT E - Hungary, Georgia, Bielorussia, Cyprus, Estonia, Northern Ireland, Lithuania, Macedonia;
POT F - Albania, Armenia, Moldovia, Azerbaijan, Fa roe Islands, Malta, San Marino, Liechtenstein;
POT G - Andorra, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan.
The draw for the finals of the European Championship at U-21 level will take place on February 12th, 2004 in the country that will host the Championship. The host country will be decided by UEFA on December 10/11th. The only countries to have applied to host the competition were Germany and France ... but were knocked out in qualifying by Portugal.
Portugal thrashed a weak Kuwait side 8-0 Wednesday in a friendly to mark the inauguration of the Leiria Municipal Stadium, which will be used at Euro 2004. The result will do wonders for the squad's confidence and will go some way to reconciling the team to the fans, who had appeared to lose faith of late. But as a test or preparation for the battles to come at Euro 2004, it was next to worthless.
There were four goals in each half and were scored by Pauleta (4), Nuno Gomes (3) and Figo.
Portugal lined up:
Quim, Miguel, Fernando Couto, Jorge Andrade, Rui Jorge, Costinha, Deco, Rui Costa, Figo, Pauleta, Simão - plus: Rogério Matias, Beto, Caneira, Boa Morte, Nuno Gomes.
Portugal's U-21s pulled off a famous comeback over the two legs of the European Championship qualifying play-off against France Tuesday. Trailing from a 1-2 defeat on Portuguese soil at the weekend, Portugal mirrored the 2-1 score to make it all square over the two legs. Extra time brought no deciding goal so it went to penalties, which Portugal won 4-1. Portugal's first goal had come on 36 minutes from Cristiano Ronaldo , but France were level on 42 through Cissé. There was still time before the break for the same Cissé to get sent off, and Portugal were grateful for the help. Bruno Alves headed the 'winner' on the night a quarter of an hour from the end.
Portugal lined up:
Moreira, Mário Sérgio, João Paulo (Makukula, 52 m), Bruno Alves, Ricardo Costa, Tiago (Carlos Martins, 90 m), Raul Meireles, Hugo Viana (Lourenço, 46 m), Ricardo Quaresma, Hélder Postiga, Cristiano Ronaldo
Following a controversial week in the life of the Selecção, the FPF president Gilberto Madaíl gave a defiant interview to the radio station Antena 1 Monday, speaking of his "sadness and bitterness" at the way the National Team is being treated by the fans: they were whistling within five minutes of the kick-off against Greece Saturday. "Players like Figo can't be treated the way they were in Aveiro," he said. "The fans' behaviour was shameful ... We were invited [to inaugurate the stadium] and UEFA, who were present, also didn't like what they saw and heard in the Estádio Municipal de Aveiro, one of the venues for Euro 2004 ... I hope that the disgraceful behaviour of the public in Aveiro is not repeated in other stadiums ... if it is, we'll have to look for stadiums where the public supports the Selecção ... We have to be aware that we have a good national team, but that it's not the best in Europe and the World."
Luís Figo also reacted to the whistling: "If you want to whistle, whistle me, but let the Selecção play ... you can't crucify anyone for making simple mistakes."
The police withdrew a banner put out at the National Stadium during the team's training Monday. "You earn millions; at least put in some decent performances", it read.
Portugal's U-21s are in France ahead of the second leg of the play-off for entry into the European Championship for that level. They lost the first leg 1-2 in Guimarães Friday, despite the presence of players like Hugo Viana, Quaresma and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Portugal drew 1-1 with Greece Saturday in a friendly that was simultaneously an excuse to inaugurate the Municipal Stadium at Aveiro, one of those to be used at Euro 2004. Portugal had a prime opporunity to take the lead on the half hour when Karagounis was sent off for a hand-ball in the area, but Figo's spot kick was saved easily by Nikopolidis.A minute into the second half, Venetidis crossed for an unmarked Lakis to head home. But Figo redeemed himself a little on the hour when he crossed for Pauleta to eventually hit home.
Portugal lined up: Ricardo, Miguel, Fernando Couto (Beto, 69 m), Jorge Andrade (Marco Caneira, 76 m), Rui Jorge (Rogério Matias, 72 m), Costinha, Figo, Rui Costa, Deco, Boa Morte (Simão, 46 m), Pauleta
The stadium was full (30,000) for the inauguration, but the atmosphere not so good. The Portuguese are still coming to terms with some unfortunate declarations from coach Scolari Friday (including the implication that he is prejudiced against the North and FC Porto in particular, the absence of Baía in the squad being criticised the length and breadth of the country). He was jeered throughout, and the less than brilliant performance by his side really was not able to warm the fans to him.
The almost 30,000 tickets issued for Saturday's friendly between Portugal and Greece, which will inaugurate the new Municipal Stadium at Aveiro, had to be returned and replaced. The plan of the stadium printed on the tickets was wrong.
Petit is out of the Portugal squad for the game through injury.
The players mysteriously failed to show up to a post-training press conference at the National Stadium Thursday.
Felipe Scolari has named his squad for the upcoming friendlies against Greece and Kuwait. Surprises are the return of Caneira, Petit, Nuno Gomes and Rogério Matias. Players like Ronaldo, Quaresma and Hélder Postiga have been called up for the U-21s.
