Big Three (Portugal)

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The Big Three (Portuguese: Os Três Grandes) is the nickname of the three most successful multi-sport clubs in Portugal. The football teams of Sport Lisboa e Benfica of Lisbon, Futebol Clube do Porto of Porto and Sporting Clube de Portugal of Lisbon have a great rivalry, and are usually the main contenders for the title. They share all but two of the Portuguese Football Championships ever played and generally end up sharing the top three positions. None of them have been relegated from the Primeira Liga either, having been participants in all editions since its first season in 1934–35. The closest any side has come to relegation was Porto's 9th place finish in 1969–70. Benfica's lowest position has been 6th in 2000–01, while Sporting's lowest position has been 7th in 2012–13.

The only two clubs outside the big three to have won the Portuguese league are Belenenses in the 1945-46 season and Boavista in the 2000-01 season.

The three-way rivalry[edit]

Benfica vs. Porto[edit]

Main article: O Clássico

Benfica vs. Sporting[edit]

Main article: Derby de Lisboa

Porto vs. Sporting[edit]


League placements[edit]

Club 1st 2nd 3rd
Benfica 33 27 15
Porto 27 24 12
Sporting 18 20 25

Players who played for the three clubs[edit]

  • Portugal Carlos Alhinho (Sporting CP 1972–1975, Porto 1976, Benfica 1976–1977 & 1978–1981)
  • Portugal Eurico Gomes (Benfica 1975–1979, Sporting CP 1979–1982, Porto 1982–1987)
  • Portugal Romeu Silva (Benfica 1975–1977, Porto 1979–1983, Sporting CP 1983–1986)
  • Portugal Paulo Futre (Sporting CP 1983–1984, Porto 1984–1987, Benfica 1993)
  • Portugal Fernando Mendes (Sporting CP 1985–1989, Benfica 1989–1991 & 1992–1993, Porto 1996–1999)
  • Portugal Emílio Peixe (Sporting CP 1991–1995 & 1996–1997, Porto 1997–2002, Benfica 2002–2003)
  • Brazil Derlei (Porto 2002–2005, Benfica 2007, Sporting CP 2007–2009)
  • Portugal Maniche (Benfica 1995–1996 & 1999–2002, Porto 2002–2005, Sporting CP 2010–2011)

Managers who managed the three clubs[edit]

  • Chile Fernando Riera (Benfica 1962–1963 & 1962–1963, Porto 1972–1973, Sporting CP 1974–1975)
  • Portugal Fernando Santos (Porto 1998–2001, Sporting CP 2003–2004, Benfica 2006–2007)
  • Portugal Jesualdo Ferreira (Benfica 2001–2003, Porto 2006–2010, Sporting CP 2013)