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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

André Paulo signs contract renewal

By Sporting CP
26 May, 2022

​Goalkeeper to stay at the club through to 2023

André Paulo will remain at Sporting CP until 2023, as the 25-year-old goalkeeper renewed his contract with the club this Wednesday.

“I'm very happy to continue at Sporting CP. It's what I wanted. I feel very good here,” he began by saying after putting pen to paper on the contract extension, before adding: “The group always thinks of the team and the players help each other a lot with our growth. With that, we also help the club, and this is a positive aspect of this squad."

After two seasons at the club already, and after having also played for teams such as AD Oeiras, Casa Pia AC and Real SC, the goalkeeper considers that he has developed a lot within a short time.

“I learned a lot from the training of Mister Vital and Tiago in the last two years. Working with them is very demanding, but that is very positive. For a goalkeeper, demand is very important. We have to be focused every second and we can never switch off. I hope to continue learning so that I can use what I've learnt on the pitch."

A Liga Portugal winner with the club in 2020/21, making his debut in the final matchday, the goalkeeper once again had the opportunity to feature at the Estádio José Alvalade in the game that closed 2021/2022.

“In the first game we had been crowned champions already, but there were no fans in attendance. In the second there were fans present, and it was spectacular to feel their support in Alvalade. Everyone likes to play with the fans in the stands, because there is a different level of joy. It makes us more confident and makes us better on the pitch.”

André Paulo also expressed his aspirations for next season.

“It will be demanding, but we have a lot of ambition and we need the fans alongside us to achieve our goals. I hope to continue to evolve and I will give everything in training to be available and at the best of my abilities when called upon. We will work to help the club achieve its goals."

Photo by Isabel Silva

Porro signs contract through to 2025

By Sporting CP
17 May, 2022

Sporting CP buy the Spanish international on a permanent deal

Sporting Clube de Portugal have taken up the option to buy fullback Pedro Porro, who after two seasons at the club on loan from Manchester City joins on a permanent deal.

The Spanish international has signed a contract through until 2025, with a release clause of 45 million euros.

“I am very happy. When I came here, I knew I was coming to a great club, but I didn't expect to have achieved what I have in these two years and for us to have created this family, this strong group. We've played well and won trophies," he began by saying after putting pen to paper on the contract.

Porro revealed that staying at the club was his wish: “From the beginning, my objective was to help Sporting CP, where I knew that the demand is of a high level. This is a big club, I've been given an opportunity and I'm very happy to continue here."

As part of the team, the defender has won four trophies -one Liga Portugal, two Taca da Liga and one Supertaça - and has received great affection from the fans.

“I know very well what the expectation from the supporters is, and in games we realise how important this is. I've always liked that, and also the demand that wearing this badge requires. You have to have grit, have attitude and run right to the end. That's what I've done so far,” he said, adding: “I always try to work as hard as I can and I've always done that. That's what I was taught to do, and I know that to be a top-level player you have to have this kind of demand. Giving everything until the end is part of me, and the support of the fans also helps me a lot."

With 72 games, nine goals scored and 10 assists in two seasons, Porro recalls some special moments at the club:

“The goal in the Taça da Liga final, which helped us win the trophy, and the Champions League [against Borussia Dortmund] in the game where we qualified for the Round of 16. Those goals were special, but the truth is that since I arrived here I have had some very beautiful moments."

Photo by José Lorvão

Amorim: "We are taking Sporting CP where the club belongs"

By Sporting CP
15 May, 2022

An assessment from the coach of the win over CD Santa Clara and the season itself

Rúben Amorim spoke after the 4-0 win over CD Santa Clara (4-0) that rounded off the Liga Portugal season, and reflected on a campaign which ended with the same number of points (85) as the previous year.

“We were more of a team than last year, and there was less suffering in our games. We scored more goals and also conceded more, but we didn't deserve that - and I say that because there were one or two shots that came off deflections. Even so, I think we defended better, we had more of the ball and that's why we didn't let our opponents have as many opportunities," he said.

"What I take away is that we were in the fight for all the trophies in Portugal. We won two, we missed out on another one and we were in the fight for the league title until the end. We achieved 85 points, but there were small details in a short time that made the difference and could have given us six more points. Even with the fans back at the stadiums and with the Champions League, we scored the same points as last season."

“A new season will start soon and we will begin it with the same ambition."

“Sporting CP have a history of fighting for trophies, but there were important moments in the history of the club that made life very difficult. Many years were lost, but fighting for silverware is normal in Sporting CP's history. When I arrived, I think it was the year in which Sporting CP had suffered the most defeats, and now we are fighting for the title, going to finals, going to the Champions League and reaching the Last 16. We are taking Sporting CP where the club belongs."

