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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A club with 100 years of age has obviously many stories to tell. Here is the first one when a rainy afternoon gave origin to our green and white stripes...

Stripes, rain and a story for History

On October 5th, 1928 Sporting and Benfica met on a friendly match to celebrate the anniversary of the Republic. The newly arrived dictatorship still haven't marginalised the celebrations of October 5th and the date still deserved special festivities.

That 18th anniversary of the republican victory would become, in what concerns Sporting, a turning point in the image of the club that would stay forever: today's strip, with the green and white horizontal stripes and the black shorts, was adopted on that day.

In that year of 1928, on the match celebrating the Republic, Sporting and Benfica met on a friendly and then, as today, amongst the two clubs there were no meaningless games, Only the victory counted, even if that did not imply points or the elimination of a certain tournament.

Sporting went on the pitch with its traditional strip, used since 1915 and partly since 1908: the jersey divided vertically in two halves, one green and one white and black shorts. The difference from the one used from 1908 until 1915 was that the shorts were then white.
Those were the traditional colours for football but that was not always the case for the other sports at the club.

During the 1920s, inspired by the great athlete and director Salazar Carreira, the rugby section of the club changed the usual jersey for one with green and white stripes. Salazar Carreira liked the strip of the rugby team of Racing Paris (red and white stripes) and "imported it" to Sporting, adapting it to the colours of the club.

Those rugby strips, whith the green and white stripes, were cooler and of better quality, so they were taken by the football squad on the historical tour in Brazil in the Summer of 1928. Sporting's football did their first match wearing them in Rio de Janeiro, against Fluminense.

On the return to Portugal everything went back to normal and it was then, with the usual old strip, that Sporting entered Campo Grande's pitch, but there was so much mud on that day that the strip became unrecognised.

At half time, Sporting's team changed strip for the comfort of their players. In those days the amount of strips available for a team were not those of today so the team had to use the rugby jerseys once again, returning on the pitch with green and white stripes, for the surprise of all the public.

The Lions' fans liked it. And they liked it even more when, on a duel where only victory matters to Sporting they managed to beat their eternal rivals 3-1.

From that day on the green and white stripes went on being used by Sporting's football, becoming later on the official strip for all the other sports played at the club.

That rainy and muddy but also victorious day of October 5th, 1928, became decisive in setting definitely the strip of the club founded by José Alvalade and his friends on July 1st, 1906. Today there is no sportinguista that does not feel proud at the sight of the green and white stripes.

Translated from Jornal Sporting

8,178 Posts
Do you have more stories to offer? I'm crazy for football-stories from the good old days without television, they are like legends. :thmbup:

36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Bier said:
Do you have more stories to offer? I'm crazy for football-stories from the good old days without television, they are like legends. :thmbup:
I am glad we have something in common mein freund...but I also would like to read a few of those in your club's forum.

In the next months I'll have less time for XT because of work but I'll try to post something whenever I find time.

8,178 Posts
Filipe Reis said:
I am glad we have something in common mein freund...but I also would like to read a few of those in your club's forum.

In the next months I'll have less time for XT because of work but I'll try to post something whenever I find time.
It's more or less the same with me, I got three papers to hand in this month for university ( 15-20 pages ) which leaves me pretty busy at the moment too, but I will start a history thread about Benfica once free time has arrived. ;)
But hey it also educates, did you know there are traces of Portuguese to be found in 'Nigerian Pidgin English' ? :eek: :D

36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #5

Nobody scored before the 31

According to the records, Liedson scored, last Friday, what can be the fastest ever Sporting's goal in the competition now named Bwin Liga. On "Almanaque do Sporting" (Sporting's Almanac), an official publication of the Lions containing all the fact files of all the games played since the foundation of the club, there is no mention to any goal that has been scored earlier than the one made by the Bahia born player, although there is a total of 21 goals scored during the first minute of the game, besides the 12 registered in terms of seconds.

By beating Marcos when only ten seconds of the game have passed, making the first of the four goals with which Sporting "toasted" Marítimo, Liedson may have reached an historical mark - as it is incomparable.


