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Transfer Rater: M'Baye Niang to Arsenal

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 By Tom Kundert

Aves win Portuguese Cup and cap miserable season for Sporting

With 42-year old goalkeeper Quim leading the way, tiny Aves stunned mighty Sporting to win their first-ever title.
With 42-year-old goalkeeper Quim leading the way, tiny Aves stunned mighty Sporting to win their first title.

OEIRAS, Portugal -- The final match of the Portuguese season produced a stunning spectacle at the sun-drenched Jamor national stadium on the outskirts of Lisbon as modest Desportivo das Aves, a club from a town of just 9,000 inhabitants, beat giants Sporting to lift the Portuguese Cup for the first time.

An opportunistic brace by Aves striker Alexandre Guedes, a former youth player at Sporting, set up a deserved victory. Fredy Montero's acrobatic effort in the 85th minute meant Aves had to survive...

 By Tom Kundert

Sporting CP, social media and self-destructive president Bruno de Carvalho

LISBON, Portugal -- The word "crisis" and Sporting CP have been largely synonymous in the past decade and a half, but the manner in which the Lisbon club have imploded over the last week is novel, even by the standards of an institution with a strange fondness for shooting itself in the foot.

"I've been involved in football since I was 14 years old, I'm 63 now, and I've never experienced anything like this before," said coach Jorge Jesus.

With the club president Bruno de Carvalho in open warfare...

Scouting Spotlight: Gelson Martins, Ruben Neves, Giovanni Simeone

Gelson Martins has many admirers, with Liverpool said to be chief among them.
Gelson Martins is attracting attention.

Scouting Spotlight looks at Sporting Lisbon's version of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Championship's best player and the son of Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone.

Gelson Martins -- Sporting Lisbon

After progressing through Sporting's famed youth academy, Martins broke into the first team picture in 2015. He has since proven to be a key creative talent for Jorge Jesus' side, winning 17 caps for Portugal.

Playing style

A flying winger with a low centre of gravity to barge his way past defenders,...

 By Chris Wright

Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Sporting Lisbon head of Atletico Madrid showdown

With Sporting Lisbon in Madrid for their Europa League quarterfinal against Atletico, one of the Portuguese club's most famous former stars seized the opportunity to drop in and wish them luck.

Fresh from lighting up the Champions League with a superb overhead kick against Juventus, the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo paid a timely visit to the Sporting camp.

"Look who gave us extra strength for the game," Sporting wrote on Twitter, sharing a couple of images of Ronaldo mingling with their players...

Meet Gelson Martins, the Liverpool target who adored Robinho

Shaka Hislop and Ross Dyer sift through the latest transfer rumours from around world football, including Man City's chances of landing West Brom's Jonny Evans.

There are two teams called Benfica in Lisbon. One is SL Benfica, the Portuguese champions famous around the globe. The other is CF Benfica, a tiny club established about three decades later in 1933, known locally as Fofo and totally unrelated to the Eagles.

If fact, CF could claim to be the true bearers of the name, because they are actually situated in the Benfica district. It is a relatively poor area, heavily populated by immigrants, and thus CF Benfica offer an opportunity to the kids who polish...

 By Tim Vickery

Wendel exit from Fluminense shows Brazil's economy far from booming

Wendel Fluminense
The vulnerable economic situation of Rio's Fluminense likely cost the club the rights to Wendel, an emerging talent from Brazil.

This time last year, Brazilian midfielder Wendel was not even a household name in his own home. The 20-year-old only made his debut for Fluminense of Rio in mid-February. And fewer than 60 games later he is already on his way.

Paris Saint-Germain had been very interested, but questions of Financial Fair Play stalled the deal, and Wendel now flies off to Portugal to join Sporting Lisbon. Fluminense's vastly experienced coach, Abel Braga, lamented the fact.

"We're losing a great player," he said.

Braga...