Sport in Portugal
Football (Soccer) is definitely the most popular sport in Portugal and also the most practised. The national team is amongst the higher-rated teams in both Europe and the world and many talented players like Ronaldo and Figo come from Portugal. Portugal has 3 main football clubs that are well-known in most of the footballing world; Porto , Sporting and Benfica from Lisbon and all 3 clubs have great support from their Portuguese fans. Portugal has two major football events each year; The Portuguese Liga, currently named Liga Sagres after its main sponsor and the Portuguese Cup (Cup of Portugal Millennium).
Another popular sport event in Portugal is the cycling race Volta a Portugal which is an annual long distance road race for professionals. Some of Portugal’s best cycling teams are; S.L Benfica and Boavista.
Portugal also has a great tradition in athletics.
Golf is also popular in Portugal and the country has so many beautiful world-class golf courses all over the country. The Algarve and the Estoril coast have a high number of great courses. During the Algarve Open Portugal’s best golf players compete for the title in the sunny region of the Algarve.
Portugal’s long coast line gives ideal conditions for all kinds of water sports and Portugal has many areas renowned for windsurfing and surfing like Guincho, north of Lisbon. Portugal has also achieved noteworthy performances in international competitions for example European and world champion in body-boarding and European champions in surfing.
Portugal has great traditions in rallying and hosts one of the most renowned rally races in the world the Rally of Portugal. Portugal has one main race track in Estoril near Lisbon where a lot of motor sport competitions are held for example the World Motorcycling Championship and the A1 Grand Prix. More recently the building of the fantastic new race track in the Algarve, which hope one day in the near future to host the Formula one.
Bullfighting is still a popular sport in Portugal although it is neither as common nor as famous as in Spain. It is also very different as the bullfighter rides a horse and does not seek to kill the bull. The most famous bullfights in Portugal are held in Vila Franca da Xira which is a suburb to Lisbon.
Traditional sport and games
Amongst the older generation, traditional games like Jogo do Sapo (Toad Game) and Jogos de Queijos (Cheese Game) are popular ways to keep active. These traditional games are a friendly and cultural gathering at which the main objective generally is to have fun.