Featured Matches
Previous
AS Roma
Manchester United
8:10 PM GMT
Game Details
New York Red Bulls
Arsenal
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Internazionale
Real Madrid
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chicago
Tottenham Hotspur
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Houston
Aston Villa
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Toronto FC
Kansas City
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
New England
Columbus
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
RB Leipzig
Queens Park Rangers
2
0
FT
Game Details
Newport County
FC Carl Zeiss Jena
1
0
FT
Game Details
Accrington Stanley
Burnley
0
1
FT
Game Details
Barnsley
Hull City
1
1
FT
Game Details
Bath
Cheltenham Town
1
1
FT
Game Details
Bradford City
Blackburn Rovers
0
0
FT
Game Details
Chesham United
Stevenage
1
3
FT
Game Details
Chesterfield
Leeds United
2
2
FT
Game Details
Crewe Alexandra
Wolverhampton Wanderers
0
1
FT
Game Details
Dagenham & Redbridge
Colchester United
3
4
FT
Game Details
Ebbsfleet United
Portsmouth
3
0
FT
Game Details
Gillingham
Ipswich Town
0
2
FT
Game Details
Hyde
Altrincham
2
2
FT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Birmingham City
0
3
FT
Game Details
Luton Town
Antwerp
4
0
FT
Game Details
Northampton Town
Leyton Orient
0
1
FT
Game Details
Peterborough United
Brighton & Hove Albion
2
1
FT
Game Details
Rochdale
Middlesbrough
1
3
FT
Game Details
Scunthorpe United
Huddersfield Town
1
0
FT
Game Details
Tamworth
Rotherham United
2
1
FT
Game Details
Whitby
Hartlepool United
2
1
FT
Game Details
Woking
AFC Wimbledon
1
3
FT
Game Details
Workington
Carlisle United
0
2
FT
Game Details
Wycombe Wanderers
Reading
0
2
FT
Game Details
Brentford
Nice
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
TSV 1860 Munich
Stoke City
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Braintree Town
Cambridge United
1
2
FT
Game Details
AS Roma
Manchester United
8:10 PM GMT
Game Details
New York Red Bulls
Arsenal
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Internazionale
Real Madrid
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chicago
Tottenham Hotspur
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Houston
Aston Villa
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Arbroath
Alloa Athletic
1
4
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Brora
Stenhousemuir
3
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Cowdenbeath
Brechin City
1
3
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dunfermline Athletic
Raith Rovers
Postp
Game Details
East Fife
Forfar Athletic
2
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
East Stirlingshire
Falkirk
1
7
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Elgin City
Stirling Albion
0
3
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Montrose
Peterhead
0
3
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Airdrie United
Albion Rovers
2
2
FT-Pens
Game Details
Clyde
Ayr United
2
0
FT
Game Details
Greenock Morton
Spartans
1
0
FT
Game Details
Heart of Midlothian
Annan Athletic
3
1
FT
Game Details
Queen of the South
Livingston
3
4
FT
Game Details
Stranraer
Dumbarton
3
2
FT
Game Details
Waasland-Beveren
Club Brugge
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cercle Brugge KSV
KAA Gent
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
KVC Westerlo
KSC Lokeren
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lierse SK
KV Oostende
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Wolfsberger AC
Austria Vienna
4
0
FT
Game Details
FC Magna Wr. Neustadt
SV Salzburg
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rapid Vienna
SV Josko Ried
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SC Rheindorf Altach
FC Trenkwalder Admira
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AaB
FC Midtjylland
2
0
FT
Game Details
FC Copenhagen
FC Nordsjaelland
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Malmo FF
Kalmar FF
3
1
FT
Game Details
Halmstad
Gefle IF
2
0
LIVE 62'
Game Details
Aalesund
Lillestrom
1
1
FT
Game Details
Sandnes Ulf
Stromsgodset
1
1
LIVE 65'
Game Details
Grasshoppers
FC Thun
3:45 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Sion Sitten
St Gallen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Athlone Town FC
St Patricks
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Toronto FC
Kansas City
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
New England
Columbus
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
America
Tijuana
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Puebla
Veracruz
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
U.A.N.L
León
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Pachuca
Monterrey
1:06 AM GMT
Game Details
Chiapas
Toluca
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlanta Silverbacks
Minnesota United FC
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Carolina RailHawks
Ottawa Fury FC
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
New York Cosmos
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Tampa Bay Rowdies
San Antonio Scorpions
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Rosario Central
Juventud Unida Universitario
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Boca Juniors
Huracán
11:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Mérida
Oaxaca
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Zacatepec
Correcaminos
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
At. San Luis
Dorados de Sinaloa
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Irapuato
Coras Tepic
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Celaya
Lobos BUAP
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Criciúma
EC Vitória
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Figueirense FC
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Santos FC
Chapecoense AF
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Bahia
Internacional
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
AA Ponte Preta
CR Vasco da Gama
7:20 PM GMT
Game Details
Goianiense
Náutico
7:20 PM GMT
Game Details
Joinville
Avaí
7:20 PM GMT
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Ceará
7:20 PM GMT
Game Details
Paraná Clube
ABC
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
Vila Nova-GO
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Universidad de Concepción
Huachipato
0
0
LIVE 45' +3'
Game Details
O'Higgins
Universidad de Chile
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Barnechea
Unión La Calera
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Unión Española
Universidad Católica
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Huila
Itagüí
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Envigado
Deportes Tolima
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
La Equidad
Millonarios
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Uniautonoma
Atlético Junior
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Pasto
Independiente Medellín
12:45 AM GMT
Game Details
AS Roma
Manchester United
8:06 PM GMT
Game Details
Internazionale
Real Madrid
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
León de Huánuco
Cienciano del Cusco
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
San Martin
UTC
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
César Vallejo
Sporting Cristal
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Juan Aurich
Unión Comercio
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Sol de América
Libertad
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sportivo Luqueño
Rubio Ñú
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Comunicaciones
Coatepeque
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Marquense
Suchitepequez
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Xelaju
Penarol
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Chicago Red Stars
Houston Dash
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by Andy Brassell
Jun 11, 2014

