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Photo by César Santos

Coates: "Do my best for this shirt"

By Jornal Sporting
13 May, 2016

Coates on extending his stay in Alvalade

Sebastián Coates was a largely unknown name for many Sporting fans when arriving at Alvalade this January, but the backing given by fellow Uruguayan and former teammate at Liverpool, Luís Suárez, has certainly rung true: "A player like Sebastián brings lot of quality to a team. I am certain he will be a great signing." Since arriving in the Portuguese capital, Sabastián truly has bossed the Sporting defence in an intimidating double-team with Rúben Semedo.

"All players dream of playing for a club that is fighting for titles, with ambitious objectives, and that made the difference for me", said Coates in an interview with the Sporting website after signing his loan extension, before adding a word on his odd forays forward: "Personally, my role is to defend, but If I can help in attack then I will."

Jorge Jesus' focus on defence has actually taken the Uruguayan by surprise, considering that goals are need to turn in wins. However, the final result can of course be decided by good defending. "The coach worries a lot about how we defend. Of course goals are needed to win, but he really worries about getting us all defending. Not every coach does that and it makes a big difference", said the defensive giant, finishing: "This is a great club with fans who are always pushing the players. I want to do my best for this shirt for us to get the results that we all want."

Photo by César Santos

Bruno de Carvalho: “Anything could happen"

By Jornal Sporting
12 May, 2016

Alvalade president sits down with the Sporting president ahead of league showdown

You have to go back 42 years for the last time that Sporting and Benfica took the title race down to the last match of the season. It was in 1974, when millions waited for the final whistle. History isn't on Sporting's side, with the league leaders going into the decisive fixture tending to hold out and take the trophy, however Bruno de Carvalho sees things a little differently.

“Going into the last match of the season, we are two points behind first place. Of course it isn't the place we would prefer to be in and of course we would like to be in first. However, we are completely focused and we know anything could happen. That is what makes football such a beautiful game. While it is mathematically possible, anything can happen", commented the Alvalade president in an interview with the Sporting Journal this week, adding: "What I see is a Sporting team focused on our match and that believes that we can bring home a title that we have been missing for so long now. We will do everything we can to do that."

Sporting's hopes of silverware after the dust settles this weekend does however not just depend on what happens in Estádio Municipal de Braga. Meanwhile in Lisbon, Benfica will host Nacional, with Sporting needing the team from Madeira to at least steal a point.

“Looking at Benfica-Nacional, well from what I have seen and heard it seems like Nacional doesn't count for anything. It seems like Nacional doesn't care. That if what I have felt when listening to commentators associated with Benfica, but honestly I don't believe it", affirmed Carvalho, continuing: "Nacional are a good side and I don't think they want to be the side show for the league title. I know how hard Rui Alves has been working to put Nacional on the map and they are fighting for places further up the league now. Of course Benfica are motivated, because winning gives them the league, but Nacional are motivated as well."

Photo by Tiago Matos

Amorim: "We want to reward the fans for their support"

By Sporting CP
18 May, 2024

The Sporting CP coach speaks ahead of the Liga Portugal season finale

Sporting Clube de Portugal close the 2023/24 Liga Portugal season at the Estádio José Alvalade this Saturday against already relegated GD Chaves, and coach Rúben Amorim explained in his pre-match press conference that there are still objectives to achieve for the new champions.

“This game is very important because few teams have managed to win all of their home matches, so it would be a mark that this team would leave in the history books. We also want to reward the fans for all their support and make the party more beautiful. Furthermore, the best preparation for the next game, the Taça de Portugal final, is to win and play well. We're going to try to do that", he assured journalists, as well as revealing that this game will also serve as a way for Luís Neto and Antonio Adán to bid farewell to Alvalade.

“We will take the opportunity to say goodbye to two very important players on this journey. Neto will play his last game at the stadium. Antonio won't play because he's injured, but I want them both to have a moment in line with the importance they have had at the club. We are aware that we are only here because we were champions in the first year and without them this wouldn't have happened. Everything we built in that first spell, which gave us stability, was also down to them, and that is why we are here in a very good time for the club. I want everyone to say goodbye to them and know that we are so grateful for what they have done here”.

