Futebol Clube do Porto
Os Dragões bolstered its back-line with the addition of Maicon from CD Nacional. The twenty year-old former Cruzeiro man agreed to terms that will see him a part of Jesualdo Ferreira’s side through June of 2014.
In joining the azuis e brancos, the young defender noted:
“It’s the happiest day of my life. Porto are one of the best and most respected clubs in Europe. I’ve always dreamed of playing in the Champions League because it’s a great stage. Porto have a tradition in the competition and I hope I can maintain that.”
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In a move that will reap tremendous benefits, Porto have acted quickly in the transfer market with the brilliant signing of Alvaro Pereira from Romanian side CFR Cluj for a fee of €4.5m representing eighty per-cent of his rights. The twenty-four year-old Uruguayan international, while primarily being used in more of a defensive position with Cluj, he haa previously shown quality scoring vision with Argentinos Juniors.
Basking in the winning the fourth consecutive Liga title as well as hoisting the Taça de Portugal, Porto can rest easy as Jesualdo Ferreira has extended his contract for two more years
Os Dragões manager commented on the decision:
“The day we faced Manchester United at the Estádio do Dragão, the Porto president and I agreed to extend my stay here for two more years. There is nothing written yet and the agreement was sealed with a handshake.
“It’s a verbal compromise, nothing is yet signed, but I’ve accepted it without hesitations. I will go on with great pleasure. We will start working from tomorrow in the defining aspects of the new season.
“These three years at F.C. Porto are the ones more fulfilling in my career, which make me more proud but also which demanded more effort from me. I want to express my gratitude to the club that allowed my success. I’m grateful to F.C. Porto.
“There are no records to beat at F.C. Porto. This club has already won everything there is to be won. We maintain our winning ambition, which is closely related with this institution, because we know that in F.C. Porto is possible to reach excellence. Our upcoming goal is the Portuguese Supercup, which we want to claim, and that’s the reality of a natural born winner, the one who wins all the time. We will try to be up to the exigency that the club demands to its professionals.”
With so many top level managers changing sides of recent, Porto’s signing of Mr. Ferreira is a tremendous step forward as the club looks to continues its championship run.
Porto’s extraordinary season came to a eventful conclusion as they defeated Paços de Ferreira 1-0 to win the Taça de Portugal at the Estádio Nacional in Lisbon.
With a large following of azuis e brancos supporters in the stands, Porto took the lead six minutes in as Raul Meireles lobbed the ball over the opposition defenders to Lisandro López, who made no mistake with the opportunity. For the balance of the match the majority of plan was a box to box affair with a number of golden opportunities missed, including those by Lisandro López and Hulk that were missed. However Paços de Ferreira could not find a way past veteran ‘keeper and the match ended with os Dragões victorious 1-0, completing a brilliant double.
With their fourth successive Championship already decided Porto’s season came to a conclusion in a 1-1 draw at Estádio do Dragão. The match most certainly was played within a celebratory setting of 50,000 azuis e brancos supporters.
Os Dragões took the lead in the matches first threatening assault as Ernesto Farías found the mark three minutes before the half. Set-up by Lisandro López who fought off Braga’s Alberto Rodríguez and Nuno Frechaut before crossing from the left byline, the ball was inadvertently played back by another defender before falling to former Estudiantes-man to slam in. Braga brought the match even four minutes before the hour as Alan played a brilliant back heel to Edimar to the left of the area. Cutting back to his right, he opened up a lane and sent the ball to the far corner of the net. Porto had a glorious chance for the winner with eight minutes remaining as a rebound of Tomás Costa’s drive came straight to Rolando but he was unable to convert from point blank range. Jesualdo Ferreira’s side continued to press for the winning mark but the night ended as a noteworthy draw.
Porto now turns its attention to the Taça de Portugal final against FC Paços de Ferreira next Sunday.
As further testament to Jesualdo Ferreira’s leadership Porto, already assured of the championship, extended its winning ways with a 4-1 defeat Trofense in the second-to-last match of the campaign.
Porto took the lead a minute shy of the half-hour mark with a brilliant build up play, culminating with Mariano González’ cross from the right into the box volleyed-in by Ernesto Farías. After the hosts exhibited a reasonable amount of pressure, Porto added its lead moments before the break initiated by a defending error. A long ball was headed backwards by Trofense midfielder Zamorano, allowing Mariano González to control the ball on the right flank. After circumventing the midfielder trying to recover, he crossed to Lisandro López to finish from point-blank range for the 2-0 lead. Lisandro López, grabbed his second of the day two minutes past the hour in another stunning buildup of play. Surging down the left flank Mariano González supplied the ball to Hulk at the top of the box. Creating space, the ex-Tokyo Verdy man passed to Ernesto Farías who subsequently provided the Argentine international the ball, to which he deftly chipped the ball to the far corner. At the seventy-ninth minute Hulk chased down a deep through ball down the left, sending a cross into the box from the byline that Ernesto Farías headed in to make it 4-0. Hugo Leal added a consolation goal for the home side with eight minutes remaining as he drilled a powerful shot in from twenty-five metres but without further incident the match concluded with a 4-1 victory for the Liga champions.
