Pre-Season Match Preview | Braga vs. Cardiff City
Cardiff City will play the first of their two pre-season games out in Portugal on Wednesday (19/07), as they take on Braga.
The game at the Stadium Municipal De Lagos will kick off at 19:00.
Ahead of the fixture, we take a closer look at the Archbishops...
Opposition Focus | In the dugout
The man in charge of the Portuguese side is Artur Jorge.
Put simply, Jorge is a Braga legend. He came through the club’s youth system and made his debut for the club in 1992. Over his career with the Arsenalists, the centre-back made 240 appearances and scored ten goals. He left the club in 2004, eventually ending his career with Penafiel.
Four years after retiring, Jorge took his first managerial role with FC Famalicão, and while he came in halfway through the season, he guided the club to promotion. He left the club after taking them up the divisions to take a role as youth coach at Braga.
Stints at fellow Portuguese clubs Tirsense and Limianos followed, but Braga was always a home for Jorge. He’s managed youth teams, the U21s, been a caretaker manager, and finally last season, became full time manager of the club.
In total, Jorge has managed 142 games: winning 65, drawing 38, and losing 39, with a win percentage of 45.77%.
Opposition Focus | A look at last season
In Jorge’s first full season in charge, he guided the club to third place and in the process, claimed a spot in the Champions League.
In the league, they managed an impressive 3-0 win against Benfica, and secured a 0-0 draw away at Porto. They also reached the final of the Taça de Portugal and beat the red side of Lisbon once more on their way to the final but were defeated by Porto in the final.
Braga also featured in the Europa League. They finished third in a group containing Malmö, Union Berlin, and Union SG, which meant they were demoted to the Conference League. There, they were knocked out in the first round by eventual finalists Fiorentina.
Opposition Focus | Summer Business
Braga have certainly splashed the cash this window, spending, a reported, €17 million so far.
Their biggest signing has been winger Bruma. Having spent the season on loan from Fenerbache, he scored four and assisted six in 16 games, leading to his full time acquisition from the Turkish club.
Braga have bolstered their midfield with the signings of Rodrigo Zalazar from Schalke and Vitor Carvalho from Gil Vicente. They have also bought in reinforcements at the back. Bluebirds fans may be familiar with the name Jose Fonte, who spent many seasons with Southampton in the Premier League.
The only major outgoing at the club has been winger Iuri Medeiros. The Spaniard scored ten goals in the league last season, but has now moved to UAE side Al-Nasr SC.
Opposition Focus | One to Watch
The danger man in the Braga squad is without a doubt Ricardo Horta.
Playing in the left-wing position, Horta had an unbelievable season, as he scored 17 goals and assisted ten in all competitions last term.
He was the only Braga player named in the Liga NOS Team of the Season, and he has since been recalled to the Portugal squad.