Goalkeepers: Ricardo (Sporting), Quim (Sp. Braga);
Defenders: Miguel (Benfica), Caneira (Bordeaux), Jorge Andrade (D. Corunha), Fernando Couto (Lázio), Rogério Matias (V. Guimarães), Beto and Rui Jorge (Sporting);
Midfielders: Petit (Benfica), Rui Costa (A.C. Milan), Luís Figo (Real Madrid), Costinha and Deco (FC Porto);
Forwards: Luís Boa Morte (Fulham), Simão (Benfica), Pauleta (PSG), Nuno Gomes (Benfica).
Luís Figo told cable TV channel SportTV Monday that he will give up the Selecção after Euro 2004, but will continue to play for Real Madrid [or for whichever other club he finds himself with at the time]. Assistant to Felipe Scolari with the National Squad, Agostinho Oliveira, has already begun to single out possible substitutes for the influential player: Simão Sabrosa (Benfica), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Ricardo Quaresma (Barcelona) and Marco Ferreira (FC Porto) are some of the possiibe options, according to the veteran coach.
Portugal drew the short straw in the draw for the U-21 Euro play-offs Monday: they got France! First legs are on the 15th/16th November, second legs 18th/19th. The tournament itself will be played out May 17-June 8. The complete draw was:
Germany - Turkey
PORTUGAL - France
Denmark - Italy
Serbia and Montenegro - Norway
Bielorussia - Poland
Sweden - Spain
Croatia - Scotland
Switzerland - Czech Republic
Portugal beat Albania 5-3 Saturday, but the score belied various failings in the Portuguese side, apart from the fact that at least two of the Portuguese goals were gifts from a shaky Albanian 'keeper.
It was the 100th game for central defender and captain Fernando Couto, and a record 36th in a row for PSG's Pauleta (beating the record previously set by Mário Coluna in the 60s), but the Selecção das Quinas never impressed, and indeed, in the first half it was the Albanians that looked the more 'together' side.
Figo scored a typical Figo goal on six minutes, cutting in from the right and feinting past two defenders to drive a shot through the 'keeper, but although Pauleta hit the woodwork twice, it was Albania who proved the more effective, nabbing two before the break through Aliaj and Tare, the latter on the stroke of half time, which brought a chorus of jeers as the Portuguese side went off at the break
In fact, there weren't many fans at the game, played at the Belenenses Stadium in Restelo, on the outskirts of Lisbon. But those that were there were at least treated to a kind of comeback (although this is not what was needed - a comeback against Albania!?) in the second half. With Simão, Hugo Viana and Ricardo Carvalho on the pitch, Portugal looked a little better, and Simão it was who equalised on 50, followed by goals from Rui Costa and Pauleta to make it 4-2. Aliaj forced another goal on the hour, though, and it was left to Miguel on 65 minutes to finally give Portugal a bit of breathing space.
This was a victory for Portugal, it's true, but what is worrying is the fact that for long spells, Portugal seemed like they didn't have any smooth cohesion between the sections, while Albania regularly showed that they had automatisms created and working. With only half a dozen preparation games left for Portugal before the real thing, Scolari should be worried. And if he isn't, then Portuguese fans should be worried.
Portugal lined up:
Ricardo (Quim, 68m), Paulo Ferreira (Miguel, 62m), Fernando Couto, Jorge Andrade (Ricardo Carvalho, 46m), Rui Jorge (Nuno Valente, 62m), Costinha (Beto, 75m), Tiago (Hugo Viana, 46m), Figo (Boa Morte, 68m), Rui Costa (Frechaut, 64m), Ronaldo (Simão, 46m), Pauleta.
Portugal U-21s strolled past Slovakia 4-1 Friday to go into the play-offs for next year's Euro Championship for the level. Barcelona's Ricardo Quaresma gave Portugal an early lead on nine minutes, and the only time they looked at all rattled was when Slovakia managed an equaliser on 14 through Jez. The rest of the half belonged to Portugal, Lourenço of Sporting and Hélder Postiga of Tottenham adding one each. Portugal took their foot off the accelerator in the second half, but were home free with a fourth goal five minutes from time through Hélder Postiga once again. The draw for the play-offs will take place on Monday in Frankfurt, and the games will be over two legs on the 15th and 19th of November.
Portugal lined up:
Moreira, Mário Sérgio, Ricardo Costa, João Paulo, Hugo Luz, Bosingwa, Raul Meireles (Ednilson, 74 m), Danny (Carlos Martins, 49 m), Ricardo Quaresma (Cândido Costa, 85 m), Hélder Postiga, Lourenço
Felipe Scolari called up FC Porto's in-form central defender Ricardo Carvalho for the upcoming friendly against Albania. Also called up are Ronaldo of Manchester United and Hugo Viana of Newcastle. Out are Fernando Meira of Stuttgart, FC Porto's Maniche and Sérgio Conceição of Lázio. Fernando Couto of Lázio is set to make his 100th appearance.
Goalkeepers: Ricardo (Sporting), Quim (Sporting Braga)
Defenders: Nuno Valente & Ricardo Carvalho (FC Porto), Fernando Couto (Lázio), Jorge Andrade (Deportivo), Beto & Rui Jorge (Sporting), Miguel (Benfica)
Midfielders: Costinha & Deco (FC Porto), Frechaut (Boavista), Rui Costa (AC Milan), Hugo Viana (Newcastle)
Forwards: Luís Boa Morte (Fulham), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Pauleta (PSG), Figo (Real Madrid), Simão (Benfica)
The National Team will play Albania at Belenenses' Restelo Stadium on October 11th, and they will play Kuwait at what will be the inauguration of Leiria's Stadium on November 19th. (see results/fixtures)
National Team Coach, the Brazilian Felipe Scolari, is back in Brazil. He walked 18 kms to a Sanctuary near Goiânia to thank God for helping to get Brazil their fifth World Cup last year. He said "it just depends on faith and work" to achieve everything in life.
