Sporting CP

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Sporting CP
Full nameSporting Clube de Portugal
Nickname(s)
  • Leões (Lions)
  • Verde e brancos (Green and whites)
Short nameSporting (Lisbon)
Founded1 July 1906; 117 years ago (1906-07-01)[a]
GroundEstádio José Alvalade
Capacity50,095
PresidentFrederico Varandas
Head coachRúben Amorim
LeaguePrimeira Liga
2022–23Primeira Liga, 4th of 18
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Sporting Clube de Portugal (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈspɔɾtĩɡ ˈkluβɨ ðɨ puɾtuˈɣal]), otherwise referred to as Sporting CP or simply Sporting (particularly within Portugal), or as Sporting Lisbon in other countries,[1][2][3] is a Portuguese sports club based in Lisbon. Having various sports departments and sporting disciplines,[4][5][6] it is best known for its men's professional football team playing in the Primeira Liga, the top flight of Portuguese football.

Founded on 1 July 1906,[a] Sporting is one of the "Big Three" clubs in Portugal that have never been relegated from Primeira Liga, along with rivals Benfica and FC Porto. Sporting are nicknamed Leões (Lions), for the symbol used in the middle of the club's crest, and Verde e Brancos (Green and Whites), for the shirt colour that are in (horizontal) stripes. The club's anthem is called "A Marcha do Sporting" ("Sporting's March", written in 1955 and sung by Maria José Valério) and its supporters are called sportinguistas. Sporting is the second largest sports club by membership in Portugal, with more than 160,000 paying members, and the sixth in the world.[8] It is also among the top three Portuguese sports clubs in number of non-affiliated fans.[9] Their home ground has been the Estádio José Alvalade, built in 2003, which replaced the previous one, built-in 1956. The club's indoor arena is the Pavilhão João Rocha multi-sports pavilion.[10] Its youth academy has helped produce footballers such as Luís Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.[11]

Sporting are the third most decorated Portuguese football team, with 54 major trophies. Domestically, they have won 19 League titles, 17 Taças de Portugal, a joint-record of 4 Campeonato de Portugal, 4 Taças da Liga and 9 Supertaças Cândido de Oliveira.[12] In Europe, they won the 1963–64 European Cup Winners' Cup and were runners-up at the UEFA Cup in 2005. Sporting played in the first European Champions Cup match on 4 September 1955, by invitation,[13] and has participated in the most editions of UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League (32), a tournament in which they have the second most matches played and won,[14] and where they are ranked 2nd in the all-time club ranking.[15]

History[edit]

Foundation (1902–1906)[edit]

Sporting Clube de Portugal has its origins in June 1902, when young men Francisco da Ponte, Horta Gavazzo and his brother José Maria decided to create Sport Club de Belas. This club, the first ancestor of Sporting, played just one match and at the end of the year's summer, disbanded. Two years later, the idea of creating a football club was revived, and this time, with the Gavazzo brothers joined by José Alvalade (José Holtreman Roquette) and José Stromp: a new club, the Campo Grande Football Club, was founded. They played their matches on the estate of the Viscount of Alvalade (Alfredo Holtreman), José Alvalade's grandfather, with the club's headquarters located in Francisco Gavazzo's home. For two years, the club developed an intense activity on several sports, namely football, tennis and fencing.

José Alvalade founded Sporting with the backing of his grandfather.

The club also organized parties and picnics. Eventually, during one picnic, on 12 April 1906, discussions erupted, as some members defended that the club should only be focused on organizing picnics and social events, with another group defending that the club should be focused on the practising of sports instead. Some time later, José Gavazzo, José Alvalade and 17 other members left the club, with José Alvalade saying, "I'll go to my grandad and he'll give me money to make another club."[5][16][17] As such, a new club, without a name, was founded on 8 May 1906, and on 26 May,[18] it was named "Campo Grande Sporting Clube".[a] The Viscount of Alvalade, whose money and land helped found the club, was the first president of Sporting.[19][20] José Alvalade, as one of the main founders and first club member (sócio), uttered on behalf of himself and his fellow co-founders, "We want this club to be a great club, as great as the greatest in Europe."[19] Beyond José Holtreman Roquette (José Alvalade) and his grandfather Alfredo das Neves Holtreman (Viscount of Alvalade), among the founders were also the brothers António, José and Francisco Stromp, the Gavazzo brothers, José Maria do Couto Valente da Ponte and José Ferreira Roquette.[21][22] Two months later, on 1 July 1906,[a] António Félix da Costa Júnior suggested the name Sporting Clube de Portugal, and since 1920 that is the club's foundation date.[23][a]

Early years (1907–1946)[edit]

Alfredo Holtreman, Viscount of Alvalade was the first president, sponsor and protector of Sporting.

The year 1907 marked some "firsts" for the club, as Sporting played the first football match of their history on 3 February, ending in a 5–1 defeat against third division club Cruz Negra; inaugurated their first ground, known as "Sítio das Mouras" (the most advanced in Portugal at the time, equipped with showers, two tennis courts, an athletics track and a football field) on 4 July; and played the first derby of all time against local rivals S.L. Benfica (then known as Grupo Sport Lisboa) on 1 December.[24] As early as 1909, the following sports were practised at the sports club: football, running and jumping (athletics), physical exercise (gymnastics), rope-wrestling, tennis, cricket and field hockey.[25]

The club also released their first report card on 31 March 1922, titled "Boletim do Sporting" (Sporting's Report), lending the foundation for the later called "Jornal do Sporting", the official newspaper of the club, that still exists today.[26]

