Atletico Madrid break transfer record with signing of Joao Felix as Griezmann looks set to join Barcelona

zz13(1)

Move over Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix the latest Portuguese sensation has arrived, and arrived he has with a thud of epic monetary proportions. Atletico Madrid made Europe look at them in awe when they announced his signing this week for a cool £113m, making Felix who is just 19, the 5th most expensive player in football history.

Felix looks the part and what little we have seen of him looks quite incredible. For Benfica last season he greatly helped them win the league and from 26 league games he scored 15 times. Overall he played 43 matches and netted 20 times, and for a player to be performing like that at his age suggests that Madrid have spent well.

As for Diego Simeone’s side Felix represents their biggest spending ever on a player and they have come to an agreement with Benfica to pay them 30m in one payment with the rest of the transfer fee coming from instalments. But why have Atletico bought Felix for so much?

Well to put it simply Felix is really being ranked up there with the likes of other Portuguese players who have graced the game in Luis Figo and of course Cristiano Ronaldo, if Felix is as good as he is obviously going to improve Atletico and his sell on price could be fantasy numbers, that will be the long term plan for Atletico anyway as they try and break Barcelona and Real Madrid’s dominance in La Liga.

The other reason to spend so big is that it has been reported that after years of playing with Atletico that Antoine Griezmann is finally leaving the club to join Barcelona for a similar fee that Atletico paid Benfica for Felix, it all rather makes sense then.

Though Griezmann choosing Barcelona is up for debate, wasn’t this the same club who came in for the French World Cup winner last summer only for Griezmann to reject them on the grounds that he didn’t want to be Lionel Messi’s ‘lieutenant’? Of course Griezmann really should have just left it at the core reason for him not joining which was down to loyalty of his club who were, at the time, currently going through a transfer ban.

Back to Felix and not only can he score goals he can create them too and Atletico’s fans look like they will be in for quite a treat. Atletico are also in the Champions League, and the fact that they still have Simeone in the dug out is testament to the clubs owners, who still find the best ways to attract quality players despite the hardships they find themselves each season in Spain. Roll on next season when Felix will do his best to light up the league, and take some of that magic away from Messi.

How well do you know European Football? Want to challenge the best Spanish Fantasy Managers? Play www.liga-fantasy.com now.

Top Ligue 1 Defenders in 2018/19: Jose Fonte

jose-fonte-lille-750x410(1)

When we think of some of the best defenders in Ligue 1, we may think of the likes of Dani Alves at champions PSG or his team mate Marquinhos who have already underlined their status as great tacklers of the game in the modern era. But neither of those players came out on top in the Fantasy Football rankings in Ligue 1- that honour went to a Lille player by the name of Jose Fonte.

Fonte is not young at 35 but has had a superb season with Lille who ended up finishing runners up to inevitable champions PSG this season. Fonte has been around and played for no less than 11 different teams, having spells in his native Portugal and playing for clubs such as Benfica, Southampton, Crystal Palace and West Ham.

Fonte moved to Lille last summer and coming out on top as the best defender in France is no mean feat in his debut year. Fonte scored 3 goals for the club this season and assisted in 1 goal but Fonte was never bought to be scoring goals and he has proved over this year his qualities as a defender in his preferred position as a centre back. This has included helping to keep 15 clean sheets as Lille won 22 of their 38 games.

If he was in your team then you certainly reaped the awards of only having to pay 7.5m for his services and he has turned out to be a fantastic bargain. Even by sole position in major leagues for defenders he would rank 16th so his purchase was good value for money.

Fonte had already earned 9 points within the first two weeks when Lille drew 0-0 against Monaco and then beat Guingamp 3-0. Indeed in Lille’s first 7 games of the season Fonte managed to help his side keep five clean sheets.

The defender’s best point of the season came in matchday 5 when Lille beat Nantes 2-1, he scored a rare goal but also assisted in another to gain 6 points. What was interesting about Fonte’s points this season is that he never had one major outstanding points total instead it was garnered bit by bit and what that showed was consistency. Fonte finished the season with a total points haul of 73 beating second placed Malang Sarr of Nice by 3 points. Only 3 defenders ended the Ligue 1 season with 70 or more points which underlines his achievements this season.

Fonte signed a 2 year contract and with Lille making the Champions League for next season he is sure to be in the amongst the back four come the start of the season. The question will be if the player the wrong side of 30 can have another solid season, for now the Portuguese seems like a massive asset for the club.