All being well, captain Fernando Couto will make his 100th appearance for the Selecção on October 11th in the friendly against Albania. His début was on 19/12/90 against the USA. He has scored six goals and has seen one red card.
While it was not a perfect performance, Portugal improved greatly on Saturday's form against Spain to beat Norway 1-0 in Oslo. The Portuguese appeared to have more heart for the fray, and there was more cohesion between the various sectors. Pauleta got the goal after just nine minutes from a neat through pass by Rui Costa. On the hour, Norway had a goal (Iverson) disallowed for an offside that didn't exist.
Coach Scolari refused to get euphoric, however: "We've still got a long way to go, and we may slip up again. But today we recovered well and the future's looking bright for us."
Portugal lined up:
Ricardo, Miguel, Fernando Couto, Jorge Andrade, Rui Jorge, Costinha, Frechaut (Beto), Figo, Rui Costa (Deco) Boa Morte, Pauleta.
A much-improved Portugal U-21 side (relative to the recent disappointment against Turkey) needed a goal scored with the hand of Tottenham's Hélder Postiga to beat England Tuesday at Everton's Goodison Park stadium in the North of England. Portugal got off to a bright start, Barcelona winger Quaresma clipping a free-kick from out wide on the left inside the near post. The first half hour then belonged to Portugal, but they let England claw their way back and on 37 minutes, the Portuguese defence failed to clear its lines and Barton rammed his shot past Moreira.
It was Moreira who kept Portugal in the game in the second half with a series of vital saves, while Hugo Viana of Newcastle was the most influential outfield player, tying the visitors' game together. Then ten minutes from time, Hélder Postiga guided the ball into the England goal with his hand and the three points were won, albeit illegally. Portugal keep their hopes alive of going through to the final stages of the European Championship at this level. Their final game is against Slovakia.
Giant striker John Carew is out of Norway's squad to play Portugal in a friendly Wednesday's friendly after he was in a tussle with Riise in training. The Valencia (loaned to Roma) player was sent home.
Meanwhile, coach Felipe Scolari is likely to make three changes to his starting line-up relative to the team that played and lost so dismally to Spain Saturday. Andrade, Boa Morte and Frechaut will replace Fernando Meira, Sérgio Conceição and Maniche respectively, the latter injured.
FC Porto midfielder Maniche has been relieved from national team duty with an injured thigh. There is a slight doubt over whether Figo will be fit for the midweek friendly against Norway. The real Madrid forward has a shoulder problem, picked up in the Spanish game.
The National squad's training session scheduled for Sunday was cancelled, the players spending the day in their hotel "recuperating", according the the FPF, after their demoralising defeat at the hands of Spain Saturday.
Portugal put in yet another sorry performance in their preparation for next year's EURO 2004, this time against eternal rivals Spain, losing, and deservedly so, 0-3. (See match reports). Portugal haven't beaten Spain in over 20 years, and Portuguese coach Felipe Scolari was the first to admit that Spain were superior on the night. The match was the first international at Vitória de Guimarães newly upgraded D. Afonso Henriques stadium.
Portugal's U-21s lost 1-2 at home to their Turkish counterparts Friday and put at risk their qualification for the European Championships at this level. Portugal, with on paper a dream team of a midfield/forward line (Hugo Viana, Tiago and Bosingwa in the middle, Cristiano Ronaldo, Hélder Postiga and Quaresma in attack) had most of the possession but could not convert the many chances that came their way, while Turkey had few attacks but made the most of them. Kemal put Turkey in front ten minutes before half-time, Sporting's Lourenço, on as sub, equalised ten minutes into the second half but Halil qualified Turkey automatically for the finals a quarter of an hour from the end.
Spain's coach Iñaki Saez has admitted that he would really rather not be playing such a difficult team as Portugal (scheduled for Saturday) at this time, given that Spain have not yet qualified for EURO 2004 and have a vital tie against the Ukraine next Wednesday.
Benfica winger Simão Sabrosa has been released from international duty because of an injured foot. He will miss the upcoming friendlies against Spain and Norway (06/09 and 10/09 respectively) but will not be replaced.
Felipe Scolari's squad was named Saturday to face Spain and Norway in upcoming friendlies. Vítor Baía is still not in Scolari's good books, but Boavista's Frechaut returns as does Sporting Braga's 'keeper Quim as understudy to Sporting's Ricardo.
Goalkeepers: Ricardo (Sporting), Quim (Sp. Braga)
Defenders: Fernando Couto (Lazio), Rui Jorge (Sporting), Beto (Sporting) Fernando Meira (Stuttgart), Jorge Andrade (Deportivo), Miguel (Benfica), Nuno Valente (FC Porto), Frechaut (Boavista)
Midfielders: Rui Costa (AC Milan), Deco (FC Porto), Maniche (FC Porto), Costinha (FC Porto), Sérgio Conceição (Lazio), Luís Figo (Real Madrid)
Forwards: Simão Sabrosa (Benfica), Pauleta (Paris Saint-Germain), Boa Morte (Fulham)
Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Vale, Ricardo Quaresma, Hugo Viana, Hélder Postiga and Tiago have all been called up for the U-21s who face England and Turkey shortly in the European qualifiers for that level.