Sporting played their first Primeira Liga game (the 1st Division of Portuguese football) ever on 20 January 1935, winning 0–6 against Académica de Coimbra. A year later, in 1936, the club had their heaviest ever defeat against Porto, losing 10–1. Sporting, however, got their revenge a year later, when they humbled the same team with a 9–1 result. In 1941, under the guidance of Hungarian manager József Szabó, the club celebrated the first league title of their history.[27]

Golden years and fading (1946–1982)[edit]

The 1963-64 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup won by Sporting at Museum Mundo Sporting

The football team had their height during the 1940s and 1950s. It was spearheaded by Fernando Peyroteo, José Travassos, Albano Pereira, Jesus Correia and Manuel Vasques, in a quintet nicknamed "The Five Violins".[28] With the violins' help, Sporting won seven league titles in eight seasons between 1947 and 1954, including a then unprecedented four in a row from 1950 to 1951 onwards. Fernando Peyroteo, the most known of "the violins", is considered one of the greatest Portuguese players of all time.[29]

Sporting and the Yugoslavian team Partizan both made history on 4 September 1955, as they played the first-ever UEFA Champion Clubs' Cup match. Sporting player João Martins scored the first-ever goal of the competition, on the 14th minute. The match ended in a 3–3 draw.[30] Sporting also inaugurated their new venue, José Alvalade Stadium, on 10 June 1956, which would be their home ground until 2003.[31]

In the 1960s, Sporting achieved continental success, winning the 1963–64 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, defeating MTK Budapest of Hungary in the final. It was the only time a Portuguese team side won a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup title.[32] The team entered the competition defeating Atalanta in the qualifying round, then past Cypriot club APOEL in what was the biggest win in a single UEFA competitions game to date: 16–1, a record that still stands today. On the next round, they lost 4–1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford in the first hand, but made a remarkable comeback at home, winning 5–0. In the semi-finals, Sporting eliminated Lyon, and in the end MTK Budapest, in a two-round final to win their first European title. The winning goal was scored by João Morais from a direct corner kick.[33]

Under the leadership of president João Rocha, the first project of club-company in Portugal was approved by Sporting CP's affiliated partners (sócios) in November 1973, and denominated "Society of Constructions and Planning" (SCP, Sociedade de Construções e Planeamento). The Portuguese government authorised the establishment of the company and the issue of 2.5 million shares, with a nominal value of 100 escudos each.[34][35] The club-company project with issuance of stock was hampered shortly after due to the events of the Carnation Revolution of 1974 and the subsequent Processo Revolucionário em Curso of 1975 (the creation of Sociedades Anónimas Desportivas ("Public limited sports companies") would be later available in Portugal through a new legal status only introduced in the 1990s).[36][37]

The club reached the semi-finals of the Cup Winners' Cup in 1974, but lost to eventual winners 1. FC Magdeburg of East Germany.[38]

First league title drought (1982–2000)[edit]

Club emblem used from 1945 to 2001

English manager Malcolm Allison arrived at Sporting in 1981, and under his guidance the club won the domestic double (league title and Portuguese cup), in 1982.[39] In the years between 1982 and 2000, Sporting suffered from a drought of titles. Despite defeating rivals Benfica 4–0 on aggregate to win the Portuguese Super Cup in 1987, Sporting fans had to wait until 1995 to see their team win some silverware after beating Club Sport Marítimo 2–0 in the final of the 1995 Portuguese Cup. That victory granted Sporting a place in the following season's Portuguese Super Cup. After drawing 0–0 at José Alvalade Stadium and securing a 2–2 draw at Estádio das Antas, a replay match was held on 30 April 1996 at the Parc de Princes in Paris. Sporting won 3–0 with Sá Pinto scoring twice and Carlos Xavier scoring a stoppage time penalty. In the same 1995–96 season, Sporting also reached the Portuguese Cup Final but lost 3–1 to Benfica.

Highlights of this period of time also include a 7–1 victory over arch-rivals Benfica at the old José Alvalade Stadium on 14 December 1986. Sporting also reached the UEFA Cup semi-final in 1991, losing against Internazionale.[40] Also, Barcelona and Real Madrid were both tied and defeated in Lisbon when playing against Sporting in the old UEFA Cup, in the 1986–87 and 1994–95 seasons, respectively.[41][42]

In 1998, Sporting Clube de Portugal had created the Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD, a public limited sports company for its football department, which went public on the Lisbon Stock Exchange in that year at a price of 1,000 escudos (the equivalent of about five euros at the time) per share.[43]

The turn of the millennium (2000–2002)[edit]

Sporting CP's manager and former player Augusto Inácio won the Primeira Liga title in 2000[44]

In 2000, Sporting, led by manager Augusto Inácio (a former Sporting player, who replaced Giuseppe Materazzi at the beginning of the season), won the league title on the last match day, with a 4–0 victory over Salgueiros, ending an 18-year drought.[27] In the following season, Sporting conquered the 2000 Super Cup but came third in the league. In the 2001–02 season, led by coach László Bölöni, Sporting conquered their 18th league title, the Portuguese Cup and the 2002 Portuguese Super Cup. On 21 June 2002, the club had opened its training facility, located in Alcochete, 30 km east of Lisbon.

On 14 August 2002,[45] Cristiano Ronaldo, then 17, played his first official match for a Sporting CP's senior team, in a UEFA Champions League qualifying round at home against Inter Milan.[46][47] On 1 September 2002, in the Azores, Cristiano Ronaldo debuted as a senior player in official domestic competitions playing for Sporting CP B in a 2–1 away loss against Sport Clube Lusitânia[48] and on 29 September he made his debut in the Primeira Liga, playing for Sporting CP's main team in a way match against SC Braga.[49]

Second league title drought (2002–2021)[edit]

2002–2009[edit]

A new stadium, Estádio José Alvalade, was inaugurated in 2003.

