Portugal’s top league is known as the Primeira Liga and it is packed with a number of Europe’s biggest football clubs, with the likes of Benfica, Porto and Sporting all involved.
With the inclusion and the establishment of the aforementioned football clubs, the Portuguese Primeira Liga has become one of the continents top leagues, although it arguably sits just outside the ‘Big Five’ that many associates with European football.
History & Teams
The Primeira Liga was first created in 1939 but has since undergone a number of revamps to help it become what it is today. In fact, the league was the only professional football league in the country up until as recently as 1989; which is recent in regards to implementing a football pyramid/ladder.
The aforementioned teams – Benfica, Porto and Sporting – have largely dominated the league ever since its creation though, although there have been a couple of sides to break the mould on occasion. These football clubs include the likes of Belenenses (1945-46) and Boavista (2000-01). Braga has since been closest to breaking things up, although they finished runners-up in 2009-10.
Benfica has won the Primeira Liga a record number of times, having obtained no fewer than 39 titles in their history, whilst Porto has had at least 29 titles to their name, whereas Sporting has had a minimum of 18 successes throughout the history of the division.
Best Players & Managers
Portugal has provided the world of football with some truly quality football players over the years, with many of them having made various appearances in the Primeira Liga at some point in their careers.
When thinking of Portugal, legendary players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Eusebio, Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Ricardo Carvalho, Deco, Vitor Baia and Joao Moutinho have all played, whilst foreign talent such as Karel Poborsky, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Angel Di Maria has had huge success in the Primeira Liga.
There have also been a number of top managers to have featured in the competition, with the likes of Jose Mourinho, Jorge Jesus, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Giovanni Trapattoni and Rui Vitoria having all had some success in the division.
Historic & Memorable moments
As mentioned, the Primeira Liga has been largely dominated by the likes of Benfica, Porto and Sporting ever since it was created, however, that dominance was almost ended in 2009-10 as Braga came so close to changing the landscape a little.
The club finished just five points from Benfica as they achieved a second-placed finish, having managed to amass a total of 75 points; three more than Porto in third and a huge 23 more than Sporting who finished fourth with 48 points.
Other historic data regarding the Primeira Liga involves Manuel Fernandes, as the former Sporting striker would go on to achieve a total of 486 appearances in the division throughout his playing days, whilst Fernando Peyroteo – who spent his whole career with Sporting – scored a total of 332 goals, with only Fernando Gomes and Eusebio the only other men to have netted over 300 times.