Sporting Clube de Portugal

Sporting CP
Full name Sporting Clube de Portugal
Nickname(s) Leões (Lions)
Verde e brancos (Green and whites)
Short name Sporting
Founded 1 July 1906 (1906-07-01)
Ground Estádio José Alvalade
Ground Capacity 50,095
President Bruno de Carvalho
Manager Jorge Jesus
League Primeira Liga
2015–16 Primeira Liga, 2nd
Website Club home page

Sporting Clube de Portugal, OM, ComC, MHIH[1][2] (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈspɔɾtĩɡ(ɨ) ˈkluβ(ɨ) ðɨ puɾtuˈɣaɫ]) (Euronext: SCP) or Sporting CP is a sports club based in Lisbon, Portugal, that is best known for its association football team.[3] The club is referred to simply as Sporting in Portuguese-speaking countries, and often as Sporting Lisbon in English-speaking countries.

Sporting are one of the "Três Grandes" (The Big Three) football clubs in Portugal. Sporting is the sixth club in the world with more club members: 140,000.[4][5] They are nicknamed Leões (Lions) and Verde e Brancos (Green and Whites). The club's anthem, "A Marcha do Sporting" (Sporting's March), was written in 1955.

Founded in Lisbon on 1 July 1906, Sporting were a founding member of the Primeira Liga and, along with rivals S.L. Benfica and FC Porto, have never been relegated from the top flight of Portuguese football since its establishment in 1934. Sporting are the third most successful Portuguese football club, with 46 titles in Portuguese competitions and one international title, the 1963–64 European Cup Winners' Cup. Domestically, they have won 18 Primeira Liga titles, 16 Portuguese Cups (Taça de Portugal), four Championships of Portugal (a record tied with Porto) and eight Portuguese Super Cup titles.[6]

Sporting's football youth academy system has developed footballers such as Paulo Futre, Simão Sabrosa, Nani, Ricardo Quaresma, and Ballon d'Or recipients Cristiano Ronaldo and Luís Figo.[7] Sporting are currently ranked 50th in UEFA club rankings.[8]


Foundation (1902–1906)

Sporting Club 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 and José Stromp, a new club, the Campo Grande Football Club, was founded. They played their matches on the estate of Viscount of Alvalade, the grandfather of José Alvalade, with the club's headquarters located at the house of Francisco Gavazzo.

José Alvalade borrowed money from his grandfather in order to fund Sporting.

For two years, the club developed an intense activity on several sports, namely football, tennis and fencing. 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 focused on organizing picnics and social events, with another group defending that the club should focused on the practising of sports instead. Some time later, José Gavazzo, José Alvalade and 17 other members left the club, with the latter saying

"I am going to have with me my grandfather and he will give me the money to make another club."[9]

As such, a new club, Campo Grande Sporting Clube, was founded. The Viscount of Alvalade, whose money helped to fund the club, was the first president of Sporting.[10] José Alvalade, as one of the main founders, 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."[11]

Three months later, on 1 July 1906, António Félix da Costa Júnior suggested the name Sporting Clube de Portugal, and this date is considered the official day Sporting was founded.

Early years (1907–1946)

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 3rd-tier 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.[12]

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.[13]

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 defeat ever 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.[14]

Golden years (1947–1974)

The 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".[15] 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 1950–51 onwards. Fernando Peyroteo, the most known of "the violins", is considered one of the greatest Portuguese players of all time.[16][17]

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.[18]

Sporting also inaugurated their new venue, José Alvalade Stadium, on 10 June 1956. This stadium was the home ground of the club until 2003.

In the 1960s, Sporting achieved overseas 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.[19] 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.[20]

The club reached the semi-finals of the Cup Winners' Cup in 1974, but lost to eventual winners Magdeburg, from East Germany.

