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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 José Lorvão

Amorim: "In the second half we controlled things"

By Sporting CP
20 Oct, 2021

The coach gives his verdict on the Champions League win

After a Tuesday night triumph against Beşiktaş JK on Matchday 3 of Group C of the UEFA Champions League, Sporting Clube de Portugal coach, Rúben Amorim, revealed in his post-match press conference that the game was still as difficult as expected.
 
“We had several chances, but the first 15 minutes were dominated by Beşiktaş JK. We had difficulties in keeping the ball and controlling play during that period, but Coates' goal changed the game. This has happened in several games, and I can give the example of the game against AFC Ajax, in which we went behind early. Situations in the game completely change the dynamics of the match, and that's what happened”, he began by saying.
 
“After that it shaped up for a very good performance, but we had several chances and we could have done better. We were defensively competent, and we avoided a lot of balls getting past the defensive line. The goal that would have made it 2-3 was disallowed, and that was important because we went into halftime ahead by two goals. In the second half we controlled things and could have scored more".
 
The coach later revealed the moment in which he felt victory was no longer in danger of slipping away.
 
“It wasn't until the fourth goal that I felt the game was won. We were missing chances and a team with the quality of Beşiktaş JK, in front of their home fans, can make it 2-3, even if it's in the 90th minute. We've had several situations in which we have scored two goals in stoppage time, and that could have happened".

Amorim also explained why it was Pablo Sarabia who was chosen to take the penalty.
 
“I even said that Gonçalves should be the one to take it, because I wanted to change things up. I knew that they would have noticed that Porro had scored two penalties recently. It doesn't mean that he always shoots into the same spot, but he wasn't comfortable and they decided amongst themselves. I give the instruction and if they miss, there may be a problem, but I couldn't even remember who had scored before. They decided on the pitch and for me it's a good decision as long as it's a goal”, he stressed.

Gonçalves would later go off “due to fatigue” and Amorim allayed any fears of an injury.

“He played almost the entire game and ran a lot. I don't think it will be anything serious”, he said.
 
The coach praised the work carried out by the rest of the coaching staff with corner kicks, which resulted in a brace for Coates.
 
“It's fully down to them: The players and the coaching staff won the game. I had little to do with it, especially in the first half, as it was decided with a set piece. We scored two goals in the same way, and Coates was also heading during the penalty incident. The balls in were well placed and the movement very well done. If it happens once, it could be luck, but when it's twice, the work that Carlos Fernandes, Emanuel Ferro, Adélio Cândido and the players have done must be given credit. They completely unlocked the game”.

Photo by José Lorvão

Coates: "The group responded in the best way"

By Sporting CP
20 Oct, 2021

Sporting CP's captain pleased with victory in Istanbul

Sebastián Coates, scorer of Sporting CP's first two goals against Beşiktaş JK and involved in the move that led to the third, was satisfied with the 1-4 victory and praised the work done by the team.
 
“The whole team did very well and we got a great victory. The most important thing is that the group responded in the best way”, he said, before talking about the two goals he scored from near-identical corners.

“Normally, we practice a lot of set pieces. Sometimes it leads to a goal, sometimes it doesn't. We know we have quality takers, the coaching staff tell us where we have to go, and sometimes we win the ball and this happens", he explained.
 
The captain also spoke about the adverse atmosphere that the team encountered at Vodafone Park.
 
“All players like this type of atmosphere and playing this kind of game. It's very important to stay focused, especially in the first few minutes, and we achieved that. We knew Beşiktaş JK would push hard and try to steal the ball from us. They managed to do that in the first 15 minutes, but we knew that if we kept going and had more of the ball, we could cause a lot of damage to the opposition", considered the Uruguayan international.

“Now we have to take things game-by-game, as we always have. Today was a great victory for us, but we have to focus on the league and then continue like this in the Champions League”, he concluded.

 

Photo by José Lorvão

Masterclass in Istanbul leads to first Champions League win

By Sporting CP
19 Oct, 2021

Sporting CP outshine Beşiktaş JK with a 1-4 win

Sporting Clube de Portugal put in a stellar performance against Beşiktaş JK on Matchday 3 of the Champions League Group Stage, winning 1-4 in Istanbul. After having lost their opening two fixtures of the competition, the victory provides a much needed boost for Os Leões.