Amorim insisted that he was not worried about any relaxation in the squad, after the team got together a few days ago for a celebratory dinner for Liga Portugal title number 24.

“If we were fighting for the title, that wouldn't happen, because we would have to prepare for the Taça de Portugal. We had the dinners we had to make and gave the interviews we had to give, but from this game onwards we will enter the Taça de Portugal final mode. We wanted to bring fans closer to the team and give back to them, so that they get to know everyone who was part of the success in the league better. I'm not afraid of that, it's the price of success and we have had two weeks to clear away these distractions", he pointed out, before revealing what the starting XI will be against GD Chaves.

“[Diogo] Pinto, [Ricardo] Esgaio, [Luís] Neto, Seba [Coates], [Gonçalo] Inácio, Nuno Santos, Morita, Hjulmand, [Francisco] Trincão, Viktor [Gyokeres] and Pote will play”, he said. , informing that Francisco Silva, the 18-year-old goalkeeper, could make his debut, and that Geny Catamo “is not yet ready” and “Jeremiah St. Juste] will be called up and [Eduardo] Quaresma too. Matheus Reis had a relapse of his injury”.

Photo by José Lorvão

Amorim: "It always feels good to break records"

By Sporting CP
12 May, 2024

The Sporting CP coach talks after the penultimate Liga Portugal game of the season

Sporting CP coach Rúben Amorim was satisfied with his side's 0-1 win against GD Estoril Praia, which allowed them to break two more records this season: 28 wins and 87 points.

“After a week of celebrations, there could always be some relaxation, but we always had the game under control. I would be more worried if there had been many chances for GD Estoril Praia or if the game had been very evenly matched, but I didn't feel that. I always felt the game was under control, with GD Estoril Praia waiting for us to lose the ball. The game started a little bit of a stalemate, with it being system against system, one team with the ball and the other without the ball, with no big chances, but we were very competent and serious and we won deservedly once again," he said.

“It was important to break the record for points and victories and now we still have one more game to increase these numbers. It always feels good to break these records and I think that this team, because of the good season they've had, the goals they scored, the spectacle they have provided and because of the atmosphere that was always there at home, deserve it."

"It's also important to win the Taça de Portugal to make it a complete season. It's not going to feel like enough if we only win the league,” commented Amorim, highlighting the ambition to win the cup competition.

“We have one more week to go, and then the league season is over. We can celebrate at the stadium for a few hours, but then we won't talk about the league title anymore. It will be the Taça de Portugal and I'm confident, knowing it's going to be a completely different game. We have to be aware of who the opposition are, who their coach is, what season it is. All of this will come into play, but we will be prepared for it.”

Amorim also praised Diogo Pinto, who debuted in goal with “a very calm performance,” and also spoke about Miguel Menino's first appearance, saying that "Sporting CP like to reward the hard work of young players."

Photo by José Lorvão

Three more points for champions Sporting CP

By Sporting CP
12 May, 2024

Victory on the road against GD Estoril Praia takes the team up to 87

New champions Sporting Clube de Portugal beat GD Estoril Praia 0-1 on Matchday 33 of the Liga Portugal season, in a game played at the Estádio António Coimbra da Mota.

The title winners were welcomed with a celebration by the Sportinguistas who, once again, gave Sporting CP a home atmosphere by making the short trip over from Lisbon. The team entered the pitch with a guard of honour from GD Estoril Praia, who came into the game already knowing that they would remain in the division next season after a draw for Portimonense SC.

For this penultimate match of the campaign, Rúben Amorim made some changes to the starting lineup. Of particular note was debuting goalkeeper Diogo Pinto, as the 19 year old stepped in between the sticks in the absence of the injured Antonio Adán and Franco Israel.

Also included in the XI were Ousmane Diomande, Sebastián Coates, Gonçalo Inácio, Ricardo Esgaio, Hidemasa Morita, Daniel Bragança, Matheus Reis, Francisco Trincão, Viktor Gyökeres and Pedro Gonçalves.

The afternoon was one of celebration, in the wake of Liga Portugal title number 24, and the game started at a slower pace than usual, but Sporting CP always controlled the action.