Portugal beat, but far from convincingly, Kazakhstan Wednesday. Simão Sabrosa got the only goal on 64 minutes after a faulty clearance by Soloshenko.
Portugal lined up:
Ricardo (Bruno Vale(, Miguel, Fernando Meira (Jorge Andrade), Fernando Couto, Rui Jorge (Nuno Valente), Costinha (Maniche), (Rui costa (Cristiano Ronaldo), Hugo Viana, Luis Figo (Simao), Pauleta (Heeder Postiga)
Felipe Scolari has named his squad to face Kazakhstan next week. The surprises are a call-up for 18-year-old winger Cristiano Ronaldo, recently signed by Manchester United from Sporting, and FC Porto's third choice ´keeper Bruno Vale. The latter choice has caused some consternation in the Porto camp, being seen as a snub to first choice ´keeper Vítor Baía, inexplicably out of favour with Scolari.
Goalkeepers: Ricardo (Sporting), Bruno Vale (FC Porto).
Defenders: Miguel (Benfica), Fernando Couto (Lázio), Fernando Meira (Stuttgart), Jorge Andrade (Coruña), Rui Jorge (Sporting), Nuno Valente (FC Porto)
Midfielders: Costinha/Maniche/Deco (FC Porto), Rui Costa (Milan), Hugo Viana (Newcastle)
Forwards: Figo (Real Madrid), Simão (Benfica), Cristiano Ronaldo (M. Utd), Pauleta (PSG), Postiga (Tottenham).
Portugal have dropped one place in the FIFA rankings to 16th, mainly due to the lack of competitive games (Portugal qualify automatically for EURO 2004 as hosts). The top places:
11. Czech Republic
Portugal lost 0-2 to Italy in the final of the U-19 European Championship Saturday. Della Rocca and Pazzoni got the goals for Italy on 2 and 26 minutes respectively. Portugal put pressure on in the second half, but their heads eventually went and they were guilty of some horrific clashes with Italian players (Amoreirinha should have been sent off twice, once for stomping on the head of an Italian forward, once for kicking another forward in the back), Flávio Igor actually did two minutes from time for a potentially leg-breaking tackle in midfield.
Portugal's U-19s beat Austria 6-3 Wedensday to go through to the final of the European Championship, in which they will play Italy (who beat the Czech Republic 1-0). Portugal had to go to the Silver Goal to beat Austria (3-3, 6-3)
Samsung is the new sponsor of the National Team.
Portugal's friendly away to Norway, scheduled for September 10th, will probably not now take place owing to a disagreement between the respective associations with regard to fees. Portugal are likely to re-arrange another game for the same date, this time on home soil.
Portugal have dropped from 14th to 15th in the FIFA rankings, overtaken by the Republic of Ireland. Brazil remain top, while France take over from Spain in second place.
Portugal U-20s beat Italy 3-1 in the final of the Toulon Tournament Saturday. They had beaten Turkey to earn their place in the final, and started strongly. After 26 minutes, however, Hugo Almeida was sent off for elbowing. But Portugal did not fold, and before the break, Italy also had a players sent off: Vovo.
In the second half, another Italian player, Gastaldello, saw a red, but nevertheless they went in front on 68 minutes through Ruopolo. Portuguese coach Rui Caçador amde changes and these were to prove vital. Sub João Paiva equalised on 73, then another sub Danny put Portugal in front for the first time on 77. Following the goal, there was trouble between the two benches, and an Italian coach appeared to have been assaulted. The game was held up for around ten minutes, but when they resumed, Portugal showed all the composure in the world to hang on to their lead and then extend it in the dying seconds through João Paiva once again.
It is Portugal's third Toulon win; they also won in 1992 and 2001.
Portugal's U-20 side faltered Tuesday in the Toulon Tournament. After beating England and Argentina, both by 3-0, the Portuguese came up against a brick wall in the form of the Japanese, and despite dominating they lost to a goal in added time. Portugal must now beat Turkey in their last group game to be sure of going through to the next phase.
Portugal beat Bolivia easily in a friendly at the National Stadium near Lisbon Tuesday in front of a poor crowd; it was a national holiday (Dia de Portugal) and the weather was more conducive to the beach than football.
The game, arguably irrelevant as preparation for Euro 2004, was notable for the 4-0 scoreline, Scolari playing two strikers, the two goals by young FC Porto striker Hélder Postiga and the début at the top level of Sporting's winger Ricardo Quaresma, on as sub.
Portugal dominated throughout and were 3-0 up at half time, all headers from Jorge Andrade, Fernando Couto and Postiga. Postiga added a second to his tally in the second half, knocking in at the back post an inch-perfect long pass from Hugo Viana.
Portugal lined up:
Ricardo (Quim, 60 m), Paulo Ferreira (Silas, 64 m), Fernando Couto (Beto, 57 minutos), Jorge Andrade, Rui Jorge (Rogério Matias, 46 m), Sérgio Conceição, Maniche (Luís Loureiro, 46 m), Tiago, Hugo Viana, Hélder Postiga, Pauleta (Quaresma, 46 m).
FC Porto midfielder Deco has pulled out of the Selecção's friendly with Bolivia Tuesday through injury. A torn muscle in his thigh has betrayed him. Scolari has already had to call up young players Tiago (Benfica), Hugo Viana (Newcastle) and Quaresma (Sporting) to replace Figo, Rui Costa and Fernando Meira (see below).