06/07 - Liedson at 10' vs Marítimo - 4-0
48/49 - Jesus Correia at 18' vs Atlético - 3-0
92/93 - Balakov at 19' vs Benfica - 2-0
61/62 - Diego at 30' vs Benfica - 3-3
74/75 - Yazalde at 30' vs Setúbal - 1-0
74/75 - Caló at 30' vs Atlético - 3-1
99/00 - Pedro Barbosa at 30' vs Boavista - 1-0
53/54 - Mendonça at 47' vs Lusitano de Évora - 9-0
42/43 - Peyroteo at 48' vs Olhanense - 5-1
50/51 - Vasques at 50' vs Boavista - 7-0
52/53 - Jesus Correia at 50' vs Benfica - 3-2
53/54 - Martins at 50' vs Barreirense - 2-0
84/85 - Sousa at 58' vs Braga - 1-1

Season/Player/Scoring time in seconds/Opponent/Score

source: O Jogo

36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The Lion's strength
By Ana Proença
translated from O Jogo

" I love to watch you, little lion, strolling under the sun..." It is hard not to recall Caetano Veloso's song when we think on the lion, considered to be the "king of animals", due to its grandeur, strength and braveness. Those were the atributes that made José Holtreman Roquette, who stayed in the history as José Alvalade, to choose the lion as a symbol of the club that he founded at 1 July 1906 and that he named Sporting Clube de Portugal.

The origins of the club are older than that though, first with the name Sport Clube de Belas, later as Campo Grande Futebol Clube.
In fact, it was during the Summer of 1905 that the lion appeared as mascot of the club, having the idea come up from a conversation held on the D. Maria Pia causeway, in Cascais, between José Alvalade and his cousins José Roquette, António Rebelo de Andrade and D. Fernando de Castelo Branco, Count of Pombeiro. It was from the ring with the family shield of the latter, that the four visionaries of the creation and foundation of the new club got the inspiration for the symbol: an impetuous lion, as an expression of their will power to build a great club, "as great as the greatest in Europe", as it was written by José Alvalade and José Gavazzo, the historical member number one, in 1906.

D. Fernando de Castelo Branco imposed only one condition to accept the copy: that another colour could be chosen different from the blue of the original shield, representing the Portuguese monarchy. José Alvalade soon suggested green, the colour of hope. Defined the venue to install the new club, in an area at Lumiar, a courtesy of José's grandfather, the Vicecount of Alvalade, the shield draw was sent to Casa Anjos, in Lisbon, where it was embroidered the first prototype of the club's symbol with a lion over a green background.


36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The great adventure of the Famous Five
by Filipe Alexandre Dias
Translated from O Jogo

"There is a hurricane passing through Lisbon!" - this was what the stunned BBC radio reporter shouted at his microphone at the old José Alvalade stadium on that magic night of 18 March 1964. The best ever European Sporting crushed the superfavourites Manchester United in the quarter finals of the now extinct Cup Winners' Cup, that the Lions would end up winning. The 5-0 rout cancelled the 1-4 defeat suffered in England on the first leg. Before the first official reunion of the two clubs, now in the Champions League, O Jogo brought together, in Alvalade, Fernando Mendes, Hilário and Carvalho, three of the heroes of that epic episode.

Fernando Mendes starts unleashing the memories: "That Manchester United team that, four years later, would become European champions, was the reconstruction of the famous "Busby Babes", after the Munich plane crash, in 1958. The 1-4 defeat of the first leg in England was "a lie" and did not reveal the true difference between the two teams." On the return to Portugal, an added motivation appeared, according to the former captain: "On the return trip, some of the most wealthy Sporting supporters offered a prize of 40 thousand escudos to each player, in case we would pass the qualifier. It was a fortune."

