I learned how to love the club by watching my father. There are three things I am certain of regarding my old man. 1. He is a blue collar man, 2. He enjoys a glass of red wine and 3. He is a Portista! My dad bleeds blue and white. I can clearly remember Sunday mornings as a kid, the radio blaring as my dad sat at the dining room table listening to the game. The Commentators were extraordinary. You could feel their passion vibrate through the air as you listened to them call every detail of the game. They made a throw-in sound as exciting as a Broadway production. I would often sit with my eyes closed trying to imagine the game as they verbalized it, picturing every pass, every shot, and every save. I would get lost in it. I could see the players in their broad blue and white striped kits; I could see the emotion on their faces, I saw the fans and I could see the field. I would sit there captivated by it all, trying to hang on to each word (spoken in Portuguese) as I tried to keep up with the fast talking broadcasters. I was waiting, waiting for that moment. GOAL!!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLL….. GOAL, GOAL, GOAL, Goal do Porto! The way they called a goal was unbelievable. It felt like they held the word goal for hours. I would always try to emulate them and attempt to hold it as long as they did, but often without success. Dad was also hanging onto each word and he always knew the goal was coming before I did. He would bang his fist down on the table, shout a quick “Goal” and pop up out of his chair in excitement. While the shouts of goal echoed out of the radio, Dad was sprinting around the table like a giddy school boy.
I have followed Porto ever since those early childhood days. The last 11 years however have been an unbelievable times for the Portistas! We have celebrated 9 Domestic League titles, 5 Domestic Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 Champions League title, and 1 Europa League championship. But still I feel unfulfilled. I have unfortunately never had the opportunity to watch my team in person. It remains at the top of my bucket list and I hope to one day sit in the Estadio do Dragao and take in all of the sounds and sights this great stadium has to offer. If this dream were to materialize you would probably find me sitting in the stands with my eyes closed, taking my mind back to my childhood and watching my dad running around the table celebrating the goal as if he had scored it himself.
These memories are fresh in my mind and ones that I will both carry with me and cherish forever. This is the starting point; this was where my love affair with the game and FC Porto started. This is the reason why I played the game, coached the game and now dedicate my life to the game. F.C. Porto. My Club. My Passion.