Portugal are the champions of Europe – winning the 2016 European Cup - and one place to see world-class soccer is Portugal. Professional world-class soccer is just 6 hours away this fall. Soccer (futebol) is the most popular sport in Portugal today - and despite a population of just 10 million people, Portugal ranks 8th in the world on the FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking. In fact, there are 135,000 professional players in Portugal, and it’s top teams are some of the best in Europe.
The Selecção, the Portuguese national team – that won the2016 European Championship – placed 3rd in the 1966 World Cup, and fourth in 2006. They were in the semi-finals or finals in the Euro in 1984, 2000, 2004, and 2012. You can see many of the players who will be stars on Portuguese major league teams.
Soccer has been played in Portugal since 1875. The nation’s top major league – the Primeira Liga, was founded in 1934. Teams like SL Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting are powerhouses, playing in state of the art stadiums. In fact, Portuguese teams have won the prestigious European Cup four times and the UEFA Cup twice.
As for players, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best in the world today, and names like Pauleta, Eusebio, Figo and others are legends in the game. And as we just saw, lot’s of young players are coming up to make Portugal the new home