Estádio do Dragão

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Estádio do Dragão
Porto Estádio do Dragão 2.jpg
LocationPorto, Portugal
Coordinates41°09′42″N 8°35′02″W / 41.161758°N 8.583933°W / 41.161758; -8.583933Coordinates: 41°09′42″N 8°35′02″W / 41.161758°N 8.583933°W / 41.161758; -8.583933
Public transitPorto Metro Estádio do Dragão
OwnerFC Porto
OperatorPorto Estádio (FC Porto Group)
Executive suites96
Record attendance52,000 (16 November 2003)
FC Porto 2–0 FC Barcelona
Field size115 x 68 m
ScoreboardSamsung P10 LED screens[1]
Opened16 November 2003; 19 years ago (2003-11-16)
Construction cost€125 million
ArchitectManuel Salgado
General contractorSomague
FC Porto (2003–present)
Portugal national football team (selected matches)
Official website

The Estádio do Dragão (Portuguese pronunciation: [(ɨ)ˈʃtaðju ðu ðɾɐˈɣɐ̃w]; English: Dragon Stadium) is an all-seater football stadium in Porto, Portugal, and the home ground of FC Porto since 2003. It has a seating capacity of 50,033, making it the third largest football stadium in Portugal.

Designed by Portuguese architect Manuel Salgado, the stadium was constructed to replace Porto's former ground, the Estádio das Antas, along with becoming one of the host venues for the UEFA Euro 2004 final tournament. The inauguration took place on 16 November 2003 with a friendly match against Barcelona, setting an attendance record of 52,000 spectators.[2]

A UEFA category four stadium, it has held several international club and national team competition matches, including the 2019 UEFA Nations League Final and 2021 UEFA Champions League Final.

Construction and inauguration[edit]

Construction works began in late 2001, and were completed in November 2003, some months after what was expected, since in February 2002, Porto mayor Rui Rio changed the estate distribution, criticizing the plan for including high-scale housing and shopping for the area.[3] These actions forced the chairman of FC Porto, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, to halt all building operations, which were only resumed after a consensus was reached.[4]

Designed by Portuguese architect Manuel Salgado[3] and built by Portuguese contractor Somague, it cost €97,755,318, of which €18,430,956 was subsidized by the government. To help underwrite costs, each stand carries one or two sponsor names: Super Bock (south), tmn (east), meo (west), and Coca-Cola (north stand). Away fans are placed in the right corner of the upper tier of the east stand, while home Ultra groups, Super Dragões and Colectivo Ultras 95, occupy the south stand and the north stand, respectively, like on the old stadium.

The stadium was inaugurated on November 16, 2003, with a match against FC Barcelona, which featured the debut of a 16-year-old Lionel Messi in the Spanish side. Porto won 2–0 with goals by Derlei and Hugo Almeida. Due to severe turf problems, however, Porto was forced to return and play in the old Estádio das Antas, until the turf was replanted by mid-February 2004.

The stadium is characterized by a frame of 21 000 m2 of azulejos.[5]

Panorama of a stadium as seen from one of the main stands
Panorama of the stadium


Prior to the inauguration, the stadium's name was debated internally between elements of Porto's administration, with various alternatives in consideration, such as retaining the old name, Estádio das Antas (officially, unlike the former stadium), or name it after some of the club's biggest historical figures like former player Artur de Sousa Pinga, manager José Maria Pedroto or president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, the latter being, the one with most gathered consensus but ended dismissed by the president himself.[6] After a deliberation period, the name Estádio do Dragão was revealed to the general public.[7]

"The Dragon is in our symbol and the coat of arms of the city, there was no better to symbolize the strength and vitality of FC Porto, neither the certainty of our future. There is no name that mythologically or ideologically conveys the will of new conquests like that of the Dragon."

— Pinto da Costa, on the stadium name (May 2003)[8]

International matches[edit]

Portugal national team matches[edit]

The following national team matches were held in the stadium.

