Football Season Review

№18: CD Nacional

Nacional proved to be the biggest case of yo-yo in Portuguese football this century, and wasn't able to increase their staying at Primeira Liga for more than just one year, yet again. Things didn't look too promising when they presented their squad for the season: clearly an unbalanced group of players with some key areas arguably lacking solid and confirmed talents (centre-halves, to name one). However, the start wasn't poor at all, with 'Alvinegros' picking only 1 defeat in the first 7 rounds. Young coach Luís Freire was able to make a competent group out of that squad after all. However, the next set of 7 rounds was much more difficult, and Nacional faced the first major upsets of the season. The weaknesses on the squad were exposed and no one except goalkeeper Daniel was able to pick 2 good performances in a row. Things got really bad when the Brazilian goalkeeper started to be absent, in January. Firstly, it was thought he was injured, but he was actually having been diagnosed a serious disease and Nacional was left out of their most important unit for the second part of the season. Riccardo Piscitelli felt the pressure to replace the iconic goalkeeper and was a true liability on many weekends. At the same time, the medical department was very busy attending a lot of players every week. Kalindi, Vigário, Witi, Kal, Chico Ramos, Koziello, Thill, Camacho, Matias were frequent costumers to the club's clinic. It was very hard that a weak squad as it was would resist so many problems during just one season. Being a specialist in promotions, it is expected that Nacional will soon be back at top flight, hopefully then with a more solid group to compete among the best teams in the country.

Player of the Season: Daniel Guimaraes