FC Porto, also known as Porto, is a sports club based in the city of Porto, Portugal. Porto history was written on September 28, 1893, and is considered one of the “Big Three” teams in Portugal along with their Lisbon-based rivals, Benfica and Sporting CP. Porto is best known for its professional football team, which competes in the Primeira Liga, the top division of Portuguese football.
The team is called the Dragons or Blue-and-whites, after their shirt colors, which are striped with blue shorts. Porto has a loyal fan base known as portistas, and the club plays its home matches at the Estadio do Dragao, which replaced its previous stadium, the Estadio das Antas in 2003.
Porto is the second most successful team in Portuguese football, with a total of 83 major trophies. This includes 30 Portuguese league titles, five of which were won consecutively between 1994–95 and 1998–99, setting a Portuguese football record. Porto has also won 18 Taca de Portugal, 4 Campeonato de Portugal, 1 Taca da Liga, and a record 23 Supertaca Candido de Oliveira.
Porto is one of only two teams to have won the league title without any defeats, achieving this feat in the 2010–11 and 2012–13 seasons. In the former season, Porto set a new record for the largest-ever points difference between the champion and the runner-up in a three-points-per-win system, which was 21 points. This helped them secure their second quadruple.
Porto History – Everything to Know about the Club
Our article will include almost all the significant and interesting information you need to know, things like Porto badge history, Porto Champions League history, Porto kit history, Porto logo history, Porto jersey history, Porto honors, Porto trophies history, Porto mascot history, Porto players, Porto rivalries history, Porto coaches history.
The Very Beginnings, 1893 to 1921
In Porto history, the club was established on September 28, 1893, by a local port wine merchant and sports enthusiast named Antonio Nicolau de Almeida.
After being introduced to football during his trips to England, he founded the Foot-Ball Club do Porto, which played its initial matches with other Portuguese clubs, including a game against Lisbon’s Foot-Ball Club Lisbonense on March 2, 1894.
This match was witnessed by King Carlos I and Queen Amelie of Orleans, who traveled to Porto to watch the event and give the winners a trophy.
Unfortunately, Almeida’s family pressured him, causing his enthusiasm and involvement in the club to decline. As a result, Porto experienced a period of inactivity until 1906, when Jose Monteiro da Costa returned to Porto after finishing his studies in England.
Like Almeida, he was also fascinated by the English game and, with some colleagues, decided to revive football in the city beyond the British circles. Monteiro da Costa became the president of Porto on August 2, 1906, and while football was the main focus, the club also promoted other sports, such as gymnastics, weightlifting, wrestling, athletics, and swimming.
After renting its first ground and hiring a French coach named Adolphe Cassaigne, who remained with the club until 1925, Porto was revived.
Their First Foreign Match
In 1907, Porto history took a turn when the club played against a foreign team for the first time, hosting Spain’s Real Fortuna on December 15. The following month, Porto reciprocated and played its inaugural match abroad.
The club’s first major title was secured four years later after winning the Taca Jose Monteiro da Costa for the first time. In 1912, the Porto Football Association was established in partnership with Leixoes, which then organized the regional championship from the following year onwards.
Although Porto finished as runners-up in the first season behind local rivals Boavista, they went on to win their first championship the following year. Over the next seven years, Porto won the regional championship six times and claimed their third consecutive victory in the Taca Jose Monteiro da Costa in 1916, one of the many Porto honors.
A Massive Trophy, Literally, 1921 to 1948
The Campeonato de Portugal, the first nationwide football competition, was established during the 1921-22 season. The competition was a knockout tournament that gathered the winners of regional championships to determine the Portuguese champion.
Porto trophies history saw the team clinching its fourth consecutive regional title, and then Porto became the first national champions by defeating Sporting CP in the inaugural edition.
However, Porto struggled to win the national championship after that, winning it only three more times in sixteen years due to facing stronger opposition. In 1933-34, Porto was denied participation in the Campeonato de Portugal for refusing to release players for a match between Porto and Lisbon regional teams.
The following season, a new nationwide competition called the “Campeonato da Primeira Liga” or Premier League Championship was provisionally established to increase the number of matches per season and improve Portuguese football’s competitiveness. Porto won the first edition of the new competition as the regional champion.
The success of the format led to the Primeira Liga being made an official championship competition and replacing the Campeonato de Portugal, which was then converted into the Taca de Portugal, the main domestic cup competition. Porto won the inaugural edition of the new league championship and successfully defended the title in the next season.
