PORTUGAL BREEZE TO QUARTER FINALS AT OLYMPICS

Portugal breezed into the quarter finals of the men’s event at the Olympics despite playing a 1-1 draw with Algeria.

The entertaining game was played at Belo Horizonte with the Portuguese finishing the group games as leaders. Goncalo Paciencia scored his third in three games, with the third from the penalty spot. Portugal were set to leave the Algerians pointless after three group matches until Mohammed Benkablia intervened with his fine solo effort.

The opener went in halfway in the first half of the encounter. After Algeria, runner up in the African championship, were sure to go home, anyone would have thought the Portuguese would have had little hindrance but the game turned out to be very entertaining. Carlos Mane made a penetrative run into the Algerian box, forcing an rough tackle from Oussama Methazem as he sprinted from his line to stop the run. The referee called it a foul and pointed to the spot. Portugal star player and goal scorer Paciencia took up the mantle of converting the opportunity. The player wearing the No 17 shirt stepped up to the occasion as he sent the ball past the goal keeper, replaced by Farid Chaal in the starting eleven.

Benkablia also took his opportunity to shine as he dribbled past several Portuguese players, before sending a right-footed effort beyond the reach of Bruno Varela, the Portuguese shot stopper. The goal sent the Algerian supporters wild. One of the best players for Algeria at the Olympics so far, Baghdad Bounedjah created chances for himself after the goal but he couldn’t get a winner. He got a free kick from distance but it couldn’t reach its target.

After the break, Portugal relaxed as they were happy with their efforts which had guaranteed them a spot at the top of Group D. They will face Germany in the quarter finals.

NANI’S MOVE TO VALENCIA CONFIRMED

Portuguese star player Luiz Nani has made the move to Spanish side Valencia after the club met his buyout clause from Fenerbahce.

The club is reported to have made the transfer fee payment of £7.2 million. The Portugal international has been in fine form at the ongoing Euro 2016 and is set to appear as Portugal fight host France for the chance to lift the trophy on Sunday 10 July.

Despite the impressive display from Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo at the semi final as Portugal saw off Wales, Luiz Nani has been the major player for the Portuguese team at the tournament. The player narrowly missed the first game against Iceland as Quaresma couldn’t impress Coach Fernando Santos enough. He made a huge impact in the game and grabbed a point for the team with his goal. In game against Croatia in the Round of 16, he scored also extending the game beyond 120 minutes before they won the shootout that followed.

The player who joined from Sporting Lisbon was decent for Manchester United but was inconsistent sometimes. Stoke city were about to bid for the player before the announcement that of his Valencia deal. He would now be plying his trade for Valencia in the coming season. The deal would tie the player to Valencia for the next three years. The 29-year old scored 12 goals in the last campaign playing for Fenerbahce.

A statement from the club reads: “Valencia have reached an agreement with Portugal international Luis Carlos Almeida da Cunha ‘Nani’ that ties the player to our club for the next three seasons.” The statement mentioned the achievements which include winning the UEFA Champions League with Manchester United, four EPL titles and several other titles. So far Nani has played over 100 games for Portugal and would likely start when Portugal take on France.

Manchester United will return to winning ways under Mourinho according to Luis Nani

Former Manchester United player Luis Nani has stated that his former club will come back to winning ways under Jose Mourinho.

He said that the Portuguese manager will bring a lot of trophies to the club.

He said that Jose Mourinho is an excellent manager and will definitely bring success to the team. He believes that he is currently the best manager in the world at the moment and that he has vast experience of the Premier League after managing Chelsea. He said that Mourinho has always enjoyed success wherever he went, and it will not be different at Manchester United.

He stated that Manchester United currently have good players in the team and that they will thrive under Mourinho. He expects the team to start winning trophies as from next season, and that fans should be happy that Mourinho has accepted to manage the club.

Concerning the Euros, he said that England has a good chance in the tournament. He believes that the success of the team will depend a lot on Wayne Rooney as well as Daniel Sturridge. For him, these are the two players that carry the most threat for England and that opposing team will have to be wary of them.

He said that Rooney is a great player whether he plays as the striker, on the wing or in midfield. He stated that he has known Rooney during his time at Manchester United, and he knows what he is capable of. He believes that he will be playing as a midfielder for England at the tournament, and he should be influencing the game from his position.

Luis Nani will be at the Euros with Portugal, and he will be hoping that his team can achieve something at the tournament.

Luis Nani has criticised manager Louis van Gaal

Former Manchester United winger Luis Nani has criticised manager Louis van Gaal for his way of treating experienced and older players at the club.

The Dutchman came from in the summer of 2014 and it was straightaway evident that Nani was not going to figure in his plans. The Portuguese winger featured very little under the Dutchman during pre-season. This latter had an effect during the campaign itself and Nani ended up leaving the club for Turkish outfit Fenerbahce. He has now revealed the Dutchman’s training methods. Nani claims that van Gaal and his assistants are frequently shooting at the first-team players just like they were 18-year-olds.