Sporting have failed to win Primeira Liga again since 2002. On 6 August 2003, the new Sporting CP's stadium, the Estádio José Alvalade, was inaugurated.[50] In the 2004–05 season, José Peseiro-led Sporting was leading the Primeira Liga and was trailing a remarkable journey in UEFA Cup. However, at the end of the season, the team eventually lost all the chances of winning any trophy that season: the first set-back had already happened on 26 January 2005 when Sporting was eliminated from Taça de Portugal after losing 7–6 on penalties against Benfica. Nevertheless, Sporting was able to reach the leadership of Primeira Liga, and on 5 May the team booked their second European final, after defeating Dutch team AZ Alkmaar in UEFA Cup. While awaiting the Final, on 14 May, Sporting lost its penultimate match in Primeira Liga against S.L. Benfica and dropped to third place. By the end of the season, the team eventually finished 2004–05 Primeira Liga in that place. Lastly, playing the 2005 UEFA Cup Final at their home ground, on 18 May, Sporting lost 1–3 against Russian side CSKA Moscow, after being 1–0 up at halftime.[51]

Domestically, Sporting had back-to-back wins in the Portuguese Cup in 2007 and 2008 (led by coach Paulo Bento). Sporting also reached, for the first time, the knockout phase of UEFA Champions League, in the 2008–09 season, but were roundly defeated by FC Bayern Munich, with an aggregate loss of 12–1. This is widely regarded as one of the lowest points in the history of the club.[52] The club almost reached another European final in 2012, but were dropped out of the competition by Athletic Bilbao, in the semi-finals of the 2011–12 Europa League.[53]

Financial mismanagement and 2013 election[edit]

After years of financial mismanagement, Sporting had amassed debts exceeding €276 million by 2011.[54] The results on the pitch were also negative, with Sporting finishing seventh in the 2012–13 Primeira Liga, their lowest ever finish.[55][56] Managerial changes occurred within months or weeks apart: from November 2009 to May 2013, nine managers were contracted, with none of them lasting an entire season. In 2013, after pressure from club members, president Godinho Lopes resigned,[57][58] and shortly afterwards, Bruno de Carvalho was elected president in a snap election.[59][60] Carvalho intended to return success to the football team, while threatening to take Godinho Lopes to court,[61][62][63] as well as to renegotiate the club's debt payment schedule with the banks involved,[64] which eventually renegotiated the debt in very favourable conditions for Sporting CP in the following years as part of the club's financial restructuring started by Carvalho and finalized by Frederico Varandas ten years later.[65][66] This allowed Sporting CP to get a multimillion-euro debt relief – in contrast to their rivals.[67][68] Carvalho's election brought Angolan investors to the club, most notably Álvaro Sobrinho, through Holdimo, which ultimately took possession of 20 million shares of Sporting's SAD through conversion of convertible debt.[69][70]

On 5 June 2015, it was released an audit that analyzed the management of Sporting in the past 20 years: it concluded that in 1994 the club had €55 million worth of real estate assets and an almost nonexistent debt; by 2013, real estate assets were almost nonexistent, and the club had amassed a €331 million debt.[71] Their new stadium (completed in 2003) cost 74% more than what was expected when its construction started (€184 million against the planned €106 million), while their training facility cost 24% more, and the costs of Alvalade XXI neighbourhood, a real estate complex located around the stadium, overshot its estimate by 60%; such complex was almost entirely sold in the following years, many estates of which were sold below market prices.[72]

From 1995 to 2013, the club invested €261 million in the football team, however, with few sports and financial results.[71] The audit criticized many football transfers in the 2000s, in which the club paid commissions well above market prices to player agents, and discovered that Sporting even had paid commissions without evidence of written contracts.[71][73] The audit also concluded that the administrations from 1995 to 2013 intended to convert Sporting, a multi-sports club, exclusively into a football club – although they did not openly admitted so – which was being done gradually through the closure of other sport modalities.[74] Moreover, the audit also pointed out evidence of mismanagement and conflicts of interest by several administrators.[71] Considering the audit's results, club members approved the expulsion of Godinho Lopes as an associate of the club in June 2015.[75]

2013–2020[edit]

Led by coach Leonardo Jardim in the 2013–14 season, Sporting finished second in the league, thus gaining direct access to the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League, their first Champions League presence in five years.[76][77]

Sporting playing a home match against German club Schalke 04 for the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League group stage

In the 2014–15 season, Sporting won their 16th Portuguese Cup in dramatic fashion. The Lisbon side, led by Marco Silva, played the final against Braga, and after a disastrous start, found themselves losing 0–2 at half-time and playing with ten men after the sending-off of Cédric Soares. With the final seemingly lost, Islam Slimani gave some hope to the fans as he scored the 1–2 on the 83-minute. In stoppage time, Fredy Montero managed to equalize, forcing extra-time. Sporting ultimately won the match 3–1 on penalties.[78] Celebrations ended in a pacific pitch invasion of Estádio José Alvalade by the fans, as the club touched silverware for the first time in seven years.[79][80]

In June 2015, Jorge Jesus joined Sporting after Benfica opted not to renew his contract as coach of the club, signing a three-year contract. Presented as the new manager of the club on 1 July, the managerial change took the rivalry of both Lisbon clubs to new heights.[81] Under Jesus' tenure, Sporting won the Portuguese Super Cup for the eighth time, against back-to-back champions Benfica.[82] Despite a positive start, Sporting did not win any other trophy, finishing second in the Primeira Liga with 86 points, two points behind Benfica, despite breaking their own points record in the league.

