Sunday, December 11, 2016

Black Portuguese Greatest All-Time Team

Euro 2016 Final
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
French Black Players 
African American Players,
Black Portuguese Players
Afro-Brazilian Players 

This is my selection of a 23 member all-time team for Black Portugese players.  The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.

Afro-Portuguese, African-Portuguese or Black Portuguese are Portuguese citizens or residents of Portugal with total or partial ancestry from any of the Black ethnic groups of Africa. Most of those perceived as Afro-Portuguese are descent of immigrants from former Portuguese overseas provinces in Africa. Alternatively, Afro-Portuguese may also refer to populations of partial Portuguese descent living throughout Africa.

The impact of Black players on Portuguese football is great.  Eusebio and Mario Coluna were leading members of Portugal's Gold Generation in the 1960's.  Eder scored the winning goal at Euro 2016.

Please also see:
Black Players who played for England 
African-American Players
French Black Players
African-American Players
Afro-Brazilian Players 

GK: Nuno Espírito Santo
During his club career, Nuno first made a name for himself in Spain, playing for three teams in five years between 1997 and 2002. He later represented Porto in his country, albeit with little impact, and also played professionally in Russia. Nuno was part of the Portuguese squad at the Euro 2008, but never won a cap for the national team. He represented and played at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

GK: Ernesto
Born in Portugal, Ernesto represented Cape Verde internationally. In the summer of 2009, he signed for A.D. Carregado, where he remained for one season following the club's relegation to the third tier. In December 2012, Ernesto signed for Mozambican side Vilankulo F.C.

GK: Fernando
Born in Portugal, Fernando's full name was Fernando Domingos Pereira. He represented Angola internationally.  He earned a total of 3 caps.  He played for Santa Clara from 1997 to 2008.

RB: Jose Bosingwa
Born in Mbandaka, Zaire to a Portuguese father and a Congolese mother, Jose Bosingwa started with Boavista before joining  FC Porto coached by José Mourinho for 2003–04.  He played 8 matches as Porto won the Champions' League that season. In 2008, he joined Chelsea along with his national teammmate Deco.  Later, he also played in Turkey.  He was capped 25 times for Portugal between 2007 and 2015. He went to the Euro 2008.
Jose Bosingwa

RB: Miguel
Miguel played the vast majority of his professional career with Benfica (five seasons) and Valencia (seven). Miguel gained 59 caps for Portugal during the 2000s, and represented the country in two World Cups (2006 and 2010) and as many European Championships (2004 and 2008). In 2004, he was a part of the national team that finished second in Euro 2004.

CB: Vicente Lucas
Born in Mozambique while it was under Portugal, Vicente played for C.F. Os Belenenses in 13 Primeira Liga seasons, making his debut in 1954 and winning the Portuguese Cup six years later. He gained 20 caps for Portugal, his debut coming on 3 June 1959 in a 1–0 win against Scotland.  He was a member of the 1966 World Cup squad.

CB: Bruno Alves 
Bruno Alves spent most of his professional career at Porto, winning a total of nine titles, seven as first-choice, and appearing in 171 official games. He also won trophies in Russia with Zenit St. Petersburg, and in Turkey with Fenerbahçe. A Portuguese international since 2007, Alves represented the country in two World Cups and three European Championships, winning the 2016 edition of the latter tournament.

CB: Pepe
Born in Brazil, Pepe moved to Portugal playing for Maritimo.  In 2004, he moved to Porto while he established himself as one of the best defender in Portugal.  In 2007, he earned a dream move to Real Madrid.  At the time of writing, he won two Champions' league with them.  Although born in Brazil, he chose to represent Portugal.  At Euro 2016, he emerged as one of Portugal's best player as Portugal won their first ever international trophy.  He earned the Man of the Match in the Final against France.
CB: Abel Xavier
Abel Xavier played for clubs in Portugal, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, England, Turkey, Germany and the USA.  Xavier was selected for UEFA Euro 2000, and became one of the key figures in the competition, not only due to playing some of his best football but also due to a distinctly bleached-blonde hairstyle with a matching beard. 

CB: Jorge Andrade  
Jorge Andrade started with Estrela da Amadora and was bought by Porto FC in 2000.  After Japan/Korea 2002, he joined Deportivo La Coruna.  In 2007, he joined Juventus, but this spell was very unsuccessful due to injuries.  He was capped 51 times by Portugal and went to the World Cup Finals in 2002 and the European Championship in 2004.

