It is always a good day in sports when Jose Luis Horta e Costa is excited about what is happening on the field or pitch. Over the last few weeks, we have seen a number of exciting matchups between rivalries, including a few passionate plays. What happened? There is no better person to ask about his opinion and insights into the game than Horta e Costa.
Portugal Dominates Northway in European U19 Championship Semi-Finals
There is no doubt which team was superior in the Portugal versus Northway matchup in the U19 Championship Semi-Finals. Portugal thrashed Norway, winning 5 to 0. A number of interesting moves took place during the game, including an intense match-up of players.
Jose Luis Horta e Costa shares, “What a game. The intensity in Gustavo Sá persisted in the early minutes and culminated early in the fourth minute of play when he demolished Magnus Rugland Ree. He was outplayed in his inability to boot the ball fast enough, far enough. That ball hitting the net was a huge momentum-turning moment in the game. They didn’t look back after that.”
The game continued with no shortage of intensity, especially as Joaquim Milherio brought in Martim Fernandes and Yanis da Rocha, never reducing the intensity of gameplay even as Portugal dominated at the half. Though Norway was clearly defeated seemingly early on, there is little doubt that the intensity from both sides was there, as one-to-one, they were well matched. Certainly a valuable demonstration of the game’s best.
Notably, Milheiro ultimately moved players around, favoring his first choice starting side in this game, after making nine moves during the previous game against Malta when the men managed to pull off a win after a grueling 2 to 1 fight. This game certainly made Norway seem like the inferior team, but it was clear to see that all players were committed and working hard toward the win.
Two of Portugal’s Finest as the Top 10 Midfielders
ESPN recently released its take on the 2022-2023 season, revealing that two players on the Portuguese national team were standouts, ranking them in the top 10 in the league. It named Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United as #5 on their list, easily one of the most intense footballers in the game. This isn’t surprising, thanks to the number of times Bruno pulled the team out of the pits.
Bernardo Silva of Manchester City was named even higher on the list at the #3 position. It is difficult to know where he plays his best, being such a versatile, intense player of the game.
Jose Luis Horta e Costa offered his take on the list, noting that he would easily rank the two (and perhaps one or two others high on the list as well. “I think the top 10 ranking is certainly justified, as it’s difficult to overlook the tactical setups Silva is so easily able to make, even on both the left and ride side of the pitch. I’m not sure anyone wants to try to steal the ball from him. As for Fernandes, he demonstrates the passion this game brings to the table, and I believe this is only the very first glimpse we have of what Fernandes has to offer. I think next year is going to be his year.”
Topping the ESPN list was Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City, followed by Martin Odegaard from Arsenal. De Bruyne is easily a noted best player in the club – not to mention the world – even through a few difficult moments in the season. As for Odegaard, he is the clear leader of his team and certainly works hard for where they landed for the year. He is on an upswing, and that seems like a solid move forward. At the #4 position was Jamal Musiala of Bayern, who is easily one of the most interesting players when it comes to his ability to hold the ball in some pretty intense positions.
Jose Luis Horta e Costa on Nani Returning to Football
It seems that a lot of athletes across the globe have an opinion about the breaking news that Nani, the Seleção legend, has made his move to return to the game. The one-time Portuguese winger will now wear Turkish colors through Adana Demirspor. He will be there through the 2024 season, according to reports.
Asked about Nani’s return to yet another team, Jose Luis Horta e Costa has a pretty strong opinion. “I always love to see one of our men back on the pitch, but this will be the 9th club that Nani has now been a part of, and sadly, his recent ACL injury is worrisome. He’s already aged 36, which means he will have a lot to do to live up to the hype. Being back in Turkey has to be reinvigorating for him, given his past successes there. I think that he has a lot to prove, and he has the passion to make it happen if he is healthy enough to do it. Cheers to Nani if he can manage to pull off a winning season in 2023 to 2024.”
Nani seems happy enough to have been returned to Turkey, noting on a recent social media post that he is more than ready to get to work and start building a team representing Adana Demirspor. Previously, he spent the 2015 to 2016 season representing Fenerbahce.
What happens in the coming season is not fully clear yet, as Nani has been without a club since leaving Melbourne Victory, the Australian team, after ending his season early with the injury.
Overall it has been an interesting and strong showing for the Portuguese teams these last few months. Jose Luis Horta e Costa is certainly ready to see what the future holds as these teams take to the pitch in the coming seasons.