- Feb 17, 2014
- Sporting Clube de Portugal
Sporting Clube De Portugal are on track to possibly win there first league title since 2001. Led by young coach Ruben Amorim and spearheaded by a team filled with academy prospects, home grown bought players and veteran leadership Sporting sit a Top of the Liga Portuguesa by 10 Points and have won the league cup in a season where they we're not expected to reach higher then 4th place. They have the second best offense in the league and the best defense in the league only conceding 10. Thanks to Amorim's 5-2-3 Formation many of these players play almost position less football and are very versatile. Sporting are in the midst of possibly a gold mine of young players all breaking through at the same time and with Sporting almost certainly playing Champions league next season it gives them the luxury of possibly holding on to many of their top talents. So let's dive into the jewels of this Sporting team which has led to possibly one of the most unexpected league titles in league history if it happens. Before I begin lots of credit needs to be given to the veterans as well, Sebastian Coates is the leader and captain of this team and has been unbelievable this season, Feddal as well has been a big voice in the locker room, Adan has brought experience and veteran leadership to the backline, and lastly Joao Mario as an academy player has been huge to the academy kids.
JOAO PALHINHA (25 yrs CDM)- The absolute rock of this team and arguably the most important player. His development in the last 4 years has been absurd and he was close to joining wolves this season before Amorim denied the move saying he valued Palhinha and wanted him in the team. What kind of player is he? Palhinha is a no nonsense CDM like the good old days. Absolute rock in the midfield he wins 95% of his 1 on 1 duels. Duals won per 90 is 9,11 his recuperations per game is 5,83 his interceptions per game is 1,38 and his aerial duels won is 2,55. The man is an absolute freak defensively and he also has 3 goals to his name so far this season. Palhinha is not an offensive threat besides in set pieces but that's not the type of player he is. He disrupts a midfield all on his own and has been Vital for Sporting having the best defense in the league.
PEDRO "POTE" GONCALVES (22 yrs LF/RF/CF/CAM/CM)- "Pote" was bought from Famalicao this season where he played at CM however Amorim adapted him to a LF or almost a false 9 type of player (Firmino style role) and it has payed off significantly. Pote currently is the top goal scorer of the league with 14 goals and has showed a scoring prowess that was not expected by anyone. Nifty player on the ball with an eye for goal and a creative mind with the ball. Has been a revelation for Sporting.
NUNO MENDES (18 yrs LB)- This kid has all the makings to be a star. Huge engine who runs up and down the field all game, Top notch technical ability and good going forward and just as good defensively. Nuno is strong in the air and has even put some shifts in at LCB, His early crosses are great and has the potential to get some goals as well with his ability going forward. Nuno Mendes made his debut at the end of last season and has been the starting left back ever since. He might be the most highly touted player in the squad.
PEDRO PORRO (21yrs RB)- Signed by Sporting on loan from City with a buyout clause of 8.5M I would be highly shocked if Sporting did not buy Porro outright. Porro has been probably one of the best right backs Sporting have had in the last 10+ years. Attacking wise much better then defensively (not that he is a push over in defense) Has a great shot on him and has scored some bangers and is technically astute. My favorite quality of Porro is the South American fiery he has (He is Spanish but the passion he shows is similar to typical South American players) He celebrates a defensive stop as loud as he would a goal. Sporting have easily the best right and left backs in the league and both have bags of potential.
MATHEUS NUNES ( 22 yrs CM)- Brazilian born player he effortlessly glides past players and his talent on the ball is evident for everyone to see. Has a bomb of a right foot on him and is on par with Daniel Braganca the best passers in the team for sure. He is very easy on the eye when he has the ball and I have a feeling he will make a big move sooner rather than later. Has mostly come off the bench because of Joao Mario but at times has played RM as well.
DANIEL BRAGANCA (21 yrs CM)- You watch him play and can immediately see his quality, old school maestro midfielder where the ball loves being with him. He does as he pleases with the ball and his high levels of footballing IQ let him see things before other players. Small player with a low center of gravity who can pick out a pass like no other player can on his team. Unfortunate not to get more minutes this season because of all the quality in midfield we have to share but has yet to play a bad game when he does come on. The kid oozes class.
TIAGO TOMAS (18 yrs ST)- Tomas has developed so much this past season. He has 5 goals this season and has physically gotten stronger and faster through the season. His pace, Runs and tough grit are his best attributed but he needs to work more on his finishing. He has played out wide many times as well but his best position is in that ST, CF role. He has won over many Sporting fans because of his mentality. Like most players on this list he is also a technically sound player on the ball.
GONCALO INACIO (18 yrs CB)- Inacio has recently become the starting RCB at Sporting and has been brilliant to say the very least. He is a naturally left footed player playing on the Right side but it does not affect him at all. Very good player on the ball which for a center back is very important to have. Can pass as good as most CM but from the backline. I would rank him as our most talented CB for sure. Plays with the serenity and calmness of a 15 year veteran he is just 18. Has scored 1 goal this season and gotten 2 assists. I think he has the highest possibility to be the starting LCB for Portugal next to Ruben Dias.
EDUARDO QUARESMA (18 yrs CB)- Lost his spot early on this season because of injury and then COVID and has struggles to get back into the lineup ever since because of how good Sporting has been. Talented CB who broke into the team last season and earned the trust of Amorim early on. He will certainly make his way back into the lineup again. Unlike Inacio he is not as good on the ball but is very good at reading the game and understanding space and switches. Would be beautiful to have him and Inacio starting together at Sporting one day.
**HONORABLE MENTIONS who have not played any first team games this season but have or will play more games very soon**
JOELSON FERNANDES (18 yrs RW/LW) Typical Sporting youth academy player a skillful winger who excites the crowds and likes to take on players, recently renewed his contract with Sporting.
GENY CATAMO (20 yrs RW/LW)- Similar mold to Joelson but probably with a better shot on him.
GONCALO PLATA (20 yrs RW/LW)- Young ecuadorian winger who was the standout player for Ecuador at the U2O World Cup who has been very hot and cold in his time at Sporting. Has a lot to grow to break through in the starting team again.