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Soccer Break Thursday – Power to Portugal

May 19, 2011

It was no classic but Porto cemented themselves as one of Europe’s top sides on Wednesday with a 1-0 victory over compatriots Braga in the Europa League final in Dublin, surely the start of better days for the Portuguese game.

Key to this is that Porto’s coach Andre Villas-Boas and figurehead striker Radamel Falcao have agreed to stay at the club, a nice touch in the fast-paced football world where players and coaches come and go all too often.

Predictions for Porto next season? Can they repeat history and win the Champions League the year after winning Europe’s second-tier club competition? Why not.

At the very least, Portugal’s fine showing in Europe this season may bring a much needed economic lift to the country. Manchester is apparently set to profit immensely from having two clubs in the Champions League next term.

On that topic, there could be some big moves this summer. Didier Drogba to leave Chelsea? Brazilian Neymar to fill Drogba’s void? The youngster says compatriots David Luiz and Ramires have told him “London is a beautiful place.”

As the season winds down, it’s time for another Arsenal player to give their analysis on another failed season. Agree with Robin van Persie? And Arsenal fans, are you hopeful of success next year?

Finally, with the FIFA presidential election on June 1 fast approaching, the never-ending corruption allegations seem set to tarnish the whole event. Read here for the latest.

Discuss all these topics and other stories in world soccer on the Reuters Soccer Facebook page. And please feel free to send us recommendations for your pick of the day’s stories.

 

Picture: A supporter of Porto holds a scarf saying “I Love Porto” during a public screening of the Europa League Final soccer match against Braga in Porto May 18, 2011. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

 

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