Football, more than just a game in Portugal

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Monday, May 1, 2017 Under: way of life

Football is omnipresent in Portugal, you might even speak of "footballization" of the Portuguese society. Here, in the Algarve, the football-a-holics are often divided between the clubs of Benfica and Sporting (or should I say Sporting and Benfica?). Anyway, the third important national club, Porto, is out of the picture here.

A little bit of history 
Football was brought to Portugal in the late 19th century by Portuguese students who returned from England. The first match on the mainland was in 1889 on the spot where now the Campo Pequeno is situated. Portugal won by 2-1 from England then.

Later the game spread through colleges and lead to the foundation of clubs all over the country. "Clube Internacional de Futebol" (1902) was the first Portuguese team to play abroad, defeating Madrid Fútbol Clube in 1907 in Madrid. The main domestic football competition is the Primeira Liga. Besides Porto, there are two other important clubs in Portugal: Sporting Clube de Portugal was founded in 1906 and Sport Lisboa e Benfica was born in 1904.

Football in everyday life 
People in this country are so fond of this game that there are 3 different daily newspapers on the subject. In every café you will find a copy of "O Record" next to the daily newspaper. It is the national sport of Portugal and most people take it very seriously. On TV you can hear and see the latest news on football right after the most important national news and the topic takes up a lot of time. Only after the subject of football is finished, the rest of the world news is being discussed briefly. As far as games are concerned in which the national team plays: these are only big news if Portugal wins!
The most important celebrities of Portugal are football players or trainers, such as Ronaldo and Mourinho. They are celebrated like half-Gods.  Football is being discussed on a daily basis at home, at work, in the café and on the street. My village (São Marcos da Serra) is roughly divided into 2 parts. Half of the people are fan of Benfica and the other half loves Sporting and the only thing that matters is that "the right" club wins.

Most games are shown on television and are watched at home or in the local café. Hardly anybody goes to see a match life in the stadium, mostly due to the high prices of tickets, the long distance and the late hour of the games on working days. 

In : way of life 

Tags: football in portugal  benfica  sporting   

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About Me

Marianne Hoesen Born in the deep south of The Netherlands, I moved to the central Algarve in 2007, together with my partner and 2 dogs. In the meantime we added some goats and chickens and are living a peaceful life in the rolling hills of the rural south of Portugal. I invite you to read a bit in my blog and to leave a comment afterwards. Also check out the holiday accommodations mentioned elsewhere in this website.


Algarve Portugal
café Portugal, bica
Esteva, rock rose, Algarve
sun, beach, Algarve
real cork real wine
beach Algarve
folklore dance Algarve
chicken piri piri

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