 For the game, played in front of a Vodafone Park crowd at 50% capacity, coach Rúben Amorim brought Matheus Reis, Pedro Porro and Pedro Gonçalves into the starting XI.
 
The match started with Paulinho missing a great opportunity, having gone through on goal just seconds after kickoff.
 
In the 15th minute, following a corner given following a save from Pablo Sarabia's shot, Sporting CP found the opening goal. Gonçalo Inácio deflected the ball towards the near post and Sebastián Coates dived in to make it 0-1.

Matheus Reis was very close to adding a second, but his shot went just over the crossbar.
 
Played at breakneck speed, the game became increasingly unpredictable due to constant dangerous attacks from both sides. In the 24th minute, Larin equalised for Beşiktaş JK with a header, but it was not long before the lead was reestablished: In a carbon copy of the first goal, Paulinho headed on for Coates to nod in his second of the night.

With the score at 1-2, Beşiktaş JK threatened Antonio Adán's goal again with Batshuayi's shot against the post, but soon after things would become more comfortable for Sporting CP: Off another corner, Coates won out again and headed towards goal, the ball bouncing off Vida's arm. After a VAR check, the referee signalled for a penalty and Sarabia converted from the spot.

Following the halftime break, the intensity allayed slightly in the first quarter hour of the second period. It was past the hour mark that Adán needed to intervene off a powerful shot, but those chances for the home side led to opportunities for counterattacks. On one such move, Pedro Porro crossed to Sarabia, who hit the post, and soon after it was Paulinho's turn to test the woodwork.
 
Sporting CP allowed little space for their opponents, and rounded off the night with their fourth goal in the 89th minute. Paulinho received the ball just outside the area, spotted the goalkeeper off his line and sent a curling shot into the net to make it 1-4.
 
Os Leões thus took their first victory in the Champions League this season and climbed to third place in Group C, with three points. The next game in the competition is scheduled for November 3rd, at the Estádio José Alvalade. However, now the focus returns to the Liga Portugal, and a home game against Moreirense FC on Saturday.
 
Sporting CP: Antonio Adán [GR], Zouhair Feddal (Luís Neto, 90+1'), Sebastián Coates [GR], Gonçalo Inácio, Matheus Reis (Ricardo Esgaio, 73'), João Palhinha, Matheus Nunes (Daniel Bragança, 90' +2'), Pedro Porro, Pedro Gonçalves (Nuno Santos, 90+1'), Pablo Sarabia (Tiago Tomás, 84') and Paulinho.

Photo by José Lorvão

Amorim: "This game is crucial for knockout stage qualification"

By Sporting CP
18 Oct, 2021

The coach previews the game against Beşiktaş JK

Sporting Clube de Portugal will face Beşiktaş JK this Tuesday at Vodafone Park, in the third round match for Group C in the UEFA Champions League.

In his pre-match press conference, coach Rúben Amorim admitted that the game is “crucial” in terms of qualifying for knockout stages of the competition.

“Few teams with three defeats to their name from the first three games of this competition made it to the next stage, but that is our main objective. Entry into the Europa League isn't in our plans. The main objective is to go through to the next stage and this game is crucial for the points, mentality and comfort of the team. We know that and we have to face the game with enthusiasm, but I think that the team face these moments with a lot of courage", he said, promising that fans will see a better performance than in the previous two games.

“There are two factors that will have a great influence: The desire to win and the need to have a cool head and be better in defence than we were against AFC Ajax -and better in attack than we were against Borussia Dortmund. Inexperience sometimes has its good side, as players will get stuck into the game. That's what I want them to do. We have to put together the best things from the previous two games. That's what I hope”, he said, before addressing Pedro Porro's fitness.

“Pedro Porro is going to undergo tests today. Yesterday he did reduced training, and if he's in good condition on the pitch today, then he'll be playing tomorrow”, he guaranteed, before also assuring that Pedro Gonçalves will be included in the squad for the game.