Further, the Portuguese winger was also decision he makes pitch including passing and shooting. Nani disagrees with this philosophy by saying that football is about instincts and that the players should be given a free role to express himself. Van Gaal is widely expected to leave United in the summer after failing to meet the club’s objective despite spending a lot of money. However, there is a feeling in recent weeks that he has actually done a good job by promoting a number of youngsters to the first-team while also reaching the FA Cup final.

Nani won 4 league titles with United before leaving the club on a permanent deal in the summer.“He [Van Gaal] didn’t use me a lot in pre-season. I was the player who had the least time in all the games and I was feeling, ‘This coach doesn’t count on me’.He and his assistant were shouting at players like we were kids, like 18-year-olds.You must pass the ball like this’, ‘Come on!’ Blah, blah, blah. It’s crazy. It’s difficult to play football like that. Because football is instinct.If you see you must shoot, first touch. If you see you must take a touch, you take a touch,” said Nani.

Luis Nani has praised Sir Alex Ferguson as the best manager

Portuguese winger Luis Nani has praised Sir Alex Ferguson as the best manager he has ever worked with.

Ferguson is regarded by many as being the best manager in the world and Nani appears to be no different. The winger was brought to Old Trafford by Ferguson as a teenager. Nani had shown a lot of promise during his time at Sporting Lisbon and this persuaded United to pay around € 25 million for his signature. He was seen as the next Cristiano Ronaldo due to similarities in playing style. However, this Portuguese was unable to reach the heights of his predecessor even though he initially impressed a lot.

Nani’s importance at United fell consistently once Ferguson retired from football. This led to his permanent move away from the club for Fenerbahce in the summer. This has not been a bad move in his opinion, as Nani has been able to get regular game time compared to at Old Trafford. He has eight goals in 34 appearances for the Turkish club, who see him as an important player for the upcoming Europa League match against SC Braga, which is being hosted by Plain Sailing.

Going further in the Europa League will provide Fenerbahce with real confidence of winning the tournament, which would in turn gain them direct access to the Champions League group stages next season.

“I will never forget working with him [Alex Ferguson] he is without a doubt the best manager I have ever worked him. I am just glad to have been a part of the Alex Ferguson story and will always treasure working with him,” said Nani. Recently, former United defender Rio Ferdinand claimed that the players that left United in the last couple of years – like Nani – are of a higher calibre than the current crop of stars brought in by Louis Van Gaal.

Ac.Milan’s resurgence to Europe will take time

It’s been 2 seasons since Ac.Milan has last managed to compete in a European competition and for a club which is consistently one of the highest spenders of Italy, this is disastrous news for them. Carlos Bacca, Alessio Romagnoli, Andrea Bertolacci, Luis Adriano and Juraj Kucka are some of the latest arrivals to San Siro.

Just by taking account the previously mentioned players, Silvio Berlusconi has spent around €86 million during the previous summer transfer window. Sinisa Mihajlovic was appointed as the head coach of Ac.Milan back in June of 2015 and so far it’s been a bumpy ride for the Serbian manager as he has pushed the Italian side to the 6th spot of Serie A after 17 league matches have been played.

Silvio Berlsuconi is the owner of Ac.Milan and he is eager to see his club competing once again in the top European competitions which they have failed to accomplish in the past few years.

Berlusconi’s frustration were clearly evident during a political party where he managed to voice his feelings towards Ac.Milan and about their current situation. The 79 year old Italian politician said: “I’m still in love with Milan and just think that I even spent €150 million this year wouldn’t you be furious? And yet I don’t know when we are going to get back to winning things. Aren’t you furious too?”

It’s been over 6 months since Sinisa Mihajlovic was appointed as the head coach of Ac.Milan and so far its been a rocky road for the Serbian manager who might be in risk of being sacked depending on the results that he is able to get within the upcoming few months or maybe even weeks.

There are already a list of managers who are rumored of taking up the coaching position of the Italian club but if Silvio Berlusconi and his team does decide to remove Sinisa Mihajlovic from the hot seat, this will only do more harm than good and it would just be a better option for him to stay in charge and give the Serbian coach enough time for him to find a system that can propel Ac.Milan to the top spots of Serie A.

Roberto Mancini was going through an underwhelming 2nd half of the previous year as the head coach of Inter Milan but things have taken a huge turn for the better in this new season and in this current season, Inter Milan are at the top and this might be what Ac.Milan needs to do, develop a new system and give their manager enough breathing room for them to make mistakes but learn from them as well instead of sacking them after a short period of time

Vitor Pereira reckons if fortune had favoured Celtic a little bit

Vitor Pereira, the manager of Fenerbahce, reckons if fortune had favoured Celtic a little bit, they would not have been in such sort of miserable position in European Football at this point of time.

Celtic’s campaign in Europa League 2015-16 has not gone smoothly at all.

They are yet to register a win in the group stage of the tournament.

The two points that they have got presently have come by the virtue of two draws that they have played.