League title drought (1982–2000)

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.[21]

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 Estádio José Alvalade and securing a 2–2 draw at Estádio das Antas on 30 April 1996, a replay match was held 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 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.[22] 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.[23][24]

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.[14]

The new millennium (2001–present)

In the 2001–02 season, Sporting conquered the league title, the Portuguese Cup 2001–02 and the 2002 Portuguese Super Cup. Sporting also had back-to-back wins in the Portuguese Cup in 2007 and 2008. In 2005 Sporting reached their second European final, the 2005 UEFA Cup Final. Playing at their home ground, the team lost 3–1 against Russian club CSKA Moscow. 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.[25] 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.[26]

Also, years of financial mismanagement almost led to the demise of the club. In 2011, the club had amassed debts of over €276 million.[27] The results on the pitch were also abysmal, with Sporting finishing seventh – their lowest position ever in the league table – in the 2012–13 Primeira Liga.[28][29] After immense pressure both from within and outside the club, Godinho Lopes, then-president of Sporting, resigned.[30][31] Bruno de Carvalho was his successor.[32][33] Carvalho's intentions were to negotiate with the banks and return success to the club, while threatening to take Godinho Lopes to court.[34][35][36]

The 2013–14 season saw improvements in the results, as Sporting finished second in the table, thus gaining direct access to the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League, the first time in five years the club reached the top-tier of European competitions.[37][38]

Sporting playing against German club Schalke 04, in a UEFA Champions League match

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.[39] 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.[40][41]

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.[42][43] Some Portuguese media called the event ''O Verão Quente de 2015" ("The Hot Summer of 2015").[44][45] Under Jesus' tenure, Sporting won the Portuguese Super Cup for the eighth time, against back-to-back champions Benfica (1–0).[46] Despite a positive start, Sporting failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League and did not win any other trophy, finishing second in the Primeira Liga with 86 points, two points behind Benfica.

Team colours and kits

Main article: Sporting CP Kits

Sporting, ever since its formation in 1906, have always had the green and white colours. The first kit in 1907 was all white until 1908, when they introduced the now referred by fans as "Classic" kit with vertical stripes. The modern horizontal stripes were introduced on a derby against Benfica in 1928.


Since its formation, on 1 July 1906, Sporting has had six crests, all of which have included the color green and the lion.

Previous Sporting Clube de Portugal Crests

The current crest of Sporting was adopted in 2001. There were also the special anniversary crests to celebrate the 50th (1956) and 100th (2006) anniversaries of the club. These weren't actually worn in kits during matches, but were used as emblems by fans.

Sporting Current Crest (2001–present)

Rivalries and friendships

Sporting's main rivals are Benfica, with both teams contesting the Lisbon Derby (also known as The Eternal Derby). The rivalry started in 1907, when some players of Benfica left the club to join Sporting, looking for better conditions. The first derby of all time was contested on the same year, ending with a 2–1 victory for Sporting.

The most famous victory of Sporting over Benfica occurred on 14 December 1986, where Sporting beat arch-rivals 7–1, when Benfica was leading the league. Manuel Fernandes was particularly inspired, scoring four goals, with Mário Jorge (two goals), and Ralph Meade (one goal) also scoring for Sporting.[47][48] However, after the loss, Benfica still managed to become Portuguese champions.

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

Another notable derby was the one contested on the evening of 14 May 1994. In a rainy day, with the old José Alvalade Stadium crowded to the top, winning the derby was a decisive step for Sporting, as they were trying to regain the title, which by this time the team had not won for 12 years. Sporting were favorites with a squad composed by, among others, Luís Figo, Krasimir Balakov, Ivaylo Yordanov, Emílio Peixe, Stan Valckx and Paulo Sousa (who at the beginning of the season transferred from Benfica). As such, Benfica were seen as the underdogs, but defied the odds with a 3–6 victory, eventually securing the title some weeks later, leaving Sporting empty-handed, in one of the most dramatic seasons in the club's history.[49][50]

