FC Porto surprised many with their quality at Old Trafford last week; these are the men who pose a potent threat to United retaining the Champions League...
12 Hulk Forward Age 22 Nationality Brazilian
Named, entirely appropriately, after his favourite childhood cartoon character, the pacy, powerful Porto front man has a different idol when it comes to football: Ronaldo (not ours). And his efforts this season, his first in Europe, have inspired comparisons to the Brazilian front man in his pomp. Brazil national team coach Dunga has even hinted at a call-up to the Seleçao. His coach at Porto, Jesualdo Ferreira, says: "Hulk is a long way from being the finished article. But he has enormous potential."
9 Lisandro Forward Age 26 Nationality Argentinian
Player of the year in Portugal last season, Lisandro has been making his presence felt again by being the team's top scorer in Europe this term with six goals. His brace was enough to see off Atlético Madrid in the previous round as Porto went through 2-2 on aggregate, having secured a 0-0 home draw. Like his countryman, United’s Carlos Tevez, Lisandro always puts the work in, and his energy helped him net 24 league goals in 2007/08. A contributing factor to that tally was his shoot-on-sight outlook – he’d had 17 attempts on target before last week's quarter-final first leg. Only Cristiano Ronaldo had more with 18.
1 Helton Goalkeeper Age 30 Nationality Brazilian
Sir Alex's men will just as gratefully receive any gifts such as the howler he made in Spain against Atlético Madrid in the last round. In that game he dropped a soft shot from ex-Red Diego Forlan and then let the ball go through into the net. Before that slip, the Brazilian had become first-choice keeper after ousting previous incumbent Vitor Baia – a Porto legend – and impressing former manager Co Adriaanse with a series of assured performances.
2 Bruno Alves Defender Age 27 Nationality Portuguese
After loan spells at Portuguese sides Farense and Vitoria Guimaraes, and then AEK Athens, Alves finally took flight at Porto following the arrival of Jesualdo Ferreira to take over the coaching reins in 2007. A measure of the progress made by the tall and powerful central defender is the interest currently being shown in him by some of Europe’s biggest guns: Real Madrid are reportedly leading the chase, with the Portuguese international seen as a ready-made replacement for Fabio Cannavaro.