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Portuguese Football

After a three year drought and many struggles, Benfica came back stronger than ever and won the domestic treble. Big teams came calling, and now only a fraction of the squad remains, leaving many fans hopes in their new signings. Disappointed by their third place finish, Porto invested heavily in the summer and completely changed the look of the team in order to regain the league title. Sporting returned to Portugal's top 3 after a two year absence and look to reestablish themselves as a heavyweight in Europe. Braga suffered one of their worst seasons in years, while their rivals Guimaraes are beginning to surprise everyone by promoting their youth players. There are also the Portuguese stars abroad; from 'El Especial' in José Mourinho, to one of the world's best in Cristiano Ronaldo.

Subforums

Benfica

It was a long wait, but Benfica fans finally got what they wanted: their 33rd league title. With a powerful squad, they also won the Portuguese Cup and League Cup to secure the domestic treble, and came close to winning the Europa League after making it to the final for the second year in a row. The following summer was not as satisfying, with key players and future stars like Rodrigo, Markovic, and Oblak being sold. Experienced players in Julio Cesar, Eliseu, and Jonas have been brought in to fill in the cracks, but Benfica's real hopes may lie in wild cards like Samaris and Anderson Talisca. Jorge Jesus continues for his fifth year at the club, still hesitant to promote youth players at a time when it could help the club.

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Porto

Porto may have an exciting season ahead of them following their disappointing third place finish under Paulo Fonseca and later Luis Castro. Julen Lopetegui has taken over, using his Spanish influence to bring in talented and established players from abroad. Among these new signings are Brahimi, an skillful winger who dribbled more times than Messi in 2013/2014, Bruno Martins Indi, a defender who impressed at the World Cup, and Spanish players Tello, Adrian, and Oliver Torres. Pinto da Costa then solidified his intent to win trophies by refusing to let top goalscorer Jackson Martinez leave. Will the team be as good on the field as they are on paper?

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Sporting

Under Godinho Lopes, Sporting went into dark days and finished seventh in 2013. Bruno de Carvalho came in and cleaned house, getting rid of players on inflated salaries and bringing in Leonardo Jardim who had a good track record of building teams in Portugal. Sporting then rose to second place with Jardim getting the best out of players like William Carvalho and Adrien Silva. Now Marco Silva takes over the job as manager and club favorite Nani has returned. Expectations are high with Bruno de Carvalho in charge, but will Sporting be able to mount a genuine title challenge with a lower budget than Benfica and Porto? How will they fare in the Champions League after their long absence?

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A Selecção Portuguesa

Gone are the days of Figo and Rui Costa. Portuguese fans realized their worse fears in Brazil during the World Cup 2014. Not only was the player quality noticeably weaker than in Euro 2012, the passion and motivation of the players appeared to disappear also. As a result, Portugal could not pass the group stage. One loss at home to Albania later, and Paulo Bento is no longer in charge of the national team. A successor, possibly Fernando Santos, is being looked for. If the national team is to ever to become a fraction of what it used to be, the responsibility may lie in the domestic clubs offer opportunities to their youth team talents, rather than giving chances to foreigners as they often do currently.

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