FC Porto secured a late equaliser against Shakhtar Donetsk and it helped them finish top of their Champions League group. Winger Ricardo Quaresma said after the match that the never say die attitude of the Porto players was a crucial element in helping them rescue a point in the match. Porto were feeling confident of topping the group given that they have not suffered any defeat in the group stages this season. Shakhtar Donetsk were seen as their biggest threat, but they finished their campaign with nine points – six behind Porto.Stepanenko opened the scoring for Shakhtar Donetsk in the 51st minute.
Just when it seemed that the Ukrainian outfit were heading for a victory that would push them closer to Porto, Aboubakar equalised in the 87th minute. The 22-year-old said that he was extremely satisfied by the goal and it shows that the club are on a good path. Aboubakar has not been a regular first-team player largely because of the brilliance of striker Jackson Martinez. The forward has been prolific this season and has already scored 16 goals. However, Aboubakar believes that this good showing against Shakhtar Donetsk will reward him with opportunities going forward. Quaresma says that he is extremely happy with the way Porto continued chasing the equaliser even late on.
“We’re a side who always has faith until the end, and that’s what happened today. We equalised just before the 90 minutes were up and could have scored a second but didn’t manage to.We deserve congratulations. We gave it everything we had.Our goal was to finish first in our group, and we did. Now we have to continue working and think about our next game,” said Quaresma. “I’m satisfied. I scored a goal and we’re on the right path,” said the 22-year-old,Aboubakar.
Ricardo Quaresma began making a name for himself and impressing clubs around Europe during his time as a player of Porto which was way back in 2004 until 2007 before the Portuguese winger was sold to Inter Milan and subsequently to Chelsea but his tenure with these 2 titan clubs did not go well.
After signing with Inter Milan he was awarded with the Bidone d’Oro which is recognition given to the worst footballer in the Italian League. Later on with Chelsea, he struggled trying to impress the coach Jose Mourinho and this led to the Portuguese player being offloaded to Besiktas, Al Ahli until making his return to Porto.
On January of the ongoing year, Quaresma returned to Porto but his time playing with the Portuguese club could be reaching its end according to rumors and reports which are claiming that the head coach of the club, Julen Lopetegui does not have Quaresma in his plans.
Quaresma was dropped from Porto’s Champions League qualifying matches against Lille and did not make an appearance in the league game against Pacos de Ferreira. It seems like the influence of Quaresma in the club is not as much as some time ago as he is apparently getting fewer time and making less appearances for Porto as Lopetegui is trying to utilize other players instead of the 30 year old former Inter Milan player.
At one point in time of his career Quaresma was even hailed to be the next Luis Figo for Portugal but things just couldn’t work out for him and now his future at Porto is starting to look less and less assured. Throughout his career, Quaresma has displayed the abilities of being able to play on either side of the wings as well as demonstrating tricks such as: Rabona and Trivela but his temper is a factor that has troubled him. Similar to Mario Balotelli, another player that has all the skills necessary to become one of the best in the world but anger and disciplinary are limiting him on turning into a world-class player.
Netherlands coach Guus Hiddink, who returned back to the national team after the departure of Louis van Gaal, says that his first priority will be to sort out the differences between Robin van Persie and Pierre van Hooijdonk. The Manchester United striker was criticised by one of the coaching staff, Pierre van Hooijdonk, during the World Cup 2014. This is despite the striker scoring one of the goals of the tournament against Spain. Van Persie responded angrily by saying that van Hooijdonk should play golf instead.
A former striker, van Hooijdonk has represented the likes of Celtic, Nottingham Forest, Benfica, and Feyenoord in his career. He also played for the national team in 46 matches and scored 14 goals. In contrast, van Persie has featured for the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal. He came through the famous youth academy at Feyenoord, while he has featured in close to 100 appearances for the national team since his debut in 2005. After having averaged a goal every other game, van Persie is regarded as one of the finest strikers for the national team in recent decades.
Hiddink is unlikely to infuriate van Persie by supporting van Hooijdonk. He has decided to hold a meeting between the duo where he expects peace to come in front. “There’s going to be a discussion between Van Hooijdonk and Van Persie. They should sit down together like grown men, bang their heads together and speak their minds as guys should. I plan to schedule a meeting between them soon. I’m happy Van Hooijdonk will be working with the Under-21s. He is the type of player up-and-coming youngsters can use as an example. There is something from the past between him and me and everyone who knows me realises that I prefer to deal with secret matters openly,” said Hiddink.