Figo, Rui Costa and Fernando Meira will be rested for the friendly against Bolivia at the National Stadium Tuesday. The FPF have decided to pre-empt any potential problems with their release by the respective clubs for future preparation games in the run-up to the Euro 2004 proper. FIFA regulations state that clubs are only obliged to cede players for eight games in any calendar year. By December, Portugal will have played 12, thus the caution.
Portugal drew 0-0 with Paraguay Friday in a friendly played at Sporting de Braga's 1º de Maio Stadium in front of 17,000 spectators. Portugal had most of the possession and most of the chances, but they could not make the domination pay against a well-organised Paraguayan defence.
Portugal lined up:
Ricardo, Paulo Ferreira (Silas, 75 m), Fernando Meira, Fernando Couto, Rui Jorge, Luís Loureiro (Deco, 46 m), Maniche, Rui Costa; Figo, Pauleta (Hélder Postiga, 60 m), Sérgio Conceição.
Meanwhile, in Group 7 of the qualifiers for the European Championship, Portugal's U-21 team did a little better against Macedonia in Skopje, beating the local side 4-1 with goals by Makukula , Tiago, Jorge Ribeiro and Bruno Alves, Postolov getting a consolation five minutes from time.
Portugal lined up:
Moreira, Pedro Neves, Ricardo Costa, Bruno Alves, Jorge Ribeiro, Ednilson (Bosingwa, 72 m), Tiago (Manuel José, 73 m), Hugo Viana, Ricardo Quaresma (Lourenço, 85 m), Makukula, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Portugal play Paraguay in Braga on Friday in a friendly to prepare for next year's Euro 2004 championship. The squad:
Goalkeepers: Ricardo (Boavista), Quim (Braga)
Defenders: Paulo Ferreira (FC Porto), Beto and Rui Jorge (Sporting), Fernando Couto (Lazio), Rogério Matías (Vitória de Guimarães). Fernando Meira (Stuttgart), Jorge Andrade (Dep. Coruña)
Midfielders: Luis Loureiro (Gil Vicente), Maniche and Deco (FC Porto), Sérgio Conceição (Inter Milan), Figo (Real Madrid), Rui Costa (AC Milan), Hugo Viana (Newcastle), tiago (Benfica), Silas (União de Leiria).
Forwards: Quaresma (Sporting), Pauleta (Bordeaux), Hélder Postiga (FC Porto).
Silas has been called in to replace the injured Simão Sabrosa.
Portugal are Champions of Europe at Under 17 level. In a thrilling final in Viseu against Spain, midfielder Márcio Sousa gave Portugal the lead with a dipping volley on the run from the edge of the box after 21 minutes. Sanchez headed Spain level just after the break, but it was Sousa again who hit a lofted free-kick from the right to give Portugal the trophy. Austria were third, beating England 2-1 in the consolation game.
Portugal's U-17 side beat England 3-2 Wednesday to go through to the final of the European Championship being held in Portugal. They now meet Spain in the final on Saturday.
The friendly between the USA and Portugal, scheduled for June 5th (see below) has been cancelled, apparently due to differences over sponsorship of the game and other marketing factors. The Portuguese team may still travel to the USA later in the year. Meanwhile, Paraguay and Colombia have been mooted as possible oppents for the Selecção, this time at home, on June 6th and 10th (yet to be confirmed).
Portugal will play the USA on June 5th (early morning of the 6th in Europe) at the Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. The match will be preceded by a Major League Soccer match between Revolution and Dallas.
Portugal drew 1-1 with Holland in Eindhoven Wednesday in another game of preparation for Euro 2004. In a game of varying phases of pressure, Kluivert put Holland in front on 26 minutes and Benfica winger Simão's shot deflected off Frank de Boer on 77 for the equaliser. Portugal lined up:
Ricardo, Miguel, Fernando Meira, Fernando Couto, Rui Jorge, Tiago (Luís Loureiro), Maniche (Sérgio Conceição), Luís Figo (Hugo Viana), Rui Costa (Deco), Simão, Pauleta (Nuno Gomes).
The U-21s drew 2-2 with Norway in a friendly Tuesday. Makukula and his substitute Pedro Oliveira got Portugal's goals, sandwiching those by Karadas and Ystaas . Portugal lined up:
Moreira, Pedro Neves (Ricardo Pessoa), Bruno Alves, Santamaria (Cadu), Jorge Ribeiro; Ednilson (Joca), Manuel José (Lourenço), João Paulo (Raul Meireles), Ricardo Quaresma, Cristiano Ronaldo (Danny), Makukula (Pedro Oliveira).
Felipe Scolari named his 19-man squad Friday for the upcoming friendly with Holland in Eindhoven (April 30th). There are no real surprises, except perhaps the continued absence of Vítor Baía ; the FC Porto goalkeeper is going through an excellent patch of form, and his confidence level is high. The full squad:
Goalkeepers: Ricardo (Boavista), Quim (Sporting Braga)
Defenders: Rogério Matias (Vitória de Guimarães), Fernando Meira (Stuttgart), Fernando Couto (Lázio), Beto and Rui Jorge (Sporting), Miguel (Benfica)
Midfielders: Luís Loureiro (Gil Vicente), Deco and Maniche (FC Porto), Tiago (Benfica), Hugo Viana (Newcastle), Sérgio Conceição (Inter Milan), Rui Costa (Milan), Luís Figo (Real Madrid)
Forwards: Nuno Gomes and Simão (Benfica), Pauleta (Bordeaux)
Portugal's Brazilian coach Felipe Scolari told CBN Radio (Brazil) Wednesday that after Euro 2004, he hopes to stay in Europe for four or five years, but with a club because he misses the day-to-day contact with the players.