In Alvalade, the Lions devoured the Manchester Devils, but the start of the match was thrilling. Carvalho says: "We went into the game very concentrated, but right at the start Denis Law hit the crossbar of the goal situated on the North side of the old stadium, and soon afterwards Hilário saved a ball on the goal line. From then on, we've made almost everything perfectly, we didn't miss a pass, scored in the right moments and went on believing. The English could only look at each other in disbelief." Fernando Mendes reminded the arrogance of the "Red Devils" as a decisive factor, but he clarified: "They thought it was won, but they didn't go to the beach, as it was said. This was in March, and the weather was not good for it. The game was a sum up of positive situations. That prize money unfortunately never showed up."

Hilário adds: "We were harmed by the referee in Manchester, as two of the goals came from dubious penalties. Nobody believed that we could turn the tie around, but we have proved that even the wildest dreams can become reality."

The magic squad of 1963/64

An irresistible 4x2x4

With nothing to lose, Anselmo Fernandez' Sporting, in the famous turnaround of 1963/64, faced United on a 4x2x4 very much build upon the herculean work of the two central midfielders, Fernando Mendes and Geo, that played like allrounders. On the goal, Carvalho was the undisputed starter, leading a backline that would conquer the experts, with World Cup 66 players: Pedro Gomes, Alexandre Baptista, José Carlos and Hilário. Upfront, Figueiredo, Osvaldo Silva, Mascarenhas and Morais were very mobile, with the first and the last being forced to go backwards to close the midfield. This system triumphed over the classic 4x4x2. Sporting reached half time winning 2-0, with Osvaldo Silva scoring both. On the second half, it only needed nine minutes to make history. Geo made the third (47'), Morais the 4-0 (52') and Osvaldo closed the score (54'). And there's the "famous five"!

Osvaldo Silva and George Best were brilliant in both legs

Osvaldo Silva was, against Manchester United, the great star of the Lions. On the other side, a 17 year old kid called George Best was starting to build the legend. They were real artists, each one at his own dimension, and today, after having both left us, they live in the memories of those that had the priviledge of watching them playing. The former captain recalls Osvaldo with warmth: "He was a friend. When he was in a good mood, he was hilarious. He was a superb player."

The superb Osvaldo Silva

Carvalho still suffered facing the mythical number seven of the "Red Devils", known by his excesses. "Their players smoke and drank beer in the locker room. We couldn't even think about it. Best was the Ronaldo of those times. In the game in England, that bloke sat Pedro Gomes on the floor and came towards me. I covered the angle and he immediately made me a lob. I jumped backwards, but the ball hit the crossbar. He did all the measuring, but he was unlucky. The bastard was a kid, but he was already fantastic."

Touring Lisbon with Bobby Charlton

On the day after the rout, Lions and Red Devils created friendship amongst them. Fernando Mendes will never forget a certain walk: "Alexandre Baptista and me took Bobby Charlton and other colleagues for a tour around Lisbon. From there we went to the Seteais Palace in Sintra for a friendship dinner amongst the two Boards of Directors."

Studying through film

Between the two ties, Anselmo Fernandez replaced Gentil Cardoso at the command of the team. The architect that took Sporting to their biggest trophy in football is considered to be a visionary. Hilário explains: "It was him that introduced the study of our opponents through film. We went to the film room at the club's headquarters and saw United's film."

A new victory, again.

About the reunion of tomorrow, more than 43 years after the famous 5-0, Fernando Mendes does not feel overly optimistic, but he firmly believes in the victory. Talking like a "Lion", the former number 6, just like his former colleagues, will be at the stadium as a fan and he anticipates: "Sporting is in a prestigious group in the Champions League, but I should recall that we've been having some luck against the English. I would be more worried if it was a club from a country without much name in football. The concentration will be doubled, and, due to that, I believe on a new victory over Manchester United."

The man that kept the Lions' goal during 12 seasons believes that, at least, the green and whites will not leave their stadium defeated: "We have a strong word to say. Manchester United is not at their best, whereas Sporting already showed some of the football showed during the last season. We will not lose, but it is possible to win." In what concerns Hilário, the progress registered in our football and the form with which the Lions normally deal with the open football of the British creates optimism. "We fit well with the English football. Before, their physical preparation used to be better, but today that doesn't happen. Sporting have all the chances to win, because United seems not to have found their peak during this season yet."​

36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
An article for the Spanish speakers of XT that shows a little of what this club is beyond football.