# Date Score Opponent Competition
1. 12 June 2004 1–2  Greece Euro 2004 Group Stage
2. 12 October 2005 3–0  Latvia 2006 World Cup Qualification
3. 21 November 2007 0–0  Finland Euro 2008 Qualifying
4. 28 March 2009 0–0  Sweden 2010 World Cup Qualification
5. 8 October 2010 3–1  Denmark Euro 2012 Qualifying
6. 7 October 2011 5–3  Iceland Euro 2012 Qualifying
7. 16 October 2012 1–1  Northern Ireland 2014 World Cup Qualification
8. 29 May 2016 3–0  Norway Friendly
9. 5 June 2019 3–1  Switzerland 2019 Nations League Semi-finals
10. 9 June 2019 1–0  Netherlands 2019 Nations League Final
11. 5 September 2020 4–1  Croatia 2020–21 Nations League Group Stage
12. 24 March 2022 3–1  Turkey 2022 World Cup Qualification
13. 29 March 2022 2–0  North Macedonia 2022 World Cup Qualification

UEFA Euro 2004[edit]

Constructed to become one of the venues of the UEFA Euro 2004 tournament, it staged the inaugural match between hosts Portugal and eventual winners Greece, as well as three group stage, one quarterfinal, and one semifinal fixtures.

Date Time (WEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
12 June 2004 17:00  Portugal 1–2  Greece Group A 48,761
15 June 2004 19:45  Germany 1–1  Netherlands Group D 48,197
18 June 2004  Italy 1–1  Sweden Group C 44,926
27 June 2004  Czech Republic 3–0  Denmark Quarter-finals 41,092
1 July 2004  Greece 1–0 (aet)  Czech Republic Semi-finals 42,449

2019 UEFA Nations League Finals[edit]

One of the venues of the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals.

Date Time (WEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
5 June 2019 19:45  Portugal 3–1  Switzerland Semi-finals 42,415
9 June 2019 1–0  Netherlands Final 43,199

2021 UEFA Champions League Final[edit]

The final originally planned at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, but was moved due to travel restrictions by England government caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey,[9] the final hosts were shifted back a two-year, with Istanbul instead hosting the 2023 final. Chelsea FC won the match 1-0 against Manchester City, with Kai Havertz scoring the only goal.

Other uses[edit]

Stadium pitch converted into a racing track for the ROC South Europe Regional Final

A major source of income granted by the infrastructure is the planned capability to monetize on organizing events outside of regular football matches. Those extend from business meetings, congresses, summits, festivals, expos and other sports competitions.[10] For example, the ROC committee picked the stadium to host the 2009 Race of Champions South Europe Regional Final, therefore, the grass pitch was converted into an asphalt course in order to accommodate the race.[11] The 2019 ESSMA Summit is also noteworthy by having joined several clubs, leagues and federations representatives together at the venue to discuss matters on the developments and trends of the football industry.[12]

In addition, through different music promoters and specialized event management companies, the stadium already served as a concert venue to four international tour schedules from recognized musical artists along with selected opening acts.

Date Performer(s) Tour / Event Attendance Ref.
12 August 2006 The Rolling Stones
The Dandy Warhols
A Bigger Bang Tour 47,801 [13]
18 May 2012 Coldplay
Marina and the Diamonds / Rita Ora
Mylo Xyloto Tour 52,457 [14]
10 June 2013 Muse
We Are the Ocean
The 2nd Law World Tour 45,000 [15]
13 July 2014 One Direction
Where We Are Tour 45,001 [16]

Access and transportation[edit]

Entrance to the stadium underground metro station (top). Metro in the station line (bottom).

