FC Porto: The Nursury of New Talents for Major Leagues (6 Rising Stars)
During the last 10 years, FC Porto has been a team known for providing new talents for teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan among others. The two golden years with Jose Mourinho, in which the team won both the UEFA Cup and the Champions League, are, of course, essential to the image Porto has nowadays. And, in case you haven't heard of it, this season's FC Porto has possibly the best team since the European Champions (which included players like Ricardo Carvalho, Deco, Paulo Ferreira or Pedro Mendes). Let's take a look to six men that are the stars of this team.
He just arrived to the team from rivals Sporting Lisbon in a £9 Million deal. João is known by his great technique and quality of pass. The Portuguese international is capable of playing long sequences of matches in a row, as result of his unbelievable stamina. Linked to Everton two years ago, Moutinho seems like a great prospect for any team which needs a solid midfielder. Even though he is ready for the big leagues, he should stay in FC Porto a year more, to gain some more experience in big European games.
Even though he is already 27, he would be a major signing for any team. Excellent at taking free kicks, he is known by his great technique and passing. His mid-range shots are also devastating. The easiest way to define Belluschi is as the typical 10. Despite that, he is a great team player and capable of sacrificing himself for the sake of the team. Due to his age, he has to leave Porto at the end of this season to make it in any world-class club.
His name is Rodriguez, James Rodriguez. The 19-year-old Colombian plays in the attack or at midfielder. Due to his youth, it's kind of hard to say which his real position is. In Porto, he plays mostly at the left wing, but he makes it to the midfield when needed. He has great technique, but his best skill is his passing. James reveals the ability to place the ball where the striker wants it.
I'd say he will be ready to leave Porto for the big leagues in one or two years.
The 25-year-old Colombian striker is one of the most known players on the Portuguese team. The best way to define him is as a pure striker. Falcao is the kind of player that scores goals anyway he can; using his right foot, left foot or even using his head (despite being only 5'9"). He is currently the top goalscorer in the Europa League and has an impressive score of 22 goals this season (considering the fact he missed two months of competition) and of 54 goals in 70 games for FC Porto, his first team in Europe. He is ready to jump to a bigger team next season.
Givanildo Vieira de Souza, aka Hulk, is the main star of this team and the top goalscorer in the Portuguese League (20 goals). This forward is a three-time Brazilian international who has been linked to numerous teams throughout Europe, with Manchester City, Manchester United and FC Barcelona being more mentioned.
Much like the Marvel comic book hero, this man has an incredible strength, as you can easily verify by looking at him. But he also has amazing speed and technique (not to mention his fabulous shooting) that make him a pure jewel. The only relevant flaw is his individualism that sometimes makes his teammates frustrated. Just like Falcao, he is ready to make it in the EPL or in the Spanish League.
The manager of this amazing team. Being only 33-years-old, this man has been called "the new Mourinho." The story of Villas-Boas began back in 1995, when Sir Bobby Robson was ahead of FC Porto. The, then, 17-year-old Villas-Boas was his neighbour, and, one day, he confronted Robson with his dissatisfaction with some of the choices the English manager was making. Due to the politeness of the boy, his well based opinions and the perfect use of the English language, Bobby Robson did not only accepted some of Villas-Boas suggestions as he gave the youngster a spot in FC Porto's observation department. In 2003, Villas-Boas joined the observation team of José Mourinho in FC Porto, following Mourinho when he joined Chelsea, and then Inter Milan. In late 2009, Villas-Boas left Mourinho's staff and joined Academica Coimbra, of Portugal, saving them from relegation. In the beginning of the current season, Villas-Boas joined FC Porto and won the Portuguese Super Cup in August, against rivals Benfica. Villas-Boas would also lead FC Porto to a 11-point lead in the league and to the quarterfinals of the Europa League.
He is considered an offensive coach (likes to play in 4x3x3, in a tiki-taka style), unlike Mourinho, but some of the ideas of the best in the world (especially the ones related to group psychology and mind games) are very easily identified in his methods. Villas-Boas has yet to prove his quality next year, in the Champions League.
Other players you will hear about
Alvaro Pereira (left wing-back)
Jorge Fucile (right wing-back)
Nicolas Otamendi (centre back)
Rolando (centre back)
Fernando (defensive midfielder)