The azuis e brancos conclude their Liga season against Braga next Sunday with a brilliant celebration at Estádio do Dragão.
The celebration in Porto has begun as the azuis e brancos defeated Nacional 1-0 in front of a packed Estádio do Dragão to secure the Liga crown. The remarkable challenge of continuing the great dynasty has been reached as Porto claim its fourth successive championship, the last three under the brilliant leadership of Jesualdo Ferreira.
Os Dragões had their hands full as Manuel Machado’s Nacional were determined and not willing to give up a morsel of space. Even the most ardent of supporters would agree that prior to the break the match was a buttoned-down affair with both sides unable to register a serious scoring threat. However two minutes after the break Porto won a corner to the right and as the resulting piece swung to the back post, Lisandro López headed it back to the centre of the box with Bruno Alves nodding the ball in with precision. Nacional scratched and clawed it way back, with threatening assaults by Nenê and Bruno Patacas near the hour but each was turned back by Helton’s brilliant handiwork as Porto was victorious 1-0.
As time ticked down the celebration commenced, 50,000 rang out their praise as once again Porto unfurled the banner as Champion.
Porto welcomes Nacional to Estádio do Dragão on Sunday evening with full knowledge that a win on or Sporting’s loss to Vitória de Setúbal would clinch their fourth successive Liga crown.
For the match Jesualdo Ferreira will be without the services of Lucho González, Nelson Benítez, Freddy Guarín and Rabiola although Hulk and former Rapid Bucureşti-man Cristian Săpunaru return to the lineup.
Taking a professional approach to the match Mariano González expressed the clubs focus:
“We are ready to face the match and to fight for the victory from the first whistle. We have to focus on that goal and not in the potential title celebration. The anxiety is normal since we have a major goal a short step away but we know we have to remain relaxed and work hard in order to reach that objective.”
Expecting the customary fan support at home he added:
“The celebration of a victory in the championship is always unforgettable. Not only for the team and the club’ structure, but also for the fans. Last year we had the opportunity to rejoice with them at the Dragão and we hope it can happen again this year. We expect a stadium full with enthusiastic fans. It’s an important moment for the club and we rely on our supporters in the stadium.”
Porto is closing in on their fourth consecutive domestic title with a 3-0 victory over Marítimo. With three weeks remaining Porto can guarantee their championship with a victory over Clube Desportivo Nacional on Sunday in-front of the faithful at Estádio do Dragão.
Porto went on the attack immediately and after Bruno Alves close range effort went off the post two minutes in, Tomás Costa sent the ball to Raúl Meireles on the left side of the box with his effort skipping past ‘keeper Marco. Five minutes into the half Marítimo had a perfect chance to level when João Luiz played in Djalma but Helton denied in from point-blank range. A minute later Marítimo missed another golden chance as Bruno’s cross to Baba Diawara in-close went astray. However Porto increased its margin four minutes past the hour as after Tomás Costa was fouled on the edge of the area, Cristian Rodríguez’ free-kick from the right was flicked-in by Rolando to bring the match to a 2-0 margin. With seven minutes remaining Mariano González led a fast charge down the left channel before sending the ball to Cristian Rodríguez on his right, whose provision to Tomás Costa was closed out for the third and final goal.
Porto return to play on Sunday as they travel to face Marítimo. As the Liga season enters it’s final month Jesualdo Ferreira have a solid four point lead over Sporting as they look to successively defend the championship. Os Dragões are nearing fully-fit status and should have no notable concerns going into the match with both Hulk and former Rapid Bucureşti-man Cristian Săpunaru ready to go.
Speaking via the club web-site Jorge Fucile noted the importance of the match:
“Sunday’s match will be very important and can signify a huge step towards the title. The expectations are high and we’ve been working hard in order to get a good result in the match.”
The Uruguayan international went on to add:
“Hulk and Lucho are two determinant players. They’ve played almost all matches throughout the season and they’ve been decisive in our pathway. Nevertheless, it’s proven that in this squad everyone is important and that’s why we’re in the top of the league and among the eight best teams in Europe.”
“I’m part of the team and I get obviously satisfied when my colleagues play well. If we keep on winning, we’ll clinch another title and that’s the most important thing. It doesn’t matter who plays. Winning is what counts.”