Liga NOS 2018/19 was another memorable campaign in which we witnessed individual performances of the highest quality week in week out.
The aim of the Figure of the Week feature is to capture said displays but with the intention of representing no individual more than once (otherwise the likes of João Félix and Bruno Fernandes would have shared the honour throughout!)
It also provides a nice opportunity to promote performances and stories of those from the lesser known teams, particularly to audiences outside of Portugal. My particular intention was to attempt to represent all clubs in the league as evenly as possible, within reason in terms of how each round of matches panned out.
With that in mind I thought I’d produce a feature with the chance to look back at each article from each gameweek from the season gone, and also a couple of interesting accompanying numbers. Enjoy!
Week 3 - Douglas Jesus, Vitória Guimarães
Week 5 - Shoya Nakajima, Portimonense
Week 20 - Mateus, Boavista
Week 22 - Sardor Rashidov, Nacional
Week 26 - Mattheus Oliveira, Vitória Guimarães
Week 33 - Davidson, Vitória Guimarães
Clubs represented in the feature:
Sporting (4), Benfica (4), Moreirense (3), Belenenses (3), Vitória Guimarães (3), Porto (2), Chaves (2), Rio Ave (2), Tondela (2), Marítimo (1), Nacional (1), Santa Clara (1), Vitória Setúbal (1), Braga (1), Aves (1), Portimonense (1), Boavista (1)
The Lisbon sides end up dominating the feature, in part no surprise given the outrageous talent the clubs possess (João Félix, Bruno Fernandes etc) but fair mentions for sides that arguably surprised many this season, especially Moreirense who confounded all expectations to finish 6th. Porto not featuring quite as much as they could have, perhaps reflective of what was overall a disappointing season for them. Feirense the only side not to feature, in reality a tough team to have picked a figure from in what was a disastrous campaign for the side from Santa Maria de Feira.
How does 2018/19 compare to 2017/18?
I began writing for this feature in 2017/18 and comparing the results between the campaigns provides some interesting ups and downs in terms of how clubs have fared.
2017/18 Figures of the Week
Week 6 - Shoya Nakajima, Portimonense
Week 19 - Raphinha, Vitória Guimarães
Week 20 - Fabrício, Portimonense
Week 24 - Yusupha, Boavista
Clubs represented in the feature 2017/18:
Porto (5), Sporting (4), Braga (4), Benfica (3), Tondela (3), Marítimo (3), Rio Ave (3), Vitória Setúbal (2), Portimonense (2), Chaves (1), Aves (1), Boavista (1), Vitória Guimarães (1), Belenenses (1)
By comparison, Porto feature a lot more in this year, perhaps unsurprising given they ended up lifting the league title. Braga feature more prominently in what was in some ways a breakthrough campaign, while Marítimo and Rio Ave both experienced far more memorable seasons than the one just gone, finishing 7th and 5th respectively. Tondela coasted to safety with impressive ease in 2017/18, hence some more spotlight, while Moreirense battled the drop throughout and failed to feature.
A number of the players written about in 2017/18 moved onto bigger things, with now English Premier League players Rui Patrício, Raúl Jimenéz and Ricardo Pereira among them. The following Liga NOS stars though managed repeat-worthy performances to feature in consecutive seasons:
- Bas Dost
- Bruno Fernandes
- Moussa Marega
- Tiquinho Soares
- Shoya Nakajima
There are plenty more comparisons and statistics to garner from these selections but I don't want to waffle on forever.
In conclusion these are just a snapshot of thoughts behind another fascinating season in Portugal and an opportunity to relive some of the best moments and performers of the campaign. Roll on 2019/20!
By Jamie Farr