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here fantasyligue1.com

Jose Mourinho should avoid Ligue 1 and go back to Inter Milan where he is loved

zannn(1)

The Special One Jose Mourinho is still head hunting for a job after being sacked at Manchester United last December. Just a few weeks after his departure Mourinho was being linked to a return to his native Portugal, possibly with Benfica.

Of course the thought of Mourinho coaching Benfica after his success with Porto never looked like being a realistic option. That would be like Mourinho returning to Italy to coach AC Milan after his incredible success at rivals Inter. All you do in that process is tarnish fans memories of what had been before and it rarely works out with a smile on your face.

But let’s face it football misses Mourinho, even the negative side of Mourinho, glum face, no wins and arguments with players and officials. Modern day football has enough room for Mourinho and lets not forget his incredible successes. Say what you will about Mourinho, his presence does win trophies.

The latest news on Mourinho has come from left field and does feel like a surprise. Apparently he is interested in coaching in France’s Ligue 1. But with the PSG job unavailable, what other options does Mourinho have? Well there is Lyon who have always been a huge club and have had a solid season and have very decent players. They are currently in 3rd place trying to chase down 2nd placed Lille. But they are also 25 points behind PSG.

Lyon of course dominated French football in the 2000s winning 7 titles in a row but the money that PSG has now has changed the ball game in France. The other club he is being linked to is an even greater surprise- Monaco. Now of course Monaco did win Ligue 1 in 2017, but they are a selling club and much of that team has disappeared including the great Kylian Mbappe who was snapped up by PSG. Now Monaco are just trying to survive in Ligue 1.

Of course the destination of Monaco would greatly suit Mourinho but it is questionable whether he will be able to add to his trophy haul by going there. Plus how much disrespect can one man in Leonardo Jardim be shown? Sacked earlier in the season to make way for Thierry Henry. He was brought back in just a few months later when it was clear that Henry was not cut out for the job. Are we seriously suggesting he will be tossed aside once more to make way for Mourinho?

If the truth be told Mourinho should avoid Ligue 1 and go back to Inter Milan. Inter do have a lot of problems but at the same time they have shown great signs this season and if he was given a decent transfer budget together with the contacts he has maybe he could make something of it once again in Milan. Just think for a second how loved Mourinho is at Inter and love is what he really needs at this time.

It was evident again this past weekend when he was reunited with Inter when an all star team played an all star Tottenham side to open up Tottenham’s new season. Mourinho was the happiest that the public had seen him in quite a while.

The bottom line is that managing Inter and being back in Serie A would not be an easy job, and the club would have to challenge a Ronaldo led Juventus. But at the same time he would walk into  a city and club that 100% respect him.

Does he leave the memories as they are or does he come back for a second helping. In part when he did with Chelsea he got immediate success with another league title, but by the end of his reign there it had turned nightmarish and that is something that even after 3 years has not left Mourinho’s legacy.

Barca and Bayern record resounding victories in the Champions League

Euro 2016Barcelona and Bayern Munich began their 2016-2017 Champions League campaigns with resounding victories as they each produced extremely impressive performances.

Both teams are aspiring to win a sixth European Cup title and commenced their respective quests to achieve that in a supremely confident and positive manner.

In doing so the two sides showcased their credentials as strong contenders to once again reach the latter stages of European’s football’s elite club competition, the final of which is to be held in the Cardiff National Stadium on 3 June 2017.

Barcelona breeze past Celtic

In terms of Barcelona’s potential journey to Cardiff, that started with Luis Enrique’s side inflicting a 7-0 defeat on Celtic at the Nou Camp, which represents the Glasgow club’s heaviest ever European loss.

As they have so often done since first playing together at the start of season 2014-2015, Barcelona’s forward triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez delivered an attacking masterclass to ruthlessly torment Celtic.

Whereas Messi scored a hat-trick, the 29-year-old’s sixth in the Champions League, Neymar beat Celtic goalkeeper Dorus De Vries with a wonderful free-kick and also provided four goal-scoring assists, whilst Suarez completed the scoring with Barca’s sixth and seventh goals.

Subsequently in just over two seasons playing alongside one another, the South American trio have now scored a combined 266 goals and assisted a further 128.  Equally as influential a figure for Barcelona as Lionel Messi,  Neymar and Luis Suarez are, is Andres Iniesta, who also scored against Celtic as the 32-year-old strives to become a five times Champions League winner with the Catalan giants, after helping them triumph in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015.