Sporting, mucho más que fútbol
in El Mundo Deportivo, 29.07.2010

Tras el Barça, es el club deportivo más laureado del mundo, con más de 50 medallas olímpicas

Si hablamos estrictamente de fútbol, podríamos definir al Sporting de Portugal como el Atlético de Madrid del país vecino. Como sucede con el cuadro rojiblanco, ‘os Leões’ conviven en la capital del país con el equipo más poderoso, en este caso el Benfica. Como sucede con el Atlético, el Sporting sobrevive al otro poder de la competición, el que en este caso encarna el Porto y que en España sería el Barça. Se da la casualidad de que el único título continental que tienen ambos clubs, el Sporting y el Atlético, es la Recopa. Más allá de ello se trata de equipos con una afición especialmente fiel. El conjunto lisboeta cuenta con más de 100.000 ‘socios’ y más de 300 peñas en todo el mundo.

Más allá de ello, el Sporting no es sólo fútbol. Es mucho más que eso. Se puede decir que el conjunto luso no ha perdido el espíritu que llevó a unos veraneantes de Belas, un suburbio cercano a Lisboa, a crear el club en 1906. Entonces se creó como una entidad multidisciplinar, algo que también sucedió con el Atlético. Con el paso de los años el cuadro rojiblanco fue perdiendo sus secciones, algo que no sucedió con el Sporting que a día de hoy tiene equipos en más de 20 disciplinas deportivas a parte del fútbol. De hecho, el Sporting es el club deportivo, por detrás del Barcelona, más laureado del mundo. Uno de sus fundadores, el vizconde José Alvalade, apuntó que deseaba “crear un club grande, tan grande como el más grande de Europa”. En este sentido se puede decir que el sueño está cumplido porque ‘os Leões’ tienen más de 50 medallas de oro en JJ.OO. y certámenes internacionales. Más allá de ello, sus secciones de tiro con arco, atletismo, billar, boxeo, ajedrez, karate, fútbol sala, gimnasia, baloncesto, balonmano, tiro, tenis de mesa, taekwondo, natación, hockey hierba, hockey sobre patines o levantamiento de pesos, acumulan más de un millar de títulos entre nacionales e internacionales. No todas están activas en la actualidad. Especialmente notables son las secciones de balonmano, hockey patines -dos veces campeona de Europa- o atletismo, una vez campeona absoluta de Europa, donde destacan nombres como los de Carlos Lopes, que fue medalla de oro en maratón en Los Angeles 84; Rui Silva, bronce en Atenas 2004 en 1.500m; la saltadora Naide Gomes, campeona del mundo Indoor en 2004; o el velocista Francis Obikwelu, plata en Atenas 2004 en los 100 metros.

El fútbol también

Evidentemente, la sección más reconocible y la que cuenta con más adeptos es la de fútbol. Se estima que cuenta con más de tres millones de aficionados. Tiene, entre otros muchos títulos, 18 ligas, 15 Copas de Portugal, la mencionada Recopa de 63-64. El Sporting llegó a jugar la final de la UEFA en la 04-05, que curiosamente lo hizo en su estadio el Alvalade XXI y que perdió ante el CSKA Moscú.


36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)

Manuel Fernandes: "It was a pleasure to put 7 past our rivals"
25 years after the historical 7-1 win over Benfica, Manuel Fernandes, who scored four of those seven goals, recalls for the club's official newspaper that match and those times as a player

Jornal "Sporting" – 25 years later, how do you recall those 7-1 against Benfica?

