The latest PortuGOAL podcast reviews the 2015/16 domestic season in Portugal. We discuss the epic title race between Lisbon giants Benfica and Sporting, and select the player of the season from each club, which in the case of the champions will probably surprise many...

Part two of the pod begins with a look at Braga’s terrific campaign and we ask: can the Arsenalistas get amongst the traditional Big Three and become a title contender? We also try and fathom what FC Porto need to do to get back on track.

The third and final part of the show is set aside for each of our experts to nominate their “Teams of the Season” from goalkeeper to striker. The 2015/16 Primeira Liga in 40 minutes!

 

 

 

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  • Guest - Andre/UK

    Nice podcast and sum up of a fascinating season! Yes it was an interesting season for sure, it didn't turn out to be the 3 horse race that earlier on in the season seemed like a real possibility, but a genuine 2 horse race right to the death and last match of the season means it was very exciting all the same. The amount of points that Benfica and Sporting finished ahead of the rest suggests that it wasn't very competitive, but then we had for example, Benfica losing at Arouca, Sporting losing against Uniao and Porto losing at home to Tondela. Normally these would be unheard of results, and should serve as inspiration to the "lesser" teams of the Liga that it's possible to shock the big 3 on any given week.

    Benfica are deserved champions, no doubt about it. We understandably had a shaky start to the season but as soon as Vitoria and the team found their feet, the form and consistency they showed was simply sensational. In the second half of the season, Benfica won 16 out of their 17 matches (and on top of this were also the Liga team that went furthest and made the most impact in Europe). Anyone who claims that record is not deserving of the title, is either very biased or simply delusional! But congratulations to Sporting too for an awesome Liga campaign. They were very very close and in the end it was a difference of just one match (i.e Benfica dropping points in any one match) that cost them the title. Their 86 points would normally have been more enough to win the Liga, but unfortunately for them Benfica were even more consistent this year. I have to say I agree with the points made in the podcast though, that the constant noise and public trash talk we heard all season from JJ and BDC probably only galvanized Benfica further and I also think it meant that Sporting lost focus at particular moments. It's always best to keep focused on one's own path and objectives, rather than always on those of your rival. And this should be a lesson for Sporting to learn for next season.

    I also agree that it's rather simplistic the point about Luisao's injury giving us the title. He didn't make a great start to the season, but a lot of our other players didn't either. We made a slow start and everyone was getting used to the new situation and direction the club was taking. But we are speaking about consistently the best CB in this league for the last 10 years. I think on the contrary, the club did superbly to cope without it's captain and leader of the defense, for practically the whole season. Lindelof was fantastic when given his chance, but then again so was Lisandro Lopez before him. The key to this title triumph and it would seem to Vitoria's approach, was the collective above all. Whoever played gave their all for the team, virtually everyone got a chance at some point and and contributed, and this was very key. This is also why I'm less worried this summer than I normally am about losing a bunch of key players as usual. We've already lost Renato and Gaitan, it seems Talisca will soon follow, and maybe others too. But you just get the sense with Vitoria in charge that whatever squad we have next season, we will continue to be competitive and unified.

    In terms of the Liga team of the season, I would agree with Patrick's team, with just one change to it: Rafa Silva in instead of Bryan Ruiz. The Costa Rican had a very good season, but I think Rafa had an equally good one, and I think a Braga player must be included given the great season they had. So all in all a very fascinating season, hopefully next season will be just as much so.

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