Football is the favourite pastime in Porto, Portugal. Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, is home to the internationally acclaimed FC Porto football club. Football was introduced in the country by their students who had gone to England to study in the 19th century. In the first match between Portugal and England, the former carried the day. Since that time, the game grew in popularity leading to the formation of clubs all over the country. The most popular local league is the Primeira Liga.
People in Porto are so fond of football that some locals even tattoo themselves. Club logos, famous football players and coaches are among the common tattoos. People dye their hair and throng cafes to watch football especially international matches.Whenever their home team wins important games in the English leagues, the whole town is often in a celebratory mood. Here is a video of the party after the 2016 Euro Win.
Being a national sport, football is so serious that there are magazines that entirely discuss football. An example is Dragoes published by FC Porto. On TV, right after important national news, football news is aired. More time is allocated to these news whenever it involves a win by the home team. Thereafter, international news can be aired.
Locals Playing Football
Praia de Matosinhos is a popular beach game in Porto. Every available space of sand, grass or even pavements is turned into a field. Securing beach goal posts is a coveted affair and those who are lucky to get one play for hours on end. Those who are left out use wood to build makeshift goals. Young children often turn pockets of grass into private miniature fields. Family and friends enjoy all day sharing in the joy of football. Blue and white FC Porto uniforms can be spotted dotting the landscape.
Some of the popular celebrities include Mourinho and Ronaldo. Vitor Baia is a player that holds the record for the second-most all-time appearances for Porto. Joao Pinto holds the number one spot. He had an uninterrupted career for 16 years at the club. Among the locals, if you do not know of such people, you may as well be ignorant of everything Portuguese. Other than FC Porto, two other most important clubs in Portugal are S. L. Benfica and Sportin Clube de Portugal. However, most football fanatics are divided between Benfica and Sporting.
In Porto, it is the dream of every small boy to one day join the home team and be the ‘Ronaldo’s’ of football.