Do you know the footballers of Barreirense, Belenenses, Campomaiorense, Farense and of course the Olhanense? Many Portuguese sports clubs are named after the city of origin and with some creativity you will find out that the Trofense originate from Trofa and the Oliveirense from … Oliveira!
Football is omnipresent in Portugal. And of course everyone favors the club from their own city. Unfortunately, ‘our’ Olhanense has been relegated to the second division. The nearby stadium is really immense but sadly the results are still a tad disappointing this season. Fortunately, there is also a Primeira Liga and traditionally there is a lot more excitement on that level. All Portuguese can be divided according to their preference for one of the ‘big three’ and so your blood is either red (Benfica), green (Sporting Lisbon) or blue (FC Porto). With the new trainer Marcel Keizer we as Dutch are of course green and for now, he is doing well. After years of domination of FC Porto, it is exciting again in the Portuguese stadiums. So when there is an important game, the cafés and restaurants fill up and everyone experiences the competition full of passion and with lots of noise.
Always and everywhere
Eating out and not watching football? That is not an option for the Portuguese. Because many restaurants take on the role of being the alternative living room, in almost all restaurants the TV is fixed on a prominent spot on the wall. And of course this is not a mini-set but an immense screen to which your eyes are constantly drawn, whether you want it or not. Football is key in the vast majority of establishments. Being an outsider, it is almost impossible to see whether there is a live broadcast or a repeat. But if there is no Moreirense against Feirense, we look at Ronaldo (Juventus, series A). Or second division, or the Portuguese cup … there is always football on TV.
Football in Portugal cannot be avoided … or can it? Because in our favorite restaurant they have chosen films instead of football. And now I know all the plot twists of Karate Kid (1!), Die Hard, Grease (2!), House of the Dead and various other films. It is still difficult to decide between football and film! Every night out, we have to choose between Marcel Keijzer or Clint Eastwood. In any way, we prefer to go to a restaurant with TV. Because restaurants without TV may look ‘more attractive’ for the average visitor, they are usually less Portuguese and mainly catering for tourists.
Actually there is only one simple solution if you want to have a romantic dinner for two without Marcel or Clint. Find a large restaurant with ditto TV and choose a table directly under the TV. No distractions and the best privacy for the both of you!