Sporting Clube de Portugal, or Sporting Lisbon as it’s more commonly known in England and the US, and FC Porto are two of the big three clubs in Portugal along with Benfica. It is not uncommon to see scouts from teams in other leagues when these clubs play, as many a world-class player has come up through the ranks at one of these clubs.
Football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo, and Nani are all players who have played for Sporting Lisbon. Meanwhile, Porto has featured such players as Ricardo Carvalho, Hulk, and Falcao. The matches between the big three clubs are always must-see rivalry matches in Portugal and often features young players that will one day form the core of the Portuguese national team. In fact, young West Ham starlet Domingos Quina spent time in the academy of Benfica before signing with West Ham this past summer.
This past weekend West Ham was one of 29 clubs to send scouts to witness the match between Sporting and Porto, played on Saturday, February 4th, which was won by Porto 2-1. English clubs that also sent scouts were Everton, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Brighton. Other notable clubs were AC Milan, Juventus, Real Sociedad, and Barcelona. It is notable that a number of club scouts attended this match after the closing of the January transfer window, as this means that the clubs are starting to work on plans for a summer spending spree.
It is too early to speculate which players that West Ham sent their scouts to watch in person, but West Ham has already sent scouts to witness the Champions League match between Porto and Leicester City in December. Porto has a number of exciting young players, so it would not be surprising for the club to be interested in signing one of those players over the summer. Here’s hoping that the club is interested in bringing in some new players, rather than having a scout wanting an excuse to spend a weekend in Portugal to escape the London winter.