LB: Hilario 
Hilario was first noticed at Sporting de Lourenço Marques in Portuguese Mozambique along with teammate Eusébio.  He joined Sporting CP in 1958 while Eusebio went to Benfica. He played his entire professional career with Sporting CP, appearing in nearly 450 official games and winning seven major trophies.  He was the starting leftback of Portugal in 1960's.   He went to the 1966 World Cup finals in England.

DM: Costinha
Costinha played in the lower division in Portugal before getting discovered by Monaco. In 2001, he joined FC Porto, where he was a part of the team that won the Champions league in 2003. He also played in Russia, Italy and Spain.  Capped over 50 times.  He played at both Euro 2004 and 2000, and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. D uring the latter, on 25 June, he took part in the Battle of Nuremberg, being one of four players sent off against the Netherlands after two bookable offenses. 
DM: William Carvalho 
Born in Luanda, Angola, Carvalho moved to Portugal when he was just a few years old. At the time of writing, except two loan spells, he has mainly played for Sporting SP.  Carvalho first grained international recognition when he was named player of the tournament at the 2015 European Under-21 Championship.  At Euro 2016, he established as a starter of the national team.  He was also a member of Portugal's team at the 2014 WC Finals.  

DM: Oceano
Born in Cape Verde, he was probably the greatest player from there. Oceano's family emigrated to Portugal when he was a child. He started his career at Almada A.C. in the lower leagues and after spells in the second division with Odivelas F.C. and C.D. Nacional, he signed with Sporting Clube de Portugal for the 1984–85 season.  He appeared in over 400 matches for two spells.  In between, he played for Real Sociedad and Toulouse.  He earned 54 caps and was a top player in the early 1990's.  He went to Euro 1996.

CM: Renato Sanches 
Renato Sanches played for Benfica for a single season (2015-2016) before moving to Bayern Munich in 2016.  He played a big role during Portugal's Euro 2016 winning campaign. 
At one point, he was considered one of the best young midfielder in the world.  Since his move to Germany, he has yet to live up his promise. He was not called up for the 2018 World Cup Finals.

CM: Mario Coluna 
Mario Coluna is one of the greatest player ever for both Portugal and Benfica. He spent most of his career with Benfica, appearing in 525 official games and scoring 127 goals during 16 professional seasons. Dubbed Monstro Sagrado (Sacred Monster), he won 19 major titles with his main club, including ten national leagues. He won two European Cup with Benfica in 1961 and 1962.  He was the captain of Portugal in the 1966 World Cup. He was known to be Eusebio's friend and his top assister on the field.
Captain of Portugal in 1966
RW: Espirto Santo
Born in Lisbon, of São Toméan descent, Espirto Santo became the first Black player to represent Portugal.  Between 1937 to 1954, he played 7 times for Portugal.  As for his club career, he spent his entire career playing for Benfica. Nicknamed The Black Pearl, he was a prolific goalscorer, with Peyroteo even claiming he was a more complete footballer than him.

LW/AM: Luís Boa Morte
Having come through the youth ranks with Sporting Clube de Portugal, Boa Morte received his first big break by joining Premier League side Arsenal in 1997. He also went on to play for Southampton, Fulham and West Ham United. He joined Greek side Larissa before moving on to South African side Orlando Pirates. In October 2012 he returned to England and joined fourth-tier side Chesterfield. Boa Morte earned 28 caps for Portugal and was selected for the 2004 Olympics and the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

RW: Nani
Nani came through the ranks of Sporting CP.  In 2007, he joined Manchester United, where his career was up and down. He was a part of the team that won the Champions' League in 2009. He earned over a 110 caps for Portugal.  He is a regular member of the national team from 2006 onward. He contributed to Portugal's winning Euro 2016 as one of their key players. He also particoipated at the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil.
FW: Liedson 
Liedson moved to Sporting CP in 2003 after playing for Corinthians and Flamengo without successes. From 2003 to 2011, he scored 173 goals for them, becoming one of the club's greatest players.  He helped them to reach the UEFA Cup Final in 2005.  With Corinthians, he won the Copa Libertadores in 2012. Although he is a Brazilian by birth, he chose to play for Portugal.  He was first capped by Portugal in 2009 and went to play at the World Cup in 2010. He had 15 caps in total.

