Ola 🙂 , this week-end sees the 2014/15 PRIMEIRA LIGA commence and if the transfer window is anything to go by, we are in for a championship with the title impossible to predict.
Defending champions Benfica have been decimated with the exits of Garay (Zenit), Markovic (Liverpool), Siqueira (Atletico Madrid), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Rodrigo (Valencia) who were all part of last seasons XI. Add Oscar Cardoso (172 goals in 7 seasons) who will now be playing in Turkey together with midfield prospect Andre Gomes who joins Rodrigo at Valencia and the Aguias have a personnel crisis on their hands. There is still every chance that last seasons standout performer , Argentina’s Enzo Perez will be lost to the Spanish Liga.
FC Porto have in turn roped promising talent from Spain. From Atletico Madrid arrives Oliver Torres (loan) and Adrian Lopez,..from Real Madrid the Brazilian midfielder Casemiro joins on loan and finally Christian Tello joins from Barcelona , also on a loan period. New coach, Julen Lopetegui winning record with Spain’s under 19 & under 21 teams, surely the main attraction for these players moving from the major clubs in Spain. Add to that World Cup stars Bruno Martins Indi (Holland) and Yacine Brahimi (Algeria) and the Dragoes will be looking for a big improvement on last seasons failures.
Sporting will be hoping to go one better after last season fine runners-up finish, and although they have lost coach Leonardo Jardim to Monaco, his replacement 36 year-old Marco Silva, is one of the most highly rated coaches to work in Portugal in recent years. A pre-season filled with promising performances and calm, was rocked this week with their World Cup star performers , Marcos Rojo(Argentina) & Slimani (Algeria) , sent to train with the B team and wont be part of the squad for the opening league fixture away to Academica. Both players holding out for transfers to England.
Os Tres Grandes should again occupy positions one to three, but there will be a scrap for the remaining European positons. Braga have Sergio Conceicao at the helm, with Paulo Sergio replacing him at Academica. The experienced Jose Couceiro is the new boss at Estoril, while Domingos Paciencia makes a welcome return at Setubal. Madeira’s teams ., Nacional and Maritimo will be pushed to repeat their heroics of last season.
Its an 18 team Liga rather than one of 16 this season, and Boavista ( the city of Porto’s second club ) Moreirense and Penafiel will be in the top flight.
Looking forward to it all, till next time….SPOOOOOOOOORTING !