Scolari will name his squad for the friendly with Holland in Eindhoven (April 30th) on Friday, after the possible injury situation is known of FC Porto and Boavista players, involved in Thursday night's UEFA cup semi-finals.
Portugal maintain 12th place in the FIFA rankings published Wednesday. Brazil remain top.
The FPF are heading for a clash with the clubs, specifically FC Porto and União de Leiria. The clubs want the Cup Final to be brought forward to give the players more of a break in the summer,. but the FPF is sticking to the date (June 15th), saying that it was set in May 2002 and agreed then by the clubs. The National Team has the dates of June 7th and 11th set aside for friendlies, yet to be finalised since the tour to the Far East was called off. A tour of the USA is now in the pipeline.
The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) have announced that the tour of the Far-East, scheduled for June, has had to be cancelled owing to the threat of the burgeoning SARS epidemic.
Portugal continued their good beginning with Felipe Scolari at the helm when they beat Macedonia 1-0 Wednesday in Lausanne, Switzerland. Luís Figo, back in the team after injury, scored the only goal on 25 minutes (his 28th for Portugal) following a touch from Sérgio Conceição. He was substituted on 57 minutes by Simão, and newcomer Deco only came on after 63, so the two have yet to play together. Figo was openly critical of the recent naturalisation of the Brazilian Deco.
Portugal lined up:
Ricardo, Paulo Ferreira, Fernando Meira (Jorge Andrade), Fernando Couto, Rui Jorge (Rogério Matias), Costinha, Maniche (Luís Loureiro), Rui Costa (Deco), Sérgio Conceição (Silas), Pauleta (Nuno Gomes), Figo (Simão).
Midfielder Silas of União de Leiria and Rogério Matías of Vitória de Guimarães made their débuts for the Selecção. There have been 19 débuts since the World Cup fiasco, seven of them under Scolari: Paulo Ferreira, João Manuel Pinto, Nuno Valente, Jorge Silva, Neca, Marco Ferreira, Romeu, Ricardo Rocha, Tiago, Jorge Ribeiro, Pedro Mendes and Nuno Assis (with Agostinho Oliveira as coach), and Pedro Mendes, Hélder Postiga, Miguel, Maniche, Deco, Silas and Rogério Matias (under Scolari).
Portugal U-21s beat Slovakia 2-0 Tuesday in Group 7 of the qualifiers for the European Championship at that level. FC Porto's Hélder Postiga got the goals early in both halves. Turkey head the group on ten points, Portugal are second on nine and England third on seven. Portugal play Macedonia away next, on June 6th.
Portugal U-19s drew 0-0 with Russia Wednesday and qualified for the final eight of the European Championship, to be held in Liechtenstein in July.
Luís Figo is fit again and ready to play against Macedonia Wednesday, according to the doctor to the Selecção, Henrique Jones. Figo had been ruled out of the game against Brazil apparently because of 'muscle fatigue', but some thought that it had more to do with a difference of opinion between him and coach Felipe Scolari. Figo was a vociferous opponenet of having naturalised Brazilian Deco in the squad.
The Portugal v Brazil game, screened Saturday by fourth channel TVI, gained 59% of TV audience share. The only other game that has had a similar share was the Portugal v Brazil friendly played at Alavalade before the World Cup campaign in 2002, which had a 62% share. The latter had the bigget audience of the year.
The Portuguese Selecção (at least those who were not starters in the game against Brazil) trained again Sunday ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Macedonia, to be played in Lausanne in Switzerland.
Portugal put in an accomplished performance to beat old rivals Brazil 2-1 Saturday, for the first time since the 1966 World Cup.(See match reports). The friendly, played at the Antas in front of 40,000 rain-sodden fans, was the début of FC Porto players Maniche and, in the second half, Deco - the freshly naturalised Brazilian ... who score the winner. Figo was absent, suffering from muscular fatigue. Roberto Carlos was sent off five minutes from time for a physical gesture against the Egyptian referee.
Rui Costa was 31 on Saturday, and had a good game.
Portugal U-21s beat England 4-2 in Rio Maior Friday. The game, a qualifier for the European Championships at this level, was littered with defensive errors. It was 2-2 at half-time, Helder Postiga and Quaresma scoring for Portugal, Ameobi two for England. Sub Carlos Martins and Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal the points in the second half. The teams lined up:
Portugal: Moreira, Mário Sérgio, Ricardo Costa, Bruno Alves, Jorge Ribeiro, Bosingwa, Tiago, Hugo Viana( Carlos Martins), Ricardo Quaresma (Lourenço), Hélder Postiga, Cristiano Ronaldo (Makukula).
England: Bywater, Samuel, Bramble (Crouch), Barry, Konchesky, Carrick (Stewart), Dawson, Prutton (Pennant), Joe Cole, Ameobi, Defoe.
There are going to be 350 police on duty at the Antas Stadium in Porto for the friendly with Brazil Saturday. The game is expected to be a sell-out (50,000).
Rogério Matias, the Vitória de Guimarães defender, has been called up to the Portuguese squad ahead of Saturday's Portugal v Brazil friendly, to replace FC Porto's left back Mário Silva, who has withdrawn through injury. The squad has joined up and began training Tuesday at the National Stadium on the outskirts of Lisbon.
Felipe Scolari has named his squad for the two upcoming friendlies (see below), and as expected, FC Porto's recently naturalised 'Brazilian' midfielder Deco is amongst the chosen. Also present is another FC Porto midfielder Maniche, who has had a magnificent season at the club. The squad is:
FC PORTO: Deco, Maniche, Costinha, Mário Silva and Paulo Ferreira.
