Álvaro Siza and Souto Moura made a garden disappear from the central plateau of Avenida dos Aliados. There are those who do not forgive them. But the architects left a large amphitheater in the heart of the city, the place where the inhabitants of this country always find the space to be heard, anytime and anywhere.
Two years ago, when FC Porto were champions for the last time, we didn’t hear much. The pandemic and the police tried to curb the festivities, which literally ended with a cane.
Today everything was different. Whoever was at the top of the avenue, if he stood next to the water mirror looking south, was struck by the roar. It must be said that it is the echo of the voice of the dragon, of the champion. It may also be something else: the party, finally, with your face uncovered.
Siri is a huge German Shepherd. The dog came, also in disguise, with his family for the Allies to see the start of the party. Isabel says it’s important that everyone comes to celebrate — “to pass on the tradition to her children” and also to the dog who, lying on the granite parallels, calmly watches the arriving crowd.
“It’s breathing again, exorcising a lot of bad things,” he says, of the pandemic. Joana, the daughter, notes that the dog has already become the protagonist: “she is the center of attention”, she emphasizes, while those passing by pass by to photograph the dog. The new ones pass, the old ones pass. Grown up and small. Some babies in arms, others in strollers.
From Darwin’s non-goal to Zaidu’s goal
Like many, Isabel and her family left for Baixa to follow the home stretch of the game. Yet while the ball was rolling in Luz, Avenida dos Aliados was reserved for tourists. As the final end is occupied by metro works, there is less space to walk around and access to shops is through a maze of flagstones and ramparts.
However, in the adjacent streets and squares, glued to the televisions, the supporters felt the match with the same intensity as inside a stadium. On an esplanade of the Praça Filipa de Lencastre, just next door, between the Ceuta tunnel and the hotel, the cheerleaders of support settled down at a distance. And when the Reds’ goal is called off, for offside, the festive roar is heard. It was enough to keep the 0-0 for FC Porto to guarantee the championship.
But Zaidu didn’t want the team to win the championship without winning the match. And there, he scored the winning goal, at 90+4. In Porto, the party was closer – but referee Luís Godinho still had to blow the final whistle to confirm the result and the fans were waiting for that signal, that last sentence to ensure that now, yes, there are 30, damn, 30 blue and white championships.
When this beautiful tone of refereeing played in Lisbon, the party exploded in Porto. Soon everyone was heading towards the Allies. And those who were already there more joined: coming from the side, with sweaters, scarves and flags. To the sound of trumpets, firecrackers and rockets. Shout “Porto”, “Pinto da Costa” and swear on the defeated SLB.
The sky extinguished the sun, the street lamps lit up and the glow and smoke of the festivities lit up the growing crowd. They came by metro, they came by car. They got there on foot.
With access cut off, cars piled up in Trindade, Sá da Bandeira, honking their horns there too in a loud party. Every time a new subway train entered the station, more and more people raised their hands, celebrated and shouted.
“For me, there was no doubt,” Marco says of the time. “We only lost one game,” recalled the Felgueiras fan, who lost the game to head to the epicenter of the party. “It’s important to party here, until late at night,” he adds, assuring that he will wait for the players to arrive.
A one-year break as champions, it does not matter: “we are already used to it”, confides a fan who came with the family of Paços de Ferreira just to follow the match and the celebration of the championship. “We are not discouraged – every once in a while we have to give the other fans a bit of joy,” he said, referring to the last championship, which Sporting CP Lisbon won after almost two decades without a title.
Leaving home to come home
The Avenida dos Aliados was the scene of the first cries, but the party took place around the stadium. In Antas, a few metro stops from the center of Porto, the bandstand was next to gate 24. This is where Pepe summoned the supporters, and this is where they quickly began to gather (while partying at the trip).
The authorities have advised supporters to favor public transport. We did too – and on the short journey between central Porto and the Estádio do Dragão, every time the doors opened at the stations, it was possible to hear the shouts and chants, indicating that , in the cars in front, the groups continued the party. . Upon arrival at the stadium station, fireworks even exploded on the pier.
Apart from the pyrotechnic devices, the party takes place without major upheaval. The crowd gathered next to the stadium, like a huge audience spread out on both sides of the bandstand installed next to Gate 24, which opens onto the Alameda das Antas. And there were people up there, people not at the top of the overpass, people at the entrance to the mall.
At 11:30 p.m., Emanuel played, to animate a dancer where everyone was dancing – even the cleaning ladies were twirling with the guards, in a lively party. At that time, the Dragons bus was at the Sanctuary of Fátima. The team still had to make one more stop, while singing, dancing, smoke, firecrackers and rockets enlivened the fans, who celebrated the images on the giant screen.
It was after two o’clock in the morning when, finally, the team started to be called: first Pepe, the captain. Fan euphoria erupted. One by one, the players crossed the bridge that connected the stadium to the circle (which is actually one of the stadium’s ticket offices) where they could be seen by everyone. At this summit, they gathered to celebrate a little closer those who supported them during a season which continues (and which still has a Cup to win).
One by one the players rose to be celebrated. One by one applause, between TikTok dances and thanks. until the SirSérgio Conceição and his technical team, who joined the party — and kept it going.
It may be that in this country the vv is exchanged for the bb. What’s never traded here is pride for anything else — not even partying, when it’s to celebrate.