 Amorim also spoke of the support of the Sportinguistas, who gave a standing ovation at the end of the game.

 “The fans have the highest level of demand, but they also understand that we have very difficult moments; and even in those, they supported us. That doesn't show a lack of demand, but rather intelligence. They know that it won't help if they're against the team. They should whistle us when they are unhappy, but at times there is nothing that helps more than the support of the fans.”

“Nobody is happy because we didn't win the league, but the fans see that the team give everything. There are three clubs who can be champions and all three have the obligation to fight for that title, but there is only one top spot and there are two that will fall by the wayside," he explained.

"The fans don't forget the recent past, when the club was not in the fight for these honours, but now we are in there, we want to win and, therefore, in the end they support a team that gave everything and failed. I think that reveals a lot of intelligence and not a lack of demand, because we have a lot of that."

Finally, Amorim revealed how he will spend the holidays.

 “This year I feel much more tired, perhaps also because we didn't win. I'm going to rest, but I think I'm going to rest for three days and then I'll miss this already (laughs). I'm going to enjoy myself and fill my days with family time, and annoy Hugo Viana to try to control everything because I'm quite annoying like that!"

Photo by Isabel Silva e José Lorvão

Sporting CP close league season with win against CD Santa Clara

By Sporting CP
15 May, 2022

The team with 4-0 at home in the season finale

Sporting Clube de Portugal signed off the Liga Portugal season with a 4-0 victory over CD Santa Clara at the Estádio José Alvalade, with goals from Bruno Tabata, Pedro Porro, Pablo Sarabia and Marcus Edwards.

Coach Rúben Amorim made changes to the starting XI for the game, opting for João Virgínia, Luís Neto, Sebastián Coates, Gonçalo Inácio, Pedro Porro, João Palhinha, Daniel Bragança, Nuno Santos, Bruno Tabata, Pablo Sarabia and Pedro Gonçalves.

The first half featured a special moment between the fans and two departing players: Zouhair Feddal and Pablo Sarabia were playing their last match for the club, and the latter was acknowledged in the 17th minute with chants from the Sportinguistas.

The first half went by without big chances until the final minutes, despite attacks from both teams. Sporting CP provided the first warning through Luís Neto, off a corner, which Ricardo Fernandes kept out. Sarabia would then be thwarted by the away side's defence.

João Virgínia was only called upon to intervene in the 13th minute, when a long-range shot by Lincoln was dealt with by the goalkeeper.

In the 41st minute, Sporting CP opened the scoring. Pedro Gonçalves' cross from the left was not cleared by Santa Clara's Paulo Henrique, and the ball reached Tabata for him to convert.

In stoppage time, Porro had the chance to make it 2-0 after a cross by Nuno Santos, but Paulo Henrique this time managed to send it out for a corner.

The second half began with another opportunity for Sporting CP: After receiving a pass from  Gonçalves, Sarabia forced Ricardo Fernandes to make two saves in a row.

Five minutes later, a cross by Nuno Santos was met by Porro, who broke free from Ricardinho and appeared at the far post to double the lead.

Sarabia got his goal a further five minutes later, from another cross from the left. This time Gonçalves was the provider, and the Spaniard, with only Ricardo Fernandes to beat, put away the chance. It was to be his final goal before returning to PSG at the end of his loan spell.

Amorim then started to make changes, taking off Bruno Tabata and João Palhinha for Marcus Edwards and Manuel Ugarte. Soon after, Sarabia - the most applauded player on a night of strong support for all of the team- went off to make way for Rodrigo Ribeiro.

The young forward could have extended the lead, with his shot taking a deflection and ending up going over CD Santa Clara's goal. Gonçalves then had two consecutive opportunities to go wide.

Marcus Edwards had better luck, scoring soon after with a left footed shot from distance, slammed into the top corner to make it 4-0.

Sebastián Coates and João Virgínia were then withdrawn and José Marsà - in his full for the first team - and André Paulo were brought on.

With no more goals, Sporting CP concluded the season with a rout in what was their 27th triumph in the competition this season. They also had four draws and three defeats, scored 73 goals and conceded 23. Second position in the table takes them directly into the Group Stage of the Champions League next season.

Photo by Sporting CP

Amorim: "We want to give a good showing in the last game"

By Sporting CP
13 May, 2022

The coach previews the season finale against CD Santa Clara

Sporting Clube de Portugal will face CD Santa Clara this Saturday (8:30pm local time), at the Estádio José Alvalade, on the 34th and final Matchday of the Liga Portugal season.

