In the 1993/94 season, with Bobby Robson in charge, Sporting looked strong enough to win the championship again for the first time in 12 years (now we know, they had to wait 18 years in the end). They had signed Paulo Sousa and Pacheco from Benfica that summer, who had been key players with the rival side before. With players like Krassimir Balakov, Andrzej Juskowiak, young Luis Figo and Emilio Peixe they were determined for the title. The championship was open for a long time with the leading trio (obviously Benfica, Sporting and Porto) very much at level upfront. In may the Alvalade stadium, Sporting's homeground, awaited a match that many saw as some sort of final of the league championship, the two Lisbon giants on direct confrontation. Benfica, inspired by a genius called Joăo Pinto (who later in his career also helped to lift Sporting to championship-glory), won that game 6:3 on the way to their 30th championship and Sporting's suffering continued. The board might have lost temper when they sacked Bobby Robson that summer and it is widely supposed now that it was not for the better of the club back in the days. While Sporting went on to win the Portuguese Cup at least in 1995, under Carlos Queiroz, Bobby Robson helped Porto to clinch the championship twice before moving on to Barcelona, having remarkable success there as well.
In retrospective, his time at Sporting might be regarded as a good one, he would surely have formed a championship-side of the Lisbon-club if he had been given the time. Sporting had two terrible seasons in 1992 and 1993, gaining 44 and 45 points (two-points-rule) resepectively and a 4th and 3rd place in the league ranking (with Boavista breaking the phalanx of the big 3 in 1992). In 1994, under Robson, they were able to clinch a greatly improved 51 points, but it still was only sufficient for a 3rd place, with Benfica and Porto being on fire as well.
Last edited by Bier; August 5th, 2009 at 01:49.