The Portuguese league contains a host of young stars despite it being seen as a second-string division when compared to the English Premier League and La Liga. 

Here are 10 future stars who ply their trade in the Primeira Liga.

10. Elderson Echiéjilé (SC Braga) 

The Nigerian left-full back has been in good form in the Confederation Cup for his national team and has scored two goals in the process. 

Capable of balancing a solid defensive posture with sharp attacking, Elderson is set to reach a higher level this season.

9. Éder Lopes (SC Braga) 

The Portuguese centre forward bagged 13 goals in the league last season.  Éder allies physical dominance with clinical finishing. For a team with great suppliers, the forward might just be the right man to lead the frontline.

8. Diego Capel (Sporting CP) 

Spanish U21 European champion in 2011 and former Sevilla star youngster, Capel has helped his club to a timid seventh place. 

Although not on the best spot of the table, Capel’s resilience was decisive to attain points in some of the most dull games. 

Fast, furious and intense, Diego is a raw winger with a big heart for the game.

7. Eliaquim Mangala (FC Porto) 

One of the great prospects for France’s defence in the near future, the centre-back played an important role in Porto's title-winning season. 

A complete footballer and still only 22, Mangala can also play at full-back. 

The greatest advantage of Mangala is his outstanding positioning and aerial ability.

6. Eduardo Salvio (SL Benfica) 

The Argentinian winger has been in excellent form this past season. Former Atlético Madrid player, who was transferred to Lisbon for a £11million fee, has been able to cope with expectations. 

With 10 goals to his name in Portugal and decisive performances in Europa League campaign, Salvio caught the eye of some big clubs.

5. Rui Patrício (Sporting CP) 

Portugal’s national team undisputed stopper played a pivotal role in for his club to achieve a yet underwhelming position. 

Lisbon fans are sure to be thankful to their keeper for some brilliant saves which secure some vital points in there slow paced campaign. Relentless and feline, Patrício is on the verge of a deserved move.

4. Ezequiel Garay (SL Benfica) 

Former Real Madrid centre-back is on top of defensive excellence today. With two amazing years on the back-line of Benfica, the Argentinian has the vision a great defender must possess. 

He is said to be attracting the interest of Manchester United.

3. Nico Gaitán (SL Benfica) 

The architect of one of the greatest plays of the season (second goal against Sporting at home), the attacking midfielder is also being looked at by some of Europe's best teams. 

Blessed by a delicate and exquisite left foot, the Argentinian can disrupt defensive lines with his accurate passing. 

2. Jackson Martínez (FC Porto) 

As a prodigious striker, Martínez arrived and conquered the golden boot of Portuguese football with 26 goals scored. 

After the departure of star Falcao, Porto hit the jackpot with another Colombian clinical finisher who helped his club maintain the title. 

1. Nemanja Matic (SL Benfica) 

Matic was part of a swap deal when David Luiz moved to Chelsea in 2012.

The Blues didn’t seem to recognise what they were giving away. The midfielder’s sublime and elegant touch of the ball combined with endless stamina and body strength ensured the centre of Benfica’s formation was solid. 

Chelsea are trying to re-sign the Serbian, but it will cost a lot of money to bring the midfielder back to Stamford Bridge.


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