Ancelotti guides Bayern to impressive win over Rostov

In the latter of those four years, Barcelona beat Juventus 3-1 in the final, after recording a 5-3 semi-final aggregate victory over Bayern Munich.  The Bavarian giants opened up their current Champions League campaign by comprehensively beating FC Rostov 5-0, as Bayern’s Carlo Ancelotti became the first man to manage seven clubs in the competition.  The 57-year-old Italian’s wealth of Champions League managerial experience was previously built during spells with Parma, Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid.

Although it took almost half-an-hour for Bayern to take the lead through Robert Lewandowski’s expertly converted a penalty, thereafter they confidently dismantled their Russian opponents, with Joshua Kimmich playing a particularly prominent role.

Specifically the 21-year-old scored twice in between goals from Thomas Mueller and Juan Bernat.  In doing so, on a personal level, Kimmich capped an excellent 10-day period, during which he scored his first goal for Germany, first league goal for Bayern and first Champions League goals, after his brace against Rostov.

Atletico win in Eindhoven

Bayern’s next Champions League game is against the team who beat them at the semi – final stage of last season’s competition, Atletico Madrid, with Diego Simeone’s side also winning their first group – D – game.  In order to do Los Rojiblancos produced a typically determined and resolute display as their 21-year-old midfielder Saul Niguez’s scored a spectacular scissor kick to earn Atletico a 1-0 victory over PSV, although they were fortunate to do so.  As well as Luuk De Jong having a goal disallowed, PSV missed a penalty when Andres Guardado had his spot – kick saved by Jan Oblak.

As such each of Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have enjoyed successful, albeit differing, starts to this season’s Champions League, whilst so too did Napoli.

A quartet of close contested affairs

Arkadiusz Milik scoring twice for the Serie A side in the Ukraine as they recovered from a goal down to win 2-1 against Dynamo Kiev, for whom Oleksandr Shovkovski kept goal to become the second oldest player in Champions League history at 41 years and 255 days.  The oldest player remains former Lazio goalkeeper Marco Ballotta at 43 years and 252 days.

The other game in Napoli’s group – B – was drawn 1-1 between Benfica and Bestikas as the Brazilian striker Talisca struck a superb free-kick in the last minute to equalise for the Turkish Super Lig team against his parent club.  Specifically Aguias enabled the 22-year-old to go on a season long loan to Besiktas, for whom Portugal’s Euro 2016 winner Ricardo Quaresma played an important role.

Whilst Benfica’s match with Besiktas ended in a draw, so too did the two games in Group A.

Specifically whilst the Bulgarian side Ludogrets withstood intense pressure from Basle in Switzerland to earn a 1-1 draw, that was also the same score line between PSG and Arsenal, as Arsene Wenger’s side recovered from conceding a first minute Edison Cavani goal, to equalise through Alexis Sanchez.

2016-2017 Champions League underway to an entertaining start  

Therefore whereas Barcelona and Bayern started their Champions League campaigns with resounding victories, each of the other five games played on the first night of the competition were closely contested affairs.  One match scheduled to take place but which did not was Manchester City’s fixture against Borussia Monchengladbach.

The Bundesliga club are set to be Barcelona’s next opponents in Group C on 28 September, whilst City will host Celtic on that same night.

In the interim each team’s focus will be upon domestic football commitments, whilst aiming to ensure that they enter their second group stage game in optimum form.

Play Champions League Fantasy Football against your friends and colleagues, sign up now with Fantasy-Champions-League.com

Benfica ready to launch another impressive Champions League campaign

Euro 2016

As Portugal’s most highly decorated club, Benfica are well accustomed to honorably representing their country in European competition.

Benfica’s strong European pedigree

The 1961 & 1962 European champions, who have won the Portuguese Primeira Liga for three successive years, will aspire to do just that once again in this season’s Champions League, after performing impressively to reach the quarter finals of last year’s competition.

Under the managerial guidance of Rui Vitoria, who succeeded Jorge Jesus following the 62-year-old’s departure to join Sporting Lisbon in June 2015, Benfica qualified for the knock-out stages by finishing second in their group, which was won by eventual runners-up Atletico Madrid and also contained Galastasary along with Astana.

Thereafter in the round of 16, Benfica beat Zenit St. Petersburg home and away to record a 3-1 aggregate victory, before narrowly losing their two legged quarter final tie against Bayern Munich 3-2.