Following a trophyless season, Sporting won their first Taça da Liga on a penalty shoot-out against Vitória de Setúbal. However, on 15 May 2018, days after finishing third in the league, several players and coaches were attacked by around 50 ultra supporters of Sporting at the club's training ground (9 of them would be sentenced to at least a specified term of actual imprisonment[83] after trial).[84][85][86] Five days later, Sporting lost the Portuguese Cup final to Aves. About a month later, Bruno de Carvalho was dismissed by club members after a general assembly on 23 June.[87] This followed the rescissions of nine players: Bruno Fernandes, Daniel Podence, Rui Patricio, Rodrigo Battaglia, Rafael Leão, Rúben Ribeiro, Bas Dost, Gelson Martins and William Carvalho.[88] Sporting would be later eligible for court-awarded compensation when the rescissions were declared illegal for those players who did not return to the club or were not sold by Sporting.[89][90]

Rúben Amorim during a training session in 2021, the year he led Sporting CP to its first Primeira Liga title under his leadership as manager of the team[91]

In the period before scheduled elections, a management committee, headed by former President Sousa Cintra as acting president of the sports club,[92] succeeded in returning some of the players who had left the club following the incident, namely Bruno Fernandes, Bas Dost and Rodrigo Battaglia.[93][94] Frederico Varandas was elected president on 8 September 2018.[95] Having replaced Jorge Jesus at the beginning of the 2018–19 season, José Peseiro was sacked after a poor performance on the Primeira Liga.[96]

In March 2019, Sporting CP announced a loan negotiated with Apollo Global Management, based on the securitization of NOS' television rights revenues.[97]

In March 2020, Rúben Amorim was appointed manager of Sporting CP for a managerial transfer worth €10 million (£8.65 million), becoming the third-most expensive manager ever.[98]

2020–present[edit]

In the 2020–21 season, with no spectators allowed in Portugal due to COVID-19 restrictions, and after being eliminated from European competition by LASK Linz, Sporting won their third league cup and ended their 19-year period without winning the Portuguese league, with only one loss (against Benfica in the penultimate round and already as champions), securing their 19th Primeira Liga title after a 1–0 home win against Boavista.[99] At the 2021–22 UEFA Champions League group stage, Sporting made a comeback by finishing second on Group C after a 5–1 home loss to AFC Ajax and 1–0 away loss to Borussia Dortmund, thereby reaching the knockout phase for only the second time since the 2008–09 season. Domestically, both the 2021 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira[100] and the 2021–22 Taça da Liga[101] were won by the Lions, securing the trophies against Braga and Benfica, respectively. In the 2021–22 Primeira Liga, Sporting finished second with the same 85 points as in the previous league campaign.[102]

New José Alvalade's image at Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon, Portugal, during the execution of a work of building renovation in 2023[103]

For the 2022–2026 quadrennium, Frederico Varandas' administration started works of building renovation and modernization of the club's facilities.[104][105] In December 2023, Sporting Clube de Portugal and Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD had gone ahead with a financial restructuring started in 2019 on the grounds of earlier agreements with creditors jump-started by Bruno de Carvalho[67] which included the renegotiation of bank debt, "extinguishing the debt originally belonging to Novo Banco, S.A. (with outstanding capital of 35,403,508.62 euros), with the exception of finance leases", the company announced in a statement sent to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM). A debt belonging to Millennium BCP was also settled.[106][107][108] In addition, Sporting Clube de Portugal announced it would own 88 per cent of Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD from 15 February 2024 onwards,[109] instead of the 83.90% it owned at the time.[110][111][112] With the completion of the restructuring, the club said it intended to start a new strategic financial planning and secure the entry of a minority investor in its Futebol, SAD.[113][114][115] In 2024, the board of directors of Sporting CP headed by Varandas renewed the protocol with the University of Lisbon and announced an investment of 3 million euros in the modernisation of the EUL Pole in Lisbon.[116]

Motto, crests and names[edit]

Motto[edit]

Since its formation, Sporting CP's motto is: "Effort, Dedication, Devotion and Glory" (Esforço, Dedicação, Devoção e Glória).

Crests[edit]

The stylized rampant lion of the crest was taken by the Viscount of Alvalade from the heraldry of Dom Fernando de Castello-Branco, Mayor of Cascais and the main promoter of football at Sporting Club de Cascais (widely known at the time as Sporting Club da Parada). However, Castello-Branco demanded that the color used by the new sports club should not be blue, since that was already a color adopted by Sporting Club da Parada.[117] To keep up with times, the club's emblem has been modernized throughout history and this led to the development of various crests consistent with the history of the club: in all of them, the rampant lion and the color green have always been present in prominence.[118] Since its founding on the 1st July 1906, Sporting has already had five emblems, in addition to two commemorating crests for the fiftieth (1956) and the one hundredth years of existence (2006) of the club.

Previous Sporting's crests

Sporting CP radically changed its emblem in 2001 to convey a message of modernity, more geared towards the new technologies at the time.[119] The current emblem presents an image with simplified framing while maintaining the green color in the shield and adding three horizontal white stripes that symbolize the club's shirt. Complemented with the words 'Sporting' and 'Portugal', now written in full, they emphasize the national dimension of the club and clarify its name internationally.[120] A stylized rampant lion appears in golden color and the acronym "SCP", which stands for the club's name (Sporting Clube de Portugal), is shown like a crown on top of the shield.[121][118]

Names[edit]

Founded on 1 July 1906 after two months during which the newly-created sports club project was temporarily called Campo Grande Sporting Club[18] (after Campo Grande) instead of its final official name of Sporting Clube de Portugal, the club is officially referred to by UEFA and FIFA as written in its official full name or as Sporting CP, a shortened form of the name.[122] The designation Sporting Lisbon, a common way some foreign media and non-Portuguese people in general use to refer to Sporting CP outside Portugal, has been a source of contention and controversy for sportinguistas[123][124] because it does not conform with the official name of the sports club and its brand value. Regarding this issue, club supporters and officials have promoted awareness campaigns to raise people’s awareness nationwide and internationally and the club changed its official crest in 2001[125] with a focus on the name of the club and its words Sporting and Portugal in mind.[126][127][128][129]

Support[edit]

Sporting CP supporters at the old José Alvalade Stadium (1956–2003).

