Regardless of the success or failure of Chelsea’s last minute attempts – the transfer window closed at midnight on Wednesday – to prise João Moutinho away from Porto, Portimão’s most famous footballing son will be seen in action at the top level of European club football over the coming months.
The Portuguese champions must be favourites to progress from Group G also featuring St Petersburg, Shakhtar Donetsk and APOEL Nicosia while Chelsea’s Group E opposition comprising Valencia, Leverkusen and Genk appear equally beatable.
Elsewhere Portuguese-English rivalry will be renewed as soon as Wednesday September 14 when Benfica face Manchester United in Lisbon for the opening Group C tie – both clubs could go on to the second phase of the competition at the expense of a weak-looking Basle and Romanian newcomers Otelul Galati.
Also in action from an English point of view are Manchester City who have to contend with Napoli, Bayern Munich and Villarreal as well as Arsenal drawn together with Dortmund, Olympiakos and Marseille.
Returning to João Moutinho, the Portugal international can be seen in action for his country as soon as tonight (Friday) within the context of the latest Euro 2012 qualifier against Cyprus.