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Portuguese Under-19 players

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

It would be a huge thing for Portugal to win an U-19 Euro' date=' maybe after that we could start looking at our young players from a different perspective.[/quote']

It would be great, yes! And could help to open some eyes that stubbornly insist to hire some players of questionable quality, instead of moving forward with the more talented "in-house" ones. It seems that the money changing hands with that transfers is the only thing that matters! But well... what do I know?!

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

It would be a huge thing for Portugal to win an U-19 Euro' date=' maybe after that we could start looking at our young players from a different perspective.[/quote']

The biggest Portuguese clubs (at least Porto and Benfica) couldn't care less about Portuguese youngsters.

Player agents are ruining Portuguese football - they only care about selling their player, even when it isn't benefitial for his development.

Porto and Benfica prefer to spend lots of money in foreign players, with dubious quality, than to give their Portuguese youngsters a decent chance.

We can have a superb NT squad, medium / long term wise, but Portuguese football is controled by people who only care about money.

That's why I find it hard to believe this talented generation will make it. :(

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

Portugal EURO U-19: Group Stage

Portugal came to the Hungarian Euro after 6 wins in the qualifier and a huge amount of goals scored. By now Portugal already was one of the favorites to win the competition and after the group stage, the hype has only grown.

Like I said before this is the team that you should know better, most of the players that were called have already been presented here before. But on another hand, a lot of them were a surprise even for me.

Portugal 3 – 0 Israel 19/07/2014

Portugal entered the game with lots of intensity, always recovering the ball very fast to then make fast transitions. It was enjoyable to watch this well organized Portuguese squad that was in control of every moments of the game. The "Luso" players looked a lot more experienced than the Israelites, always a lot more relaxed, smarter, and with an overall better understanding of the game. After creating some opportunities, Marco Lopes scored the first goal of the tournament, somehow a lucky goal but a goal that was fair for what the team had done since the first minute of the game.

In the second half, Portugal slowed his game, the pressure lacked of discipline and Guzzo started to show signs of fatigue which allowed the opponent to that advantage of the midfield to create opportunities, most of them started by Michael Ohana. Anyway, André Silva managed to score a goal that gave Portugal the relief they needed. After that and until the end of the match, Portugal did whatever they wanted and showed skills and quality, only thing worth mentioning is the incredible goal scored by Manchester City's player Rony.

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Hungary 1 – 6 Portugal 22/07/2014

This game was in my opinion, not as easy as a 6-1 may look. This Hungarian team is better than the Israelite, better organization, better filling vital spaces of the pitch and overall better players. On top of that, there was a lot of rain, some spaces made the ball stop and I was expecting some of the players to have an hard time with these types of conditions. Marcos Lopes for example was not able to play as he wants to, he couldn't dribble, couldn't drive with the ball for too long and got frustrated because of all this.

Portugal capitalized on 2 big mistakes made by the home team, this is another example of how mature this Portuguese players already are. After that, it was André Silva's show, scoring 4 goals and showing a ton of skills that even got me surprised and I am one of his hardcore fans since day 1.

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Austria 1 – 2 Portugal 25/07/2014

This would be the hardest opponent Portugal had to face since the beginning of the competition, both teams were qualified for semi-finals already but wanted to escape the match-up against Germany. Portugal made a lot of substitutions and Hélio Sousa, the coach, gave opportunity to all of the players that were called, to play at least one game during this Euro.

Portugal took control of the game but Austria always tried to their physical advantage in place in order to make the difference. Tomás, the team captain and one of the best of the team during the group stage, scored the first goal with a great header, ironic how the little guy scored between the Austrian giants.

The start of the second half was as bad as it could be, Austria got the goal to draw the game and Portugal was simply asleep. As the minutes progressed Portugal looked a lot better, just like at the start of the game. The team took advantage of the need that Austria had to score, in order to finish 1st of the group, and made the 2-1 by Romário that replaced Nuno Santos who got injured during the competition.

I really liked this 3 games by Portugal U-19, collectively I saw a lot of quality, a lot of intensity and a real team unlike the previously talented U-20. Individually there is a lot of talent and potential, next I will talk about some players that did the best during this group stage.

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Top Performers:

André Silva

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Necessarily I had to talk about this young man, an outstanding performance during the all 3 games that André played. In the last 5 games André Silva scored 9 goals, those are amazing numbers but I would say that the best part of his performance are the skills he is displaying.

The first time I saw André playing was when he was only 17 years old, playing as a winger, I saw potential in him, I saw and hard-worker and the ability to make the difference with his speed, intensity and strength. But I always had my reserves, he did not show lots of technical skills, he did a lot of bad decisions, and was not a spontaneous shooter.

Now I am happy that I was right about his potential and talent but I am also very happy that I was wrong on so many other things.

First of all, André Silva is now a striker, a mobile one but also a good one. I can handle the ball with his back turned to the goal, he is a good passer and knows when and where to deliver the ball and he also shows great positioning. I also like how André Silva tunes with the wingers and then there is his intensity, acceleration, speed, strength, aerial play, and shooting skills that make him a superior athlete.

All in all, excited to see him for the rest of the Euro but even more excited to see him playing for Porto B during the all year.

