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Sunday, 31 January 2010 16:52

Portugal Global – England (Essex)

When that national anthem plays the World Cup begins!

England FlagIn the latest “Portugal Global” article – our series written by fans of the Seleccao from all over the world – read a vivid description of a 2nd generation Portuguese growing up a Sporting fan on the outskirts of the English capital.
My name is Peter and I live in Loughton, Essex. Both my parents are from Portugal but I was born here. I remember the days of my dad tuning in a shortwave radio to try and listen in to Sporting on a Sunday afternoon or sometimes going to central London to pick up the latest copy of Abola . Back then it was only published a few times a week and was a broadsheet rather than a tabloid size paper.

I remember going to school with my sporting shirt back in the 80’s and people kept asking why I supported Celtic!

Ronaldo/Rooney incident not forgotten

The opinion of Portugal varies from paper to paper with the more popular papers tending to dwell on the fact that Ronaldo got Rooney sent off at the last world cup (come on guys it’s been 4 years!!) and the fact that one or two of our players might go down quite easily at a heavy challenge... something that an English player would never do right! In fact during Portugal’s less than convincing qualifying campaign a lot of pleasure was taken from the fact that Portugal may not have qualified at all. The better quality papers take a more balanced view on Portugal.

The world cup is at the back of people’s minds at the moment, with the Premiership, Champions League, etc it won’t really come to the fore till late April.

Portugal are seen as outsiders. Given the group we’re in and the fact we may face Spain in the 2nd round we’re certainly not regarded as highly as in previous tournaments. If Ronaldo were still at Manchester United then the coverage would be higher. The average football fan in the UK sees us as Ronaldo plus another 10 red shirts.

The best place to watch Portugal is down in the south of London, take your pick for any bar in Stockwell or Vauxhall. Food is good and the beer is cheap! 

High profile

Thanks to Ronaldo and of course Jose Mourinho the profile of Portuguese football has never been higher in the UK. Add to the fact that English sides play Portuguese sides on a regular basis in both CL and uefa cup football most people know their Sporting Braga from their Sporting Lisbon (as they are known in the uk) Matches are covered on a semi regular basis on ESPN (no need to tune in to that shortwave radio anymore dad!) and we also have a weekly goals round up on ESPN.

I think Portugal will do well to get beyond the 2nd round. I think we’ve been spoiled for the last 10 years with the high standard of football the selecao has given us (2002 apart). We have Ronaldo so we have a chance and I hope Liedson can give us the cutting edge we need. 
We don’t really have the players coming through we had 4 or 5 years and recently players moving abroad have failed to make an impact in the leagues they have moved to and the top clubs in Portugal tend to bring in foreign players as fans crave instant success.

Come the 15th of June I’ll be standing up in my front room or in a bar and the when the first strains of “A Portugesa” starts to play, the hairs will stand up on the back of neck and in my eyes the world cup will officially have started.

Contra os canhões, marchar, marchar!


Portugal Global - watching you watching us!

Comments (3)
Millwall is famous for their Hoolies
3 Thursday, 04 February 2010 03:16
Hey consider yourself lucky you weren't wearing a real enemies shirt like Chelsea..lol

Like I said Peter more good than bad there.. I even visited Canary Warf & was on the Picadilly bus the day before both got bombed.. this is dating me since the whole IRA thing has chilled dramatically.. all for the good.

Too many great moments to list..

Enjoy the WC.. my friend.
2 Tuesday, 02 February 2010 22:27
Hi Orlando
I once went to see Millwall V Sporting and nearly got lynched when Sporting the winner . I'll never forget the man behind shouting something about " orange picking dagos " . Keep in mind this was a friendly !!
I feel for you Peter..
1 Monday, 01 February 2010 23:44
I lived in England.. it overall was a thoroughly good time.. but there is a myopic view there..

my Brit friends will hate to hear this but they can act like Yanks some times.. and is probably why they hate each other so much..lol

I always say that I met 50% of the best people ever.. 30% who are totally indifferent to anything.. and 20% of the biggest douche bags ever known to man. Overall that is 80% average or better.. which ranks high in my estimation.

I lived in Sunderland, Lancashire, Bedforshire, and a few parts of London..

Such memorable moments as traveling FA Cup matches in London, getting married on a Thursday and having half of Sunderland turn up and not want to leave.. because of the awesome party..lol the owner kept the place open 4 extra hours...lol

Also the time I was swarmed on the Underground (Tube) for mistakenly wearing a Sunderland Jersey 200 miles near where Newcastle was playing.. with 50 of them me, my friend and my ex... they of course didn't fancy their chances..lol

and it was the longest stop I ever seen on any subway..

I am not kidding considering the train attendant thought they were all trying to get on... they managed to spit and miss and talk shite.. I of course being Canadian didn't have a clue what mess I was in till it was over.. wearing the wrong coloured shirt anywhere can have serious implications.. who thought being in the south.. you would be safe from northern rivalry..lol

To any of those weak ass newkie brown (poop) mofos reading, you are still a bunch of pansy assed fagpies...lol my ex-wife would've whipped you..lol

Many great memorable moments.. and too many offers I had to refuse.. in hindsight I should've said yes.. repeatedly..lol

Thank you for the story Peter enjoy the World Cup.

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