Sporting CP's supporters or fans are called sportinguistas.[130] The club has over 160,000 affiliated paying members (called sócios) and research studies have suggested it has a number of fans ranging from 1,100,000 to 2,700,000 in Portugal alone – which makes it the second or third most supported sports club in Portugal, depending on the study.[131][132][133][134] Like the other two Portuguese Big Three sports clubs, Sporting CP has also a sizable number of foreign fans in other Portuguese-speaking countries beyond Portugal itself and supporters among the Portuguese expatriate community.[135][136][137]

The club's anthem is the "Sporting's March" (original official name: "A Marcha do Sporting"). It was written in 1955 by songwriters Eduardo Damas and Manuel Paião and originally sung by Portuguese singer Maria José Valério.[138][139][140] Sporting CP created and uses its own 'You'll Never Walk Alone'-style song, through a Portuguese version of the classic song popularised by Frank Sinatra 'My Way' called "O Mundo Sabe Que" that is performed by a massed chorus of supporters on match day.[141] Other popular songs include "Só Eu Sei" and "Curva Belíssima" popularized by organized Sporting CP's supporter's group Juventude Leonina, as well as "Dia de Jogo", "Força Brutal" and "Voto Solene" sung by Sporting CP's-themed rock band Supporting.[142][143][144]

Throughout its history the club and its supporters established centres, branches and delegations (núcleos, filiais e delegações) of Sporting CP across Portugal and abroad. Among them, branches such as Sporting Clube de Tomar (branch number 1), Sporting Clube Farense (branch number 2), Sporting Clube Olhanense (branch number 4), Sporting Clube da Covilhã (branch number 8) and Sporting Clube Campomaiorense (branch number 27) became noted autonomous sports clubs that reached first or second-level leagues in sports like football or rink hockey.[145] Founded in 1920, Sporting Clube de Lourenço Marques (later renamed as CD Maxaquene) was also a branch of Sporting CP in Mozambique, East Africa, and under this original name, Mozambique-born Portuguese football player Eusébio graduated as a footballer and played for the Mozambican club at both youth level and the main squad between the ages of 15 and 18.[146] The centres were created and institutionalised in Sporting Clube de Portugal's 10th Club Statutes of 1984 and are characterised as being a group of sportinguistas who get together and organise themselves to promote, support, celebrate and publicise Sporting CP. Many of them are also involved in important recreational, social and sporting activities. The branches, more than 100 were founded around the world, are sports clubs that have associated themselves with Sporting CP's core values, are managed as autonomous sports clubs and contribute to the expansion of Sporting CP. The delegations are sporting, recreational and cultural institutions that represent the interests of Sporting CP in the places where they are based and mobilise the ideals of the club in those same regions.[147]

Rivalries[edit]

Lisbon derby[edit]

Sporting fans at the Estádio da Luz during the Lisbon derby (2013)

Sporting's main rivals are Benfica, with both teams contesting the Lisbon derby, also known as "the eternal derby", among other names. The local rivalry started in 1907 when eight Benfica players left for Sporting looking for better training conditions. The first derby was contested that year and ended with a 2–1 win for Sporting. One of Sporting's biggest defeats to Benfica, 7–2, happened at the original Estádio da Luz on 28 April 1948,[148] as well as three 5–0 losses, in 1939,[149] 1978[150] and 1986.[151] The biggest Sporting win over Benfica, 7–1, occurred at the original Estádio José Alvalade on 14 December 1986. Manuel Fernandes was particularly inspired and scored four goals; Mário Jorge two and Ralph Meade one; Wando scored for Benfica.[152][153]

Before the start of the 1993–94 season, Sousa Cintra, then president of Sporting, took advantage of Benfica's financial crisis by signing Paulo Sousa and Pacheco, who had terminated their contracts with the latter club. This event became known as "Verão Quente" (Hot Summer).[154] Later, on 14 May 1994, a memorable derby was played at the old José Alvalade Stadium, crowded to the top, as winning the derby could be a decisive step for Sporting in trying to regain the title, which by that time they had not won for 12 years. Sporting were considered the favourites, with a squad composed by Luís Figo, Paulo Sousa, Krasimir Balakov, Ivaylo Yordanov, Emílio Peixe, Stan Valckx, and others; therefore, Benfica were seen as the underdogs. However, Benfica defied the odds and won the match 6–3 and went on securing the league title weeks later, leaving Sporting empty-handed in one of the most dramatic seasons in their history.[155][156] Two years later, the rivalry continued intense with a dramatic incident in the 1996 Portuguese Cup final, which Benfica won 3–1. After the latter scored the first goal, a supporter of the club lit a flare which eventually struck a Sporting fan in the chest, killing him instantly.[157]

Eight years later, on 3 May 2004, Geovanni's winning goal for Benfica in the 87th minute at Alvalade caused a pitch invasion by Sporting fans.[158] In November 2011, after a 1–0 loss to Benfica at the Estádio da Luz, Sporting supporters set fire to one of the stands of the stadium.[159] Four years later, on 7 February 2015, during a futsal[160] derby, members of No Name Boys, one of Benfica's unofficial supporters' groups, showed a banner saying "Very Light 96", in reference to the 1996 incident.[161] The next day, during a football derby at Estádio José Alvalade, an official supporters' group of Sporting, Juve Leo, showed a banner with the inscription "Sigam o King" ("Follow the King"), in reference to Eusébio's death a month before.[162][163]