That was the first time since the 2011-2012 season that Àguias had made the last eight of the Champions League, whilst Vitoria’s team are preparing to launch a similarly impressive campaign this year.

Change in playing personnel

Despite selling Nicolas Gaitan and Renato Sanches to Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich respectively, whilst also allowing the Brazilian midfielder Talisca to join Besiktas on loan, Benfica’s squad remains strong both in terms of depth and quality, since during the past summer their management team and network of scouts identified and attracted new talented players to the club.

Influx of quality new players to Benfica’s squad

Specifically as well as signing Portugal’s Euro 2016 winner Rafa Silva for €16.4m from Braga, Benfica also recruited several other excellent young midfielders including the highly rated duo of Andre Horta and Andrija Zivkovic, along with Oscar Benitez and Franco Cervi of Argentina and the Brazilian Guillermo Celis.

Furthermore Benfica’s chief decision makers completed another piece of astute business in this summer’s transfer market by signing the Greek internationalist striker Konstantinos Mitroglu on a permanent contract for €7m from Fulham, after the 28-year-old scored 25 goals in 45 appearances during a successful loan spell with the Portuguese champions last season.

Whilst Mitroglu performed consistently well throughout that, so too did his strike partner Jonas, as the former Valencia forward scored 36 goals in 48 appearances and was named the Primeira Player of the Season for a second successive year.

In addition to Jonas and Mitroglu, another excellent striking option available to manager Vitoria is the Mexican Raul Jimenez.  The 25-year-old former Atletico Madrid player is currently in fine form, scoring in both his Primeira Liga appearances to help Benfica enjoy an unbeaten start to the domestic season, whereby of their four league game to date, they have won three and drawn one.

Benfica’s fine start to the season

Whilst winning a trio of away fixtures against Tondela (2-0), Nacional (3-1) and Arouca (2-1), Benfica’s drew their solitary home match so far this season at the Estadio da Luz – which is the largest football ground in Portugal with a capacity of 65,600 people - 1-1 against Vitória de Setúbal.  It was from Setúbal that Benfica signed Andre Horta for an undisclosed fee.  Subsequently the diminutive and technically gifted 19-year-old has seamlessly settled into the centre of Benfica’s midfield alongside the combative Serbian Ljubomir Fejsa.

They are rapidly developing a superb partnership after playing together for the first time in a competitive match to help Benfica beat Braga 3-0 in the Supertaca Candido de Oliveira – Portuguese Super Cup.

Another player who produced a wonderfully impressive display during that game was Horta’s fellow debutant Franco Cervi.  As well as scoring the 22-year-old Argentinian was named man-of-the-match, whilst also influential in Benfica’s triumph was Pizzi, who scored and provided an assist for Benfica’s other goal, a composed finish by Jonas.

Vitoria constructing a talented team

As such whilst many of Benfica’s players have started this season extremely positively, they are performing well as a collective unit, which has a particularly strong spine.

The base of that is constructed by the Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar and the central defensive duo of Jardel and Victor Lindelof, whilst ahead of them is the Fejsa – Horta partnership behind a front pair of Jonas and Mitroglu, although Jimenez possesses the potential to compete intensely with them for a starting place in Vitoria’s side.

Upon that the youthful full-back duo of Alex Grimaldo and Nelsinho have made a very positive impact so far this season, whilst in the wide midfield roles so to have Pizzi and Eduardo Salvio, who Vitoria currently prefers to play on the right wing ahead of Cervi.

Therefore the 46-year-old Vitoria is making great progress towards developing an extremely talented and well-balanced Benfica side, which is well-equipped to launch another impressive Champions League campaign, following their run to the quarter – finals of the competition last season.

Àguias to embrace Champions League challenge

The prospect of trying to emulate and eclipse that performance constitutes a difficult challenge to Benfica.

That begins with their first group stage game which is a home fixture against Besiktas, whilst Benfica will also face Dynamo Kiev and Napoli, with each of those teams representing difficult opponents.

Nevertheless Àguias undoubtedly possess the potential to overcome each of those and once again qualify for the knock-out stages.

Play Champions League Fantasy Football against your friends and colleagues, sign up now with Fantasy-Champions-League.com

Bayern Munich earn unconvincing win against Benfica in the Champions League

_78365113_pep_guardiola_getty3

Bayern Munich achieved a narrow win against Benfica in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final bout, but were far from their best at the Allianz-Arena, and could have ended up losing the game given the clear cut opportunities to Portuguese side had. Such was the visitors’ performance in Germany, they may really fancy their chances of getting a result in the second leg at the Estádio da Luz.