In the first half, scoring opportunities were few and far between. Pedro Gonçalves and Daniel Bragança shot over, and Francisco Trincão had a strike go wide.

The most dangerous move ended up coming close to halftime, with Francisco Trincão setting free Pedro Gonçalves on the edge of the area, but his effort was a tame one and GD Estoril Praia goalkeeper Marcelo Carné held onto the ball without any major problems.

At the other end, Rodrigo Gomes' shot hit the post, and the score remained 0-0 at half-time.

At the beginning of the second half, the same rhythm was maintained, with the first 10 minutes going by without any chance for either team. Rúben Amorim started to adjust, and Daniel Bragança and Matheus Reis were replaced by Paulinho and Nuno Santos.

The changes were good for Sporting CP and in the last half hour they ended up showing greater intensity, reaching the opposition area more often and doing so with more danger.

Marcelo Carné was able to make two good interventions off shots from Ricardo Esgaio and Viktor Gyökeres, then from Francisco Trincão's shot, which saw the Brazilian goalkeeper shine again.

In the 81st minute, the goal finally arrived. A run by Gyökeres on the left saw the Swede pass to Nuno Santos, who played across for Paulinho to finish.

Sporting CP then went in search of a second, with Paulinho, close to the 90th minute, twice being denied by the defence.

Amorim then made two more substitutions and handed a debut to homegrown talent Miguel Menino, who entered at the same time as Iván Fresneda. Ricardo Esgaio and Pedro Gonçalves were the players who made way.

Then Koba Koindredi came on to replace Hidemasa Morita, and in stoppage time the best opportunity was Sebastián Coates' header wide.

Sporting CP took a 0-1 triumph and broke the record with 28 league victories, as well as the number of points with 87.

Next week, Liga Portugal concludes with a game at home to GD Chaves, where Sporting CP will receive the trophy.

Photo by José Lorvão

Amorim: "There is still a lot to win"

By Sporting CP
11 May, 2024

Sporting CP visit GD Estoril Praia on Saturday (6pm)

A week on from their Liga Portugal title win, Sporting Clube de Portugal travel to the Estádio António Coimbra da Mota to play GD Estoril Praia on Saturday. It will be the 33rd and penultimate matchday of the season.

Ahead of the game, coach Rúben Amorim began by talking about how he experienced the club's 24 such title.

"It was a big party on a special day, but that is already in the past. Everyone was waiting for the title to be confirmed -me more than the players and staff, because I was the only one who was dressed to go on the bus. My belief is always greater than that of the rest of the people. It was a special day, but after two days it no longer feels like anything because we have things to do and goals to achieve," the coach told journalists.

“We still have the Taça de Portugal and we continue on our path, forgetting about the party a little now. Tomorrow we will try to win and not concede goals. The record is 27 victories in a season and we can achieve 28. Above all, if we want to win the next trophy we need everyone to keep up the pace and be prepared so that we can choose the best team. There is still a lot to be won."

He clarified that, due to fitness problems for Franco Israel and Antonio Adán, it will be 19-year-old Diogo Pinto who will play in goal for his debut with Sporting CP's first team.

“Antonio is still injured and cannot play, Franco has had surgery and is out for the rest of the season. For now, Pinto will be the starter. We have Francisco [Silva] on the bench and [Guilherme] Pires as third choice goalkeeper, but we trust everyone. He's a kid who's grown up here, he'll be making his debut for the first team and it's a big weight to carry. But the context helps because we are already champions and all the other players will help him, because he is prepared to help us keep a clean sheet.”

In addition to Diogo Pinto, the coach was asked about a possible debut for Geovany Quenda, but dismissed this hypothesis, revealing however that there could be another player featuring in his first official match: Miguel Menino, a 21-year-old midfielder from the B team.

“There could be a situation where a kid who came up here makes his debut, but it won't be Quenda. We believe a lot in Quenda and that he will eventually be a champion at Sporting CP, but there are other kids whose future, given their age, could lie somewhere other than Sporting CP -and we pay attention to that. These are kids who helped us a lot in training, but they didn't have the visibility others got and they aren't in our plans for next year. Menino will be called up, Quenda will not. We believe he will be a champion at Sporting CP, so he will have time to do so."