Tomás Podstawski

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Another Porto player and this one is the captain of the team. Tomás showed during the year that he could be a starter for this Portugal U-19 and also Porto B. He is not an ultra-defensive midfielder but Tomás is more like a nº6 that can be very effective defensively and also be the player to initiate the offensive transition. Tomás has been one of the main pieces of the team. Portugal uses very offensive wing-backs, for this reason it’s very important for the defensive midfielder, Tomás in this case, to be ready to compensate these movements.

I would maybe call him the "equilibrium" of this team, the player that recovers the ball, makes the first decisions, helps his teammates when they commit errors but he also has good technical skills and is also a great passer. He is the buoys of the team, a big safety that this team has.

Gelson Martins

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The newest student of the "school of wingers" that Portugal and also Sporting have. Just like many other wingers that Portugal have seen lately, Gelson is a "king" of the 1 vs 1 situations. Gelson has an endless bag of tricks and dribbles to surpass every problem and difficulty defenders may cause. Again, his relation with the ball is really impressive, but I would be a bit reluctant about the other phases of the game, and of course his intensity without the ball and defensive presence. He also makes too many mistakes on his decision making, holds to the ball too much and then passes when it is too late. I think he does have potential and the talent is undeniable although he will need a rigid coach that can make him work hard and to be smarter, but he will need the experience to develop. I would like to see him in the second division next year with Sporting and I also want more goals like the one he scored against Austria. Gelson is a class player and one to keep our eyes on.

Marcos Lopes

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The player that most of you have heard about from all the Portuguese players, the Manchester City kid that will bring his hype to the French team Lille. Rony have been showing why he earned so much respect in the English colossus, he is simply a step above all the other players. He may have just played 1 game, the first, at a top level but he simply shows that he is different. Marcos has a lot more experience and understands the game a lot better and a lot faster. He plays as an offensive midfielder and he always keep his teammates active and puts them in situations that allow them to be successful. Marcos Lopes is also an underrated passer and a very important player in offensive fast transitions using his speed and acceleration as well as his dribbling skills. I am looking forward to see if Lille's coach will believe in him as I do, because if he does, he will give him the starting spot right away.

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

Excellent piece of work!! Can I rep you twice in the same time? :P

Ahah thanks mate, just enjoy the thread and the blog too ;)

Let's hope for the best in the Final but anyway, it's a proof that Portugal and the Portuguese clubs are doing things better and can know start to give them a more important role.

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

Not looking great so far' date=' rookie mistakes in the defense.[/quote']

i wish i had the patience and time to do one of these for my German u19s!

just excellent stuff eos - m boys doing me proud at the moment though, silva got no support whereas Selke is supplied by 3 fantastic players behind him (Brandt, Stendera, Mukhtar)

Stendera been player of the tournament besides Selke and Silva.

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

i wish i had the patience and time to do one of these for my German u19s!

just excellent stuff eos - m boys doing me proud at the moment though' date=' silva got no support whereas Selke is supplied by 3 fantastic players behind him (Brandt, Stendera, Mukhtar)

Stendera been player of the tournament besides Selke and Silva.[/quote']

Congrats to you and Germany, what an incredible team with lots of talents. Other countries should but their eyes on the German method to make top talents year after year.

See you next year on the U-20 World Cup :P

I will be making a post about the semis and the final in the next hours/days

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

Portugal U-19 Euro 2014

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Another Euro U-19 just ended, this time it took place in Hungary where we enjoyed 12 days of great football and got to know some new fresh talent, even if some of the big countries were missing.

On the Portuguese side it was the second Euro in a row, after last year being eliminated by Serbia after penalty kicks, this time with a more prepared team, a more balanced one and perhaps more talented one (?). Portugal did an amazing job qualifying to the competition, lots of goals, almost only victories and a good group well coached and brought together by Hélio Sousa.

Portugal got all the way to the last game, the big one and the chance of making something big. Even after the good lucks from legends like Figo and Ronaldo, Portugal did not have what it takes to best this Germain team. Even after this defeat, this Portuguese squad let us all very confidant and very proud. Personally it feels good to write stuff about some players and then see them perform very well at the biggest stage and not look like a fool instead.

I really like what this team did, once again showing to Europe but mostly to their own clubs that we have quality, we have talent and it would be about time to start believing in ourselves instead of always bringing expensive players that sometimes are not even better then the ones we already have. And if you, big Portuguese clubs, don't believe that the players can become first team players, then just sell them or at least loan them to competitive clubs that can make them progress and evolve, maybe some of them will grab the opportunity.

Semi-final: Portugal (4) 0 – 0 (3) Serbia

"We meet again."

One year latter, again against Serbia on the semi-finals. This time it's Portugal that finished first of his group and Serbia finished second. It was a really good match with opportunities for both teams, one of those matches were everything can happen even if Portugal had more dominance during most of the game.

I did like the capacity of Portugal to keep the ball, to control the midfield but then they lacked quality on both ends. Offensively, the team was unable to create constant danger to the Serbian defense, André Silva was soloing the all defense which turned out to be nearly impossible even with the tons of work that the nº9 put in the game. Both wingers did not play their best, they did bad decisions and when they were able to do something they wanted to cross to the middle of the penalty area when André Silva looked more like a Serbian sandwich between the two enormous center defenders. Defensively, Portugal allowed too much long shots that came diagonally from the wings to the middle of the field, in front of the goal. André Moreira did well to stop these attempts, showing great diving skills as well as quality reflexes.