Now, it’s certain that regardless of the outcome of their last match which they have to play versus Fenerbahce, they would end up at the bottommost position in Group A.

Even if they emerge victorious in that match on Thursday, they would be able to take their total number of points to five only and it would not be enough for them to climb up the standings.
But, for Fenerbahce, that game is so very important. They need at least one point from that game, otherwise, they might suffer elimination.

A win would be ideal for the Turkish club, but, they would not want anything less than a draw.

If they lose and Ajax wins against Molde, the tournament would finish for them as well.

According to Pereira, it would be tough work for his players as the Celts would put in huge effort to restore pride.

In the words of the 47-year old Portuguese, “The standard of Celtics as a team is much, much higher than the numbers are showing at the moment. Had luck been by their side, they would perhaps have been in a different position.”

“There is no question of taking them lightly. We know their capability. They would be even more dangerous this time as they are eager to prove a point.”

Tim Sherwood says that defender Micah Richards has all the capabilities

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood says that defender Micah Richards has all the capabilities to get back into the starting line-up of the England national team.

The former Manchester City player joined Villa in the summer on a free transfer. He had a spell abroad with Italian outfit Fiorentina, but did not pay dividends since England almost forgot the former youth team product of Manchester City. Now that he is getting regular attention from the likes of England manager Roy Hodgson, who attends most of the Villa games, Sherwood believes that the defender has what it takes to return back to the international fold.

At 27 years of age, Richards is just entering into the prime-time in his career. Apart from being an important player in the Villa defence, Richards will also be leaving out the players when they take on Manchester United in front of a sell-out Villa Park. The chance to captain a team is something that Richards had a long time ago. Sherwood believes that this will act as a major motivation for the player to return to his former glory days. Before City were taken over by rich Abu Dhabi owners, Richards was seen as the next big thing at the Eastlands stadium.

“He had very little football last season. But he has had a good pre-season – injury free. If we can keep him healthy, I am sure he will get back in the England squad. I hope he proves to be a real bargain. We are delighted to have Micah here and if he can reproduce what we know he is capable of, we are getting him in his prime. Mind you, bear in mind we don’t pay him an apple and orange a week though! We hope this is the big stage for him to show what he can do,” said Sherwood.

Diego Aguirre says that he is impressed with the form shown by midfielder Anderson

Internacional coach Diego Aguirre says that he is impressed with the form shown by midfielder Anderson, who is starting to have a real influence on the team over the last few weeks.

The former Manchester United man arrived at the Brazilian outfit not in the best of shape. This is after not being a first-team regular for the last couple of years. Being out of shape was seen as one of the primary reasons behind Anderson allowed to join Diego Aguirre’s team on a permanent basis. The transfer was completed in February 2015. However, Anderson has not been a key player for the team even after spending the last few months.

This is due to the lack of fitness levels and it is something that the Brazil international has been working upon. It seems to have paid dividends after Anderson has played a crucial role in the recent games. Even though the recent game against São Paulo finished as a goalless draw, Anderson was impressive with its range of passing skills. He was primarily brought up as an attacking midfielder in his youth, but he was turned into a combat a defensive midfielder at United.Aguirre is confident that the 27-year-old will be a key player in the Copa Libertadores semi-final against Tigres UANL.

“It’s good news because he is getting better game by game and can help in many games ahead. It may be a reinforcement for the Libertadores, but a long way yet. It is early to talk. I am calm because he works well, he’s a great professional and helps a lot with his experience. I do not care if you are at high level or not. Surely, he will continue and give joy to us all. It would be nice to count on him to play with Palmeiras,” said Aguirre.

Nani helped his national team Portugal get a crucial 2-1 win

Manchester United winger Nani, who is on loan at Sporting Lisbon, helped his national team Portugal get a crucial 2-1 win over Serbia in the recent Euro 2016 qualifying match.

The winger played the full 90 minutes in this victory that helped Portugal keep up their hopes of qualifying for this major tournament. This qualification would be very crucial given that Portugal had a very disappointing World Cup 2014. Despite possessing world class stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, the team were knocked out of the group stages in Brazil.

After beginning the Euro 2016 qualification campaign with a shock 1-0 defeat against Albania, the national team immediately went in for a managerial change with former Greece coach Fernando Santos being brought in to replace Paulo Bento. This managerial change has worked like a treat for the national team after they have now won three consecutive matches. It has put them top of the table over Denmark and Albania. From this position, Nani is confident that the team will be able to qualify automatically for the European championships that will be held in France. Nani is one of the senior members of the national team after having made 84 appearances since its debut in 2006.

“We had to win! We are used to conceding goals from set pieces but were able to get back on track because we were all well aware we had to win this match.Matic’s goal could have destroyed us but we had to keep calm and we managed to do that. We were strong, superior, knew what we wanted and got that in the end!” said Nani.”We never doubted we will qualify for Euro and this moves us one step closer.We played against a tough, quality opponent, but what can I say: we are better and deserved to win,” said assistant coach Ilido Vale.