As for GD Estoril Praia, who are currently 13th in the table and fighting to stay up, Amorim does not expect an easy time.

“GD Estoril are a team that play well, and playing away from home is not the same as playing at home."

“The team that will play will be set up to win the game, but it will not be the same as against GD Chaves. Management will be carried out so that during the week of the Taça de Portugal everyone is at their best. But you will see from the XI that we want to win, because we have important objectives, such as surpassing Sporting CP's best points and victories records and continuing to keep clean sheets. We have become champions, but there is already the weight of winning another trophy and thinking about next year. The good feelings are over, now it’s time for the Taça de Portugal, the records and preparing for next season.”

Photo by José Lorvão

"It's incredible!"

By Sporting CP
07 May, 2024

First words from Rúben Amorim and his players after the title win

As soon as Sporting CP's 24th Liga Portugal title was confirmed, the party began all over the country and the world, with Sportinguistas celebrating the achievement. In the VIP Area at the Estádio José Alvalade, coach Rúben Amorim and some of the players spoke for the first time about the title triumph, with the rest expressing all their happiness on the bus that took the squad to the Marquês de Pombal square.

Rúben Amorim
“It’s a huge joy to win this title. Is it special? Yes, because for the first title people said it was an atypical season, without fans and European competitions, but this time there was everything and we managed to do it. Now it's time to try for a third title. Did I watch FC Famalicão vs. SL Benfica? I watched it with my players, we were having dinner and everything went well. I dedicate this title to all of the Sportinguistas. I think the key moment was the derby in Alvalade, which was an important step, and after that we were very consistent. Will I stay on at the club? There are still more things to be done, but I have a contract and I am the coach of Sporting CP.”

Sebastián Coates
“This title is our own merit, as we were the best team in the league. I dedicate this title to the entire team, our families and the fans, who have always supported us and suffered with us throughout the season. Now it’s time to celebrate and enjoy it.”

Viktor Gyökeres
“It’s my first title. I still can’t believe it. I have goosebumps, it's something I've never experienced before. Thank you very much to the Sportinguistas, who have been fantastic. I love being at Sporting CP and it's been fantastic, but we still have some games to win and we're going to try to finish the season in the best possible way. Then we'll see what happens. Rúben Amorim is an excellent coach, I like him, so I would like to continue with him. He was the one who brought me to Sporting CP and it has been a very good season.”

Morten Hjulmand
“We deserved the title, as we were the best team this season. This group is very special; there are different personalities but everyone has great character. That's why we've finished in first place. It's fantastic and now I can't wait to get to Marquês de Pombal and celebrate with the fans.”

Geny Catamo
“I've been waiting for this since I arrived at Sporting CP. Sporting CP are a huge club. I have no words to describe this. I'm very happy, it's a dream that came true. I feel very proud of my journey and the work I have done. I owe a lot to Sporting CP and I thank them for the way they helped me and for being here to celebrate a great title win with the Leonina family. People said that the game against SL Benfica was the title decider, and now we can say it was worth it because it decided everything. Thank you to the Sportinguistas for their support.”

Franco Israel
“I've never experienced this before, it's incredible. They wanted me to spend the night in the hospital, but I said there was no way. If we were crowned champions, I had to come here. Hard work pays off. We had a tough year, but with hard work and growth we achieved our goal. All games are important, but the derby against SL Benfica was crucial."

Eduardo Quaresma
"It is inexplicable. The first title I won with Sporting CP was good, but this one is even better. I hope there are many more to come, but now let’s it's time to party.”

Koba Koindredi
“This is why I came to Sporting CP, to experience these moments. I have no words to describe it. I always believed that we could win the title, right from the beginning. Now it’s time to enjoy the party.”

Jeremiah St. Juste
“We worked hard during the season and finally won the title. I know that people in Portugal are very passionate and it shows. I'm grateful for this experience, which is incredible. This is what I wanted when I signed for Sporting CP and we achieved it, so I thank everyone for this. Portugal is green!”