“He is clearly in a position to be used from the start, and he is a very robust player. On the bench against CF “Os Belenenses”, he immediately made clear that he could play longer. He goes through a department that understands a lot more about these things. I don't know if he's going to play the whole game or start, but he's prepared for that".

The coach acknowledged that he hopes to “have a lot of ball” against Beşiktaş JK, but reminded the media that “nobody knows what will happen during the game".

“We normally have plenty of possession in the Portuguese league, and we tried to do that against AFC Ajax and Borussia Dortmund, which they often don't let you do because they spend a lot of time in possession. Beşiktaş JK were champions in Turkey and dominated many games. It will be a fight between two teams that want the ball and to be dominant. We want to be the team with the most possession and the most chances. We are a team that concedes few goals and we want to continue like that, improving in the offensive aspect as well”.

“Beşiktaş JK have passionate people around the club, from fans and players to the culture of football itself. As we did with Borussia Dortmund, but not with AFC Ajax, we want to have the ball, as well as score and dominate from the first minute. Nevertheless, we know that the opposition are a great team with excellent players, and that the fans will be supporting them. They ride the wave created by the fans, but we're used to that because we are Sporting CP and our fans do the same to our opponents”, concluded the coach.

Photo by José Lorvão

Sporting CP kick off Taça de Portugal campaign in style

By Sporting CP
16 Oct, 2021

A 0-4 win over CF “Os Belenenses” earns progress to the Fourth Round

Sporting Clube de Portugal earned a place in the Fourth Round of the Taça de Portugal with a 0-4 win against CF “Os Belenenses” on Friday night.

It was Os Leões' return to Estádio do Restelo after three years away, playing the team who currently ply their trade in the Campeonato de Portugal. Rúben Amorim gave full debuts to João Virgínia and Gonçalo Esteves, a first start to Ugarte, and welcomed back Pedro Gonçalves after a month and a half out through injury.

Beginning their quest for an 18th Taça de Portugal, Sporting CP needed just one chance to open their account in front of goal. A slick move begun by Gonçalo Inácio at the back saw Vinagre break through, crossing low into the box for Tiago Tomás to convert to make it 0-1.

Spurred on by the early goal, they continued to go forward and enjoyed another opportunity when Vinagre picked out Jovane Cabral, whose shot was saved by the goalkeeper. Feddal headed an effort over, and Gonçalves was unsuccessful from close range.

The first half was one-way traffic, and just before the interval Tomás and Inácio were both denied by opposition stopper Marcelo Valverde.

CF “Os Belenenses” had a resurgence in the initial minutes of the second half, but there was soon a return to the script of the first period. Gonçalves struck wide from a free kick, and Gonçalo Esteves had a powerful shot tipped out for a corner.

Coach Amorim brought on Pedro Porro and Nuno Santos for Esteves and Gonçalves in his first changes, just before Sporting CP extended their lead: A corner kick from the left was knocked on by Feddal for Tomás to dive at the ball to convert.

Just ten minutes after coming on, Porro would be stretchered off following a heavy challenge. He was replaced by Matheus Nunes, whilst Feddal made way for Matheus Reis.

A pair of penalties confirmed the victory for Sporting CP, as first Jovane Cabral and then Nuno Santos converted from the spot.

A footnote for a 0-4 win was provided with the debut of João Goulart, as Sporting CP finished the game with six academy products on the pitch.

Sporting CP: João Virgínia [GK], Ricardo Esgaio, Gonçalo Inácio (João Goulart, 83'), Zouhair Feddal (Matheus Reis, 75'), Gonçalo Esteves (Pedro Porro, 63' and Matheus Nunes, 75'), Manuel Ugarte , Daniel Bragança [C], Rúben Vinagre, Pedro Gonçalves (Nuno Santos, 63'), Jovane Cabral and Tiago Tomás.

Photo by Isabel Silva

Bragança renews contract through to 2025

By Sporting CP
13 Oct, 2021

The 22-year old extends his stay at Sporting CP

Sporting Clube de Portugal and Daniel Bragança have renewed the player's contract with the club through to 2025, with a buyout clause of 45 million euros.