In the runup to the game, coach Rúben Amorim analysed the team from the Azores and stressed that his side will “take advantage of every minute of play to grow as a team."

“We're going to do that against opponents who defend well and have improved a lot under Mário Silva. They're used to not losing games and they have quality players. Therefore, I foresee a difficult match -even although its without great responsibility- for both teams. We are Sporting CP and we want to give a good showing in the last game for the fans," he began by telling journalists.

"We wanted to score 88 points, but we can only reach 85 and that is the objective."
Asked about his assessment of the season, on a scale of 0-10, Amorim was peremptory in stating that “in football, it's all or nothing."

“Either you win and it's 10, or you don't win and it's 0. I don't like to give a number because there can be different interpretations, but we didn't win Liga Portugal so it's 0."
He also took stock of his own performance as coach during the season.

“I have to improve in a lot of things, whether in the way I approach the games, in my understanding of the game or how I react in moments of pressure. But all this grows with experience. When I say that the team have evolved this season and that the difference compared to last year is a big one, it also comes from the coach's experience. The coach the game differently now and knows the players better. I need to grow in everything, just like coaches with a 20-year career behind them."

Finally, Amorim surprised those present by revealing the starting XI for the last game of the season. 

“João Virgínia, Nuno Santos, Gonçalo Inácio, Sebastián Coates, Luís Neto, Pedro Porro, Daniel Bragança, João Palhinha, Pedro Gonçalves, Sarabia and Tabata will play."

Photo by Isabel Silva

Sporting CP fight back in Portimão

By Sporting CP
08 May, 2022

​The team recover from going behind to win 2-3 against Portimonense SC

Sporting Clube de Portugal took a 2-3 victory over Portimonense SC on the penultimate matchday of the Liga Portugal season, with two goals from second half substitute Pablo Sarabia turning the scoreline around in the second half.

Before kickoff at Portimão Estádio, Sporting CP had conceded the league title to FC Porto, as their rivals' win away at SL Benfica meant that the gap was mathematically insurmountable.

Coach Rúben Amorim made two changes to the starting XI that had featured against Gil Vicente FC: The suspended Luís Neto was out of the squad and Sarabia rotated to the bench, making way for captain Sebastián Coates -back after injury– and Bruno Tabata. Youngster José Marsà was among those called up to travel with the team, in the absence of Zouhair Feddal through injury.

With more possession of the ball from the get-go, Sporting CP quickly took the initiative and created the first opportunities, finding spaces behind an opposing back line of five and sometimes even six players.

The team continued with a mobile trio in attack, this time with Tabata as the new intermediary on his return to Portimão, playing against his former club.

After Pedro Gonçalves and Tabata had initial attempts go off target, Sporting CP found the net in the 12th minute. Tabata chased a lost ball in the Portimonense SC area and opened the scoring, after a good solo initiative by Marcus Edwards.

However, just before half an hour into the game, the script underwent a major upheaval. After Matheus Nunes had shot from afar and had his effort saved by Samuel Portugal, the home side responded with maximum effectiveness in their maiden attacks. First, of a direct free kick that took a decisive deflection off the wall, Carlinhos put them back on terms. From the next move, Welinton Júnior finished a quick transition with a chip over Antonio Adán, turning the score around to 2-1.

A a frenetic phase with several chances followed, mainly for Os Leões . For Portimonense SC, Shoya Nakajima had a shot kept out by Adán, before Sporting CP took the reins of the game again and laid siege to the opposition goal. First, Pedro Porro set up Pedro Gonçalves perfectly, but the forward mishit. Later, Tabata headed an effort onto the crossbar.

The equaliser seemed close, and Porro came very close to surprising Samuel Portugal with a free kick from the wing, but the visitors still trailed at the interval.

For the second half, Amorim moved Ricardo Esgaio (on for Matheus Reis) to the right side of the midfield, switching Gonçalo Inácio to the left side. With Porro increasingly higher up the pitch, the main threat after the restart was by the Spaniard. In the 56th minute, Amorim decided to bring on Sarabia and Manuel Ugarte to replace Pedro Gonçalves and João Palhinha.

Both goalkeepers were called upon, but it was Samuel Portugal who had the most to do. Nuno Santos played through Edwards, but was thwarted by the Portimonense SC custodian.

Finally, Sporting CP pulled level on 70 minutes. A cross by Porro was followed by two deflections; the first off Edwards and the second, decisively, by Sarabia, who turned the ball in at the back post.