Sporting vs Porto[edit]

Sporting has also a rivalry with FC Porto. Outside the sports environment itself, the confrontation between Lions and Dragons represents a form of expression in sport, and in football in particular, of the political and regional differentiation between Lisbon and the North of Portugal. The confrontation captured the national imagination, having been remembered in the film O Leão da Estrela (1947) starring António Silva and Artur Agostinho, a classic of the Portuguese cinema,[164] and in its remake of 2015 starring Miguel Guilherme.[165]

Sporting and FC Porto have decided a competition 13 times. The first final won by Sporting took place only in 1978, at Estádio Nacional, counting for the Taça de Portugal. The dispute was decided in two matches, a 1–1 draw and a 2–1 victory in the tie-breaker. There would be three more finals in the same location. In 1994, won by FC Porto also in the tiebreaker, by 2–1. In 2000, won again by FC Porto in a tiebreaker, by 2 to 0. And, in 2007–08 Taça de Portugal, won by Sporting in extra time, by 2–0. In the 2019, after 11 years, at the final, with a 2–2 draw after extra time and Sporting's 4–3 victory on penalties.

Another four decisions between FC Porto and Sporting were for the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira. In 1996, in a tie-breaker valid for the 1994/95 edition; in 2001, valid for the 1999/00 edition; and in 2007 and 2008. In the first two finals, the matches were held over two legs in the fields of rivals, with tiebreakers in Paris (1996) and Coimbra (2001). In 2007 and 2008, under the format in force since 2001, the decisions took place in a single match held in Leiria and in the Algarve.

Another decision between the two clubs took place in 2019, counting for the 2018–19 Taça da Liga. The match took place in Braga, ending with a 3–1 victory on penalties, after a 1–1 draw in regular time.[166]

Despite the rivalry, both clubs formed an alliance against Benfica in 2017.[167][168][169]

Finances and ownership[edit]

Results[edit]

In the 2022–2023 season, Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD's net income was €25.2 million for a record-breaking revenue of €222 million. The net debt stood at €141.796 million, a reduction in debt of €27 million comparing to the previous accounting period.[170]

Ownership[edit]

By 2022, Sporting Clube de Portugal held 83.90% of Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD's capital (67.32% in category A shares and 16.58% in category B shares), which is listed on Euronext Lisbon, corresponding to 126,322,554 shares, and Álvaro Sobrinho, by keeping 20,000,000 shares in his possession, had a stake of 13.28%. The remaining shareholders had 2.82% of the stock.[171] By December 2023, after a debt restructuring deal agreed with Portuguese banks Millennium bcp and Novobanco, Sporting Clube de Portugal announced it will consequently own 88 per cent of Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD.[110][111]

Facilities[edit]

Stadium[edit]

Estádio José Alvalade (inside view).

Throughout its history, Sporting has had several grounds. The first one was inaugurated on 4 July 1907, and was called "Sítio das Mouras". It was a state-of-the-art facility at the time and included changing rooms with individual lockers and changing rooms with showers and baths. It included a grass playing field for football and two tennis courts. It was considered luxurious and had also an athletics track.[172] This was followed by the Estádio do Campo Grande (1917–1937) and the Estádio do Lumiar (1937–1956). In 1956, the first Estádio José Alvalade was inaugurated. Sporting played their matches there until 2003, when the stadium was demolished.

A new stadium, Estádio José Alvalade, was built for the UEFA Euro 2004, hosted by Portugal. Designed by Tomás Taveira, it was inaugurated on 6 August 2003 and the wider complex called Alvalade XXI included a shopping mall, cinemas, health center, office space, residential areas, club's museum, official club store and other infrastructure.[173] The opening match was a 3–1 victory over Manchester United in a friendly game that marked the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting CP.[174] The stadium was awarded a 'five-star' certificate at 2005 UEFA Cup Final by then UEFA president Lennart Johansson. The stadium has a capacity of 50,095 spectators.[175] The Multidesportivo Sporting, is a multi-sports arena located in a five-floor semi-detached building next to the stadium proper.[176]

The stadium hosted quarter-finals and semi-finals matches during the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League.[177]

Academia Cristiano Ronaldo and youth academy[edit]

The Cristiano Ronaldo Academy is the center of all Sporting CP's football activity. It is the place where the Sporting CP professional football team has all its daily preparation and also serves as a hub for carrying out internships. It is at the Sporting Professional Academy of Football that Sporting hosts its support staff, which includes the directive, clinical and administrative components. On the other hand, the Academy is also Sporting CP's Sports Training School.[178]

Sporting's youth academy system helped develop Ballon d'Or recipients Luís Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.[179]

In the victorious campaign of Portuguese National Team in the Euro 2016 10 out of the 14 players who played the final against France were players "made in Sporting".[180][181] Moreover, at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Sporting CP had 14 players that came through their youth system, making it the most represented youth academy system in the tournament followed by FC Barcelona with 11.[182]

Pavilhão João Rocha[edit]

Pavilhão João Rocha during the 2017–18 Portuguese Futsal Championship finals between Sporting CP and SL Benfica

