Sporting Portugal enters the major leagues this Tuesday. Lisbon club, trained by Ruben Amorim, faces Pep Guardiola, in the first leg of the 16th round of the Champions League.
On Tuesday evening, attention turns to the confrontation between Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, Karim Benzema. But at the same time, the meeting between Sporting Portugal and Manchester City will be held at the Jose Alvalade Stadium (50,000 seats). Here are five things to know about the Portuguese title holder.
place for youth
The “other” Lisbon club relies on several experienced executives. his guard Adam(34 years), Uruguayan defender Sebastian Coates31, or his 29-year-old striker, Paulinho. Besides, there are many young players who usually make up eleven players from the lion (Leos).
Pedro Boro, Right Offensive Press, Player on loan from… Manchester City, 22 years old. At only 20 years old, Gonzalo Inacio He makes himself a place in the Lisbon central defense and knocks on the door of the selection. His 30 appearances this season at the club and 15 selections with the various youth divisions. Born in 2004, Right Defender Goncalo Esteves He previously appeared in three league matches and one in the Champions League.
The main attractions of the club are found in the midfield. Joao Balenha Explodes at 26. Matthews Nunes, one of the club’s discoveries in this double axis at the age of 23. The other defensive midfielder Daniel Braganca (25 games this season) at the age of 22. remains the star of the team Pedro Goncalves. The 23-year-old winger scored 13 goals and provided nine assists in 29 games this season. In the absence of a shocker against Porto this weekend in the league, he may miss this encounter.
Robin Amorim, young coach
A young team does not go without a young coach. as a principle. Robin Amorim, head of the first team since March 5, 2020, celebrated his 37th birthday at the end of January. Still a player in 2017, this ex-midfielder, born in the capital, trained at Belenenses, before spending most of his career at Lisbon’s other club: Benfica. Nine seasons at the club, including a loan to Braga and exile for a year in Qatar, before returning to basics. Ruben Amorim had 14 picks with Portugal between 2010 and 2014.
He started his coaching career in 2018, just one year after retiring as a player, at Casa Bella, a second tier club. He then joined SC Braga, whom he knew as a player, before replacing Jorge Silas at the helm of Sporting. During the season, Ruben Amorim reached only fourth place in La Liga during the 2019-20 financial year. He won the league title the following season, his first full season at the helm of the club, conceding just one league defeat. 19 years since the club, among the top 3 teams in Portugal with Benfica and Porto, has been waiting for the league title.
A game that is not necessarily spectacular and not very offensive but a good defense under the orders of Robin Amorim. 15 goals have been conceded in 22 league matches this season, the best defense in La Liga. 12 games without a goal net. A logical continuation of last season. Sporting were a champion by conceding just 20 goals in the 34 days of the tournament. However, since last season, the club is the third best attacker in its league. 43 goals he has scored in 22 games since this summer.
From Paris to Lisbon, Sarabia is reinventing itself
Still under contract with PSG, the Spaniard appears to be thriving in Portugal. Created on the left or right wing of the 3-4-3 flat, Pablo Sarabia has been a staple of Sporting Portugal this season. 30 games this season with the Lions (and two with PSG), he started 17 times in a row. 11 goals and nine assists in all competitions. He is the club’s second leading scorer and assists as a provider in the league.
eligible for health
Sporting Portugal could not have seen these Champions League knockout stages. A qualification obtained at the last minute. The Portuguese club took second place in Group C, behind the outcast Ajax (6 victories in 6 matches), with nine points, and tied with Dortmund. With a better goal difference and a 3-1 home win over Borussia, FC Lisbon qualified for the knockout stage.