Portimonense have a long tradition of relying on ‘cheap’ Brazilian imports to bolster their squad, some of which have been more successful than others. During the late 1970s and ‘80s, these players would stay a season or two while acquiring a Portuguese passport – mostly by marriage – before moving on to ‘better things’.
More recently, scouts are more interested in spotting raw talent in the hope of developing good players capable of becoming real assets to the club – the 2018/19 squad featured no less than 15 Brazilians.
One success story has been Bruno Tabata, one of last season’s outstanding players for the Algarveans, whose performances have been rewarded with a call-up to the Brazilian Olympic U-23 side, in effect the country’s ‘B’ team, for the prestigious Toulon tournament.
On his debut against Guatemala, the 22-year-old scored the second goal, provided the assist for another and ‘won’ the concluding penalty for an impressive 4-0 opening victory.
So far this summer Portimonense representatives have again been busy in South America, signing 18-year-old midfielder Luquinha and 20-year-old left winger Felipe Vieira from Brazilian third division side Londrina who could also part with two further emerging talents, Rofulo and Anderson Oliveira, if negotiations prove successful. Further interest exists in Parana’s Jhonny Lucas while the potential transfer of 24-year-old Santos winger Orinho has moved a step closer.
Meanwhile on the domestic market Portimonense have beaten the likes of Sporting Lisbon, Lille and Alavés to the signature of third division Olímpico Montijo top scorer Beto, who stood out with 21 goals in 36 games during the last campaign. The 21-year-old joins Aves’ Jorge Vilela in addition to the two above-mentioned Brazilians as Portimonense’s fourth confirmed reinforcement to date.
Looking ahead, Porto have announced that they will be holding their pre-season training camp at the Cascade Resort in Lagos for the third year in succession. The July stay will involve a four-way tournament also featuring Portimonense as well as Spanish sides Bétis and Getafe.
By SKIP BANDELE