From one point on, Serbia clearly tried to bring the game to the last possible decision, the penalty kicks, also relying on the ghost from last year in Lithuania. Tiago Sá, who came in during the extra-time after André Moreira got injured, pushed Portugal to the final after defending the last penalty.

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Final: Portugal 0 – 1 Germany

"We will meet again"

Not much to say about this game, Portugal had a really hard time to control and stop the Germain big offensive flow.

Portugal simply did not have the energy to pressure like they wanted, and were always beaten on speed duels.

But it wasn't all about the lack of stamina and energy, Germany is a country that is constantly creating new talent and new great players, they are doing something right. What is it? It's what I have always defended, good teaching and coaching on the youth academies and then a belief in the players when they get to the U-19 teams. But even more important, 9 of the 11 players that started the game on the Germain side, already played on their club's first team. In the Portuguese team, only 2 have played in the first team, Marcos Lopes for the English cups and André Moreira in the third division. Are Germain clubs worst for believing their 18/19 year old players? I don't think so. But I know for a fact that the Germain national team is a lot stronger because of this, World Champions kind of stronger.

Back to the game, Portugal was lucky for not having conceded one or two more goals. The defense looked lost, Selke always managed to get free in the middle of the Portuguese penalty area. I think that the players felt pressured and looked nervous. They gave everything they got, and that is everything I think we should demand from football player, moreover from young ones. Once again, congrats to Germany for continuing to give people free lessons during the summer.

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What's will happen now?

From this point on, it will all get even better and those are the good news. Not that every singles one of these players will become starters on their clubs but they will all play a lot in the second Portuguese league at least. Most of the players will continue their evolution in the B teams, maybe some of them could explode and get some first team minutes but it will be unlikely. Marcos Lopes on another hand will have an interesting season and one to keep track of as he will play for Lille in France. I don't expect lots of transfers from these players but maybe André Moreira could be on a move since his agent is Jorge Mendes.

That's about it, next I will talk about each and every one of the 19 called players, about their performance and what I expect them to do next season.

Portugal U-19 2014:

André Moreira: A pleasant surprise, one of the few players that I didn't expect to be a starter but he did well. Maybe a bit weak with the ball on his feet but he has a lot of potential and already shows some strong abilities. André defended very well against Serbia and also was one of the reasons why Portugal didn't lose the final for more than 1 goal. I would expect him to be transferred very soon, to the second or even first division. But for now, the most important thing is for him to grab a lot of playing time, even if he has to stay in the third division.

Tiago Sá: I expected him to be the starter, Tiago wasn't but he was very important for this team. He did what I think it's the biggest responsibility of a player on the bench, to "always be ready", be prepared to help the team at any time in any possible way. Tiago got in against Serbia for the last minutes of the extra time and then for the penalty kicks. He defended the last penalty and gave Portugal a final. Now Sá will return at Braga, after last season being crown U-19 Portuguese champion, he will now probably play for Braga B, where he should get most of the minutes.

Mauro Riquicho: One of those effort base players that a team needs and that this Portuguese team had. I like Riquicho, to some extent, he played well during most of the time. Physically strong, good speed and good 1 vs 1 defender, offensively he can have some success, connected well with Gelson but he is weak technically and don't have very good crossing skills. Riquicho should continue to grab most of the minutes as a right back for Sporting B, but I don't expect him to go the the first team any time soon.

João Nunes: Continues his evolution from what we saw during the Youth Champions League, João continues to be a silent performer. The kind of player that we don't see a lot but when we do, we can observe a mature center defender that most of the times is at the right place to take the right decision. Now the next step for João Nunes is the B team where he should grab some playing time even if the competition will be strong. I will wait more time before I can do some long time predictions for the Benfica U-19 captain.

Domingos Duarte: Another center back, another U-19 captain. Domingos is also a good defender, strong heading player, good passing skill and also does a good job intercepting passes and shots. On another hand, he was not as consistent as João. Had some positioning mistakes which could have cost Portugal a couple of goals and sometimes did not take the best decision. Anyway, Domingos played all the games and was faced with an enormous amount of fatigue that could have led to these mistakes. For 2014/2015 I expect him to grab some playing time and I would not be surprised if he was to become a starter for his B team.

Luis Rafael: Not a surprise anymore, Rafa made a good Euro, as always he was a big part of the offensive phase. Passing skills, crossing skills, positioning and understanding of the games, those are the big skills that Rafa has. Although he showed some weaknesses defensively, I wouldn't be too scared about it, it's normal for a left-back that was always looking to help his team on the other end. Now he will play for Porto B, where he will certainly be a starter and play 35+ games.

Pedro Rebocho: I talked about effort base players and here is the second one, Pedro Rebocho, a player that have a big technical gap but who compensate that by his effort and intensity. Pedro is a team first player who will get some minutes on the second team of the Portuguese champion, even if I don't think he will be a starter.

Jordan Machado: A player that I simply did not know before this competition, and now I still don't know him that well. 90 minutes is nothing but I liked some of his plays during the game against Austria. I don't know what to expect but I will keep an eye on him.

