A countdown of the 10 most memorable moments of Portuguese football in 2018
Another year comes to an end, and the time of reflection is once again upon us. In what has been an action-packed campaign for Portuguese football, we look back at some of the most memorable moments involving Portugal’s finest from across the continent.
Here, we will count down the 10 most memorable moments from this year for Portuguese football, in no particular order, starting here:
1. Manuel Fernandes and Eder leading Lokomotiv Moscow to an unlikely title
Lokomotiv Moscow, having not won the Russian Premier League since 2004, had little expectation of lifting the title last season, with rivals CSKA Moscow, Spartak Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg perhaps the more favoured club heading into the campaign.
Add to that the fact that Lokomotiv had only finished 7th, 6th and 8th in the last three seasons respectively - making the top 3 only once in the last 10 attempts - and it becomes even clearer that Lokomotiv were something of underdogs to lift the title.
However, thanks in part to the heroics of two Portuguese internationals Manuel Fernandes and Eder, they pulled it off, lifting the league trophy and qualifying for the Champions League at the same time.
Manuel Fernandes was a particular highlight, his endeavours crucial in helping his Russian side mount such a serious title charge, and even did enough to convince Fernando Santos to call him up to the Portugal World Cup squad.
In total, Fernandes bagged himself 7 goals and 6 assists in 29 league outings, impressing with his passing and creativity in midfield, with the former Everton playmaker playing at least 80 minutes in 27 of those outings. On a side not, he also got himself 2 hat-tricks in the Europa League as he helped his side reach the round of 16 of Europe’s secondary competition.
Eder, meanwhile, didn’t have quite the same impact as his compatriot, finding the back of the net just 4 times in 18 appearances. However, as we have all know so well, the King that is Eder chooses his moments very well indeed. Coming on against Zenit in what was the penultimate game of the season with just 11 minutes to go, the score was still 0-0, and Loko knew that a victory would confirm them the title.
And with just 3 minutes left on the clock, Eder wriggled free of the defence and fired home from close range to seal the title for the Russians, becoming a club hero in the process.
It was an exceptional achievement for the club, and the Portuguese had a real impact on getting them across the line.
Lokomotiv’s splendid title success is therefore worthy of inclusion on this list of 10 most memorable moments of Portuguese football from 2018.