When Bayern took a two-minute lead through Arturo Vidal, manager Pep Guardiola perhaps felt his men were going to romp to victory, but Benfica are no slouches this season. The visitors showed exactly why they have made the final eight of the Champions League, creating chances on the break that they may feel they should have scored from, while containing a strong Bayern attack for lengthy periods.

The second leg is sure to be close to call given how strong Benfica are in their own backyard. The Portuguese have won eight of their last nine at the Estádio da Luz, and have been outstanding in their domestic division to boot. They beat Atletico Madrid in the group stages to help progress into the knockouts, and dispatched of a potentially tricky Zenit side to make the quarter-finals. Benfica certainly aren’t here by accident, and the home leg might be where they really showcase exactly why.

Bayern are sure to be fearful as they were almost dealt a lesson on Tuesday evening, so they’ll be taking nothing for granted in the return fixture. Atleti are the only side to have beaten Benfica at the Estádio da Luz in the Champions League, and given their outstanding defensive record, they could well spring a surprise later this month. Bayern manager Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Benfica after the game too, admitting their defensive organisation cause the Germans no end to problems in attack.

“Benfica move so well and there wasn’t a lot of space for us in the middle of the park. The early goal was important but we never lost concentration. We dominated and could have even doubled our advantage, but qualification will be decided over the course of the two matches. I expected this, it is normal. The result is close, but it’s okay. I’m very happy with the result because I know how good our opponents are,” he said.

The Bayern boss did admit a 1-0 aggregate scoreline could still be dangerous given Benfica’s threat, and it’s clear he’s wary of the Portuguese side.

Bayern Munich host Benfica in the Champions League in tricky encounter

German league leaders Bayern Munich will play host to Portuguese league leaders Benfica on Tuesday in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.

On paper, the Bundesliga champions will be favorites but assuming Bayern will go through from this tie should not be taken for granted. Italian champions Juventus exposed Bayern’s clumsy and susceptible defensive line and Juve striker Alvaro Morata was able to run circle around the Bavarian defenders in Munich.

330829-bayern-munich700

Another concern for Bayern is the fact Arjen Robben will most likely miss the first game in Munich. While Bayern can compensate for his absence, particularly with the return of Frenchman Franck Ribéry and the presence of young compatriot Kingsley Coman, the team’s manager Pep Guardiola would most likely prefer to have Robben with his added experience and his uncanny ability to get foul calls.

In addition, it would be wrong to focus on Bayern without mentioning a few pillars of the squad, including the club’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski, midfield terrier Arturo Vidal and German star Thomas Müller. Austrian defender David Alaba, who can also operate in midfield, is another name to keep an eye on.

rsz_arturo-vidal-arsenal-will-see-the-real-bayern-munich

 

The big names and the great exposure given to Bayern Munich should not take away any credit from current Primeira Liga leaders Benfica and their pool of talented players. In attack, Portuguese top league scorer Jonas Gonçalves Oliveira  is having the best season of his career and the veteran is supported by Greek striker Kostas Mitroglou. Between them, the attacking tandem has managed to score an impressive 47 league goals this season!

Another player to keep an eye on is midfielder Nicolás Gaitán who has scored 4 goals and provided 3 assists in 7 Champions League starts this season.

This should be an interesting battle between two teams on top of their respective league, yet the history, the players at Guardiola’s disposal and Bayern’s experience tip the balance in the Bavarian team’s favor. However, nothing can be taken for granted! Tune in on Tuesday, April 5th, 2015 to find out what the final score will be and remember you can follow the result of the game live by clicking here.

Benfica dismantle Braga 5-1 to extend lead in Portugal’s Primeira Liga

Benfica put on an attacking display to the home fans with Kostas Mitroglou scoring twice in a 5-1 demolition of Braga and its defensive line.

Benfica’s and the Portuguese Primeira Liga’s top scorer Jonas Gonçalves Oliveira scored once from the penalty spot and provided his teammates with two assists. The veteran striker Jonas is enjoying a remarkable season having scored 30 goals in 28 league games. He also handed out 11 assists to his teammates in the Portuguese league.

Jonas

The fact the victory came against a tough Braga side, positioned 4th in the Portuguese league and with a decent defensive record prior to this colossal defeat, will provide a massive boost to Benfica’s players.