Tomás Podstawki: Another good surprise that I had during the Euro, I knew him, I liked him but during this last 12 days he was brilliant. One of the most important pieces of the team, always keeping the team balanced during every moment of the game. Tomás recovered tons of balls, made important passes and was always very active. Now he will continue to play for Porto B and why not some minutes with the first team?

Francisco Ramos: One of the 2 rotating midfielders, Ramos gave Portugal a lot of good things, as did Guzzo. Francisco is a very active player who can recover the ball and also bring it up the field. He also does very well when he penetrates the opponent's defense and open spaces for his teammates. He will play for Porto B and I am curious to see what kind of role Francisco will get.

Raphael Guzzo: The other choice for the nº8 position of this midfield, I would say that Guzzo and Ramos are equivalent in quality and potential but different in the rest. Guzzo is more of a technically evolved player, better dribbler and passer but less intensive on the defensive end. I think he can come back to the B team and get some minutes even if not as a starter right away.

Marcos Lopes: The player from this team with the most experience, Rony is one of those players that are different right away. A class player with tons of potential, Marcos also have an enormous variety of skills, from physical ones to technical ones too. We saw them all during the competition even if sometimes he got to carry too much. Now at Lille, we will see what Marcos can do but I believe he can be a regular choice for the coach.

João Palhinha: One of the few players that deceived me, I was really hyped about this player when I first saw him in the U-19 team of Sporting. João Palhinha did not play a lot during the qualifying and only a game and a half during the Euro. When he played he looked slow, making bad decisions, not very well positioned and always beaten on dribbles. I hope João get some more minutes in the B team and that can make him improve.

Nuno Santos: Injured himself during the first game and that's a pity because Nuno Santos is one of those players that I really like. A wing with enormous amount of dribbling skills, who carries the ball glued to his left foot, and is able to do whatever he wishes with it. I am a bit scared about him being only

uni dimensional because of his inability to use the right foot but I will enjoy to watch him in the second team where he will have lots of competition like Helder Costa, Gonçalo Guedes, Romário, Hildeberto and others.

Romário: If my maths are any good, the youngest player of the team, Romário subbed Nuno Santos after his injury. He did well even if still making too much bad decision and not that smart of a player. Romário is a strong athlete and a player that leaves all on the pitch and that how he scored the winning goal against Austria. Romário will be jumping between U-19 team and Benfica B.

Gelson Martins: Perhaps the biggest surprise so far in my opinion. I was not expecting to see him in the line-up but he did and he impressed. Gelson did very well even if he committed a lot of mistakes and overextended during some plays with too much dribbles. I think Gelson will be a starter for Sporting B during the season 2014/2015.

Jorge Intima: The second player coming from the English team Manchester City. Intima is a strong winger that also can play as forward, his main skills are his speed and tenacity. I also like his dribbling skills but he tends to play passively for some periods of the game. I would have liked to see Jorginho play for some more minutes but I am sure I will on Manchester City reserves or maybe loaned to another club.

Ivo Rodrigues: One of the players with the biggest hype around, Ivo Rodrigues came to the Euro as one of the most important players of the team. Although I like how he can perform, I also think that Ivo is still not consistently performing at a high level. Ivo had some great games in which he was a consistent treat. I am still very septic about this winger but I will keep track of him whether he stays at Porto or not.

André Silva: Finally André Silva who comes off this competition with the biggest amount of hype, a lot due to the 4 goals game against Hungary. The goals were not determinant in my opinion, because it only shows good positioning and that's only one of the skills that he presented. André works a lot during all game, he has more technical skills than I thought he had, he holds the ball very well, passes really well too and starts to make better decisions. I think that André Silva will be the main striker for Porto B, and if all goes well he could play some games in the League Cup.

That's it for this team, I hope you liked it, we will see them again next year in New Zealand.

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

UPDATE 10/2014

Back again to see what's the state of the Portuguese young players. Let's see how they are doing, where they are currently playing and talk about who will be the next players that I will be talking about.

Tiago Ilori: The young Portuguese defender went on loan to Bordeaux where he hasn't been playing a lot but still made 300 minutes in 4 games. Ilori has to play more if he wants to become the dominating center defender that people (and Liverpool) expect him to be.

André Silva: After the amazing U-19 Euro, it would be normal for him to crush all opponents in the second league with Porto B. Unfortunately André did not agree to a contract extension and that's the reason why he is not playing at the moment. André will probably leave Porto at the end of the year and he could sign with a English club in January.

Ricardo Pereira: He is a strange case, Ricardo have been getting more reputation without any playing time in his club. The reason why are his great performances with the U-21 Portuguese team and his good games with Porto B. Let's see if Porto can give him some more minutes.

André Gomes: After moving to Spain, some people said that he would not play and did not have the right intensity for a league like the Spanish one. I always like him as a creative midfielder but I did not expect him to do as well as he has been doing. André will now continue to play with Valencia and start working his way into the National team starters.

João Cancelo: When Cancelo went to Spain, I was a bit scared about his development and playing time in the Spanish league. Unfortunately so far I have been right, only 90 minutes for a 20 year old player is very little. Cancelo needs to play more to have a good evolution and get better at his weaknesses.

Agostinho Cá: I feel so bad every time I talk about Agostinho Cá. He was a player that I loved and that I expect great things. But today I don't even know where he is playing and it's sad.

