FC Porto Profile
|Major Honours||Primeira Liga (29), Taca de Portugal (17), European Cup/UEFA Champions League (2), UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League (2), UEFA Super Cup (1)|
With 79 major trophies, Porto are one of the most decorated teams in Portuguese history, with a host of famous alumni from Jose Mourinho to Radamel Falcao.
FC Porto are a Portuguese soccer club who play in the Primeira Liga, the top division of Portuguese soccer. They are based in Porto and have won the Primeira Liga 29 times - second only to rivals Benfica. Like Benfica, they have won the European Cup/UEFA Champions League twice.
Porto play their home matches at the Estadio do Dragao, which has a capacity of 50,033. The stadium has been home to some top players and coaches in recent years. On the playing front, Porto have boasted star players including Deco, Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Quaresma and Benni McCarthy on their books. Bobby Robson, Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas are three big-name coaches who have enjoyed spells at the club.
Porto are one of Portugal's 'big three' along with Sporting CP and Benfica and have never been relegated from the top flight. The three clubs have won all but two of the Portuguese Primeira Liga competitions since the league's inception.
FC Porto's early history
Porto were founded in 1893 by Antonio Nicolau de Almeida, a port wine merchant who fell in love with soccer during trips to England.
Porto were the first winners of the Campeonato de Portugal - the original knockout tournament used to determine the Portuguese champions, organised by its football association. They lifted the trophy in 1922 and again in 1925, 1932 and 1937.
Porto's pre-war success
Porto were the first winners of the Primeira Liga in 1934/35, which still remains as Portugal's top-tier league today.
After the Primeira Liga was officially recognised as such, Porto won it in 1938/39 and then defended their title in 1939/40. However, they saw limited success over the next three-and-a-half decades.
Porto won their next league title in 1955/56. After Bela Guttman took over as coach, they won it again in 1958/59.
However, Guttman departed for Benfica and turned them into the dominant team in Europe in the early 1960s, while Porto entered a drought. In 1969/70, they hit rock bottom in competitive terms, finishing ninth. Tragedy struck in 1973 when Porto captain Pavao fell unconscious during a match against Vitoria de Setubal and died in hospital.
Teofilo Cubillas, a Peruvian attacking midfielder, was signed in 1974 and proved to be one of Porto's most important players ever.
Under the management of Jose Maria Pedroto, Porto ended their league title drought in 1977/78 and defended their title in 1978/79.
Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa became club president in April 1982, an office he still holds today. Under the guidance of Artur Jorge, Porto won their first European Cup in 1987, beating Bayern Munich in the final.
The following season, under new coach Tomislav Ivic, Porto beat Ajax in the European Super Cup and Penarol in the Intercontinental Cup.
Porto steamrolled to the league title in 1987/88. Aided by Benfica's slump due to financial trouble, Porto dominated the 1990s in Portuguese soccer, winning the Primeira Liga eight times in 10 seasons between 1989/90 and 1998/99.
In 1993/94, Porto also made the Champions League semi-finals under Robson.
The Jose Mourinho era
Mourinho, who had worked with Porto under Robson before, was brought in as manager in 2002. This proved a masterstroke as Porto enjoyed two of the most successful seasons in the club's history.
In 2002/03, they won the UEFA Cup, Primeira Liga and Taca de Portugal treble. They beat Celtic 3-2 after extra time in the UEFA Cup final.
The 2003/04 season saw Porto retain their league title and win the UEFA Champions League, beating Monaco 3-0 in the final. Engrained in folklore is the famous last-16 victory over Manchester United, inspired by Benni McCarthy, who shone against his boyhood favourite club.
That tie saw Mourinho sprinting down the touchline at Old Trafford to celebrate Costinha's winner against the Red Devils, which had been scored after Tim Howard parried a McCarthy free-kick into his path.
Mourinho left for Chelsea in 2004, but Porto remained successful and won seven of the next nine league titles on offer.
One particularly successful season was 2010/11, under the guidance of Villas-Boas, who led his boyhood club to the Primeira Liga, Taca de Portugal and UEFA Europa League trophies. Hulk and Radamel Falcao shone for Porto that season.
A trophy drought and returning to the top
Porto endured four seasons without a league title after their 2012/13 win. Julen Lopetegui and Nuno Espirito Santo were among the managers hired during the longest drought of Pinto da Costa's presidency and it took until 2017/18 to end it. That season, they won the league under the guidance of Sergio Conceicao.
In 2018/19, Porto made the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League but lost 6-1 on aggregate to Liverpool. The 2019/20 season saw them win the league and cup double.
FC Porto's biggest rivals
Porto have fierce rivalries with Benfica and Sporting Lisbon, two teams from Lisbon who have been their main competition for honours in Portugal over the years. Pinto da Costa has stoked the rivalry with his comments about Lisbon.
Porto also have a local rivalry with city rivals Boavista, known as O Derbi da Invicta (The Unbeaten Derby).
The club's fanbase
FC Porto have a famous supporters' group called Super Dragoes. They drew the ire of police for announcing plans to follow the team to a match during the COVID-19 pandemic even though they were not allowed to enter the stadium itself.
Pinto da Costa has been Porto's club president since 1982. He struck an allegiance with Jose Maria Pedroto and brought him back to the club following his fallout with Americo de Sa in 1980, during de Sa's time as president.
In 2020, multiple reports emerged that FC Porto were in financial crisis. ECO reported that Porto had record losses of €116.1million for the 2019/20 financial year.
They quoted Pinto da Costa as blaming the financial woes on the club's absence from the UEFA Champions League. Porto had been eliminated early from the competition and it was then put on hold due to COVID-19.
"Despite the [internal] sporting success, with the conquest of the double [Portuguese League and Cup], something that had not happened for 11 years, the abnormal absence from the Champions League and the events of the last few months had a negative impact," Pinto da Costa said.
FC Porto News
- Jan 30, 2022