With a total capacity of 3,000 seats, spread over 4 stands and a corporate area, Sporting CP's indoor arena named after former Sporting CP's president João Rocha is the largest one in Portugal belonging to a sports club. Its dimensions meet the requirements for all indoor team sports, with an automatic table system for roller hockey, and an advanced video and multimedia system. In the roundabout between the pavilion and the stadium, a monument was also inaugurated to evoke the club. Those who follow the path that surrounds the pavilion will find the Passeio da Fama (Walk of Fame) of Sporting CP's former and current athletic glories where the names of famous Sporting CP's players, athletes, coaching staff and executives such as António Livramento, Carlos Lopes, Dionísio Castro, Domingos Castro, Fernando Mamede, Fernando Peyroteo, Francis Obikwelu, Joaquim Agostinho, José Travassos, Manuel Fernandes, Mário Moniz Pereira, Miguel Maia, Naide Gomes, Patrícia Mamona and Teresa Machado, among many others, can be found.[183] Next to the pavilion there is the Sporting CP's youth academy school Escola Academia Aurélio Pereira (named after the club's historical youth development principal Aurélio Pereira) with three 5-a-side football fields, with the aim of complementing the Pólo EUL (Sporting CP's facilities for U13 development footballers at the EUL – Estádio Universitário de Lisboa).[184][185] One of the entrances to the pavilion gives access to a Loja Verde (the club's official store) and to a branch of the Sporting Museum, with a design more focused on virtual realities and the concept of a museum in real time. There is also an auditorium prepared to host conferences, training courses and special events. The Pavilion and all the surrounding space is prepared to host concerts and cultural events.[186]

Club records[edit]

Honours[edit]

National[edit]

League[edit]

Cups[edit]

European[edit]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 1 February 2024[188]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Spain ESP Antonio Adán (3rd captain)
2 DF Brazil BRA Matheus Reis
3 DF Netherlands NED Jerry St. Juste
4 DF Uruguay URU Sebastián Coates (captain)
5 MF Japan JPN Hidemasa Morita
8 MF Portugal POR Pedro Gonçalves
9 FW Sweden SWE Viktor Gyökeres
10 FW England ENG Marcus Edwards
11 FW Portugal POR Nuno Santos
12 GK Uruguay URU Franco Israel
13 DF Portugal POR Luís Neto (vice-captain)
17 FW Portugal POR Francisco Trincão
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 FW Portugal POR Paulinho
21 FW Mozambique MOZ Geny Catamo
22 DF Spain ESP Iván Fresneda
23 MF Portugal POR Daniel Bragança
25 DF Portugal POR Gonçalo Inácio (5th captain)
26 DF Ivory Coast CIV Ousmane Diomande
42 MF Denmark DEN Morten Hjulmand
43 DF Portugal POR João Muniz
45 DF Brazil BRA Rafael Pontelo
47 DF Portugal POR Ricardo Esgaio (4th captain)
72 DF Portugal POR Eduardo Quaresma
80 MF France FRA Koba Koindredi

Sporting CP B[edit]

Sporting CP B is the reserve football team of Sporting CP and it currently plays in the Liga 3.

Sporting CP Youth Academy[edit]

Sporting CP Youth Academy is the youth development division of the club and hosts U23, U19, U17 and U15 youth teams.

Other players under contract[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Portugal POR Rafael Camacho

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
6 MF Greece GRE Sotiris Alexandropoulos (at Olympiacos until 30 June 2024)
14 MF Portugal POR Dário Essugo (at Chaves until 30 June 2024)
18 FW Ghana GHA Abdul Fatawu Issahaku (at Leicester City until 30 June 2024)
32 MF Argentina ARG Mateo Tanlongo (at Rio Ave until 30 June 2024)
41 GK Brazil BRA Diego Callai (at Feirense until 30 June 2024)
77 FW Cape Verde CPV Jovane Cabral (at Olympiacos until 30 June 2024)
No. Pos. Nation Player
82 MF Portugal POR Mateus Fernandes (at Estoril until 30 June 2024)
90 FW Portugal POR Afonso Moreira (at Gil Vicente until 30 June 2024)
91 FW Portugal POR Rodrigo Ribeiro (at Nottingham Forest until 30 June 2024)
DF Portugal POR Rúben Vinagre (at Hellas Verona until 30 June 2024)
DF Portugal POR Gonçalo Esteves (at AZ Alkmaar until 30 June 2024)
MF Portugal POR Samuel Justo (at Casa Pia until 30 June 2024)

Player accolades[edit]

Portuguese Top Goalscorer[edit]

The Portuguese League top scorer was awarded the Silver Shoe from 1934 to 1935 until 1951–52. Since the 1952–53 season, the sports newspaper A Bola awards the Silver Ball prize.[189]

Year Winner G
1934–35 Portugal Manuel Soeiro 14
1936–37 Portugal Manuel Soeiro 24
1937–38 Portugal Fernando Peyroteo 34
1939–40 Portugal Fernando Peyroteo1 29
1940–41 Portugal Fernando Peyroteo 29
1945–46 Portugal Fernando Peyroteo 37
 
Year Winner G
1946–47 Portugal Fernando Peyroteo 43
1948–49 Portugal Fernando Peyroteo 40
1950–51 Portugal Manuel Vasques 29
1953–54 Portugal João Martins 31
1965–66 Portugal Ernesto Figueiredo1 25
1973–74 Argentina Héctor Yazalde2,3 46
 
Year Winner G
1974–75 Argentina Héctor Yazalde 30
1979–80 Portugal Rui Jordão 31
1979–80 Portugal Rui Jordão 31
1985–86 Portugal Manuel Fernandes 30
1987–88 Brazil Paulinho Cascavel 23
1992–93 Portugal Jorge Cadete 18
 
Year Winner G
2001–02 Brazil Mário Jardel3 42
2004–05 Portugal Liédson 25
2006–07 Portugal Liédson 15
2016–17 Netherlands Bas Dost 34
2020–21 Portugal Pedro Gonçalves 23
1Shared award; 2Portuguese record; 3European Golden Shoe

Player of the Year[edit]

The Player of the Year award is named after former player Francisco Stromp, and was instituted from 1992. The list below is a list of winners of the award.

