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Lions in the East

Rui Costa was joined by other well-known Portuguese football players such as Paulo Ferreira, Zeca, Portela and Andre Lima, as well as tournament technical director Jorge Andrade, as last week’s 2011 edition of the Copa Foot21 began in Villa Real de Santo Antonio.

The biggest national youth seven-a-side competition involving 1,800 youngsters representing most major clubs saw Sporting Lisbon’s youngsters emerge as the big winners by Sunday afternoon, the little Lions taking the titles in both the U-12 and U-11 categories.

New senior team manager Domingos Paciência was present to witness the two finals victories over Benfica and Porto while Olhanense, Benfica and Porto proved successful in the U-10, U-9 and U-8 age groups respectively.