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Benefica at Estádio da Luz
Lately during my travels I usually attempt to watch a match of the locals favourite sport. In Lisbon it is football (or soccer to us North Americans). In planning my trip to Portugal, I planned ahead to find a match I could attend. This proved to be more difficult than I imagined for most of the important teams (we will say Sporting, Benefica, Braga and Porto are the best teams in Portugal. I doubt there is much argument in this) were away while I was traveling through each city. The one exception was Benefica who were playing at home on the first night I was in Lisbon and Portugal. Since I was very tired from my flight, I was at first unsure if I should go. However I hate missing a sceptical, so I worked up enough energy to go.
I asked at my hotel how to get tickets and I found much to my surprise that although Benefica is very good (they were undefeated during this season) they had few fans. Most people I talked to loved Sporting. Anyway they suggested that I try at the stadium box office as the game seldom sell out. I did this and I purchased a field level seat for 37Euros. I enjoyed the match which Benefica won 3-0 against a team whose name I cannot recall. I was however disappointed with the stadium. It was modern having been built when Portugal recently hosted the Euro Cup but it was in my opinion a characterless slab of concrete. Unlike American and Canadian stadiums there seems to be no attempt to capture any atmosphere in the place by acknowledging the team's history. Apparently there is a museum dedicated to the team tucked away somewhere but I did not see it. Also the stadium was half full. This is because few locals are willing to pay big Euros when the visiting team is not that good. Still the locals are fun to watch and even more interesting the actual match. I have only lukewarm interest in soccer.
A match v Benfica
Our most recent visit to Lisbon was to see Newcastle play Benfica in the Europa League – a big game, the first leg of the quarter-final! We were pretty realistic about our chances of success (Benfica were top of the Portuguese league at the time), so although losing 3-1 was disappointing, it didn’t spoil our trip and on the whole we enjoyed our experience of the Estádio da Luz (Stadium of Light).
The full name of the club is Sport Lisboa e Benfica, which is a little confusing, as the other main Lisbon club is commonly known as Sporting Lisbon, with a full name of Sporting Clube de Portugal. We had already seen Newcastle play them some seasons ago, so it was good to have the opportunity to see the city’s other big team.
The Estádio da Luz can be easily reached by Metro to one of two stations on the blue line - Colégio Militar Luz (which we used as it is nearer the away supporters’ end) or Alto dos Moinhos. You will see the stadium as soon as you exit Colégio Militar but you need to cross a busy dual carriageway to reach it. On the way to our end we passed a row of small stalls selling scarves (€5-€8 each) and other football souvenirs. Inside the stadium the facilities seemed good, and we were happy with our viewpoint quite high in the north-east corner (although I found the netting around the stand made photos harder to take as the camera kept focusing on that rather than the players and pitch beyond). Before the game started there was an impressive display – Benfica’s nickname is “The Eagles” and an eagle duly appeared, circling the stadium with ribbons in Benfica’s red and white trailing from his legs before swooping in to land on the wrist of his trainer standing in the centre of the pitch.
Newcastle started well and even took the lead, but in the end Benfica proved too good. Nevertheless we went away not too unhappy, as the away goal might have stood us in good stead in the second leg (sadly that was to prove a forlorn hope though). One incident though did mar the evening. While waiting to leave (as always, away fans were kept back in the stadium for some time while the home fans left the area around it), a few Newcastle fans were perhaps over-zealous in their goading of the riot police who were preventing us leaving. One of those policemen lashed out with his baton (unnecessarily from what I have seen on video footage) and caught a young seven year old boy on the head. I don’t think he was badly hurt but it left a sour taste in the mouth when the rest of the match, and our entire time in Lisbon, saw only positive relationships between Newcastle and local fans.
Estádio da Luz
Estádio da Luz is the biggest stadium in Portugal (65,400 spectators) and was built for the Euro 2004 Championships. It is the home ground for SL Benfica... A football club with a fantastic history, both national and international (two times winners of the European Cup)…
A guided tour starts at the stadium museum which is packed with photos and trophies, leads you around the stadium - the changing rooms, the indoor training areas, the press facilities, the player’s tunnel, the VIP area, and the bench - before the tour ends at the souvenir shop. This is a must in Lisbon if you are a football freak like me…
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
Estadio da Luz
The Estadio da Luz is home to the Portuguese football club Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
The stadium was inaugurated in October 2003 and it hosted several matches of the EURO 2004 including the final. With a capacity of 65400 it is the largest stadium in Portugal.
The Eastdio da Luz was built on the ground of the previous stadium which was one of the largest stadiums in the world with 120000 seats.
I visited the stadium on a matchday when SL Benfica was facing Vitoria Setubal. Unfortuntaly it was almost impossible to get tickets for the already sold out match. The ticket prices at the black market were way to expensive for me.
The Estadio da Luz is situated northwest of the city centre. The nearest metro stop is "Colegio Militar/Luz" (blue line).
- Budget Travel
Estadio Jose Alvalade XXI
The Estadio Jose Alvalade XXI is a five star UEFA stadium which was inaugurated in August 2003.