The rivalry has become even more intense after a dramatic incident in the final of the 1996 Portuguese Cup, which Benfica won 3–1. After Benfica scored the first goal, a member of Benfica organised group No Name Boys lit a flare, which struck a Sporting fan in the chest, killing him instantly.[51] On 8 February 2015, during a derby at Alvalade, a supporter's group of Sporting showed a banner with the inscription "Sigam o King" ("Follow the King"), in reference to Eusébio's death.[52] On the next day, in a futsal derby, members of No Name Boys showed a banner saying "Very Light 96".[53] In 2011, after a loss to Benfica at the Estádio da Luz (1–0), a group of Sporting supporters set fire to one of the stands of the stadium.[54]

Sporting also has a rivalry with FC Porto. This rivalry is depicted in the 1947 Portuguese movie O Leão da Estrela.[55]

Juventude Leonina (simply known as Juve Leo), are the main organised ultra group of Sporting since 1976. They maintain friendship with Grobari, ultras of Serbian club FK Partizan, with 7bello of Italian ACF Fiorentina, and B-side of Dutch side Go Ahead Eagles. In Portugal, they have a good relationship with Mancha Negra of Académica de Coimbra.[56] Other Sporting' supporter groups are also Torcida Verde (since 1984), Directivo Ultras XXI (since 2002) and Brigada Ultras (since 2004).

The direction boards of Sporting and Partizan also have good relations, which were kept ever since the 1955–56 European Cup edition, which on 4 September 1955 at Estádio Nacional, put head-a-head the two teams in what was considered the opening whistle of the UEFA European Cup.

Hungarian side MTK Budapest inaugurated their new stadium with a match against Sporting, on 14 September 2016. The first game at the Hungária körút ended with a 2–2 draw. The two football clubs have maintained very good relations since they met in the European Cup Winners' Cup final in 1964. Although MTK was defeated 1–0 in the final, the silver medal is still considered one of the greatest achievements of the Hungarian club.[57]



Throughout its history, Sporting has had several grounds. The first one was inaugurated on 4 July 1907, and was called "Sítio das Mouras".

In 1956, the first Estádio de Alvalade was inaugurated. Sporting played their matches there until 2003, when the stadium was demolished.

The new José Alvalade Stadium, inaugurated in 2003

In Lisbon, the new stadium, Alvalade XXI, ("Estádio José Alvalade"), was built for the UEFA Euro 2004 championship. Designed by Tomás Taveira, it was inaugurated on 6 August 2003. The opening match was a 3–1 victory over Manchester United. 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.[58]

Youth Academy

Club records


Domestic competitions

European competitions


Current squad

As of 28 August 2016[60]

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

No. Position Player
1 Portugal GK Rui Patrício (3rd captain)
2 Italy DF Ezequiel Schelotto
3 Serbia FW Lazar Marković (on loan from Liverpool)
4 Brazil DF Jefferson
7 Costa Rica FW Joel Campbell (on loan from Arsenal)
8 Serbia MF Radosav Petrović
10 Costa Rica MF Bryan Ruiz
11 Brazil MF Bruno César
13 Uruguay DF Sebastián Coates (on loan from Sunderland)
14 Portugal MF William Carvalho (vice-captain)
15 Portugal DF Paulo Oliveira
16 Brazil FW André
19 Brazil DF Douglas
20 Netherlands FW Luc Castaignos
21 Portugal DF João Pereira (4th captain)
No. Position Player
22 Brazil MF Elias
23 Portugal MF Adrien Silva (captain)
25 Argentina MF Marcelo Meli (on loan from Boca Juniors)
26 Slovenia GK Ažbe Jug
28 Netherlands FW Bas Dost
30 Brazil MF Bruno Paulista
31 Netherlands DF Marvin Zeegelaar
33 Lithuania FW Lukas Spalvis
34 Portugal GK Beto
35 Portugal DF Rúben Semedo
47 Portugal DF Ricardo Esgaio
73 Brazil FW Matheus Pereira
77 Portugal FW Gelson Martins
99 Argentina MF Alan Ruiz