Access by vehicle is possible through the VCI (Via de Cintura Interna), a roadway that passes right next to the stadium, granting a direct connection. In the event of coming from the city center, driving down the main Alameda da Antas is another viable route towards the destination. In spite of this, the recommendation is the use of the public transports, which results in a better flux of public movement around the perimeter. Having its own station combined with the infrastructure, the metro functions as the main way of reaching the stadium, with different lines linking the various city areas and a direct connection to the international Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport. Alternatively, the STCP bus service also grants routes for the purpose and there are 150 bicycle parking spots available.[17][18]

Transport Lines Stations / Routes
Porto Metro
Porto Metro Estádio do Dragão ⇄ Senhor de Matosinhos
Porto Metro Estádio do Dragão ⇄ Póvoa de Varzim
Porto Metro Estádio do Dragão ⇄ Airport
Porto Metro Fânzeres ⇄ Senhora da Hora
Stcp logo.png
401 Bolhão (Mercado) ⇄ S. Roque
806 Marquês ⇄ Av. Carvalha (Via Portelinha)


  1. ^ Rocha, Óscar (16 August 2016). "Samsung 'dá' inteligência ao Estádio do Dragão" [Samsung "gives" intelligence to Estádio do Dragão] (in Portuguese). Sol. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  2. ^ Bandeira 2012, p. 128.
  3. ^ a b Carrapatoso, Miguel Santos (12 January 2018). "Como Rui Rio governou o Porto. 12 histórias para conhecer melhor o novo líder do PSD" [How Rui Rio has governed Porto. 12 stories to know the new PSD leader better] (in Portuguese). Observador. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Obras das Antas suspensas" [Construction in Antas suspended] (in Portuguese). Record. 2 March 2002. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Aniversário do Dragão celebrado com azulejos e relógio" [Dragon's Birthday celebrated with tiles and clock] (in Portuguese). Record. 16 November 2004. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Pinto da Costa recusa dar o seu nome ao futuro estádio" [Pinto da Costa refuses to give his name to the future stadium] (in Portuguese). Record. 23 April 2003. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Estádio do Dragão colheu unanimidade entre a direcção" [Estádio do Dragão won unanimity among the administration] (in Portuguese). Record. 14 May 2003. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  8. ^ ""Estádio do Dragão" é o nome do futuro recinto do FC Porto" ["Estádio do Dragão" is the name of the future venue of FC Porto] (in Portuguese). Record. 13 May 2003. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  9. ^ Gardner, Jamie (19 May 2021). "Uefa 'strongly recommends' Man City and Chelsea fans travel on official club trips for Champions League final". Independent Digital News & Media Limited. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  10. ^ Brito, Paula (17 May 2013). "Festas no Dragão já valem mais de um milhão de euros (com vídeo)" [Festivals in the Dragão are already worth more than one million euros (with video)] (in Portuguese). Dinheiro Vivo. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Portugal to Stage First Race of Champions Regional Final". ROC. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Strong ECA member involvement at fifth ESSMA Summit hosted by FC Porto". ECA. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  13. ^ Belém, Joana (11 August 2006). "Rolling Stones tocam no maior palco já montado em Portugal" [Rolling Stones play the biggest stage ever set in Portugal] (in Portuguese). Diário de Notícias. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  14. ^ Barros, João Pedro (19 May 2012). "Coldplay, os príncipes do rock de estádio" [Coldplay, the princes of stadium rock]. Ípsilon (in Portuguese). Público. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  15. ^ Barros, João Pedro (12 June 2013). "Muse fizeram render o seu repertório épico" [Muse rendered their epic repertoire]. Ípsilon (in Portuguese). Público. Archived from the original on 11 January 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  16. ^ Moço, João (14 July 2014). "Regresso triunfal dos One Direction no Estádio do Dragão" [One Direction triumphant return at Estádio do Dragão] (in Portuguese). Diário de Notícias. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Estádio do Dragão". The Stadium Guide. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Estádio do Dragão inaugura 150 lugares de estacionamento para bicicletas" [Estádio do Dragão inaugurates 150 parking spaces for bicycles] (in Portuguese). greensavers. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2019.


  • Bandeira, João Pedro (2012). Bíblia do FC Porto (in Portuguese). Lisbon: Prime Books. ISBN 9789896550943.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
UEFA Nations League
Final venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by UEFA Champions League
Final venue

Succeeded by