It hosted several matches in the EURO 2004 and is home to the Portuguese top club Sporting Lisbon. The capacity for sport events is 52.000.
The stadium was also designed to host concerts; for example the Irish band U2 perfomed in the stadium on their "Vertigo tour" in 2005.
The Estadio Jose Alvalade XXI is is situated about 10 minutes north of the city centre. The nearest metro stop is "Campo Grande" (yellow or green line).
- Budget Travel
Watch Sporting lisbon play football.
Well, this sport doesnt have to be described. Everybody knows what football is and for you Americans (soccer) and Sporting is one of the best teams in Lisbon so I suggest you to watch one of their games when you visit Lisbon. I did not have that possibility, but I hope I can see one game in the future.
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- Food and Dining
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No trip to Lisbon for Football fans is complete without seeing the two stadiums
of two of Europe's most famous teams:Benfica and Sporting Lisbon,great city rivals on a par with other cities such as Manchester and Milan.Unfortunately only viewed these great stadiums from the seat of the coach but both looked mighty impressive and very modern.
Benfica was formed in 1904 and the 'Estadio da Luz'means 'Stadium of Light'.
Sporting was formed in 1906 at the 'Estadio Jose Alvalade',both stadiums are used for a variety of other sports such as Athletics,Archery,Handball,Basketball and Rugby.
A match at Sporting Lisbon
The football club we in England usually refer to as Sporting Lisbon is more properly known as Sporting Clube de Portugal, and is much more than just a football team, encompassing handball and athletics among other sports. But it is likely to be football that draws you here, as it did us. We came to watch a match in the UEFA Cup competition, a quarter-final between Sporting and our own team, Newcastle United. Sadly I have to report that Newcastle lost and went out of the competition, so it was not an altogether successful evening. But the Toon Army (the followers of Newcastle United) always makes the best of things, and we managed to enjoy ourselves before and after the match, if not during it, as photo 5 shows (taken at a café in the Praça da Figueira).
If you aren’t able to make it to a match you might like instead to do a Stadium tour or visit the “Mundo Sporting” museum. We didn’t do either so I can’t comment on how good these are, but the stadium is certainly an impressive structure and I imagine would be worth a closer look. The cost of a combined tour and museum visit is eight euros, and tours operate Monday to Friday at 11.30, 14.30 and 16.00, and on Saturday and Sunday at 10.30, 12.00, 14.30 and 16.00.
Lisbon has 3 teams in portuguese 1st division with their own stadiums.
1) Estádio da Luz, with 65.200 seats was inaugurated on 25 of October of 2003. This stadium substituted the previous one in order to host Euro 2004. It was the stadium of the final and it was also used to the show New Seven Wonders of the World. It is selected as stadium for the World Cup 2018 proposal by Portugal and Spain. The design of the stadium was done by the australian company HOK S+V+E and it has a mediamarkt and some stores and multipurpose pavillions.
The stadium can be visited and the entrance costs 5€, tickets can be acquired in the door 18. Schedules are 10h00, 11h00, 12h00, 14h30, 15h30, 16h30 and 17h30 (this last tour only in June to September).
The stadium is property of Sport Lisboa e Benfica the world club that according to the Guiness Book of Records has more associates (170.000). The last soccer champions title was won in 2004/05 and has a real eagle as a mascot that flies before the game start. In 2007/08 was 4th. The foundation of the club dates back to 1904 and its main achievements are the winning of 2 champion league cups (1960/61 and 61/62) and 5 finals. Other modalities are basketball, cycling, hockey, futsal, rugby, handball, athletics, etc...
You can get to the stadium by using the subway station Colégio Militar Luz/Alto dos Moinhos (blue line) or the bus 3, 64, 729, 750, 765, 767, 768 or 799.
Seven Wonders Show - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJT0LrFSt2s
Final Euro 2004 (PortugalxGreece) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUkBa7uMIqU
Official Website: www.slbenfica.pt
2) Alvalade XXI, with 50.095 seats was inaugurated on 6th of August of 2003. This stadium substituted the previous one (from 1956) in order to host Euro 2004. This stadium received the UEFA Cup Final in 2004/05. It is selected as stadium for the World Cup 2018 proposal by Portugal and Spain. The design of the stadium was done by the Ballast Company and a portuguese architect called Taveira. Some people love the design of the stadium other totally hate it. It has a small mall with a Lidl supermarket, stores and cinemas. There are also pavillions, a health centre, clinic, etc... The trainnings are done in the beautiful Academia where there is the formation centre (from where come from famous players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Figo, Futre, Simão Sabrosa, Miguel, etc). The stadium is also used in summer to concerts.
You can visit the stadium and museum (combined ticket of 8€) and visits at 11:30h/14:30h/16:00h. The museum is open from 11h to 18h and entrance costs 6€. The visit just to the stadium costs 5€.Tickets can be bought in the VIP Hall.