Bruma: Coming back from his long injury, Bruma played half of the games in the league and got some minutes in the Champions League. He is a great player and I expect him to be one of the main wingers for Portugal in the next big competition.

Tiago Ferreira: Another player that did not live to expectations and now we can be sure that he won't become nothing extraordinary. He went to Belgium and can't get a lot of minutes there.

Tozé: On loan from Porto, Tozé has been playing very well, showing he can be a part of a first league team. He suffered an injury but is coming back and he can be important for Estoril. But the news are regarding his future, I do not think he will ever get to the level that Porto would like him to get and for the National teams, he already has a lot of competition in front of him (Bernardo Silva, Marcos Lopes etc...)

Betinho: Once pointed as the new big Portuguese striker, Betinho has been getting less and less hype, month after month, not showing any upside with Sporting B. He went on loan to Brentford and can't get any minutes there also.

Chaby: After his big injury, Chaby came back strong last season and gave hope to his believers. This year he is continuing what he did last season but know with more competition. I don't think he can become a big star but I expect him to be a good first division starter.

João Mário: Finally! I always knew he could be big but I did not understand why coaches did not give him any opportunities to show his football. Some said that it was because he did not defend or defended poorly. Now João Mário took over the starting spot and has been great!

Luis Rafa: One of my personal favorites from all of the players that I have talking about. I love this left back and I think he should be getting all of the minuted in the Porto B team but the coach likes Kayembe better. But Rafa will get more minutes and have to prove the club that he deserves to be a starter.

Bernardo Silva: I love this player, one of the few prospects that transmits joy while he plays. I think he was fortunate about the lack of investment of Monaco this year. This way he will be able to get more minutes and to show all the talent Bernardo Silva has.

Paulo Oliveira: After continuous errors by the Sporting defence, the coach gave Paulo an opportunity and he took advantage of it. He still has some flaws and has to get better at lots of things but at the moment he is a starter and those are great news.

Carlos Mané: Honestly I don't understand why Mané is not playing. After last season, he showed he could be very important in one wing or in the middle but Sporting's coach put all his chips on Carrillo and João Mário. That left Mané with very few chances of getting quality minutes.

Rafa Silva: Continuing his evolution and good performances, I think he has to take the next step and become really big. Rafa has the potential and talent for that and I think he will be a star soon.

On the next posts I will talk about the U-21 Portuguese team and the qualification to the Euro 2015. But also about some players, of course I have to talk about Rúben Neves (and I feel very proud about being the first one to mention him here.) But also about, Ricardo Horta, Raphael Guerreiro, Renato Sanches and others.

If you want me to talk about some other players or subject, let me know.

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

Great thread eos11. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on the young Goalkeepers specifically? And possibly who you reckon is the best #9 prospect - I have taken over a Portuguese team in a gameworld where you can only sign home players, and striker will be difficult for me when the ratings cap rises!

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

Great thread eos11. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on the young Goalkeepers specifically? And possibly who you reckon is the best #9 prospect - I have taken over a Portuguese team in a gameworld where you can only sign home players' date=' and striker will be difficult for me when the ratings cap rises![/quote']

About GR and strikers right?

I can make a quick top 5 ;)

GR:

1- Anthony Lopes (don't know if you can call him prospect but there you go...)

2- André Moreira (still not on the DB?)

3- José Sá

4- Bruno Varela

5- Thierry Graça or Raul Gudiño (not Portuguese and still not on the DB)

Strikers:

1- André Silva

2- Gonçalo Paciência

3- Ivan Cavaleiro (even if not a pure striker)

4- Rui Pedro (not on the DB)

5- Gonçalo Guedes (again, not a pure striker but a must buy)

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

About GR and strikers right?

I can make a quick top 5 ;)

GR:

1- Anthony Lopes (don't know if you can call him prospect but there you go...)

2- André Moreira (still not on the DB?)

3- José Sá

4- Bruno Varela

5- Thierry Graça or Raul Gudiño (not Portuguese and still not on the DB)

Strikers:

1- André Silva

2- Gonçalo Paciência

3- Ivan Cavaleiro (even if not a pure striker)

4- Rui Pedro (not on the DB)

5- Gonçalo Guedes (again' date=' not a pure striker but a must buy)[/quote']

Brilliant, thank you for that. I look forward to your future posts - always very informative.

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

Hey eos11' date=' what are your opinions on these players:

Nelson Oliveira

Domingues Mika

Iuri Medeiros

Pinto Mica

Cristian Ponde

Fabrice Fokobo

Thanks in advance![/quote']

Nelson Oliveira: I liked him, but he is not an hardworker and that's why he is not playing any minutes. I don't really believe in him for the future.

Mika (GR): He made bad decisions for his career but now he is playing in the first division. I don't he will be as big as he could have been if he did play regularly in the first years of his career but let's see how this year goes.

Iuri: My favorite player from this list, huge talent, amazing potential. I really like him but he needs to work harder and to have more intensity when he plays.

Mica Pinto: Nothing special, I think he plays more than he should but will not be a Sporting player or anything like it.

Ponde: I used to like him but at the moment he is not playing. I will give him one more year to see what he does but things doesn't look good.

Fokobo: He is good, but needs to become a uncontested started for Sporting B. If he does I will believe that he can reach the first team, until them I have some doubts. But I like what he does when he plays.

