Portugal national roller hockey team
|Nickname||Selecção das Quinas|
|Association||Federação Portuguesa de Patinagem|
Portugal national roller hockey team is the most successful roller hockey team of the world, even facing the competition of the strong sides of Spain, Italy and Argentina.
Portugal has been the dominant power in the sport, holding the most titles of the Rink Hockey World Championship, with 15, and of the Rink Hockey European Championship, with 20. However the team failed to impress in the only presence of roller hockey at the Olympic Games, at 1992 Olympic Games, in Barcelona, as a demonstration sport, finishing in fourth place.
The Portuguese national rink hockey side is the one that attracts more passionate interest in Portugal, after the football national team, due to its tradition of being the most successful sport for his country and of having some of the best ever rink hockey players, like António Livramento and Vítor Hugo.
From the origins to the 1930s 
Rink hockey was introduced in Portugal in 1912. The first rink was built by Recreios Desportivos da Amadora, in Amadora. The first match of rink hockey that took place was recorded in 1912, between Recreios Desportivos da Amadora and Clube de Desportos de Benfica, in Amadora, finishing with a 2–0 win by the later team.
Cosme Damião, the "Father" of Benfica, interested a lot by the new sport, ordered the coming of the official rules from France, in 1916, translated to Portuguese by Raúl de Oliveira, then director of the newspaper O Mundo Desportivo. The same year, two Benfica sides played the first match according to the new rules in a rink in Lisbon.
The first official tournament in Portugal took place in 1917, being disputed by 6 teams, one of them precisely Benfica.
Internationally speaking, in April 1924, was founded in Montreux, Switzerland, the International Federation of Roller Skating in Wheels.
In 1926, the first ever Rink Hockey European Championship took place in Herne Bay, England, being played by 6 countries. The host country won the event.
Portugal first presence came in 1930, being an all Benfica national team. In 1932, Portugal finished in 4th place. Their first podium place came in 1936, in Stuttgart, Germany, the event also considered the first ever Rink Hockey World Championship, when Portugal reached the 3rd place, behind the first world champions, England, and Italy. In the 1937 Rink Hockey European Championship, Portugal repeated the 3rd place, like in 1939, but the main international competitions where interrupted until the end of the World War II.
First golden era (1947–1956) 
After the return of the Rink Hockey European Championship, still serving as the Rink Hockey World Championship, in 1947, Portugal saw the start of a new era in the history of rink hockey, where they would be the dominant power. Portugal won 6 of the 10 editions of the most important world rink hockey competition in the annual first phase of the event, until 1956. The first win came in 1947, in Lisbon, over Belgium, followed by wins in 1948, 1949 and 1950. Simultaneously, Portugal saw the rising of some of the best and most legendary Portuguese rink hockey players ever: Correia dos Santos, António Jesus Correia, Emídio Pinto, António Raio, Sidónio Serpa, Olivério Serpa and goalkeeper Cipriano Santos.
In 1951, Spain finally interrupted Portugal's win series, with their first title. Portugal won again the title in 1952 and 1956, finishing in second place in 1951, 1953 and 1954, and in third place in 1955.
Second golden era (1957–1978) 
In 1957, both the Rink Hockey European Championship and the Rink Hockey World Championship become different competitions, taking place from two in two years, alternating with each other. This wouldn't make a lot of difference for Portugal that remained the dominant European power of the sport, with 9 titles in 11 European competitions, from 1957 to 1977. Portugal won the European title in 1959, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1971, 1973, 1975 and 1977. In the World Championship, Portugal would win 5 titles in 11 editions, in 1958, 1960, 1962, 1968 and 1974. This new generation was dominated by the world-class genius of António Livramento, among other great players, such as Fernando Adrião, José Vaz Guedes, Amadeu Bouçós, Júlio Rendeiro and António Ramalhate.