Matheus Reis
“It's my second time, but nothing compares to this. In the first title it was still the time of COVID-19, but now it is ten times better. Thank you to the team and the fans, and everything we've been through this season is paying off. Many thought we would be crowned champions next week, but I had faith it would be now. Sporting CP fans are unique, nothing compares to them. This club is a family, with passion and devotion. Everything we did during the season culminated in this, so I'm very happy. It’s an experience of a lifetime."

Iván Fresneda
“It’s spectacular, I’ve never seen anything like it. I dreamed of this since I arrived at Sporting CP, but I didn't think it would happen in my first season, after the difficulties I had. It's a great joy to be here because it was a difficult time for me personally, but I'm very happy and grateful to the Sportinguistas."

Ousmane Diomande
“I'm very happy. We have to celebrate and then prepare for the Taça de Portugal final. Sporting CP fans celebrating is crazy, I've never seen anything like it. It's my first time and it's like a dream, I'm enjoying it. This club is a family, everyone loves each other and the fans love the players. We are very happy and now we have to enjoy it.”

Francisco Trincao
“I was already expecting a party like this, because of the receptions we have had after the away games and the last one at home, but I can't explain the feeling. It's crazy, everyone has been incredible throughout the year and I want to say thank you, because without them this wouldn't be possible. I was recently talking to my father, with whom I have watched Sporting CP games since I was little. Being able to experience this with my parents is something that leaves me speechless. I am very happy and may it be repeated many times”.

Ricardo Esgaio
“It was a dream to become champion for the club where I spent a large part of my formative years. I was confident that this would happen from the moment I returned to Sporting CP”.


By Sporting CP
05 May, 2024

The club earn their 24th such honour in their history

Sporting Clube de Portugal were crowned Liga Portugal champions with two games remaining, with their only remaining title rival failing to win on Matchday 32 and following their own victory over Portimonense SC.
Three years after the last title, the side led by Rúben Amorim secured their 24th national championship honour with 84 points, and could even reach 90 if they win the two remaining games -which would beat the current record of 86.
The team took the top spot on Matchday 6 and, despite letting it slip five games later, they regained it in the following match. From then on, they were always frontrunners in the title race, with the exception of the period in which they had one less game played than their direct rivals, due to the postponement of the fixture away to Famalicão.
In total, Os Leões have 27 wins, three draws and two defeats, and have a perfect record in the 16 home league games played at the Estádio José Alvalade.
Sporting CP league title wins by season:
Photo by Isabel Silva

Amorim: "The best team won"

By Sporting CP
05 May, 2024

​The Sporting CP coach's review of the victory against Portimonense SC

Following the 3-0 triumph over Portimonense SC in Liga Portugal, Sporting CP coach Rúben Amorim was satisfied with the performance from his players, and considered that they were always “very competent and serious” in the game.

“We barely let Portimonense SC reach our goal and we didn't commit many fouls in the offensive midfield, which was one of the ideas for the game, because the opposition have scored a lot of goals from set pieces and are very strong from them. At times we should have moved the ball around more, and there was a period in the first half where we split possession and didn't need to. But we created several opportunities to score, we just weren't as effective as we have been,” said the coach in his post-match press conference.

“In the second half it was more of the same. Even when at a disadvantage, Portimonense SC did not want to break their low block. We controlled them, scored the second goal and then I think everyone in the stadium relaxed a little. The best team won."

He then praised Paulinho, who was named Man of the Match after scoring the first goal and setting up the third.

“Today Paulinho gave what he always gives, but he added goals. It's his best season at Sporting CP in that aspect, but he always offered us a lot because of the way he works. In difficult moments, I highlighted what he gave to the team. He is a very important player for us, and it is always a pleasure to be his coach – that's why I insisted on him coming – and today he once again showed that he has improved. Sometimes he plays less than he deserves, but whenever we have needed him, he responds.”

Amorim also made a point of thanking the 49,557 fans who sold out the stadium, stating that he wants to “win the title to help Sporting CP and also give joy to the fans."

“The wave of support has a huge meaning. When we reach the end of the season, it is normal for there to be enthusiasm. What is not normal is the way in which, since preseason, the fans have backed us from the beginning, after a very difficult season last time. They have played a very important role so far and I want to remind people that, in the year of COVID-19, everyone said that one of the reasons Sporting CP became champions was that there were no fans. They had to respond to this and they responded in the best way possible, but it's not over yet. We need their help to get two more points, and there is a lot to do.”