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

RÚBEN NEVES

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Name: Rúben Diogo da Silva Neves

Nationality: Portugal

Age: 1997-03-13 (17 years old)

Position: Defensive Midfielder / Midfielder

Foot preference: Right

Height: 180 cm

Weight: 76 kg

Stats:

Youth career: Porto from 2010 to 2013.

FC Porto:

-2014/2015: 7 games (398 minutes) and 1 goal.

National Team:

Portugal U-17: 2012/2013 with 5 games (450 minutes).

2013/2014 with 7 games (578 minutes) and 2 goals.

Portugal U-21: 2014/2015: 3 games (270 minutes) and 1 goal.

My opinion:

A few months ago, when Portugal was playing the Euro U-17 I wrote about the games, the team and the players. And of course, one of the players to shine was Rúben Neves. These were my first words about him:

“Ruben Neves is a defensive midfielder, he is very strong physically but his main qualities are his understand of the game, tactical knowledge, passing skills. Rúben is a cold blooded player who is the main target to build the offensive phase of the team”.

I am glad that I was right about him, I never expected this meteoric ascension but he showed potential to be big and now Rúben is on his way up.

How did it all start? How did a 17 year old got into Porto’s first squad?

It all happened during the summer, Fernando was sold to Manchester City and Porto did not have a substitute at the time. Mikel Agu took over the defensive midfield spot but suddenly suffered a very bad injury. On the line of succession Tomás Podstawski was the logical choice but he was representing Portugal on the U-19 Euro. There was no valid choices to the eyes of Lopetegui and he gave Rúben Neves a chance, first on training sessions and then on pre-season games.

On the first game he played, he scored and continued with tons of quality minutes earning a lot of kind words towards him and his future. People and media in general started to acknowledge his way to play, based on pass precision and defensive influence. Rúben is one of those players that can make any type of pass and with a high efficiency rate, from shortest passes to 40 meters long ones and with both feet, he does it all. Defensively Rúben can stop players easily with his quickness to get to the ball carrier and also using unarming skills.

Offensively Rúben has a word to say, not only for his passing skills that I already talked about and underlined, but we have also to consider the way he plays on the offensive end. Most of the times Rúben is used to diversify the wing in which his team is playing, for that he uses his amazing long pass and tries to create spaces for his team and defensive problems for the opponent. The young midfielder also has a very strong understand of the game that we could call football IQ, he knows where he needs to be and where the ball needs to go. Those qualities are very rare on a 17 year old player. Finally I also like his shooting skills, playing for a ball possession team like Porto is, it’s important to have a defensive midfielder that could also be an offensive threat.

I think he will become very soon Porto’s main defensive midfielder, once he acquires the stamina and resistance to play a full game at his pace. And from that point Rúben could be one of the future pillars of the National team and a great international star. It’s all very soon and those are only his first 10 games of his professional career but I have a lot of hope in him. And I think he has proven already a few things and that’s why he got all this hype.

I will follow his career and hope for the best, I honestly think that Portugal continues to have great prospects do make a great national team. And Rúben Neves will have a huge role on that possible good team.

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

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U-19 Call

A new year and a new U-19 team.

Euro U-19 are now annual and for that reason National teams have a constant renewal of their rosters. After reaching the final last year, Portugal will have to climb the mountain again, from 0. It always is a difficult battle from the first group stage, this competition brought a lot of good things and the competition is enormous. Portugal will have a target on his back and for this reason, it's vital to start strong.

Group 7:

Portugal

Denmark

Wales

Albania

Now about the players, probably you will know this team for being Gonçalo Guedes team but there are other good players:

- Goalkeepers: Joel Pereira (Manchester United/Ing) e Andorinha (FC Porto)

- Defenders: Diogo Verdasca (FC Porto), Jorge Silva, João Serrano (Sporting), João Lima, Rúben Dias (Benfica) e Paulo Henrique (Santa Clara)

- Midfielders: André Horta (Vitória de Setúbal), Gil Dias (Sporting de Braga), Gilson Costa, Pedro Rodrigues, Renato Sanches (Benfica), Sérgio Ribeiro (FC Porto)

- Forwards: Gonçalo Guedes, Hildeberto, Romário Baldé (Benfica) e Jota (Paços de Ferreira).

I will talk about some players now.

Renato Sanches: I am a true fan of him, he played with Ruben Neves in the U-17 team last season and was one of the best. He plays now for Benfica B. Renato is a creative midfielder but with a lot of defensive intensity. He can do a bit of all but what stands out are his technical abilities and dribbling skills.

André Horta: Brother of Ricardo Horta but a different player, André is very offensive like his brother but with less speed and more technical skills. He is great assisting and penetrating in the center to create difficulties to the opponent defense.

Gonçalo Guedes: An absolute sure talent, I am not going to say that Gonçalo is the best since Ronaldo or any of the comparisons that you might have heard of but he is amazing. Benfica coach says that he plays like he is 2 years older and that's true, he is playing for Benfica B and he is always one of the best players. One to follow and for sure one that will be very important for Portugal now and in the future.

Romário Baldé: The only player that was with this team last season, after replacing Nuno Santos due to injury. He is a good striker, with a lot of power and speed but I am not very sure about his potential and what he could become.