In 1948, Porto history saw them defeat Arsenal in a friendly match, and to celebrate this victory, the associates presented the club with a massive trophy made of 250 kg (550 lb) of silver and wood, known as the Arsenal Cup.
A New Coach and Player, 1948 to 1973
In Porto history, After a long 16-year dry spell, Porto made a comeback by winning the 1955-56 Primeira Divisao, just edging out Benfica. This triumph was followed by another success as Porto won its first Taca de Portugal after beating Torreense. As a result of winning the league, Porto made its debut in European competitions in the 1956-57 European Cup.
However, the club was knocked out in the preliminary round by Athletic Bilbao. The next season, Porto won its second Taca de Portugal by beating Benfica in the final. In Porto coaches history, Bela Guttmann took over as coach in 1958 and led Porto to a Portuguese League title victory in 1959, overcoming a five-point lead held by Benfica.
In the same season, Porto won the Primeira Divisao but was defeated by Benfica in the final and thus missed out on a double. Unfortunately, after that period of success, Porto entered a period of mediocrity, marked by its worst-ever league finish of ninth place in 1969-70.
The club’s performance in European competitions was not any better, as it failed to advance beyond the third round of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup. However, in December 1973, Porto signed Teofilo Cubillas, who became one of the best Porto players, scoring 65 goals in 108 games.
This move came just after a tragic incident where the club’s 26-year-old captain, Pavao, died after collapsing on the pitch during a league match against Vitoria de Setubal.
The Golden Era with Jose Maria, 1973 to 1987
The return of former Porto player and head coach Jose Maria Pedroto in the 1976-77 season marked a new era in Porto history. Pedroto had previously led the team to victory in the cup in 1968 and was able to guide them to their fourth cup title.
He also put an end to Porto’s 19-year-long drought without a league title by leading them to championship victory in the following season. Despite reaching the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1977-78 and defeating Manchester United, Porto suffered their heaviest defeat in the subsequent season’s European Cup against AEK Athens.
A conflict between the technical staff and president Americo de Sa led to Pedroto’s resignation and replacement by Hermann Stessl. However, Pedroto returned in April 1982, supported by newly elected president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, who had previously resigned in solidarity with the coach.
Under the leadership of Pedroto’s apprentice, Artur Jorge, Porto won the Primeira Divisao title in the following season and crowned homegrown striker Fernando Gomes as Europe’s top goalscorer for the second time. Porto retained the league title in 1986 and secured their first European Cup title in 1987 after beating Bayern Munich in the final.
The club went on to win the 1987 European Super Cup and the 1987 Intercontinental Cup under new coach Tomislav Ivic. The 1987-88 season was one of the most successful for the club, winning the Taca de Portugal and an expanded Primeira Divisao with a record number of goals scored and distance in points to the runners-up.
Good Results, 1987 to 2000
Porto history shows a mixed bag of results in the late 80s, with injuries hindering their success in 1988-89. However, player Gomes became the top scorer with 352 goals in 455 matches before retiring.
Artur Jorge returned to lead Porto to a Primeira Divisao title, Taca, and Supertaca trophies in 1991. Carlos Alberto Silva then secured back-to-back league titles and led Porto to the UEFA Champions League.
In 1993-94, Porto appointed Bobby Robson and narrowly missed out on the league title but won the Taca de Portugal final. Robson led Porto to the Primeira Divisao title, Supertaca wins, and a third consecutive league title under Antonio Oliveira.
Brazilian players, Artur and Jardel, played a significant role in Porto’s success in the 1996-97 UEFA Champions League, with Jardel winning four consecutive Bola de Prata awards. Fernando Santos took over as coach, winning a Portuguese record of five successive Primeira Divisao titles, including Jardel’s European Golden Shoe win.
Although they missed out on a sixth title, they still won the Taca de Portugal. However, Santos resigned after continued failure to win the league title.
Jose Mourinho Era, 2000 to 2004
Porto history saw a period of underperformance under the leadership of former player and assistant coach Octavio Machado, who was appointed to lead the team back to the league title. Although the team began the season with a Supertaca win, they only managed to secure third place in the league classification, which was the lowest in 20 years.