BENFICA: Miguel, Nuno Gomes, Ricardo Rocha and Simão.
MILAN: Rui Costa.
GIL VICENTE: Luís Loureiro.
INTER MILAN: Sérgio Conceição.
LAZIO: Fernando Couto.
D. CORUNHA: Jorge Andrade.
REAL MADRID: Figo.
SP. BRAGA: Quim.
SPORTING: Rui Jorge.
U. LEIRIA: Silas.
STUTTGART: Fernando Meira.
V. GUIMARÃES: Pedro Mendes.
The main absences from the squad are FC Porto's ´keeper Vítor Baía, Sporting's João Pinto and Benfica's Petit. Tiago of Benfica and Hélder Postiga of FC Porto, who might have expected to be called up, are in the U-21 squad to play England in the European Championship qualifier on March 28th.
Portugal play Brazil on March 29th in FC Porto's Antas Stadium, and Macedonia on April 2nd in Geneva. The players come together on Tuesday March 25th at the National stadium on the outskirts of Lisbon.
Scolari will be using a Brazilian psychologist, Regina Brandão, to help him prepare the players for these friendlies and ultimately for Euro 2004 itself.
Felipe Scolari will name his squad for the upcoming friendly against Brazil on Thursday. There is great anticipation in Portugal as to whether FC Pporto midfielder Deco will be included.
The time is fast approaching for Scolari to name his squad for the friendly against Brazil on March 29th, and all the talk is of the possibility of him calling up the recently naturalised Brazilian/ Portuguese midfielder Deco. Luís Figo and Rui Costa have already intimated that they would not welcome his call-up, and the latest poll run by A Bola On-line backs-up their view: "Do you think the call-up of Deco could destabilise the Selecção?" was the question. 60% said that it would, 40% that it wouldn't.
FPF President Gilberto Madaíl said Friday that he is in favour of clubs being recompensed if their players are called up to play for their respective National Teams. But he also said that the respective federations could also be recompensed if players are transferred at a profit on the basis of having played for their country.
According to a poll run by Rádio Renascença and SportTV, 59% of Portuguese welcome Brazilian midfielder Deco, naturalised Portuguese, into the Selecção. 34% do not want him there.
National coach Felipe Scolari has begun his scouting trips at Portuguese clubs, beginning with Benfica. He watched the team's training session at Massamá Thursday.
Portugal maintain 11th place in the FIFA rankings announced Wednesday. Brazil remain top.
The 'Scolari Era' got off to a less than famous start Wednesday when the Selecção lost 0-1 to Italy in Genova. Despite the insistence from the Brazilian coach that he will only begin to make the players responsible for results in five months' time, there was some disappointment that the new-look National Team did not come up with a better display and result. Luís Figo said: "This is a phase in which we're still trying to assimilate the new coach's ideas. In the first half, Italy were more dominant and controlled the game, while we improved in the second half, although we conceded the goal in that period. No one likes to lose and we're upset about it, but it's better that this type of result happens now."
Corradi got the Italian goal on the hour, following up a shot from Miccoli parried by Ricardo.
The teams lined up:
Italy: Toldo (Buffon), Panucci, Nesta, Cannavaro (Legrottaglie), Zambrotta, Camoranesi (Fiore), Perrotta, Cristiano Zanetti (Ambrosini), Delvecchio (Birindelli), Miccoli and Corradi (Filippo Inzaghi).
Portugal: Ricardo, Ricardo Rocha (Luís Loureiro), Fernando Meira, Fernando Couto (Jorge Andrade), Sérgio Conceição (Paulo Ferreira), Tiago (Hélder Postiga), Rui Costa (Pedro Mendes), Nuno Valente (Rui Jorge), Luís Figo, Simão (Luís Boa Morte) e Pauleta (Miguel).
The National Team flew out to Genova, Italy, Tuesday ahead of their friendly Wednesday. The squad had two training session on Portuguese soil and will not train again before the game.
The U-21 team beat Switzerland 2-1 in a friendly in Faro to prepare for the U-21 European Championship, the first game of which is against England on March 28th. Portugal scored early, Makukula converting a Quaresma cross, and they were two-up after 27 minutes, Carlos Martins cracking in a shot from the edge of the area. Switzerland got a consolation late on through Andre Muff, with 'keeper Moreira at fault.
FPF president Gilberto Madaíl said Wednesday that outstanding bonuses to National Team players will be paid shortly. Madaíl will be eager to avoid the type of disruption caused by discussions with the players over taxation of bonuses during the ill-fated World Cup campaign.
Filipe Scolari took his first training session as National Team Coach Monday at the National Stadium, on the outskirts of Lisbon, ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Italy . If the practice match that took place was anything to go by, Scolari's first team for the game should be:
Ricardo, Jorge Andrade, Fernando Meira, Fernando Couto, Sérgio Conceição, Tiago, Nuno Valente, Figo, Rui Costa, Boa Morte, Pauleta.
FC Porto's midfielder Costinha was injured in Sunday's league match against Vitória de Guimarães and was replaced in the squad by Luis Loureiro of Gil Vicente.
The building of The Casa das Selecções, a training camp planned to accommodate the National Teams, has had to be halted. The location of the camp, near Sintra on the outskirts of Lisbon, was found to have valuable traces of the Roman civilisation and.
