'Weight lifted off' as Sporting wins first Primeira Liga title in 19 years

By Sports Desk May 11, 2021

Sporting head coach Ruben Amorim admits he felt a weight which has been lifted after helping the club to their first Portuguese Primeira Liga title in 19 years.

The Lisbon club defeated Boavista 1-0 on Tuesday to secure their 19th league title and first since 2001-02.

Sporting splashed out €10million for Amorim when he was appointed in March last year, becoming the third most expensive coach ever, behind Andre Villas-Boas and Brendan Rodgers.

"I felt a weight and now it's off," Amorim told Sport TV after Sporting's win.

"People really wanted to celebrate this championship for the value and the risk the club took, but I wanted to win for the players, for the club and for other reasons that I won't disclose."

Amorim hailed his group of players who have gone 32 league matches unbeaten.

"I have a group of fantastic players, the merit is for the players," Amorim said.

"They fought, they grew a lot, they are very humble. It was another two hours of suffering.

"It is the reflection of our season. We played better, we were much better, we did not get the second goal and we suffered until the end."

Former Portugal international Amorim, 36, added that he had no plans to leave Sporting, with whom he has a €20 million buyout clause.

"I'm not going anywhere, unless they pay for everything," the ex-Benfica midfielder said.

Related items

  • Barcelona boss Koeman praises Depay-Griezmann connection after Stuttgart success Barcelona boss Koeman praises Depay-Griezmann connection after Stuttgart success

    Ronald Koeman was delighted with the connection between Memphis Depay and Antoine Griezmann during Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Stuttgart on Saturday.

    Barca maintained their perfect pre-season record, making it three wins from three at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

    Depay, who joined the La Liga giants on a free transfer in June after his departure from Lyon, opened the scoring against the Bundesliga outfit in emphatic fashion after 21 minutes.

    The Dutchman controlled Frenkie de Jong’s diagonal ball into the box, before flicking it over the head of defender Pascal Stenzel and firing past Fabian Bredlow in the Stuttgart goal.

    Following his second goal in as many games, Depay then played a key role as Barca doubled the lead 15 minutes later - a clever backheel releasing Griezmann to cross for youngster Yusuf Demir to tap home.

    Koeman praised the impact of his compatriot and was particularly impressed by his link-up with the France star.

    "Surely people know what Memphis is about," he said.

    "He has been at [Manchester] United, the last few years at Lyon and above all, he has shown himself to be a goalscorer. 

    "He showed [that quality] with his goal, strength and speed he brings to the team.

    "His connection with Antoine is very good and that gives us a lot.

    "They are two players who can play in different positions in the attack. We're going to have competition."

  • Nagelsmann confident Goretzka will extend Bayern contract Nagelsmann confident Goretzka will extend Bayern contract

    Julian Nagelsmann is confident Leon Goretzka can be persuaded to sign a new contract with Bayern Munich and has suggested fellow midfielder Corentin Tolisso still has a future at the club.

    Goretzka has less than a year to run on his existing deal with the German champions and has been touted as a possible target for Manchester United and Real Madrid.

    The 26-year-old scored five goals and provided the same number of assists in 24 Bundesliga games last season, while also playing a direct part in four Champions League goals.

    Recently-appointed boss Nagelsmann has already stressed he is eager to keep Goretzka at the Allianz Arena, but contract talks with the midfielder are out of his hands.

    "I'm not involved enough that I have a say every day. I stay out of these issues," Nagelsmann said. "Of course I have talked to him about my plans for him.

    "I've told him I'd be happy if he extended and I'm also confident. There are several topics involved when it comes to discussing a contract extension.

    "I'll continue to focus on the sports side of things and show him he can be one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe. He has potential to get even better."

     

    Goretzka is not alone in being linked with a move away from Bavaria, with France international midfielder Tolisso reportedly seeking a fresh start.

    But Nagelsmann has left the door open for Tolisso, who will become a free agent next year, to prove himself this season on the back of a disappointing 2020-21 campaign.

    "He is currently in isolation in France. I'm looking forward to when he returns and trains with the team," Nagelsmann said. 

    "His contract situation is known to everyone. I assume that when he's healthy again, he'll be part of this team."

    Nagelsmann was speaking on the back of Bayern's 3-0 friendly defeat to Napoli, making it three losses and one draw in his first four games in charge.

    He has had to make do without a number of players that have been away on international duty, though big-hitters Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry and Goretzka returned on Saturday.

    The former RB Leipzig boss is not concerned about results so far, however, and has hinted Bayern could yet strengthen before the transfer window closes.

    "I said before that I'm taking over a well-functioning team," Nagelsmann added. "But I haven't had the full team yet. 

    "On Monday we will be complete when others return, and then it's about finding the rhythm in training"

    "I'm not worried about these scores. I think the first half today was good. We had control and played well, but we didn't manage to create a lot of chances in the final third. 

    "The goals we conceded were annoying, but that can't really be a reference because we made a lot of changes

    "Our task as a club is to always observe the market. We have a good squad, but we can always improve it. Every coach in the world wants the best possible team."

    Kingsley Coman sustained a bruised rib in the loss to Napoli, but Nagelsmann confirmed at his post-match news conference that he does not expect the Frenchman to be out for long.

  • Odriozola becomes latest Real Madrid player to test positive for coronavirus Odriozola becomes latest Real Madrid player to test positive for coronavirus

    Alvaro Odriozola has become the latest Real Madrid player to test positive for coronavirus.

    The 25-year-old is the third member of the Madrid squad to contract the illness in the past eight days after Karim Benzema and new signing David Alaba also returned positive tests.

    Odriozola played the full 90 minutes of Los Blancos' 2-1 friendly defeat to Rangers in Glasgow last week but will now self-isolate.

    Madrid confirmed the news in a short statement on their official website on Saturday, though they did not clarify whether the four-cap Spain international was asymptomatic. 

    Real Sociedad academy product Odriozola featured 16 times for Madrid in all competitions season, including nine starts in LaLiga.

    With Dani Carvajal still on the comeback trail from a hamstring injury, Odriozola was in contention to start the season at right-back for Madrid.

    Carlo Ancelotti's side have one more pre-season friendly to play – against Milan in Austria on August 8 – before beginning their LaLiga campaign against Alaves the following week.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.