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Why We Love Your Club: FC Porto

It's not everyday we get to face a portuguese side

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

History:

FC Porto first started in 1893, created by a local wine merchant named António Nicolau de Almeida. Almeida became interested in football after his trips to England and decided to try and start a team in Portugal. When Porto first started playing, even the King and Queen of Portugal came to see the match played. However, the team did not last and stopped playing games soon after. It wasn't until 1906 that the team was re-established by José Monteiro da Costa, who also discovered the game by trips to England. From then on Porto has played football.

In the first running of a national competition in 1921-22, Porto won the league by beating Sporting in a knockout tournament. It would be their first of many national titles. The club went on to win the national title three more times, until the 1938-1939 season, where a new national tournament began. This time Porto again won the first running of the new national league to capture its fifth title. A few years later however, Porto entered the worst drought of its history, only finishing in the top three once in a period of 16 years.

The club went back to its winning ways by  winning the double in the 1955-56 season. Porto then went back to having its usually superiority for the next few years, even competing in European competition. However the team hit another drought in the 60's and early 70's that saw the club hit a low point. In 1973, Pavao, one of Porto's most beloved players with 179 appearances total, died suddenly on the field of a heart attack. It was soon after however, that the club turned itself around and asserted itself as the portuguese power for the rest of the century.

The hiring of José Maria Pedroto, a former player for Porto, ignited the change the team needed. The team went back to its title winning ways, and Pedroto and his coaching offspring lead the team for the next decade. This all culminated of course in Porto's first European Cup championship (now known as Champions League). The team they beat in the cup was none other then Germany's very own Bayern Munich, where down 0-1 in the 79th to Bayern, Porto managed to score two goals in two minutes to secure the cup.

The next period of Porto's dominance was in the late 90's where the team captured five league titles in a row. Even though the team did not have European dominance at the time, their constant victories over Benfica and Sporting in these years are considered some of greatest achievements of the club. These victories mostly came under famous England manager Bobby Robson, who is still regarded as a club legend. Even though the streak of league titles ended, the end of the streak led to another even more important development.

With coach Fernando Santos failing to win the sixth title in a row he was fired; His replacement was none other then current coaching titan Jose Mourinho. Porto is where Mourinho started his legacy as he captured Porto's second Champions League title in his final year with the club. After beating Man U in the round of 16 Mourinho, dominated the rest of the competition, winning the final against Monaco 3-0.

In the years after Mourinho, the team has continued its success, and even though it's having a lackluster season this year, the team hopes to try to grab a Europa Cup to add to its collection. Of course we won't let that happen, will we?

Culture and Fans:

Porto is known to have one of the best atmospheres in European club competitions. Their current stadium, the  Estádio do Dragão, is a fortress with fans regularly packing the stadium with loud cheers and huge Tifos. Since Porto is the only major team in the City of Porto, the city stands united in its love of the team. The fans also are united in their hate for the other two major teams in Portugal, the Lisbon teams of Benfica and Sporting. The clash of the cultures of the cities as well as the dominance of these teams has created huge rivalries between the clubs. This is especially true between Porto and Benfica, who run the own version of The Classic. Both teams also compete in totals for Portuguese silverware with Benfica having the most and Porto the second most.

To see some of the crazy fans that these derbies produce watch the video below.