Manuel Fernandes – It was an abnormal score, and since then never again there was a six goal difference match between the two sides. I was part of that wonderful side. I remember that, in that game, we actually played better in the first half than in the second and, in spite of that, we only scored once in the first 45 minutes. Meade missed a few goal chances and so did I. In the second half I made 2-0 with a header, I remember it well as I have the DVD at home and once in a while I have a look at it. Benfica did 1-2 but soon after that we did the 3rd and from that goal onwards it was good to feel that Benfica's players just blocked, they simply couldn't put up with our rhythm. The score began to grow and, in the last 20 minutes, we scored four goals, and we could have scored many more, as Benfica's players were completely lost inside the pitch.
For a "lion" like me, to beat Benfica is always very good and to stay in the history of a match is fantastic. I managed to stay in the history of Sporting, not just because of this game, but the kids that have never seen me playing know that I have scored four against Benfica. It was a remarkable game, a very special one in my career. Besides the pleasure I had of crossing our rival.

Jornal "Sporting" – Of those four goals, which one gave you more pleasure to score?

Manuel Fernandes – The one I scored after a cross from Litos in which I scored with a flying header, that was the nicest one. Although I also liked very much the second one, also a header from a corner.

Jornal "Sporting" – Do you think that the affection and the charisma that you still have next to Sporting's fans are a lot due to that game?

Manuel Fernandes – Those older than 40 remember me for my whole career, but the younger ones are more linked with that particular match. I have never hidden the love I feel for our Club, I have refused transfer deals, even from our rivals Benfica, and today I feel happy for having finished my career at Sporting, which was something that I always had in mind.

Jornal "Sporting" – To celebrate the 25 years of those 7-1 and to be working at Sporting must be prefect for you?

Manuel Fernandes – It's excellent. In many clubs where I have worked, I was harmed for never hiding my "sportinguismo" and, many times, I had to put up with many club directors to a point that I myself don't know how I could handle it. I have never hidden that I wanted to end my career at our Club.

Jornal "Sporting" – Between Sporting and Benfica, the rivalry is today bigger or smaller than 25 years ago?

Manuel Fernandes – It's the same. One of my biggest pleasures is that in my 12 years as a Sporting player, in league matches, I played the 24 derbies. I did not miss one single one, I always did my best to be able to play in those matches and the rivalry was there then and there will always be. This will always be the game of the year.

Jornal "Sporting" – At a personal level, was Bento your biggest rival?

Manuel Fernandes – Rivalry was more colective than individual, although Bento was the last hurdle to jump before scoring and once we had a game where he was sent off as he hit me in the chin with his arm inside their box. The rivalry between players was healthy, but the atmosphere that surrounds these matches is the most important.

"Malcolm Allison was a great leader"

Jornal "Sporting" – You have mentioned that you like to watch the match once in a while. Why?

Manuel Fernandes – The game is in my memory but as I have the DVD once in a while I watch it again.

Jornal "Sporting" – That 7-1 happened also due to the atmosphere lived within the squad?

Manuel Fernandes – I had different periods in the 12 years in which I played at Sporting. When I became captain, one of my first wishes was to create a good atmosphere within the team and, above all, I respected my team mates so that they could respect me, even if never dismissing my responsibilities as team captain. From a certain stage, there was someone very important in that team spirit: Malcolm Allison, he was a great leader.

Jornal "Sporting" – 25 years later, what changed the most in football?

Manuel Fernandes – The language changed, but above all, a very important aspect changed: teams used to play with the different blocks more spread through the pitch and that used to give more chances of opening spaces. Today, teams use more compact tactical schemes, players have more trouble to find spaces and one needs to find solutions to overcome that. When I used to play, the defensive block did not play as deep as they do today, they were more stretched and with intelligence and intuition we could escape more often and score.

Match report:
SPORTING 7-1 Benfica

Portuguese Championship 1st Division 1986/87
Estádio José de Alvalade, Lisboa
Ref: Vítor Correia (Lisboa)

SPORTING: Damas; Virgílio, Gabriel, Venâncio, Fernando Mendes (Duílio, 79'); Oceano, Litos (Silvinho, 79'), Zinho, Mário Jorge; Manuel Fernandes (cap) and Raphael Meade.

Manager: Manuel José.
Subs not used: Vital, McDonald and Negrete.

