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Vitória Guimarães

Ground: Estádio D. Afonso Henriques

Visits: 1

Date: 16th February 2019

Match: Vitória Guimarães - Portimonense  2-0  (Primerira Liga)

Attendance: 16 341

The last three years I have gone to Spain during the week in February I am free from work. It is called Sportlov (Sport holidays) and a lot of people go skiing. I prefer football though and on Friday evening I had a flight from Copenhagen to Madrid. I had problem deciding where to go over the weekend, Spain, Portugal or maybe both. In the end I decided to attend games in Portugal from Saturday to Monday and then go back to Madrid for the Champions League game between Atlético Madrid and Juventus. My first game on this trip was to be in Guimarães in northern Portugal though. At 10.45 there was a direct flight from Madrid to Porto and from Porto I could then use the local train to Guimarães. I was in Madrid 22.15 on Friday evening and an hour later I checked-in at my hotel. Not much sleep in the uncomfortable bed and as I was having breakfast at the airport I was quite tired. My flight was 65 minutes delayed and at noon I finally arrived at Porto airport. My hotel was close to Campanha station but with the flight being delayed there was no time for the planned lunch at the hotel restaurant. Instead I had to purchase two “Porco Mustardo” baguettes at Campanha station. Kick-off at Estádio D. Afonso Henriques was at 18.00 and at 15.33 (next train was two hours later) I was finally in Guimarães. A lot of travelling but at least I was greeted by sunshine and 20 degrees!

Guimarães has a population of just over 50 000 and its historic town centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Guimarães has a significant historical importance due to the role it played in the foundation of Portugal. The city is often referred to as the "birthplace of the Portuguese nationality" or "the cradle city" (Cidade Berço in Portuguese) because it is widely believed that Portugal's first King, Afonso Henriques, was born there. The local football team, officially named Vitória Sport Clube, is the best supported club in Portugal outside of the big three. Vitória has never won the Portuguese league title but in 2013 the club won the cup in Portugal for the first time ever. Estádio D Afonso Henriques was built in 1965 and in time for the 2004 European Championships the ground was renovated. Nowadays the capacity is around 30 000. The ground is 15 minutes (downhill) by foot from the station and it is nice to visit a ground situated right in the city centre. Tickets were only 10 Euros and I bought one for the upper tier of the East Stand. Before the game I wanted to visit the old castle and once I found the nearest route it was a pretty steep climb. I was by now wearing a t-shirt but was still quite sweaty. Locals were mostly wearing winter coats but to me this was more of a summer day than a winter day. Once back at the ground there were plenty of fans waiting for the turnstiles to open. The hard core home fans/ultras were in the lower tier of the South Stand (to my left). Through-out the game they gave their team an excellent vocal support and at times fans in the other stands joined the chants as well. The game itself was quite poor but at least Vitória scored twice to (deservedly) win 2-0. The atmosphere was probably better than the game but still a nice game to start my trip with. After the final whistle I found an Italian restaurant where I had a late dinner before going back to Porto Campanha. At 23.10 I was at my hotel and a few minutes later I was asleep.


Agui Nasceu Portugal (Portugal was born here)




Football ground and castle




Knight outside the castle




Estádio D. Afonso Henriques


Rear of the West Stand


Ticket office


Rear of the East Stand


Fans outside the ground


South Stand


South Stand


West Stand


North Stand


Players and officials entering




South Stand






View of play


West Stand


View of play


East Stand