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Well - Euro 2000 has come and gone, and we can now turn out attention to the new season and Benfica's hopes for a title.

A few observations:

1) Nuno Gomes - his "coming out party" at Euro 2000 has confirmed what all of us in Portugal already knew: he's the real deal. I think his performance these past two weeks can only carry over into the regular season. With Jardel now gone to Turkey, the time is now for NG to step up and become the big name in the league. The REALLY good news is that Benfica may have overestimated his value on the transfer market and made him unaffordable for a lot of teams (such as Aston Villa, Lazio or Fiorentina) by setting the transfer price at around $20 million USD.

2) Pierre Van Hooijdonk - I think this addition makes Nuno Gomes a better striker. Although Joao Pinto scored just 3 goals last year, most people agree that he commanded a lot of attention by the opposing teams' defenses. I think VH's (I keep wanting to type "Van Halen":)) imposing size will have the same effect in the box. With NG's UEFA suspension, this acquisition has become that much more important for Benfica's chances of progressing through UEFA Cup play.

3) Dani - the walking conundrum! With his impending move to the Luz, I think he will regain the form that made him THE hot prospect in Portugal just a few years ago. It's hard to believe he's only 23 (it seems like he's been around a whole lot longer). He'll be depended on to make an immediate impact, and playing back at home will turn his game around (in my opinion).

4) Defense - the biggest question last year was "how did Madeira & Ronaldo get so bad, so fast?!". I don't know the answer, but adding Dudic, Meira & Marchena can only be a good thing - sending the message that no one's spot is guaranteed, and between those 5 players (plus Rojas and Sergio Nunes), Benfica can boast some depth and hunger in the back this year. If Benfica do go through with the Venetidis signing - watch for Benfica to cut either Ronaldo or Madeira loose (probably Madeira).

5) Midfield - Poborsky and Sabry are locks on the wing, while the addition of Dani will generate more competition in the midfield; hopefully prompting some more consistent play out of Kandaurov. Hopefully Calado will regain his form of 1998/99 now that he's been given the captaincy. Always hungry Maniche may be a problem, as he demonstrated a propensity to air his playing time concerns to the press last year. Maniche could be a good player, but are you ready to bench Sabry or Poborsky to play him? I'm not, and I don't think Heynckes is either.

Here's a likely starting lineup:

GK: Enke (duh!)
D: Dudic, Marchena, Meira, Rojas
M: Poborsky, Dani, Calado, Sabry
F: Van Hooijdonk, Gomes

Bench: Bossio, Madeira, Ronaldo, Sergio Nunes, Maniche, Kandaurov, Miguel, Joao Tomas

Not bad!!!:) What do you guys think?
 
L

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Not too bad at all! Although I would like to se Maniche in the starting lineup because I think he's a great up and coming player and I think we'll see him on the national team in the not too distant future.

Is Calado staying, I thought I read he had signed for Newcastle? Maybe I'm wrong.
 

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Not only is Calado not going to Newcastle, he's been named as Benfica's new captain now that JVP's gone.

I'm getting psyched for this season...:)
 
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Me too :) However I would like to watch the games, rather than just hear about them on the net. In the US they broadcast almost nothing of the Portugese League. are these games broadcasted anywhere on the internet?
 
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Rameses, you're in luck if you have cable connection because you can watch the games live on RTPi at http://www.mediacrossing.com ,the video quality is pretty good with cable, but on 56k it's more like a slide show.
 

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Nuno will be on his way out very soon anyway portuguese clubs dont know how to hold on to talent.
Conceicao?
Duscher?
Simao?
Soon it will be Delfim,Meira and so much more.
It really saddens me.
 

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Hold your horses a second....

How much have you paid for Dani? To my knowledge he hasn't been transferred yet?

Also has the court ruled on Meira? If it hasn't cut him lose Guimaraes will ask for about $8m.
 
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Yeah, Co adriaanse may still have a place for Dani in the Ajax selection, don't keep your hopes up too high :)

Michael Thomas one of the few remaining English players at Benfica could be on his way out to wimbledon.
 
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New Benfica? I don't know they are still not paying what they owe! Benfica owes everyone money I think! Azevedo should stop tarnishing the Benfica name and start paying what they owe! But all kidding aside I think Benfica definetly got stronger this year better than last anyway but the only problem is SCP got stronger!!! Anyone know the deal with Dani what did he do in Holland that was so bad? I like this kid when he was on Sporting juniors, He seemed like he had so much promise and now is like the plague! Anyone know any stories of what he did???
 
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