In 2002, two outrageously talented young wingers took their first steps in senior football for Portuguese champions Sporting. Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Quaresma would waste little time in displaying their God-given gifts with a ball at their feet.

Fast-forward 13 years and Sporting again have two promising flank players operating in tandem who are being touted for a brilliant future.

Gelson Martins, 20 years old, and Matheus Pereira, 19, are both getting regular playing time – and making the most of it – for the Primeira Liga leaders.

Tom Kundert writes about Sporting’s latest pair of flying wingers for FourFourTwo

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  • Guest - Justin/rochester

    Their needs to be more of an emphasis on the final decision/product in Portuguese football. I wonder what the academy's are doing to develop the players finishing mindset. We can have 100 fast dribbling players but they're not going to decide the outcome of games. I can think of dozens of talented wing players all over the world the last ten years that haven't done much. We have this uncanny tradition of developing wingers with no results. Cristiano is the only one that has the pitbull mentality, the selfish mentality to try and score. I'm not wording this exactly how I should be but basically the point I'm trying to get across is simple. In Portugal, the coaches need to start developing these young players to be more selfish around the box. Look at the Germans and how clinical they are around the box. Historically, Portugal plays like a mixture of Spain and Brazil but here's the problem with that. Portugal is no where near the size of Brazil and significantly smaller than Spain. It's just statistics and population. With less athletes going through the youth system in relation to other countries, we have to start singling out potential players and training them to finish and be selfish. Even if you look at a team like Belgium, they have players who will be selfish(lukaku,debruyne,original and a few others). They're a small country like Portugal but they have the right mindset offensively. Portugal tries to walk the ball into the goal and it's not going to be effective against good defenses. Hope that makes sense. I look forward to anybody that wants to open up communication on this subject.

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