Benfica: Silvino; Veloso, Dito, Oliveira, Álvaro; Diamantino (César Brito, 72'), Carlos Manuel, Shéu (cap) (Nunes, 58'), Chiquinho; Rui Águas and Vando.

Manager: John Mortimore.
Subs not used: Neno, Samuel and Zivkovic.

At half time: 1-0.

1-0, by Mário Jorge (15'); 2-0, by Manuel Fernandes (50'); 2-1, by Vando (59'); 3-1, by Meade (65'); 4-1, by Mário Jorge (68'); 5-1, by Manuel Fernandes (71'); 6-1, by Manuel Fernandes (82'); 7-1, by Manuel Fernandes (86').

Booked: Carlos Manuel (20'), Nunes (62') and Veloso (67')

The English striker Ralph Meade scoring our 3rd

Manel heading in one of his poker

Mário Jorge escaping Veloso's tackle

Ralph Meade watched by Oliveira and António Veloso, Miguel Veloso's father

Manel scoring once again

Virgílio prepared to cross, watched by Diamantino


36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Stories of the Championship
Translated from zerozero.pt

Winner of the Portuguese championship 18 times, Sporting won it for the last time in 2001/2002, being today far from the golden years of the 1940s and 1950s.

Académica as the first opponent

Sporting had its debut in the national championship on 20 January 1935 with a 0-6 "goleada" against Académica. At Campo de Santa Cruz, the lions, managed by Filipe dos Santos, won the first game of the competition with a hat-trick by Manuel Soeiro, and goals by Adolfo Mourão, António Faustino and Ferdinando.

In a match of the first round of the 1934/35 national championship Sporting played in Coimbra with the following XI: Artur Dyson, João Jurado, Joaquim Serrano, António Faustino, Rui Araújo, Rui Carneiro, Pacheco, Abelhinha, Adolfo Mourão, Manuel Soeiro and Ferdinando.


The heaviest defeat in history suffered against FC Porto

In the history of Sporting at the national championship, the heaviest defeat suffered by the lions happened at Campo do Ameal, in Porto, against FC Porto, who won 10x1. On 22 March 1936 the lions were humiliated at "cidade invicta" being useless the goal scored by their player-manager Wilhelm Possak, as when he scored after only 15 minutes the score was already at 2x0.

In history, even if not on a positive note, stayed the XI picked by the Romanian coach in the biggest "goleada" suffered by Sporting in the championship: Artur Dyson, Vianinha, Mário Galvão, João Jurado, Rui Araújo, Francisco Lopes, Rui Carneiro, Wilhelm Possak, Pedro Pireza, Adolfo Mourão and Abelhinha.


The answer to the humiliation at Campo do Ameal

Only one season after having been humiliated by FC Porto in the North of the country, Sporting hosted the blue and white at Campo Grande and applied a "goleada" of 9x1.

Already under the command of the legendary Joseph Szabo, an Hungarian manager that moved to Portugal during the First World War, Sporting imposed a heavy defeat on the dragons, with a hat-trick by João Cruz, a poker by Manuel Soeiro and a brace by Pedro Pireza, being the goal scored by Pinga for the "portistas" very little against the lions' feast.

João Azevedo, João Jurado, Mário Galvão, Aníbal Paciência, Rui Araújo, Manecas, Pedro Pireza, Adolfo Mourão, João Cruz, Manuel Soeiro and Heitor Nogueira was the XI selected by Szabo to crush FC Porto, by then managed by the Austrian François Gutkas.

Joseph Szabo, with 198 matches, is the manager with more games for Sporting in the championship history.


36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Winning the first title

In the season of 1940/1941, Sporting won for the first time the national championship, that by then had only been won by FC Porto and Benfica. The lions finished the tournament in first place with 23 points, three more than the blue and whites, who were runners-up.

The party of the first title, the work of the Hungarian coach Joseph Szabo, was done at Campo do Rossio, at Barreiro, where Sporting beat Barreirense by 3x0, with goals by Fernando Peyroteo, João Cruz and Manuel Soeiro.