Other players that I like are: Verdasca, Gilson Costa, Sergio Ribeiro and Gil Dias.

Let's see if Portugal can maintain the level shown during the last 2 years, one thing is sure, there is a lot of talent.

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

RENATO SANCHES

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Name: Renato Júnior Luz Sanches

Nationality: Portugal

Age: 1997-08-18 (17 years old)

Position: Midfielder / Offensive Midfielder

Foot preference: Right

Height: 173 cm

Weight: 75 kg

Stats:

Youth career: Benfica from 2008 to 2014.

Benfica B:

-2014/2015: 12 games (326 minutes) and no goals.

National Team:

Portugal U-19: 2014/2015 with 3 games (120 minutes) and 1 goal

Portugal U-17: 2013/2014 with 8 games (627 minutes) and 3 goals

2012/2013 with 3 games (73 minutes)

My Opinion:

The first time I saw him play was when he played alongside with Rúben Neves in the U-17 Euro. Before that I had learned about his hype but never had the chance to see him in action. People talked about his impressive ability to bring creativity to the game and how technically skilled he was as a player. Renato was meant to be the next big thing, a player out of the ordinary with sure potential. At this point you may be thinking that I am going to say that people were all wrong, but I really don’t mean that, on another hand, I hate sure predictions at the age of 16.

Renato is clearly a very good player but he still has a long way to go, and that takes us back to that Euro U-17. If you follow these posts you will remember that I like him a lot and then as the competition progressed I turned to Rúben Neves a bit more. The reason this happened was due to the lack of consistency of Renato Sanches performances. Of course his playing style will force him to have great or bad games because he always takes his chances on duels and on a bad day it can be frustrating, as for another player like Rúben, he plays safer, relaying on his pass accuracy and defensive effort, making it easier to be consistent. This same problem can observed on wingers, but then again, the best ones are always the ones who can maintain a very high level of performance during most of the game and of the season.

Now talking about Renato Sanches again, at the age of 15, Benfica B coach wanted to call him to the team but the club refused arguing that he needed the playing time he was getting on the youths teams and that he would not get on the second team. I do agree with this decision, but I would have liked for him to train more often with the professionals. Now that he is working full time (or almost) with Benfica B, Renato can show his skills and how good he can really be. In my opinion you can only really predict how good a player can be when he faces full grown men, because during his youth career a player can be very successful using almost only his physical advantage and even if Renato is not very tall, he is very strong and a muscular player with a big physical presence.

This season, I didn’t expect Renato to play tons of minutes, it’s a complete different world with the pros, and the Portuguese second league has no mercy, horrible pitches, super aggressive players and very close results that lead to intense games. For this reasons Renato still had and has to get used to this league but also get the physical needs that a game like this seeks. Next season I would like him to be a starter and to play most of the 90 minutes. For the long future, recent past have not been kind to young Portuguese players at Benfica, and it’s always so difficult to enter that first team squad, even if some of them were better than the ones that are there… With that said I know that the club really likes Renato and are taking care of him and believe him to be part of the future of the Portuguese national team.

Renato is an offensive midfielder who likes to do a bit of all, he doesn’t shy away from defending and pressuring when he has to and that is a big plus to my eyes. He moves the ball really well and can play simple but also having in mind his major upside, his ability to destroy the opponent midfield, progressing with the ball and putting his creativity and skills to the service of the team. He is not selfish; Renato unbalances the opponent to create the necessary spaces to make the last past or the hockey assist. Another big strength in Renato’s game is the long shot that he has, always powerful and he is not afraid of using it.

All in all, Sanches is a player to follow and a very interesting talent. Like I have been saying, Portugal has all the ingredients to make a very good national for the years to come. But having talent isn’t enough and only a lot of hard work and a bit of luck can takes us to a good post-Ronaldo era.

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Re: Portuguese Under-19 players

Back again for a some more updates, but first I would like to say that it's been really good to see some of "our" players getting big minutes in top clubs and even in the Champions League.

*UPDATE* March 2015

Tiago Ilori: One of those players that I warn you so much about, I liked him, but I was afraid about the transfer to Liverpool. One year after that portuguese soap opera, I think I was right about him making a bad move. At the moment, and if he had stayed a Sporting, he would probably be a starter. I was always a lot better than Tobias Figueiredo and would naturally be the owner of his spot.

André Silva:After all that time without playing, André finally agreed to the extension and that way he was able to be back in the pitch and grab some game time that he needs so badly. He has been sharing his time with Gonçalo Paciência and has scored 3 goals in the second division. A lot less hype, as expected but he continues to improve his flaws and skills.

Ricardo Pereira: Probably the player suffering the biggest injustice out of this all. He plays always well, as winger or right back, gives it all at every play and still doesn't get more minutes or even a loan. I feel bad for him and he deserves more.

André Gomes: You might know that I have had some doubts about André Gomes, before going to Valencia, he was being very inconsistent, making horrible decisions and simply not giving his all in the pitch. Now I maybe understand why, André just needed a different environment, where he feels like he is an important piece. And this is the case with him at Valencia, André is playing out of his mind, week after week, being considered by maybe, one of the best players in the league and arguably one of the best of his team.

