Joe Murphy takes a look at some of the most underrated signings in the Liga BPI this season in Beatriz Meio-Metro and Marie-Yasmine Alidou.
Over the past few months, on my Twitter account, I have been looking at one player per club in the Liga BPI. I have looked into their position in the team and what they bring to it. It was requested that I should do a thread on Braga’s Beatriz Meio-Metro. After watching clips, I decided a thread wouldn’t be enough, and I should turn it into an article. I also thought it was a good idea to include Marie-Yasmine Alidou from Famalicão, as both players have a lot in common. They were signed in the summer, play roughly in the same position and both are important to their teams. They were also two cheap players on RealFEVR and are reliable players to help your team as they are regularly involved with goals.
I hope you enjoy my breakdown of these two players. Before I start, I apologise for not having detailed screenshots/videos of the clips. The YouTube quality of these clips are bad enough, but once I started adding notes, they were made even worse. I have made a couple of team tactics and included part of a video to show an example of what I am talking about. It should be straightforward for you to access. I will note that Meio-Metro wears the number 19, and Aldiou wears the number 22.
Meio-Metro (BMM) returned to Portugal after spending a season in Cyprus. In her career, she had already played with manager Gonçalo Nunes before when she played at Estoril Praia. In all competitions, BMM has eight goals and eight assists in 25 appearances. Her position often changes from being the right forward of a front 2 to being the winger of a front 3. I will go through her position when Braga have the ball, and Braga do not have the ball.
Out of possession, BMM is normally an inside right forward. Braga tends to defend in a 4-1-3-2 formation. BMM is on the right of the front two but stands slightly deeper than her strike partner. By doing this, she offers some defensive cover, but she is mainly getting ready to break forward when the ball has been won back. She often tucks into this defensive position to force the opposition to go wide. Then soon as the ball goes out wide, BMM springs a press to try and win the ball. Not only that, but being in the role allows her to put a press on the opposition number six. In this clip, you can see her putting the press on the full-back and forcing the opposition full-back to make a forward pass as BMM was pressing from the angle to cut the pass off to the number 6. Braga win the ball back, and BMM was unlucky not to find Kehrer to take advantage of this opportunity.
When Braga are in possession of the ball, BMM is normally on the right wing. Often Braga change from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 but this doesn’t really affect her position. The main thing I noticed it that she often made an inverted run which would drag the opposition left back with her. This creates space for Braga’s right back (normally Beatriz Rodrigues or Tânia Rodrigues) to push on into the attack. In this clip down below Braga are in the 4-3-3 shape. BMM moves more centrally by doing this, the Torreense left back (Ellie Walker) follows her. This creates space on the right side for Beatriz Rodrigues, and she has the time to cross the ball, which leads to Braga’s first goal. BMM does not touch the ball in this clip, but her movement creates the goal. It is also important to note that she even found space in the box for the pullback.
As mentioned at the start, BMM has eight goals this season, and I want to highlight some of these. For me, her most memorable goal is the winner vs Länk Vilaverdense. She makes a well-timed run and smartly chips the ball over the keeper. This has to be one of the best well-taken chipped goals I have seen. With the goalkeeper rushing out to close her down, she did not have time to take a touch to compose herself. BMM perfectly lifts the ball over the goalkeeper, and it does not allow an attempt from the defender to hook it off the line. To do it at the last minute of the game when the score is level takes some confidence.
Finally, I just wanted to discuss the chances she creates for the Braga this season. She has made 35 key passes in the league this season and that is the most out of any other Braga player. She is the centre of all their attacks. In this clip down below, if you let it roll, there are two chances she creates by herself. In the first one, she picks up the ball and quickly plays in Joline Amani. The weight on that through ball to split open the opposition’s defence is perfect and she moves from the right side to a more central position to create this chance. In the second clip, she runs from a deep position with the ball dribbling to start an attack. Her pass beats three defenders and it allows Vanessa Marques to shoot from a great position. BMM is there for the follow-up but the goalkeeper manages to reclaim the ball. In these two clips, you can she trying to create a goal for Braga. Braga do get their goal in this game and BMM is at the centre of it. She holds onto the ball whilst two defenders try to push her off it. She finds the pass to Marques to level the score despite being swarmed in a sea of red. This assist looks simple but finding the pass under that amount of pass isn’t easy to do.
By making these inside runs I feel BMM should be called up to the Portugal main squad. She could be a great asset to have in the team as she would suit the team perfectly. If she is given the opportunity, I am sure she will perform based on how she has played this season.
Alidou has had a very successful first season in Portugal. She has been one of Famalicão’s best players this season, scoring nine goals and providing four assists in 26 appearances this season. This form has seen her getting called back up to the Canada squad right before the World Cup. In the first couple of games, Alidou was playing a deeper role, but following a change of managers, she has played further up the field. She is now playing in a more advanced role as part of the front three. Alidou doesn’t have a set role and will swap positions in this front three.
Since the signing of Sissi in January, Alidou has formed a great link up with her. They both constantly change positions to try something different in the game. Sometimes Alidou is on the right side with Sissi down the middle, and sometimes it’s vice versa. On the pitch, you can see them always linking up in attacks, and it feels like most of Famalicão’s goals come from them. In this attack down below, you can see this linkup. Alidou plays Sisi through down the right side, and she pulls it back to Alidou to take a shot. I have noticed that they like to create chances like this. Overload on the right side and then either cross it or pull it back.
Here is a goal that they were both involved in. As you can see, the chance comes from the overload on the right side, and this time the right back (Letícia Almeida) is helping them too. Alidou plays a smart first-time pass, and this catches the defenders out.
Furthermore, another thing that I like about Alidou is her positional awareness. She knows when the right time to make a run in behind the defence or to drop deep to receive the ball to start an attack. As you can see in this clip below, Alidou is on the last defender, and she times her run to perfection. As if the run was a second later the goalkeeper would have claimed the ball or a second early the offside flag would have gone down. Then it is one touch to take the goalkeeper and then an easy tap-in. Alidou does this effortlessly as it looks like she is going to shoot the first time rather than dribbling around the goalkeeper.
Finally, I just need to point out Alidou’s crossing ability. Three out of her four assists have come from crosses. Alidou has also made 19 key passes and at least 50% of them have come from crosses. When she is on the right wing, she tends to be more of a traditional winger rather than one who cuts in. On the odd time she has played on the left side, she would rather cross on her weak foot than cross it in. This clip is an example of this, and it shows her versatility. As she is two-footed and can play anywhere across the front three. From that one glance, she can see Maria Miller unmarked. Despite having two players closing her down on her weak foot, Alidou finds Miller perfectly.
I am not going to lie and say that Alidou should go to the World Cup over x Canadian player, as I don’t watch all the leagues the Canadian team play in. I know that she only got called up this time due to an injury to Quinn, but it shows that the league is getting watched over. Meaning that any other Canadians could be in the next squad. It is also great for a World Cup contender to be calling an outfield player from a Liga BPI team. Yes, I know about Lacasse and Benfica, but this is different, given that Famalicão aren’t in the Champions League. It is a great look for the league as in the future, players know that signing for a club in Portugal could be a way to get into your national team, which makes the Liga BPI a more competitive league.
Thank you for reading my tactical breakdown of Meio-Metro and Alidou. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any more suggestions for any other player that I should look at please tell me.
You can find additional Liga BPI Fantasy resources for the 22/23 season here.
A huge Bolton Wanderers fan, Joe also loves talking about Women’s football and the Liga BPI in particular.