In this historical match, the XI that played for Sporting was the following: João Dores, Álvaro Cardoso, Octávio Barrosa, Gregório dos Santos, Aníbal Paciência, Manecas, Armando Pereira, João Cruz, Fernando Peyroteo, Manuel Soeiro and Ruy Silva.

Fernando Peyroteo is the player with more goals scored for Sporting in the championship, and also the top scorer in the history of our top football competition, having scored 330 goals, all of them at the service of the lions.


The biggest ever win in the first division championship

It was in the condition of champion that Sporting recorded the biggest ever "goleada" in the history of the top level of Portuguese football. In the 1941/1942 season, the lions, managed by Joseph Szabo, hosted at Campo do Lumiar Leça and won by 14x0!

The afternoon of 22 February 1942 was a neverending stream of goals, with Fernando Peyroteo scoring no more no less than nine (!), having Manuel Soeiro scored a brace with Álvaro Cardoso, Carlos Canário and Daniel Silva scoring one each.

The starters in that match were João Azevedo, Álvaro Cardoso, Aníbal Paciência, Rui Araújo, Manecas, Carlos Canário, Manuel Soeiro, Fernando Peyroteo, Adolfo Mourão, João Cruz and Daniel Silva.



36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)

The Five Violins: Jesus Correia, Vasques, Peyroteo, Travassos and Albano
made of Sporting the best Portuguese football team in the decades of 1940 and 1950

Famalicão hosts the first ever match of the Five Violins

Jesus Correia, Vasques, Peyroteo, Travassos and Albano were known in the history of Sporting as the "Five Violins", an expression applied by Tavares da Silva, a journalist and a lawyer that later would become Sporting's manager and win the fourth championship in a row, in one of the articles that he wrote on the newspaper Diário de Lisboa which were also read and broadcast by the state radio station Emissora Nacional.

In the decades of 1940s and 1950s, the Violins's team won several championships for the lions, having won three consecutive titles under the command of Cândido de Oliveira in 1948/1949, a feat never reached before in Portuguese football and that was beaten a few years later by that same team, when in 1953/1954 they won four titles in a row.

In fact, Sporting's domination by this time was so overwhelming that was only by an inch that they couldn't win the title on 8 consecutive seasons, having been stopped in between these two amazing series by Benfica, whom in 1949/50 won the title under the lead of the Englishman Ted Smith.

Many were the matches in which the Five Violins marvelled the stands that would fill up to watch them play but the victory over Famalicão by 5x9, in the first round of the 1946/1947 season, was historical as it was the first ever match in which Jesus Correia, who was also a goalkeeper at the roller hockey team of Paço D'Arcos, Vasques, Peyroteo, Travassos and Albano played together for the first time.

Managed by the Englishman Robert Kelly, Sporting fielded an XI composed by Valentim, Álvaro Cardoso, Manecas, Carlos Canário, Octávio Barrosa, Veríssimo, Jesus Correia, Vasques, Peyroteo, Travassos and Albano. The scorers on that day were Peyroteo, who scored five goals, Vasques, with a brace and Travassos and Albano with one each.


The victory that gave origin to the "pirolito" championship

On 25 April 1948, the Five Violins showed at their old rival Benfica's home the power that made of Sporting the best Portuguese football team of the second half of the 1940s and first half of the 1950s.

At Campo Grande, at Round 22, Sporting was forced to beat the old rivals by three or more goals so that they could keep the possibility of retaining the title, as in the first half of the season the eagles won at Campo do Lumiar by 3x1, with goals by Melão, Corona and Espírito Santo.

The truth is that Sporting reached a brilliant vistory at Campo Grande, winning by 4x1 thanks to four goals scored by Fernando Peyroteo. The score reached 4x0, but Espírito Santo made the final score of 4x1. Managed by Cândido de Oliveira, the visitors played with João Azevedo, Álvaro Cardoso, Juvenal, Luís Moreira, Veríssimo, Carlos Canário, Albano, José Travassos, Jesus Correia, Vasques and Fernando Peyroteo.

