domingo, 22 de fevereiro de 2009
The absolute dominator in Portuguese football
Tal como já tinha sido referido no 'Reflexão Portista' em 3 de Janeiro passado, o FC Porto continua com o seu prestigio internacional intacto, como o atesta o convite (agora confirmado) para disputar a Peace Cup 2009, uma espécie de Mundialito de clubes e em que também já estão confirmadas as presenças do Olympique Lyonnais, Real Madrid, Sevilha, Liga de Quito (vencedor da última edição da Taça Libertadores) e Juventus.
A Peace Cup irá decorrer de 24 de Julho a 2 de Agosto e, para além dos prémios monetários de presença, em jogo estará o prestigio, dois milhões de euros para o vencedor, um milhão de euros para o finalista e 500 mil euros para os semi-finalistas vencidos.
Nada que se compare com o Torneio Guadiana...
No site oficial da Peace Cup e a propósito do FC Porto é dito o seguinte:
Ups! Isto é um resumo dos títulos ganhos pelo FC Porto em... Coreano.
E eu que pensava que no extremo oriente só conheciam o SLB e o Eusébio...
The white and blue dragoes from Porto will add their name to the 2009 Peace Cup Andalucía. The Futebol Clube do Porto will be one of the twelve teams to take part in this competition with the clear goal of bringing the trophy to their already full cabinets.
We are talking about one of the historic clubs in the old continent, as their impressive list of titles shows: 27 national leagues, 17 Portuguese Cups, 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, 2 Intercontinental Cups, 1 UEFA Cup and 1 UEFA Super Cup. At the moment Porto is at the top of the “Liga Sagres” one point ahead of Benfica, whom they are facing this weekend at the “Estadio do Dragão”, in a duel vital for the title’s race.
Founded on the 28th of September 1983, their first president was Antonio Nicolau de Almeida. Given the close relationship between the city of Porto and wine, it’s not surprising that Nicolau de Almeida was a wine merchant who discovered football in a business trip to England.
F.C. Porto’s early years weren’t easy. It wasn’t until 1906, under the presidency of José Monteira da Costa, that the club added new sports to their activities, buying their own headquarters a year later. Their logo was designed in 1910 and their first sporting grounds would arrive three years later, in 1913.
Step by step, F.C. Porto continued their growth, becoming the team of reference in the north of Portugal. They won the Championship of Portugal (predecessor of the Portuguese Cup) four times between 1922 and 1937 and their first league title came in 1935. Soon after they would uphold the league title two consecutive years, 1938/39 and 1939/1940. The star of the team during those years was Artur the Sousa, also known as Pinga, a legend in Portuguese football, born in the city of Funchal (same place that, years later, would see the birth of today’s Portuguese football icon, Cristiano Ronaldo). Pinga’s scoring records would make any current striker question their own ability: 394 goals in 400 games. After his retirement as player, Pinga went on to coach in different categories of the club, until he passed away in 1963.
The good sporting record allowed Porto the construction of their own stadium. The grown breaking of the stadium Das Antas took place in 1949, the inauguration happened on the 28th of May 1952. Das Antas was the dragoes’ sanctuary until 2004. With Nuno Pinto da Costa as president and in order to host the Eurocup, the club built its new stadium just 200 metres away from Das Antas. The “Estadio do Dragão” was venue of the inauguration game of the 2004 Eurocup. Not long before Porto had opened their training facilities in Vila Nova de Gaida, considered one of the most modern and complete in the world.
Despite their sporadic victories, Porto lived many years under the long shadow of the Lisbon teams. Their fans had to wait until 1956 to see Porto in their first European competition. However, it wasn’t until the 70s that Porto reached its fullest potential. Two names are carved in the history of Porto as the facilitators of many of their victories, the coach José María Pedroto and the striker Fernando Gomes, top European scorer in 1983 and 1986.
In 1984, Porto lost to Juventus their first European final in Basel. However, they didn’t have to wait too long to claim their first Champions League title in 1987 against Bayern Munich (2-1), with Paolo Futre (another legendary playerin Portuguese football) scoring their first goal and a second goal, one of the most famous in the history of football, by the Argelian Rabah Madjer. Their winning strike did not end there and that same year the dragoes won the Intercontinental Cup and the European Supercup.
After a trophy draught that lasted fifteen years, Porto, under the charismatic direction of José Mourinho, returned to the top of European football in 2003, beating Glasgow Celtic (3-2) in the UEFA Cup final in the Olympic Stadium in Seville (same place where 5 Peace Cup games will take place). A year later the dragoes won their second Champions League when they defeated Monaco 3-0 in Gelsenkirchen. Months later, with the Spanish coach Victor Fernández on the bench, they went on to win their second Intercontinental Cup.
In the last three decades Porto has win the absolute dominator in Portuguese football, as shown by their five consecutive league titles from 1995 to 1999 (under the direction of Bobby Robson, António Oliveira and Fernando Santos). In their new golden age the Brazilian striker Mario Jardel won the European Golden Boot in 1999 (no other player in the Portuguese league had achieved such an honor since Fernando Gomes).
Nowadays, the dragoes are still the side to beat in Portugal. Their coach Jesualdo Ferreira has achieved a superb blend of experienced and young players, with a very representative amount of Argentinean players. It is one of the Argentines, Lucho González, the star of this new Porto, whose first big challenge will be to face At. Madrid in the UEFA Champions League 8th finals.