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Portugal’s footballing history is well-known all over the world. Portuguese players have been dominating the world stage since the 1930s – most notably Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo and Eusebio. All three are winners of the prestigious Ballon D’Or trophy – a recognition of excellence and achievement in the game. Ronaldo recently shared his rather unconventional cure for stress and frustration. He places a television in a tree, shooting footballs at it until it comes crashing down!
It is said that football was introduced in Portugal in the late 1800s by English merchants and Portuguese students, who had learned to love the sport whilst studying in England. It quickly spread through the country’s most prominent cities, with Portugal’s top domestic league the Primiera Liga being founded in 1934. The league has ranked within the top 5 UEFA national leagues since 2011.
Portugal is famous both for its national team and for its world-renowned top-flight clubs also dubbed ‘the big three’ – SL Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting CP. Their track record in international competition is spellbinding – finishing third and fourth in the FA World Cup and winning the UEFA Euro in 2016. They continue to fight for championship titles, thirsty in particular for a World Cup win which they have been devastatingly denied in the late stages on numerous occasions. The team plays in a bright red and deep green strip – mirroring the national flag.
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