The stadium is property of Sporting Clube de Portugal and has held throughout its long history (since 1906) more than 34 different sportive activities. It is part of the 3 main portuguese clubs and has the record in the world of olympic medal of a club. It is also the club in Europe with more trophies after Barcelona (13.000). The motto of the club is Effort, Devotion, Dedication and Glory and the symbol a lion. The last soccer champions title was won in 2001/02 but won the portuguese cup in the last two seasons and was finalist of UEFA cup in 2004/05. In 2007/08 was 2nd in the championship. Their main international record was in 63/64 when they won the cup of the winners cup. Other modalities are athletics (several olympic medals and more than 30 european titles as a team), futsal, handball, gymnastics (11 european titles), swimming (3 european titles), archery (2 european titles), full contact Karate (1 intercontinental title, 3 european champion, 1 world champion), table tennis (3 european bronze medals), etc...
You can get to the stadium by using the subway station Campo Grande/Telheiras (green line) or the bus 7, 36, 47, 78, 106, 108, 701, 750, 767, 777.
Opening Stadium - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bVuKjwPNV8
Official Website: www.sporting.pt
3) Restelo Stadium, with 32.500 seats was inaugurated oin 1956 in the place of a quarry. The stadium is used for concerts, for the team home games and the visit of the pope João Paulo II. The stadium has a beautiful view over the river and olympic swimming pools and pavillions.
The stadium is property of Os Belenenses a club that was founded in 1919 close to Mosteiro dos Jerónimos where today is their stadium. It is still the portuguese club with more international presences after the big 3 (Sporting, Benfica and Porto). It only won the championship once and has 3 cups of Portugal. They have several sportive activities besides soccer such as swimming, athletics or basketball.
You can get to the stadium by taking bus 28, 714, 727, 729, 732, 751 and tram 15E.
Official Website: www.osbelenenses.com
It is easy to get tickets to the games with the exception of derbies, meaning everytime Porto, Benfica or Sporting play together. Tickets to Champions league might also be harder to get.
Betting agencies such as http://www.hunchers.com/ are good places to check for schedules of the next games.
Every time a club from Lisbon wons the championship there is a huge party. Normally the centre is in Marquês de Pombal and a bus takes the players around town. Traffic can become cahotic.
Bullfights when they are in season (Easter to Mid July), take place on Thursday at the Praca de Touros do Campo Pequeno (as it is locally known). The Arena can hold close to 10,000 people. When the bullfighting is not in season, the arena is used for concerts and events.
- Historical Travel
benfica benfica benfica
from my point of view, and 60% of portuguese, the best soccer club in the world.
like a disease. once, born benfica, one must die benfica.
if yu came to portugal, lisboa, a soccer game at the CATHEDRAL, is the breathtaking experience to take. the new (estadio da luz) stadium of light is the gattering spot for benfica supporters to suffer and rejoy every week. it's a religion
The Campo Pequeno Bullring had reopen (16th May 2006) to the public after having remained six years closed for works of recovery due to the lack of safety conditions at the 19th-century building.
The bullring has been completely restored, renewed and enlarged to include a commercial gallery, restaurants, a supermarket, car-park and cinemas.
Another innovation is the possibility of transforming the bullring into a space for shows, such as opera, theatre or music concerts, thanks to a removable glass cover. The promoters want it to become the «main entertainment house of Lisbon»: it is prepared to receive 7 000 spectators during bullfights, a number that may be increased to 10,000 when a platform is set on the arena.
A commercial gallery was constructed under the bullring, including 60 shops, a large area for restaurants, a supermarket and eight cinemas. The Campo Pequeno Leisure Centre also includes an underground park for 1,250 cars and, on the ground level, eight restaurants with esplanades and gardens with fountains and water effects.
- Historical Travel
Estadio da Luz
This is a brilliant football stadium for watching “the beautiful game”.
It was officially opened in October 2003, replacing the old stadium next door, for the European Championships in 2004. It is an all seater stadium, with a capacity of 65,000.
It’s just the place to play exciting vibrant football. Unfortunately when Man Utd played here we were well beaten in the end by SL Benfica, who won 2-1, leaving us at the bottom of the group and out of Europe for another season.
- Arts and Culture
- Beer Tasting
Estadia de Luz
There are 2 major teams in Lisbon, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon. Our trip took us to the Estadia de Luz to watch Liverpool play Benfica.
The stadium is very impressive and there is an Adidas shop as well as a Benfica club shop within the complex.
Before the match the club mascot an American Bald Eagle is paraded around the ground and then released to soar around before landing back on his perch in the centre circle, quite a sight. The eagle actually lives in the stadium - I guess he earns his keep seeing off pigeons and maybe the occasional rat!
Equipment: Bring badges, shirts or scarves of your own team to swop with the Benfica fans.
Benfica-Stadium of light
This has got to be one of the best football stadiums in the world.Benfica's "Estadio da Luz-Stadium of Light".Built in 2003, it hosted Euro 2004's epic matches between Portugal and England and the final of the tournament, Portugal versus Greece, wich we sadly lost.It also hosts the best football club in Portugal, Benfica.
Equipment: If you're planning to watch Benfica play, don't forget to take a Benfica jersey.You can buy one in Benfica's megastore on the stadium.
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