João Cancelo: A player that I always believed for his potential, for his ability to help his team to attack and play like a second right winger. On anothe hand, Cancelo always had problems to work hard enough, and with the tragedy that happened to his mother, João needed a place where he could fully be comited to work. I don't know how his work production is going right now but I thing and I hope he now understands what it takes to be a professional football player. And if he does, he will have a great future, he is young and talented.

Rafa Silva: Rafa is one of those players that need a move, I always liked him and defended him but he is not playing like he was last season. Maybe it's because of his position as Rafa is playing as a right winger more than a offensive midfielder, and that is really not the best for him. But overall I think his cycle with Braga is over and he needs a new challenge.

Bruma: I think there is too many people sleeping on Bruma. Yes he did a bad move and yes he is not playing at his best but he came back from an horrible injury and he is still 20 years old. Bruma is playing more regularly now and he is picking up the pace. I hope and honnestely think that next season Bruma will have is big test, injury will not be an excuse and he will have 21 years old and will need to explode.

Tozé: We all know that Tozé needed this, a reality wake-up, a first league experience to know what he is really worth. I now understand and can see that what I have been saying about Tozé is real, he has potential, he has quality and he is more skilled than most of his teammates. But Tozé has been losing his spot in the line-up, I don't really know if he is under-performing or else, but Estoril has now a new coach and Tozé scored in the first match after this change. Let's hope we can see more from Tozé now.

Tiago Ferreira: Tiago has left Zulte and I with that proved that he isn't good enough to play in a first Belgium division. He said his football style was not suited to this league but I don't see him having any kind of future, maybe mid level of the Portuguese league but not more than that.

Betinho: Another player that did not live up to the expectations. Betinho cant even establish himself at Brentford and because of that I don't believe that he can be the solution to the striker problems that Portugal has.

Chaby: Another player that had potential but lost tracks on the way up. He is skilled and he can play but not at the highest level, he can't stand out on the Portuguese second league.

Agostinho Cá: After great performances with Portugal U-19, Agostinho Cá has been erased from football and I can't even find where he is playing, if he is. It's sad.

João Mário: The 22 year old midfielder has now played 22 games with Sporting in the first division this season. Claiming is spot in the line-up over André Martins, showing that he can do at Sporting what he did with Setubal and he does it even better. João Mário scored 5 goals already, he is playing great football, and he has improved his main weakness, defensive intensity. Now he is on his way to the national team and it is only the natural result of his latest performance.

Luis Rafa: The young Portuguese left-back has finally got his own space with Porto B. Kayembe left to Arouca (where he is playing very well) and this gave Rafa the opportunity to play loads of minutes. Rafa has been taking the most out of it, growing his popularity in the club and outside of it. He is seen as the future of the left Portugal wing, alongside with Raphaël Guerreiro who is currently in the driver's seat. Anyway, Rafa really has to improve his defensive awareness.

Bernardo Silva: No one predicted that he would do so well. This sums up Bernardo Silva's season with Monaco so far. We have to keep in mind that he is only 20 years old and had never played in the first division regularly. Bernardo has shown that Benfica's coach was and is wrong when he refuses to give young Portuguese players minutes and chances to show their qualities and potential. Like many other U-21 players, Bernardo Silva already has one foot on the national team and it's only a matter of time until he gets called... once and for all.

Paulo Oliveira: After Paulo being in and out of the line up, Sporting finally gave him the spot. Mauricio was sold, Sarr was too inconsistent, Rabia a non-factor. This facts led to Paulo Oliveira becoming the new boss of the defense, he is clearly the best player of them all and now he can show it every week. Another player on the verge of being called to the national team.

Carlos Mané: In the first part of the season, it was really hard for Carlos Mané, he was not playing and when he did he didn't play well. But the second part of it has been different, not completely but better anyway. Mané has played some quality minutes and had some great performances. I think people still don't understand what his playing style is and don't let him play like he want and how he is more eficient. Let's see if he can get more minutes in the middle and show his potential in that position.

Rúben Neves: New Portuguese golden boy, a great history and a good example of how players should be seen. Choosing players for what they are worth and for their potential, but never hurting his development. Rúben Neves has shown a lot of determination, intelligence, and confidence. He just turned 18 and battles with everyone and doesn't feel any pressure, not even from Champions League games. There is no way I can see Ruben haven't a bad future.

Rony Lopes: Just like Bernardo Silva, Rony was loaned to Ligue 1, to play for Lille. Once again, just like his compatriot, he never played in a first division regularly. And his season hasn't been easy, he suffered 2 injuries already but that hasn't hold him off, people love him at Lille. People look up to his ability to make the team a lot more dangerous in the attack phase and this shows that he will be a great player and probably one of the main pieces of the future of the national team.

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Re: Odp: Portuguese Under-19 players

Hi eos! Great work!

What do You think about Diogo Gonçalves & João Carvalho?

I've made a report about Diogo http://footballtalentscout.net/2015/03/21/diogo-goncalves/ and now I'm scouting João.

I really like João carvalho, he is the box-to-box kind of midfielder who is great penetrating into the opponents defense. I see him like an Herrera, in playing style, again, not comparing players.

As for Diogo, I liked his U-17 euro but haven't followed him since. I am having a hard time watching Benfica B and U-19 due to too much work :S

On another hand, I am actively following the U-15 and U-16, and I will start talking about those players. And I really like some of them.

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