Everton target Pereira wins Portugal’s “game of the century”

FC Porto Trophy Celebration

The man touted to replace David Moyes has just overseen one of Porto's greatest wins.

Even before David Moyes officially announced his departure from Goodison Park, talk was rife of possible replacements for the Everton manager.

After 11 years at the club, his failure to sign a new contract hinted he was on his way. And while he has since admitted he had every intention of signing a new deal this summer, the call from Old Trafford swiftly changed his mind.

I wrote last month of the Toffees’ reported interest in FC Porto coach Vitor Pereira, the possible final part in a trilogy of ex-Porto success stories following Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas to the Premier League.

Owner Bill Kenwright will now be thinking long and hard about the man to replace an Everton legend. And while Roberto Martinez won’t have done himself any harm by overseeing Wigan’s FA Cup success, yesterday saw Pereira mastermind an outstanding victory of his own.

Until last night, both Porto and Benfica were undefeated in the Portuguese league.

Benfica led the table by two points with just two games remaining. And as Pereira’s team prepared to welcome the Eagles to Estadio Dragao, the national media were hailing it “the game of the century”.

When Rodrigo Lima put the Europa League finalists ahead, it seemed they were on their way to securing the league before their cup final against Chelsea. While an equaliser from Porto’s Silvestre Varela meant the game was heading for the draw that would suit Benfica more than their opponents.

That was before an injury-time winner from Brazilian teenager Kelvin gave the home side the win and Pereira a real chance of stealing the league at the death.

The title is not yet won, as Porto travel to third-placed Pacos Ferreira on the final day, while Benfica host second-bottom Moreirense. But if Pereira can navigate that final hurdle, he will replicate the undefeated season of Villas-Boas in 2011 and show the rest of Europe just how good he is.

With his own contract about to expire, he will then have a huge decision to make.

He has seen what former Porto managers have gone on to achieve in the Premier League and beyond. And should Everton act quickly, they could benefit from whatever it is that makes that club’s coaches so good domestically, and seemingly such successful exports.

Two managers inspired great feats yesterday. One of them could well be the Everton manager next season. It is time for the club to make a choice.

Who would you like to be the next Everton manager: Pereira, Martinez, or do you believe the reports that Cardiff's Malky Mackay is destined for the job?

image: © dioxido

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