Fernando: A star so bright

Manchester City are still waiting to tie up deals for Fernando and Bacary Sagna as Manuel Pellegrini looks to strengthen the squad that won the Premier League last season.

If Paul The Octopus -- or, more likely, a friend or relative of his -- makes a reappearance into public view for some World Cup forecasts, it will be the only eight-legged involvement in this summer's tournament in Brazil. More's the pity. Many, including Portugal coach Paulo Bento, had hoped Fernando Francisco Reges would be gracing Brazilian pitches this summer, but ultimately, it wasn't to be for the man nicknamed "O Polvo" (The Octopus).

This World Cup should have been a pinnacle for Fernando, as he is simply known. The absence of FC Porto's stalwart defensive midfielder from the international stage has long been the source of considerable bemusement at the Estadio do Dragao. How many better holding midfielders than Fernando could Brazil really have? It was clearly a point of view shared by the player himself, who told Globo in January 2013 that "Brazil is my dream. I'm certain that one day I'm going to wear the amarelinha" (yellow shirt).

Fernando also expressed in that interview the belief that the return of Luiz Felipe Scolari to the Brazil job would open the door for him. "He's already passed through Europe, and he was in Portugal for a long time," the midfielder said. "Because I've been here for such a long time, there are people in Brazil who think that I'm Portuguese. But I'm not."

That too was the ruling of FIFA's governing body, which in May decided that because Fernando had played in official competition for Brazil (Under-20 World Cup qualifying in 2007), he was ineligible to switch to Portugal, despite collecting a Portuguese passport in late 2013.

Something has changed for Fernando since that Globo interview: partly, one suspects, the prospect of playing in the World Cup in Brazil ebbing away, but also the faith of Bento. The Portugal coach had always been cautiously supportive of the idea of taking Fernando on board. Until the player's citizenship was finalised, it "wasn't a possibility", Bento pointed out, but he made it clear that he was an admirer. Given the successes of previously naturalised Brazilian-born Porto players Deco and Pepe, it was an enticing prospect.

Fernando is destined for a move this summer.

Bento believed he had his man before March's friendly with Cameroon. He intended to pick Fernando but was forced to withdraw him from his planned squad because of what appeared at the time to be just red tape. With Sporting's William Carvalho (extensively scouted by Manchester United) also emerging and making a full debut against the Indomitable Lions, Fernando's absence is not felt perhaps as keenly as it might be. There's no use crying over spilt milk, and all that.

Yet for all William's poise and maturity -- something already demonstrated in his debut as substitute in the playoff with Sweden and something that will again be apparent if he gets involved in Brazil -- there is no doubt that Fernando would have been a considerable asset. For a 26-year-old, his experience is quite breathtaking. The winner of 12 major trophies in his six seasons at the Dragao, he has played 57 matches in European competition.

Fernando has evolved too. A straight-up, steadfast blocker when he first became a Porto first-team regular (after a year of acclimating to Europe, on loan at the now-defunct Estrela da Amadora), he was a player who benefitted from Andre Villas-Boas' grand ideas as much as Hulk or Joao Moutinho.

Villas-Boas made Fernando see that he could be more of an adventurous, well-rounded player. Before AVB, he rarely ventured past the centre circle. As Porto soared in a remarkable 2010-11 season -- winning a treble of league, cup and Europa League -- Fernando started to bring the ball out of his own half, to press further up the pitch and to make the play. It was the period in which he began to develop into the modern, more versatile defensive midfielder that all of Europe's top clubs desire today.

So it's not too much of a leap to suggest that without AVB, Fernando would not be on the brink of sealing his long-mooted move to Manchester City. His acquisition (which will cost City, thanks to Fernando's contract extension earlier this year, a "thank you" of sorts to Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa) is a smart one by Manuel Pellegrini, who knows he can get more out of his key midfielders, Yaya Toure and Fernandinho, by providing some protection behind them

“A straight-up, steadfast blocker when he first became a Porto regular, Fernando benefitted from Andre Villas-Boas' grand ideas. ”

Javi Garcia's improved form was useful in the closing part of last season and backed this point of view, but Fernando is simply on a different level to the former Benfica midfielder. His development under Villas-Boas made him so, and his ability to bring the ball out will be crucial in maintaining City's attacking rhythm.

It's just a shame that City fans won't get a taste during the World Cup. They'd have quickly worked out why he's called O Polvo, for a start. No matter how unpromising the angle for a tackle or interception, those telescopic legs always seem to get there. Given the way that City play, that can only be an asset. Pellegrini will be happy to see him rest those legs this summer, even if Fernando himself might reflect on what might have been.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.