There remains just 6 league games for Benfica and they are currently 5 points ahead of Sporting Lisbon; however, Sporting do have a game in hand to be played on Monday. Though it is too early to crown Benfica as champions, the players must be confident knowing they have done well in recent weeks, not just in the domestic competition but also in the Champions League.

One thing to keep in mind is the fact Sporting must still face Porto away which is a very demanding and tough match as the league nears its conclusion. Thus, even if Sporting win on Monday to narrow the gap to 2 points, they must still travel to face Porto before the end of the season. On the other hand, Benfica’s remaining fixtures are all winnable provided the players remain focused.

Have Jonas and Mitroglou edged Benfica closer to the Primeira Liga title?

 

 

Benfica host Braga in Portugal’s Top Weekend Game

League leaders Benfica will host Braga on Friday, April 1st in the Primeira Liga’s top game of the weekend. Benfica will be desperate for a win in order to maintain the advantage over second place Sporting Lisbon and third place Porto.

Porto have the easiest fixture out of the top 3 teams yet they are six points behind leaders Benfica. Porto will play host to bottom of the table Tondela. Porto rely heavily on their multi-dimensional defender Miguel Layún, midfielder Yacine Brahimi, and strikers Vincent Aboubaker & Hyun Jun Suk.

The Mexican international footballer Layún is on loan from English Premier League club Watford and is having a great season with Porto. He already has 4 goals and has provided a remarkable tally of 14 assists.

Second place Sporting Lisbon travel to face Belenenses in a match the Lisbon side ought to win. Sporting rely heavily on striker Islam Slimani as well as midfielders João Mário and Adrien Silva. Striker Slimani has already managed to score 20 goals in league play and his teammates will be looking for him to add to his tally against Belenenses.

Going back to league leaders Benfica, they will face a tricky match against Braga who are in fourth and have the third best defensive record in the Primeira Liga. Benfica will try to breakdown Braga’s defensive line with strikers Jonas Gonçalves Oliveira and Kostas Mitroglou.

Jonas

 

Between them the attacking duo have found the back of the net 44 times in the Portuguese League! Veteran Brazilian scorer Jonas has found the net an impressive 29 times in just 27 league games while his partner Greek striker Mitroglou has scored 15 goals. Jonas has also added an impressive 9 assists to his contributions to Benfica’s attack.

Will Benfica win against Braga on the back of the Jonas-Kostas partnership? Will Porto keep up with a home win to maintain whatever slim chances they have of winning the league?

You can always follow the results of the Portuguese League live by clicking here.

 

O enfraquecimento português nos torneios europeus

benfica

Foi-se o tempo em que o futebol português era tratado como um dos grandes na Europa. A eliminação precoce do Porto na primeira fase do Champions League foi o golpe inicial. Na Liga Europa, uma nova queda, dessa vez para o Borussia Dortmund. O Sporting também caiu para um alemão, o Bayern Leverkusen.

Com a queda dos dois gigantes, resta apenas um português em ligas europeias. É o Benfica, que joga a vida na Champions League, dia 9 de março. A chance de classificação é real, mas é um jogo em que tudo pode acontecer, principalmente por causa do chaveamento que colocou dois times do mesmo nível frente a frente, diferente de um jogo de super potências, como Arsenal x Barcelona ou Juventus x Bayern de Munique.

O futebol português não foi nenhuma grande potência nas últimas duas décadas, mas já teve seu destaque, tanto que conseguiu levar o principal título europeu, com o Porto, na década 2004/2005, com o super esquadrão comandado por Mourinho, Vitor Baía e Deco.
A realidade é diferente. O momento é de um futebol português que não intimida a ninguém. Parte disso por causa do nível do campeonato português, que tem concentrado cada vez mais nas três potências: Benfica, Porto e Sporting. Chegou o momento de uma conscientização do futebol português em busca de um nível melhor. Não basta apenas ter grandes negociações como o Porto. É preciso ver esses jogadores brilhando no futebol luso.

O primeiro recado para a reconstrução foi dado. Resta aos clubes acordarem e ver que essa diferença tem apenas enfraquecido o futebol português. Não é possível exigir grande nível a um time que enfrenta um de baixa qualidade e enfrenta três dias depois uma potência europeia. Um campeonato qualificado é a primeira exigência para que o futebol português possa respirar e, quem sabe, voltar a ser protagonista internacional.