Out on loan

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

No. Position Player
5 Brazil DF Ewerton (at Kaiserslautern until 30 June 2017)
29 Argentina FW Hernán Barcos (at Vélez Sarsfield until 30 June 2017)
32 Bulgaria MF Simeon Slavchev (at Lechia Gdańsk until 30 June 2017)
42 Brazil MF Wallyson Mallmann (at Standard Liège until 30 June 2017)
No. Position Player
55 Portugal DF Tobias Figueiredo (at Nacional until 30 June 2017)
Japan FW Junya Tanaka (at Kashiwa Reysol until 30 June 2017)
Colombia FW Teófilo Gutiérrez (at Rosario Central until 30 June 2017)
Portugal FW Iuri Medeiros (at Boavista F.C. until 30 June 2017)

Player accolades

Portuguese Top Goalscorer

The Portuguese League top scorer was awarded the Silver Shoe from 1934–35 until 1951–52. Since the 1952–53 season, the sports newspaper A Bola awards the Silver Ball prize.[61]

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
1946–47 Portugal Fernando Peyroteo 43
1948–49 Portugal Fernando Peyroteo 40
Year Winner G
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
1974–75 Argentina Héctor Yazalde 30
1979–80 Portugal Rui Jordão 31
1985–86 Portugal Manuel Fernandes 30
1987–88 Brazil Paulinho Cascavel 23
Year Winner G
1992–93 Portugal Jorge Cadete 18
2001–02 Brazil Mário Jardel3 42
2004–05 Portugal Liédson 25
2006–07 Portugal Liédson 15
1Shared award; 2Portuguese Record; 3European Golden Shoe

Player of the Year

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.[62]

Year Winner
1992Bulgaria Krasimir Balakov
1993Netherlands Stan Valckx
1994Portugal Luís Figo
1995Portugal Oceano
1996Portugal Ricardo Sá Pinto
1997Brazil Marco Aurélio
1998Bulgaria Ivaylo Yordanov
1999Portugal Delfim Teixeira
2000Argentina Alberto Acosta
Year Winner
2001Portugal Beto
2002Portugal João Pinto
2003Portugal Pedro Barbosa
2004Portugal Rui Jorge
2005Portugal João Moutinho
2006Portugal Ricardo
2007Portugal Liédson
2008Portugal Tonel
2009Portugal Liédson
Year Winner
2010Portugal Daniel Carriço
2011Portugal Rui Patrício
2012Portugal Rui Patrício
2013Portugal Adrien Silva
2014Portugal William Carvalho
2015Portugal Nani
2016Portugal João Mário

Award winners

(While playing for Sporting CP)

European Golden Boot[63]
African Footballer of the Year[64]
Bulgarian Footballer of the Year[65]
Algerian Ballon d'Or[66]
UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Golden Player[67][68]
FIFA U-20 World Cup[69]

Golden Ball

Silver Ball

Bronze Ball

UEFA European Under-17 Championship Golden Player Award[70]
Portuguese Golden Ball[71]
Portuguese Footballer of the Year[72]
LPFP Primeira Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year
LPFP Primeira Liga Goalkeeper of the Year
Segunda Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year
FIFA World Cup All-Star Team

The 100 Greatest Players of the 20th Century[73]

Former coaches

For details on former coaches, see List of Sporting Clube de Portugal managers.

Club officials

As of 24 October 2012.[74]

Directive Board

General Assembly

Fiscal and Disciplinary Council

Sporting – Sociedade Desportiva de Futebol, S.A.D.

Directive Board



Leões de Portugal[75]

Other sports

Sporting Clube de Portugal has various sports departments.

Sporting Clube de Portugal active sections
aikido athletics archery auto racing
basketball beach soccer billiards boxing
canoeing capoeira chess cycling
equestrianism football futsal golf
gymnastics handball judo karate
kickboxing korfball krav maga paintball
roller hockey rowing rugby union shooting
skating sport fishing swimming table tennis
taekwondo triathlon water polo tennis

Extinct sections



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