The 1980s 
The growing rivality of Spain, Italy and Argentina resulted in a more competitive decade for the international scene of rink hockey. This explains the fact why Portugal was able to win only one World Cup title this decade, precisely in 1982, when they hosted the event and won Spain in the final by 5-2, in one of the most memorable editions of the tournament. The great team Portugal had was the last chance for the talents of ongoing veterans, goalkeeper António Ramalhete, Cristiano Pereira and Chana, who repeated the title of 1974. A new generation would develop in the upcoming years but was unable to win again the title of World Champions, reaching only the 3rd place in the editions of 1984, 1986 and 1988. In 1990, in a hard game, they lost 1-0 to Argentina, reaching the 2nd place. Portugal also only won the 1987 Rink Hockey European Championship, finishing in 2nd place in 1981 and 1983. Meanwhile the great forward and goalscorer Vítor Hugo was taking the place of successor to António Livramento, playing with other greats like Vítor Bruno, Carlos Realista and Franklim Pais.
The 1990s 
The new decade saw Portugal winning his 11th title of the Rink Hockey World Championship, after a nine years hiatus, when they defeated surprise finalists Holland by 7-0 in Porto, in 1991. The new title confirmed the tradition of winning the World Championship every time Portugal hosts the event. Portugal win in the European Rink Championship in 1992 also confirmed their best expectations to win the first title in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, where rink hockey was going to be played as a demonstration sport. Portugal had a great start that disappointed in the final games, finishing only in the 4th place, losing the Bronze Medal to Italy, while Argentina defeated Spain in a hard-fought final by 8-6. Portugal redeemed themselves the following year, when they won their second title of Rink Hockey World Champions in a row, since 1962, when they won third titles, defeating favourites Italy in a penalty shot-out by 1-0. In 1995, Portugal was unable to reach their third title in a row, losing to Argentina in Recife, Brazil. Meanwhile Portugal was able to win four titles of the Rink Hockey European Championship in a row, in 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998. The last title marked the most recent win for Portugal in the event, who since then has been dominating by Spain. After 1995, Portugal wasn't even able to reach the final of the World Championship, finishing in 4th place in 1997, winning the 3rd place in 1999 and finishing once again in 4th place in 2001.
The new millennium 
The first decade of the 21st century has been dominated by Spain on a World and European level in international rink hockey. Portugal, after a 4th place finish in the 2001 edition of the World Championship, was able to win the 2003 tournament, in which they were hosts, defeating Italy in the final 1-0, while Spain finished 3rd place. In 2005, Portugal disappointed, when Argentina won the event for the fourth time, defeating Spain in the final, and leaving Portugal with 3rd place. The 2007 edition will always be remembered as the worst performance ever for Portugal and the first time they didn't finish among the four best teams. In fact, Portugal, coached by Paulo Batista, was eliminated by Switzerland in the quarter-finals, and lost the 5th place match to France, finishing only in 6th place. This result caused great controversy in Portugal and resulted in the immediate sacking of Paulo Batista. With the new coach, Luís Sénica, Portugal, who had lost the 2000 and 2002 European Championship finals to Spain, narrowlly lost the 2008 final to Spain by 1-0, with a controversially disallowed goal scored by Reinaldo Ventura. Adopting the nickname of "Os Ursos" ("The Bears"), Portugal was seen as a major contender for the 2009 World Championship title, but lost in the semi-final to Argentina (3-1), once again finishing 3rd place, after a 8-3 win over Brazil. Luís Sénica was later replaced by Rui Neto, who led the National Team to the 2010 European Rink Hockey European Championship. Portugal began in very good form, easily winning their group, in the quarter final they demolished Austria 23-0 followed by a 6-1 victory over Germany in the semi-final, but collapsed in the final, once again to Spain, in a game that began evenly matched, but ended with an 8-2 Spain win. Portugal was also unfortunate at the 2011 Rink Hockey World Championship, once again finishing in 3rd place, being eliminated by Argentina in the semi-final 4-3 and defeating Mozambique 9-2 for the Bronze medal. Spain would defeat Argentina to win their 15th World Championship, tying Portugal for most ever world titles.
- Rink Hockey World Championship - 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1968, 1974, 1982, 1991, 1993, 2003 (15)
- Rink Hockey European Championship - 1947*, 1948*, 1949*, 1950*, 1952*, 1956*, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1987, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 (20) *also counted as World Championship
- Nations Cup - 1947, 1948, 1949, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1963, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1973, 1987, 1997, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 (17)
- Latin Cup - 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1988, 1989, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008 (12)
- History of Rink Hockey in Portugal (Portuguese)
- Federação de Patinagem de Portugal Gallery (Portuguese)
- (Catalan) Portugal national roller hockey team at HoqueiPatins.cat