Big Three (Portugal)

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The Big Three (Portuguese: Os Três Grandes) is the nickname of the three most successful football clubs in Portugal.[1] The teams of S.L. Benfica and Sporting CP, both from Lisbon, and of FC Porto, from Porto, have a great rivalry and are usually the main contenders for the Primeira Liga 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. Benfica's lowest position was 6th in 2000–01, while Porto's 9th place finish in 1969–70 makes the closest any side has come to relegation. Sporting's worst finish was a 7th place finish 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 campaign. Belenenses has been relegated four times to the second tier, while Boavista has been in the third tier twice.

Location of the three clubs in Portugal

The three-way rivalry[edit]

Benfica vs. Sporting:

Benfica vs. Porto:

Porto vs. Sporting:

Statistics[edit]

League placements[edit]

Club 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th Total Top 3
Benfica 37 29 16 4 1 87 82
Porto 29 28 12 12 3 1 1 1 87 69
Sporting 19 20 30 13 4 1 87 69

Footballers who have played for the three clubs[edit]

Eight footballers have played for Benfica; Porto and Sporting. Of those, only Eurico Gomes has been champion in all three (twice with each). Additionally, Eurico is also the only player to enter this list without having played for another club in-between the Big Three career.[2]

  • Portugal Carlos Alhinho: Sporting 1972–75; Porto 1976; Benfica 1976–77, 1978–81
  • Portugal Eurico Gomes: Benfica 1975–79; Sporting 1979–82; Porto 1982–87
  • Portugal Romeu Silva: Benfica 1975–77; Porto 1979–83; Sporting 1983–86
  • Portugal Paulo Futre: Sporting 1983–84; Porto 1984–87; Benfica 1993
  • Portugal Fernando Mendes: Sporting 1985–89; Benfica 1989–91, 1992–93; Porto 1996–99
  • Portugal Emílio Peixe: Sporting 1991–95, 1996–97; Porto 1997–2002; Benfica 2002–03
  • Brazil Derlei: Porto 2002–05; Benfica 2007 (loan); Sporting 2007–09
  • Portugal Maniche: Benfica 1995–96, 1999–2002; Porto 2002–05; Sporting 2010–11
  • Portugal Miguel Lopes: Benfica 2005–06; Porto 2009–10, 2012–13; Sporting 2013, 2014–15

Managers who managed all three clubs[edit]

  • Brazil Otto Glória: Benfica 1954–59, 1968–70; Sporting 1961, 1965–66; Porto 1964–65
  • Chile Fernando Riera: Benfica 1962–63, 1966–68; Porto 1972–73; Sporting 1974–75
  • Portugal Fernando Santos: Porto 1998–2001; Sporting 2003–04; Benfica 2006–07
  • Portugal Jesualdo Ferreira: Benfica 2001–03; Porto 2006–10, Sporting 2013

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ""Sou o único campeão pelos três grandes. Em Inglaterra seria um herói, aqui sou um desempregado"" (in Portuguese). Expresso. 29 April 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Futebol: Maniche faz o pleno dos três grandes em Portugal" (in Portuguese). Jornal Mundo Português. 12 September 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2017.