Machado was sacked after the team’s elimination from the 2001-02 Taca de Portugal, which followed a loss in the Primeira Liga. Porto quickly signed Jose Mourinho, who had previously worked for the club alongside Robson, as Uniao de Leiria’s coach. Mourinho boldly promised to win the league title in the next season during his presentation and delivered on his promise.
With players such as Deco, Ricardo Carvalho, Maniche, and other talented individuals hired from Portuguese clubs, Porto won the 2002-03 Primeira Liga comfortably, finishing 11 points ahead of their closest rival, Benfica. The team also won the UEFA Cup, defeating Celtic in an intense extra-time final, and secured the treble by winning the Taca de Portugal final against Mourinho’s former club.
The next season started with a Supertaca win, which was the club’s 13th. Although Porto lost to Milan in the 2003 UEFA Super Cup, the departure of Helder Postiga was compensated by the signing of Benni McCarthy, whose 20 league goals helped Porto defend their league title, and he became the competition’s top scorer.
In Porto Champions League history, the team entered the 2003-04 UEFA Champions League directly into the group stage and finished second in their group, losing only once to Real Madrid. They advanced to the round-of-16 and overcame Manchester United, Lyon, and Deportivo La Coruna to reach the final, where they defeated Monaco 3-0 to win their second European Champion Clubs’ Cup.
After They Left, 2004 to 2008
Porto history was defined by the success of Mourinho’s coaching and the performances of players like Carvalho, Ferreira, and Deco. However, after the team’s victory in the Champions League, these players and Mourinho left the club, and the following season was marked by instability, with three different coaches leading the team.
Although Porto won the 2004 Supertaca Candido de Oliveira and the 2004 Intercontinental Cup under Victor Fernandez, the team also faced losses and was involved in the corruption scandal Apito Dourado.
In 2005-06, Co Adriaanse was brought in as coach and successfully led the team to the Primeira Liga title and the domestic double. However, the team struggled in the Champions League. Jesualdo Ferreira was then signed from Boavista as the new coach for the 2006-07 season, and he quickly led Porto to its first national championship under his leadership.
The team achieved the Tri for the second time in its history in the following season but suffered losses in the Taca and Supertaca finals to Sporting CP.
Despite claiming a sixth league and cup double in the 2008-09 season, Porto was unable to achieve a fifth consecutive league title.
This, along with a 3-0 defeat against Benfica in the final of the Taca da Liga, led to Ferreira’s resignation. However, under Ferreira’s guidance, Porto consistently qualified for the Champions League knockout stage, reaching the quarter-finals in 2008-09.
A Quick and Short-Lived Recovery, 2008 to 2015
The 2010-11 season marked a successful period in Porto history with Andre Villas-Boas as the new assistant. The team won the Supertaca with a 2-0 victory over Benfica, and Joao Moutinho, Silvestre Varela, Falcao, and Hulk led the team to their 25th Primeira Liga title, setting new records along the way.
Porto won the UEFA Europa League in 2011 with Villas-Boas as the youngest UEFA competition-winning coach, beating Braga with a goal from Falcao, the competition’s top goalscorer. However, after Villas-Boas left for Chelsea, Porto’s performance suffered.
The team revalidated the Primeira Liga title but failed to defend the Europa League title and was eliminated from the Champions League competition. In the 2013-14 season, under Paulo Fonseca’s management, Porto won the Supertaca but underperformed in every other competition, leading to Fonseca’s sacking.
Despite hiring Julen Lopetegui as the new head coach in the 2014-15 season with the biggest budget ever, Porto failed to win any silverware and suffered significant defeats in European competitions. The losing trend continued in the 2015-16 season under Jose Peseiro until Nuno Espirito Santo took over as head coach.
2015 to Present
Porto history shows that after a five-year drought without winning any titles, they secured their 28th league championship in the 2017-18 season with the guidance of coach Sergio Conceicao, a former player of the team. The following year, they reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League but lost to Liverpool.
In the 2019-20 season, they won their 29th league title and the Portuguese cup but failed to qualify for the group phase of the Champions League and performed poorly in the Europa League. In the 2020-21 season, they reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League by beating Juventus and also won the Supertaca. However, they lost the league title to Sporting.
In the 2021-22 season, under Conceicao’s leadership for the fifth consecutive year, they regained the Primeira Liga with a record 91 points and the domestic cup, setting a new record for the longest unbeaten run in the league.
In January 2023, they finally won the Taca da Liga, their first ever, by defeating Sporting CP in the final, thus winning all national trophies available.