ST: Eder
Born in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, Eder made his Primeira Liga debut for Académica on 24 August 2008.  He also played for Braga, Swansea, Lille and Lokomotiv Moscow.  At time of the writing, he has 32 caps, but unfortunately, known for his low scoring rate. However, he scored the only goal against France at the Final of Euro 2016 that gave Portugal its first ever major international trophy. He was also on the 2014 World Cup team.
Eder scoring against France 
ST: Rui Jordão 
Rui Jordão played for Benfica, Sporting CP, Racing Zaragoza and Vitoria SC.  With Sporting CP, he was the league's top scorer twice and was Portuguese Player of the Year in 1980.  He had 37 caps in total.  He was probably best remembered for scoring twice against France at the semifinal of Euro 1984 in one of the most famous game of the tournament. 

ST: Eusebio 
Along with Pele, he was considered to be the best player in the world during the 1960's.  He helped Portugal reach third place at the 1966 World Cup, being the top goalscorer of the tournament with nine goals (including four in one match against North Korea) and received the Bronze Ball award. He won the Ballon d'Or award for European footballer of the year in 1965 and was runner-up in 1962 and 1966. He played for Benfica 15 out of his 22 years as a footballer.  He won the European Cup in 1961.

Honorable Mention
José Luís Vidigal, Rolando, Nelson Marcos, Jorge Cadete, Danilo Pereira, Nélson Semedo, Silvestre Varela, Matateu, José Maria Júnior, Bruma, 

Squad Explanation
-- The idea of the blog team came after watching a documentary on Laurie Cunningham's influence on a generation of English Black players.  I created a blog team for them.  I later expanded blog teams to other countries.
-- Portugal's colonies in Africa are Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe and Equatorial Guinea. 
-- Eusebio, Mario Coluna, Pepe and Hilario are on my All-Time Portugal team.  They are automatic selections for this team.
--According to various source, Cristano Ronaldo has some Cape Verdean blood in him. I excluded him because of the uncertainty. I normally used the "one drop rule" for all of my ethnicity or race-related blog teams, but not for players with distant relations.  I tried my best to limit to grandparents.
-- Espírito Santo was the first Black player to play for Portugal. I think he is the third ever Black player to play for an European national team.  He earned his first cap in 1937 playing against Spain. Andrew Watson (Scotland) and Raoul Duiagne (France) were the first two players.  Originally, I did not notice him.  I removed Silvestre Varela in November, 2019.
-- I have difficult time looking for goalkeepers.  I found 4 keepers, whom I knew nothing about.  I chose three with the most experience according to their bios. Nuno was the only one with some international experience with Portugal. And I made an exception case of including Portuguese-born goalkeepers of African decent who chose to represent a country other than Portugal.  Ernesto was born in Portugal, but he represented Cape Verde internationally.  I only accepted that for the goalkeeper position.  Fernando played for Angola. There are a number of Portuguese-born footballers who played for African national teams.
-- I have four players on the 1966 World Cup team.  They are Eusebio, Mario Coluna, Vicente Lucas and Hilario.  They were all from Mozambique. Jose Aguas was born in Angola, but he was not of African descent.  Vicente Lucas's brother Matateu also played for Portugal. 
-- Pepe, Nani, Eder, Renato Sanches, William Carvalho and Bruno Alves are members of Portugal's Euro 2016 World Cup game. 
-- Pepe was the man of the match winner in the Final.
-- Eder scored the most important goal ion Portugal's history.  That put him in a special place in Portugal's football history.
-- Renato Sanches is actually too young, but he contributed to the Euro 2016 victory.  At the time of writing, his career with Bayern Munich has not panned out.  He is fading quickly. However, his contribution for Euro 2016 is too important for the history of Portuguese football.  I am keeping him on the squad as of 2018, but his status will be reviewed.
-- William Carvalho also played a part in that victory, but when I first created the blog, he only made honourable mention.  In 2017, I decided to select him to the squad.  I dropped José Luís Vidigal who spent his career playing in Italy.
-- I am including naturalised Brazilians Liedson and Pepe. The criteria is about Portuguese citizenship and race. 


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