U-21 coach José Romão has announced his squad for the friendly against Switzerland next Tuesday:
Carlos Martins and Manuel José (Académica), Bruno Aguiar and Pedro Neves (Alverca), Bosingwa (Boavista), Beto (Casa Pia), Danny (Marítimo), Bruno Alves (Farense), Santamaria (Marco), Makukula (Nantes), Mário Sérgio (Paços Ferreira), Ricardo Costa (F. C. Porto), Moreira (Benfica), Cristiano Ronaldo, João Paulo and Ricardo Quaresma (Sporting), Hugo Almeida (União de Leiria), Jorge Ribeiro (Varzim) Cândido Costa and Mário Carlos (Vitória de Setúbal)
Filipe Scolari made his first call-up as National Team Coach Thursday. The squad to face Italy in Genoa on February 12th is:
Goalkeepers: Ricardo (Boavista), Quim (Sporting Braga)
Defenders: Nuno Valente and Paulo Ferreira (FC Porto), Ricardo Rocha (Benfica), Caneira (Bordeaux), Fernando Couto (Lázio), Rui Jorge (Sporting), Jorge Andrade (Deportivo)
Midfielders: Costinha (FC Porto), Miguel and Tiago (Benfica), Rui Costa (AC Milan), Sérgio Conceição (Inter Milan), Pedro Mendes (Vitória de Guimarães), Fernando Meira (Stuttgart), Silas (União de Leiria)
Forwards: Hélder Postiga (FC Porto), Simão (Benfica), Pauleta (Bordeaux), Luís Boa Morte (Fulham), Luís Figo (Real Madrid).
There are one or two surprises in the squad. Miguel and Silas make their débuts in the 'A' Team, and there is no place for Vítor Baía, having one of his best seasons for FC Porto, João Pinto , until recently suspended from international activity, and Benfica's Nuno Gomes and Petit. Asked about the absence of these players, Scolari said that he only comments on those who are in the squad.
José Romão has been appointed coach of Portugal's U-21 team. He replaces Rui Caçador, who shifts to the U-20s. Romão was an assistant to António Oliveira during Portugal's ill-fated World Cup campaign in Korea.
The Portugal 'B' Team beat Slovenia 3-2 Tuesday in Rio Maior, 60 kms north of Lisbon, in the first match of the Torneio Vale do Tejo. Slovenia scored first on 17 minutes through Ermin, fed by Benfica midfielder Zahovic. Three minutes later, União de Leiria midfielder Silas, wanted by various English clubs, equalised with a fine solo effort. Zahovic himself was on the scoresheet on 36 minutes, converting a penalty given away by Porto's Ricardo Carvalho. Vitória de Guimarães midfielder Nuno Assis provided some relief before the break by equalising once again for Portugal.
Portugal proved marginally superior to their vistors in the second half and clinched the win on 70 minutes through Rui Miguel of Vitória de Setúbal, finishing off a cross by Bessa. The match was watched by National Team coach Felipe Scolari, who can only have been pleased with what he saw.
Portugal lined up: Paulo Lopes (Salgueiros), Bessa (Vitória de Guimarães), Ricardo Carvalho (FC Porto), Ricardo Silva (Vitória de Guimarães) (Pedro Henriques - Santa Clara), Fredy (Académica) (Miguel - Benfica), Lucas (Académica) (Flávio Meireles - Moreirense), Nuno Assis (Vitória de Guimarães) Silas (União de Leiria), Fangueiro (Vitória de Guimarães) (Tonel - Académica), Rui Lima (Vitória de Setúbal) (Ricardo Sousa - Beira-Mar), Rui Miguel (Vitória de Setúbal).
Portugal will play the USA in the 'final' of the tournament Wednesday. They beat Russia on penalties after the game had ended in a 1-1 draw. The Portugal v USA match will be a chance for the Portuguese to get a little bit of revenge for the shock defeat at the hands of the Americans in the opening match of last summer's World Cup. Slovenia and Russia will play for third place, also on Wednesday.
Portugal will play South Korea in early June, probably the 8th or 11th. The news was confirmed by the new South Korea coach Humberto Coelho. The game will be part of a tri-nation competition called 'The Korea Cup', Argentina being the other country to take part.
The Portugal 'B' squad for the up-coming Torneio Vale do Tejo has been named by coach Agostinho Oliveira, 'demoted' since the arrival of Felipe Scolari as 'A' Team coach. The squad looks like this:
Vitória de Guimarães: Bessa, Fangueiro, Nuno Assis, Ricardo Silva, Rogério Matías;
Académica: Fredy, Lucas, Tonel;
Beira-Mar: Areias, Ricardo Sousa, Toni;
Santa Clara: Pedro Henriques;
FC Porto: Ricardo Carvalho;
Moreirense: Flávio Meireles;
Sporting Braga: Castanheira;
Salgueiros: Paulo Lopes;
União de Leiria: Silas;
Varzim: João Paulo, Miguel;
Vitória de Setúbal: Rui Lima, Rui Miguel.
Portugal 'B' open against Slovenia next Tuesday.
Portugal remains in 11th place in the FIFA rankings, published Wednesday. The top eleven looks like this:
10 The USA
The Brazilian Felipe Scolari has arrived in Portugal to take up his post as national team coach. His first comments were that he was going to "revolutionise the attitudes of the Portuguese players" and that while FC Porto's star midfielder Deco remains Brazilian, he will not be considered as a potential reinforcement to the squad. Scolari begins Tuesday to prepare the ground for his first test: Italy in Genoa on February 12th.