Founded in Lisbon on 1 July 1906, it is one of the "Três Grandes" (The Big Three) football clubs in Portugal. With more than 100,000 registered club members, its teams, athletes and supporters are often nicknamed Leões (English: The Lions) by its fans.
Sporting was one of the founding members of the Primeira Liga in 1933 and, together with Benfica and Porto, it has never been relegated from the First Division of Portuguese football. Sporting is the third most successful Portuguese football club with 44 titles in Portuguese domestic competitions and one International title.
Throughout its long history, Sporting has reached two European finals and two European semi-finals, once in the Cup Winners Cup in 1974 and the other in the UEFA Cup in 1991, in both cases losing to the eventual winner of the competition.
Within Portugal, Sporting Clube de Portugal is often referred to simply as "Sporting". Outside Portugal, it is often known as "Sporting Lisbon". The club has attempted to shed this name, particularly through ex-president Sousa Cintra and his staff, in an effort to become known abroad by its correct name. Despite this, some non-Portuguese media still uses Sporting Lisbon due to precedent and to avoid confusion with other clubs such as Sporting Clube de Braga, Sporting Clube da Covilhã, Sporting Clube Farense, Sporting Clube Olhanense and Sporting de Gijón, instead of using a more accurate name like Sporting Portugal. UEFA has historically used the designation Sporting CP in English-language scorelines and match reports on its own site, but as of January 2010 uses the club's full Portuguese name.
Sporting's stadium, Estádio José Alvalade, was built for the UEFA Euro 2004 championship. The stadium was designed by Tomás Taveira and was classified by UEFA as a five-star stadium, enabling it to host finals of major UEFA events. This stadium, originally projected to hold only 40,000 spectators at any given time, has a capacity of 50,095.