Anthony Lopes: alone against all
Last season, Anthony Lopes (under contract until 2025) was one of the few players to float at OL (8th in L1). After three months of competition, again for the Portuguese international (14 caps) who once again had to show his fangs against Lens on Sunday evening by multiplying the stops before giving in on a penalty from Sotoca at the end of the match (84th, 1- 0). Although OL are in seventh place after nine games with four defeats in a row, this does not prevent Lopes from being the goalkeeper at the top of L’Équipe’s average score (6.60).
Danilo Pereira on September 17 against FC Nantes. (F. Faugère/The Team)
Danilo Pereira: the good soldier
The training midfielder, used in central defense despite himself with Portugal and Christophe Galtier, has made his mark alongside Sergio Ramos or Marquinhos since Presnel Kimpembe’s hamstring tear. Aged 31, Danilo (63 selections) was able to adapt to his transfer on the ground without protesting to his leaders. Despite his temperament as a serious and combative player, he showed certain limits, especially in C1 against Maccabi Haifa (3-1, September 14) as a central hinge. The capital club has been busy recruiting a professional central defender this winter.
José Fonte: 38 years old, still confident
At almost 39 years old (December 22), the athletic central defender (1.90 m, 83 kg) is not done with football, he who extended last May until June 2023. He played the 38 Ligue 1 matches over the previous year and started off on the same basis this season (he played all the Championship matches) with the captain’s armband still on his arm. His mission will be to guide the youngest (Djalo, Diakité and Yoro in particular).
Tiago Djalo: goal of the World Cup in Qatar
Associated with Fonte in the axial defense of the Mastiffs, the player trained at Sporting Portugal is likely to appear in the list of Fernando Santos in a month for the World Cup. The Lille resident (83 matches in all competitions) was called up for the first time last March in the absence of Pepe and Ruben Dias, before being called up again recently for the League of Nations. Still awaiting his first appearance for Portugal, the 22-year-old could be one of the heirs of Fonte (38) and Pepe (39).
The eleven of the Portuguese L1. (Infographic/The Team)
Nuno Tavares: OM to shine
Arrived for only one season on the Canebière, the new left piston of the Marseillais started strong (3 goals in 4 matches of Ligue 1) and impressed on his side by his breakthroughs and his offensive contribution. Like Saliba, the 22-year-old defender arrived at the vice-champion of France to win and convince Mikel Arteta to take him back to the Gunners group at the end of the season.
André Gomes: the experience of the environment
He arrived at the very end of the summer transfer window in the North, André Gomes (29 caps) came from Everton to bring all his experience to the Lille team coached by another Lusitanian Paulo Fonseca. The presence of Fonte with whom he won Euro 2016, reinforced the idea of the former Barcelona player (78 matches) to come to Lille after the loss of Sanches, Onana and Xeka.
Vitinha: the good pick of Campos
PSG football adviser Luis Campos was instrumental in the choice to recruit Vitinha (22) at the start of the summer. The former Porto player has been associated from the start with Marco Verratti in the midfield and this duo has quickly become reliable over the matches for getting the ball out to the star attackers while being complementary in the distribution of tasks.
Nuno Mendes: all of a great
He is only 20 years old but he has already achieved unanimity in one of the best European clubs and in selection. After extending until 2026, the left side quickly became a starter ahead of Juan Bernat at PSG and Raphaël Guerreiro with « la Seleçao ». Nuno Mendes, also trained at Sporting, already has everything to become one of the best in the world in his position and last over time when we see that he has some room for improvement.
Renato Sanches: Paris rather than Milan
The arrival of Campos combined with the signing of Galtier was almost seen as obvious for Renato Sanches to join the capital despite the interest of AC Milan. The two men knew the Portuguese well (32 caps) with LOSC and appreciated his profile as a box to box player, capable of organizing the game and thus fitting into the rotation of midfielders. After a groin injury last month and a reappearance against Nice last Saturday (1-0), he was injured again in the same match and will be absent for the trip to Benfica on Wednesday.
Rony Lopes is playing with Estac this season. (F. Porcu/The Team)
Rony Lopes: his fourth club in Ligue 1
Arrived in Troyes on loan without the option to buy from Sevilla FC, Rony Lopes knew the French championship very well for having worn the jersey of three clubs including Lille (2014-2015 then 2016-2017), Monaco (2015- 2019) and Nice (2020-2021). With two assists for ESTAC, the 26-year-old attacking midfielder is well known to owner City Football Group for picking him up from Benfica in 2011.
David Pereira da Costa: pure product of Lens training
At the age of 21, he took part in RC Lens’ good season in the Championship last season (33 matches, 3 goals, 5 assists) and established himself in Franck Haise’s team as the undisputed starter. (already 3 assists in 9 matches) to support Sotoca and Openda. With his small size (1m68, 64 kg), the Portuguese international hope has the particularity of playing as a winger but has already played as an attacking midfielder.