Although there were still a few rounds to be played before the end of the championship, Sporting would win the title finishing with the same points as Benfica and for that contributed the extra goal that they have scored in Campo Grande at the derby.

For that reason, that season's championship would stay known as the "pirolito" championship, being "pirolito" a type of soda bottle whose top was not a metal bottle top but rather a glass marble. A small ball that gave name to the championship won by Sporting, as it was thanks to the fact that the lions managed to put one more ball in the back of the eagles' net in the matches between them that they've managed to retain the title of champions.



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Vítor Damas defended Sporting’s goal on 332 championship matches and is the player that holds the record of appearances for the club in our top competition.

The first win at Estádio da Luz

After having won the title in 1961/1962 under the command of Juca, who replaced Otto Glória, Sporting spent three seasons in modest places, only managing a 3rd place in 1962/1963 and 1963/64 and a 5th in 1964/1965.
However, in 1965/1966 returned to the title and for that contributed a great deal the win at Estádio da Luz, the first at the new Benfica stadium inaugurated in 1954. On 17 October 1965, 11 years after the inauguration of Luz, the lions won 2x4 at the old rivals’ home, who were by then managed by Béla Guttmann, with Lourenço scoring the four goals for the visitors.

Managed by Otto Glória, Sporting played at Luz with Carvalho, José Carlos, Alexandre Baptista, Hilário, Fernando Peres, João Morais, Dani Silva, Fernando Ferreira Pinto, Oliveira Duarte, Lourenço and Figueiredo.



Manuel Fernandes afternoon against Benfica

The 1986/1987 season was far from being perfect for Sporting, finishing in 4th place behind Benfica, FC Porto and Vitória de Guimarães. Nevertheless, the home derby against Benfica of that season will never be forgotten by all sportinguistas, who watched their team crush the old rivals by 7x1.

The rainy afternoon of 14 December 1986 was one of the most happy in the career of Manuel Fernandes, a forward who scored four of the seven goals with which Sporting, managed by Manuel José, beat John Mortimore’s Benfica.

Besides Manuel Fernandes, Sporting scored through Mário Jorge, who got a brace, and Ralph Meade, being the XI picked by Manuel José the following: Vítor Damas, Virgílio, Gabriel, Fernando Mendes, Venâncio, Litos, Oceano, Mário Jorge, Zinho, Ralph Meade e Manuel Fernandes.

Ralph Meade, Manuel Fernandes and Mário Jorge celebrate one of the seven goals with which Sporting crushed Benfica in 1986/1987


The end of 18 years of wait

Sporting was close to equal FC Porto, who were 19 consecutive years without winning the national championship. However, in 1999/2000 the lions ended a fast of 18 years winning their 17th title at Estádio Vidal Pinheiro, a stadium that no longer exists.

Augusto Inácio came in in the middle of the season to replace the Italian Giuseppe Materazzi and one of the most important matches of the team’s career in that season was the victory over FC Porto by 2x0, at Estádio de Alvalade. At Round 26, the lions beat the five consecutive title winners with goals by André Cruz and Beto Acosta and climbed to the top of the table, from where they never left.

The party of the title was made in the city of Porto, at Vidal Pinheiro, with a “goleada” of 4x0 imposed on Salgueiros. André Cruz, with a brace, Ayew and Aldo Dusher were the scorers for the lions, who were later, already at dawn, received by thousands of supporters in Alvalade.

In the decisive match against Salgueiros, Sporting used an XI composed of Peter Schmeichel, Facundo Quiroga, Abdelilah Saber, Rui Jorge, André Cruz, Aldo Duscher, Pedro Barbosa, Luís Vidigal, De Franceschi, Beto Acosta e Ayew.

The great champions of 1999/2000: Standing: Schmeichel, Pedro Barbosa, Vidigal, Beto, Duscher, André Cruz. Below: Rui Jorge, César Prates, Beto Acosta, Mbo Mpenza, Edmilson.

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