The announcement was made on Tuesday at the Academia Sporting in Alcochete. The Portuguese Under-21 international put pen to paper in the presence of Frederico Varandas, chairman of the Board of Directors, and expressed what the extension means to him.

"It is a recognition by the club of my work over the years. I am very happy about this renewal, and for the opportunity to continue with my story at this club," he told the media.

"It gives me more motivation to continue doing my job, which is to represent this club. It also gives me more responsibility. I will establish my goals again, and continue to give my all for this club, who believe in me," he added.

He listed the league title, Super Taça and Taça da Liga wins from last season as the three most memorable moments of his career so far, and also praised his teammates for making such feats possible.

"We have great unity at this club. It is also because of them that I am here today to renew my contract. I am very grateful to them, because we had an excellent year. It is also because of them that I will continue to work, because this group deserves 200% effort from all of us."

Bragança has been at the club since the 2007/2008 season, and his rise up the youth ranks serves as an example for young talents.

"Getting here was a childhood dream. I arrived at the academy aged 13, and it was always a goal to reach the first team. I hope that the young players believe in themselves, just as I believed in myself. Dream big, because one day it will come. If you have quality and if you have the focus, good things happen."

Finally, Bragança addressed Sporting CP's members and fans.

"May they continue to support us and believe in us, because they are very important in our victories and the confidence of this group. Now that we have 100% capacity available, I want them to fill the José Alvalade."

Photo by José Lorvão

Nuno Santos and Esgaio talk to media ahead of busy October

By Sporting CP
13 Oct, 2021

“The team are prepared, as always," say the pair

Nuno Santos and Ricardo Esgaio spoke to journalists this week, as they continue to train at the Academia Sporting during the international break.

The two players explained the confidence and the good atmosphere that abounds in the squad, before a series of five games that will take place before the end of October.

“The team are prepared, as always. We have a fantastic group that are ready for adversity. As always, we are taking things game by game: In the Champions League, in Liga Portugal and in the cups,” said Santos, adding: “First we have a game against CF “Os Belenenses” in the Taça de Portugal. We respect our opponents, but it's a game that we have to win and gain confidence from, so that we can then move on to the Champions League, where we will face Besiktas JK with the greatest motivation."

“We have a small group, but with a lot of quality and we are even stronger this year. We are prepared for what is to come,” he continued.

Focused on the team and on Sporting CP's objectives, the winger had been praised recently for his performance and goal against FC Arouca.

“It was another goal and an important victory, but it represents only that. It was, above all, another victory -and the group needed that for morale. I like to play and I want to help the team."

Esgaio, who usually plays on the wing, has already been played in the centre of the defence due to absences for other candidates, but is willing to adapt. “Everyone knows me as a player. I will occupy any position to help the team achieve its goals," he insisted.

“We have had a quiet week, in which we were able to recover and get ready for what is to come. However, with our coach you never get a chance to take things easy; even if there is no competition, he likes to keep the intensity levels up and doesn't let the team relax. That's how we have been working to return to action with high motivation and fitness.

The defender also spoke of Pedro Gonçalves' return, saying that “Sporting CP needs everyone, and Pote is a great asset."

Esgaio, who has come back to the club after four seasons away, revealed that he found “a different Sporting CP” on his return, and was pleased to be able to have the support of Sportinguistas in the stands.

“It has been fantastic to play in front of them. Their support is amazing, as seen in Arouca in the rain. We are grateful for their willingness to help us, and I hope that they will always be with us."

Training at the Academia Sporting

By Sporting CP
07 Oct, 2021

Rúben Amorim once again watches several youth players

Sporting Clube de Portugal's first team squad trained on Thursday morning during the international break.

With several players away representing their respective countries, coach Rúben Amorim has brought up several youth team players to help with sessions and to assess their progress.

Edson Silva, Hevertton Santos, Gonçalo Costa, Rodrigo Ribeiro, Vando Félix, José Marsà, João Goulart, Bernardo Sousa, Lucas Dias, Tiago Rodrigues and Edu Pinheiro have all participated thus far.

Gonçalo Inácio and Pedro Gonçalves are undergoing physio and conditioning work on the pitch during this week's workouts.

Os Leões will train again on Friday, in Alcochete, at 10am local time.

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