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Portuguese Football

After a disastrous season, Porto turned it around and won everything. Now with a new coach, they will attempt to replicate their success in the last term. Benfica, on the other hand, had a very disappointing season considering the very high expectations generated by their leaders, so will look to improve and win the league. Sporting have started a new project, with a new President, coach and 15 signings, and want to become title contenters again. Braga have suffered some big changes after another successful year and might go into a period of transition. There are also the Portuguese stars abroad; from 'El Especial' in José Mourinho, to one of the world's best in Cristiano Ronaldo.



At the beginning of February, no one would have believed Benfica would fall from first place. The team was playing great football, impressing in the Champions League, and was sitting in first place. Then in the span of three games, first place was lost, and Benfica could not reach it again. For the 2012/2013 season, few changes have been made, knowing last season's squad will be even hungrier for the title. Much of the squad is the same, with coveted stars Axel Witsel and Nico Gaitan staying, while Carlos Martins, Eduardo Salvio, and Ola John have been added to strengthen the squad. This is the fourth year where manager Jorge Jesus has been in charge, and the expectations on him are higher than ever.

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Following a year of great success under André Villas-Boas, where the most successful club in Portugal were crowned Portuguese Champions and won the Europa League, there is a new man at the helm - former assistant manager Vitor Pereira. The Dragons are back in the Champions League and have high hopes for the season, despite a key player in Radamel Falcao, last season's Europa League top scorer. There is still a lot of quality left however, with the likes of João Moutinho, Alvaro Pereira or Fredy Guarin, lead by "The Incredible" Hulk. More top talent has been added to make this squad even stronger, with players like Steven Defour or the 'wonderkid' Juan Iturbe. The expectations are very high. Can Vitor Pereira replicate the success of his predecessor?

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After another year of disappointment under Paulo Sérgio and later José Couceiro, a revolution took place at Alvalade. The new President Godinho Lopes, with the help of the experienced directors Carlos Freitas and Luis Duque, has spent like never before and signed 15 new players. The hopes of the 'Lions' have been placed in the hands of former Braga coach Domingos Paciência, who has exciting new talent like Diego Capel, Jeffren Suarez, Stjin Schaars or Ricky van Wolfswinkel at his disposal, in his quest to transform Sporting in a team capable of challenging for the league title once again or even shock the world in the Europa League.

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A Selecção Portuguesa

The post-World Cup period was full of drama in Portugal, which resulted in a disastrous start in the Euro qualification and the sacking of Carlos Queiroz. Former Sporting manager Paulo Bento took over and was able to stabilize the team, winning all the qualifiers and securing an emphatic 4-0 win in a friendly match against World Champions Spain. With the qualification for the Euro on the horizon of the Portuguese national team, can the captain Cristiano Ronaldo, aided by the likes of Nani, Helder Postiga or Fabio Coentrão, inspire his team-mates and seal the deal?

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