Year Winner
1992 Bulgaria Krasimir Balakov
1993 Netherlands Stan Valckx
1994 Portugal Luís Figo
1995 Portugal Oceano
1996 Portugal Ricardo Sá Pinto
1997 Brazil Marco Aurélio
1998 Bulgaria Ivaylo Yordanov
 
Year Winner
1999 Portugal Delfim Teixeira
2000 Argentina Alberto Acosta
2001 Portugal Beto
2002 Portugal João Pinto
2003 Portugal Pedro Barbosa
2004 Portugal Rui Jorge
2005 Portugal João Moutinho
 
Year Winner
2006 Portugal Ricardo
2007 Portugal Liédson
2008 Portugal Tonel
2009 Portugal Liédson
2010 Portugal Daniel Carriço
2011 Portugal Rui Patrício
2012 Portugal Rui Patrício
 
Year Winner
2013 Portugal Adrien Silva
2014 Portugal William Carvalho
2015 Portugal Nani
2016 Portugal João Mário
2017 Netherlands Bas Dost
2018 Portugal Bruno Fernandes
2019 Portugal Bruno Fernandes
 
Year Winner
2020 Uruguay Sebastián Coates
2021 Portugal João Palhinha
Portugal Pedro Gonçalves
2022 Spain Antonio Adán

Award winners[edit]

Awards received while playing for Sporting CP

European Golden Boot[190]

African Footballer of the Year[191]

Bulgarian Footballer of the Year[192]

Algerian Ballon d'Or[193]

UEFA European Under-21 Championship Golden Player[194][195]

FIFA U-20 World Cup[196]

Golden Ball

Silver Ball

Bronze Ball

UEFA European Under-17 Championship Golden Player Award[197]

Portuguese Golden Ball[198]

Portuguese Footballer of the Year[199]

Primeira Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year:

LPFP Primeira Liga Player of the Year:

LPFP Primeira Liga Goalkeeper of the Year:

LPFP Primeira Liga Best Goal:

Segunda Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year:

FIFA World Cup All-Star Team

The 100 Greatest Players of the 20th Century[200]

Former coaches[edit]

For details on former coaches, see List of Sporting CP managers.

Head coaches who won the Primeira Liga while at the helm for Sporting CP:[201]

Head coaches who won UEFA club competitions for Sporting CP:

Media[edit]

Newspaper[edit]

Jornal Sporting is a weekly newspaper published by Sporting. Beginning its activity as Sporting Club of Portugal Bulletin on 31 March 1922, it was initially an eight-page calendar, with the optional payment of $2 a semester. Under the direction of Artur da Cunha Rosa, the bulletin became known as a newspaper in June 1952.

Sporting TV[edit]

Sporting TV is the television channel of Sporting Clube de Portugal. An open channel available on satellite and cable television as well as online, it is offered by telecommunications companies MEO, NOS, Vodafone and Nowo in Portugal,[203][204] and also in other countries like Angola and Mozambique, where it is broadcast by operator ZAP.[205] The channel broadcasts content linked to Sporting CP's universe ranging from documentaries, interviews, talk shows, news and post-match analysis and commentary programs, to live and recorded Sporting CP's ball sport matches and coverage of all the other competitions and sporting events involving the multi-sports club.[206][207]

Museum[edit]

Inaugurated on 31 August 2004 in Lisbon, the Sporting Museum (Museu Sporting) is divided into several thematic areas that express the wealth of the club's heritage and its sporting achievements over more than a century of existence in thirty-two different modalities. About two thousand trophies are on display, and there are many others in store.[208][209][210][211][212]

The history of the museum dates back to the trophy room of the old headquarters on Rua do Passadiço, where in 1956, 1850 trophies were already stored. In 1994, President Sousa Cintra inaugurated a new trophy room, where less than half of the club's collections were exhibited.[213] The following year the remodeling and organization of the museum is promoted, and a conservative is incorporated. During the construction of the new Estádio José Alvalade a new museum is inaugurated, culminating in four years of investigation. Throughout the years, through donations with several origins, in addition to the trophies the patrimony of the club never stopped growing. In July 2016, there was a new inauguration after a total renovation.[214][208][209][215]

Outside of Lisbon, there is also an official Sporting Museum in the city of Leiria, in the Central Region of Portugal.[216][217][218][219][220][212]

Foundation[edit]

Established in 2012,[221][222] the Fundação Sporting (Sporting Foundation), is a humanitarian charity foundation devoted to helping people in need, including children at risk, the homeless and war victims.[223][224][225][226][227] In-kind donations are collected by the Sporting Foundation on match days[228][229][230][231][232] and the proceeds from the sale of tickets of some selected matches at Estádio José Alvalade go to the Sporting Foundation to finance the foundation's charity work.[233][234][235][236]

Club officials[edit]

As of 26 June 2021[237]

Directive Board[edit]

  • President: Frederico Varandas
  • Vice-presidents: Carlos Vieira, Vicente Moura, Vítor Silva Ferreira, António Rebelo
  • Board members: Bruno Mascarenhas Garcia, Luís Roque, Rui Caeiro, Alexandre Henriques, José Quintela
  • Substitutes: Rita Matos, Luís Gestas, Jorge Sanches, Luís Loureiro

General Assembly[edit]

  • President: Rogério Alves
  • Vice-president: Rui Solheiro
  • Secretaries: Miguel de Castro, Luís Pereira, Tiago Abade
  • Substitutes: Diogo Orvalho, Manuel Mendes, Rui Fernandes

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Until 1919, the club's original foundation date was 8 May 1906. In 1920, they changed it to coincide with the date of their name change.[7]

References[edit]

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