The reaction would not stop there, as just five minutes later, the Spanish forward scored again, reaching a precise low cross by Tabata to convert his second goal -to the delight of the travelling Sportinguistas.

Sporting CP would have a goal disallowed for VAR and a Bragança strike kept out by the goalkeeper, but a 2-3 turnaround was enough to give them the three points.
The last match of the Liga Portugal season sees the team play CD Santa Clara next weekend.

Sporting CP: Antonio Adán [GR], Pedro Porro, Gonçalo Inácio, Sebastián Coates [C], Matheus Reis (Ricardo Esgaio 45'), João Palhinha (Manuel Ugarte 56'), Matheus Nunes (Daniel Bragança 61'), Pedro Gonçalves (Pablo Sarabia 56'), Marcus Edwards and Bruno Tabata (Rodrigo Ribeiro 84').

Photo by Isabel Silva

Amorim: "We had a great response"

By Sporting CP
08 May, 2022

​The coach reviews the win over Portimonense SC

After the 2-3 triumph against Portimonense SC, coach Rúben Amorim analysed the match and praised his team's ability to react and turn the scoreline around.

"We had pride and quality and bad luck in the way that we conceded the goals, because two breaks from Portimonense SC resulted in them scoring. We had several opportunities. The players showed a great response. Even knowing that FC Porto were champions and starting the game winning and suffering a setback, in the second half they had a great response," he began by telling journalists in the press conference.

After congratulating FC Porto on winning the title, the coach looked back at his team's journey this season, stressing that "detail makes the difference in the league."

"What we can improve is paying attention to details, because looking at this six-point gap, any game can make a difference", he said, remembering in particular the defeats against CD Santa Clara and SC Braga.

"We have grown a lot over the season, and we are much more of a team."

Finally, asked to take stock of the campaign as a whole, with the Super Taça and Taça da Liga won, he described the trophy hall as "scarce for a club like Sporting CP, who want to win everything."

"We won two finals, and we were up there in the decisive moments -and that's important. It doesn't salvage a season, but we were up there. We have to grow through small details, but I also don't forget that Sporting CP haven't defended a title for 71 years: They were not champions for 19 years and hadn't finished in second place after being champions for 51 years. That also makes a difference. Overall, the verdict is negative, but the way I lead the group, I have to show that whilst history shows something that is very difficult to change, we are going to do it."

Photo by Bernardo Vidal

Amorim: "The objective is to win and improve in relation to the last game"

By Sporting CP
06 May, 2022

​The coach gives a pre-match press conference before the game against Portimonense SC

Sporting Clube de Portugal play away to Portimonense SC this Saturday, on Matchday 33 of the Liga Portugal campaign. Ahead of the game, coach Rúben Amorim praised the opposition, whilst also stating his confidence in his side taking the three points.

“It will certainly be a difficult game, at a difficult ground, against a team who are very strong at defending in set pieces and have very strong transitions, as we saw at Alvalade. They won't be fielding the same XI as last time, because some players have left and there are others suspended, so there will be changes in the characteristics of the players, but not in their idea," he stated.

"We have studied the opposition and we are ready for the game. We are in good form and scoring many goals, but cannot suffer with so few opportunities granted to the opponents. The objective is to win and improve in relation to the last game,” added the coach.

Sporting CP are relying on slipups from their rivals in the title chase during the final weeks, and Amorim commented that “We have to have the same attitude, whether we have a chance or not. When you are at Sporting CP you always have to think about trophies, but there are two games to go and we have to win our game, earn our points, remain the best defence and we have to score more goals. We want to improve in every aspect and, when there is a champion crowned, we have to start preparing for the next season."

Despite saying that “anything is possible in football,” he admitted that he does not believe that Sporting CP can still win the title, but made it clear that he takes away very positive things from this season.

“The analysis is made at the end of the season. So far we've won two trophies, but it can't be considered very good if we don't win the league."

“I take a lot of positive things from this season. Now we are better and we have a better team. In terms of the club, because we didn't win the title, it's not positive, but the players are much better, they have a lot more experience, we've made it into the Champions League group stage again and we're still fighting for trophies."

“The players are growing fast, and there are others who don't have as much of a role, but who can appear at any time. That's why I feel very positive. I know that coaches live on results, but looking at this team, I'm more and more excited about what they can give and that's why my idea of keeping this team going to the fullest. We have the potential to grow, although obviously we have to make some changes,” he explained.

For this match, Amorim will have captain Sebastián Coates, whom he calls "important in all aspects of the game, and everything else,” available. An injury relapse leaves Zouhair Feddal out, making room for the call-up of José Marsà.

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