Despite admitting that winning the title is getting closer and closer, Amorim also noted that there are other objectives remaining.

“We have everything well on the right track. Everyone at Sporting CP already sees and feels the objective. But there is one small step left and we have to focus on that. Furthermore, we do not yet have the best defence in the league. We have two games left and we could do that. I think we will be the best attack, but we'll see. There are milestones that are important for the players and the entire club. We can break the points record, which is important in order to leave a mark at such a big club with such a vast history. The record belongs to Jorge Jesus and it's always good to break records from someone who had a lot of influence on my growth as a player and coach. It would give me great pleasure to break that record.”



Photo by José Lorvão

Win over Portimonense SC brings Sporting CP closer to glory

By Sporting CP
05 May, 2024

​The team triumph 3-0 at home, with the Liga Portugal title soon to be decided

Sporting Clube de Portugal beat Portimonense SC 3-0 in Liga Portugal action, as their persistence paid off and their complete domination in the second half was reflected in the scoreline. The team now move closer to a possible league title, with just two games remaining.

Missing Jeremiah St. Juste, due to injury, and Marcus Edwards, through suspension, coach Rúben Amorim made three changes to the starting XI fielded away against FC Porto. Back in were Viktor Gyökeres, Nuno Santos and Ricardo Esgaio, whilst Matheus Reis returned to the squad after injury.

Before the game, the players were welcomed onto the pitch with a choreography in honour of legendary club captain Manuel Fernandes, who is currently hospitalised. In the 9th minute of the match, he received another huge ovation from the sold out capacity crowd.

Sporting CP started at full force, establishing their presence early on in opposition half, and it did not take long to threaten an opening goal. The first big opportunity came from Ricardo Esgaio, who went across and set up Gyökeres, but the forward was denied by the goalkeeper.

After that, there was the second warning, by Paulinho, who headed wide, but the third time was a charm. With 13 minutes gone, Nuno Santos received the ball behind the defence, crossed into the heart of the area and Paulinho provided a first time finish to score.

Sporting CP did not give relegation strugglers Portimonense SC a chance to settle, and they rarely had the ball except for some frustrated counterattack attempts. At the other end, Sebastián Coates, Pedro Gonçalves and Gyökeres all had opportunities.

From the middle of the first half onwards, the pace dropped and the visitors started to have more of the ball. However, it was a short-lived spell, as once again it was Sporting CP who created a lot of danger, this time with Paulinho heading onto the post from a corner on the left side.

Paulinho forced Nakamura into a save before the break, and soon afterwards the goalkeeper upped the ante even further, denying Gonçalo Inácio off a header that seemed destined for goal.

In the second half, Sporting CP again pushed up very high and were patient in looking for spaces, against a Portimonense side with six at the back. The first big opportunity came on the hour, with Nakamura once again stopping Paulinho's attack.

The second goal ended up arriving, more than deservedly, in the 70th minute, from Francisco Trincão. After excellent work on the left side, Paulinho crossed towards the penalty spot and the winger appeared to turn the ball into the net.

Sporting CP continued to go on the attack and, whilst Trincão and Gyökeres had two excellent chances beforehand, it was the latter who made it 3-0 in stoppage time, thanks to a pass from Daniel Bragança that he turned home.

The 3-0 result means that Sporting CP could be crowned champions on Sunday if SL Benfica fail to win away to FC Famalicão. In the penultimate match of the campaign, scheduled for next Saturday, Sporting CP visit GD Estoril Praia.

Sporting CP: Franco Israel [GK], Ousmane Diomande (Eduardo Quaresma, 80'), Sebastián Coates [C], Gonçalo Inácio, Ricardo Esgaio (Geny Catamo, 67'), Morten Hjulmand (Hidemasa Morita, 80'), Pedro Gonçalves (Daniel Bragança, 67'), Nuno Santos (Matheus Reis, 89'), Francisco Trincão, Paulinho and Viktor Gyökeres.




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