Porto Jersey and Emblem
Porto logo history dates back to 1910 when the club’s initials were featured on an old blue football with white seams.
This crest was later replaced in 1922 with a new design proposed by Augusto Baptista Ferreira, which included the city’s coat of arms and a green dragon with a red banner inscribed with “Invicta.” The dragon was placed on top of the old crest, which pushed the white letters down, an interesting fact in Porto badge history.
In Porto kit history, the team’s first official team wore kits with various colors and patterns, including white shirts with red collars or vertical blue stripes and even red shirts. However, in 1909, Monteiro da Costa stipulated that the players had to wear “a shirt with blue vertical stripes, black shorts, and personal footwear” as the club’s uniform at every training and match.
Some suggested that the kit should have included the city colors, green and white, but Monteiro da Costa believed that the colors “should be those of the country’s flag and not of the city’s flag” to represent Portugal in sporting competitions against foreigners, another thing to know about Porto jersey history.
In 1975, Adidas became the first sports apparel manufacturer to provide kits for the club, and eight years later, Porto became the first Portuguese team to have a shirt sponsor with Revigres. This deal lasted for 20 years, after which Portugal Telecom became the new shirt sponsor, while Revigres remained one of the club’s main and longest-serving collaborators.
Porto history goes all the way back to 1906 when they inaugurated their first ground, the Campo da Rainha, with an exhibition match against Boavista. The ground was located near the residence of Monteiro da Costa, who rented a portion of uncultivated terrain to create the first dedicated football pitch in the country.
Later that year, the society’s vivaria were transferred to another location, allowing Porto to increase the pitch area to match the sport’s official dimensions. The club played their home matches for the regional championship at the Campo da Constituicao from 1913, but eventually, it also became insufficient for the growing attendance.
Porto played host to matches at different grounds between the 1920s and 1940s. In 1952, the Estadio do Futebol Clube do Porto, better known as Estadio das Antas, was inaugurated with a ceremony featuring the presence of the president of the Republic, Francisco Craveiro Lopes.
The stadium underwent several renovations over the years, but the club decided to build a new ground in 2003, in line with the demands of high-level international football. The project was commissioned by Portuguese architect Manuel Salgado, and construction took two years to complete at the cost of €98 million.
The Estadio do Dragao, officially inaugurated on November 16, 2003, with a match against Barcelona, was chosen as the new home ground for the club. The venue hosted the opening ceremony and match of the UEFA Euro 2004, and its highest attendance in an official match was registered on April 21, 2004, when 50,818 people saw Porto draw Deportivo La Coruna without goals.
In Porto rivalries history, their main rivals are Benfica and Sporting CP, who are also members of the Big Three and regular contenders for the league title. These rivalries stem from historical, political, economic, and cultural differences between the cities of Porto and Lisbon, where the other two clubs are based.
These rivalries intensified when Pinto da Costa became president of Porto in 1982 and adopted a confrontational speech toward Lisbon. Porto has since dominated Portuguese football at the expense of Benfica and Sporting, who had been the traditional powers since the 1940s.
The rivalry between Porto and Benfica is particularly strong, and the two clubs are the most representative football emblems of their respective cities and the most titled Portuguese clubs.
Their first match, known as O Classico, took place in 1912, with Benfica winning 8-2. As of 2023, the clubs have faced each other 251 times in total, resulting in 100 wins for Porto, 89 for Benfica, and 62 draws.
Porto’s rivalry with Sporting CP dates back to 1919, with their first official encounter in the inaugural Campeonato de Portugal in 1922. Porto won that match 2-1 en route to their first national title.
The clubs have met 246 times in total as of 2023, with 91 wins for Porto, 83 for Sporting CP, and 72 draws. Despite their rivalry, the two clubs formed an alliance against Benfica in 2017. Porto also has a strong rivalry with their city rivals Boavista, known as O Derbi da Invicta.
Porto Mascot History
FC Porto’s mascot is a blue dragon named “Porto Dragon.” The dragon is a symbol of the city of Porto, which has long been associated with the mythical creature. The mascot was first introduced in the late 1970s, and it has since become a beloved symbol of the club.
Porto Dragon is often seen at the club’s matches, interacting with fans and players and participating in various activities and events. The dragon is also featured on the club’s crest and merchandise, further emphasizing its importance to the club’s identity.