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This is Sporting Lisbon: Part 1

Posted on 7 August 2003  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

We take a look at the history of Sunday's friendly opponents Sporting Lisbon.

SPORTING Clube of Portugal are one of the greatest clubs in Portugal.

Yet remarkably, for all their power and fame and perpetual presence in European competitions, fans have to look right back to 1964 for the last time they appeared with success in an international final.

That was in 1964 when they won the Cup-winners' Cup in a replay against MTK Budapest of Hungary.

FC Porto's success last season in winning the UEFA Cup underlined the latent power and potential of Portuguese clubs. Sporting will hope to emulate Porto's success when they compete this coming season in the UEFA Cup.

Founded in 1906, Sporting were founder members of the Portuguese league championship in 1934 and have never been relegated. They have won the title 18 times (behind Benfica, 30, and Porto, 19) and the cup on 17 occasions (behind Benfica, 26, but just ahead of Porto, 16).

In the 1950s they won the league title four times in a row thanks to a brilliant attack nicknamed the 'five violins' - one of whose members, Manuel Vasques, died only recently. Fellow inside forward Jose Travassos starred for the Rest of Europe team who beat Britain 4-1 in Belfast in 1955.

That same year Sporting had the historic honour of staging the first-ever tie in the European Champions Cup, now the Champions League - a 3-3 draw against Partizan Belgrade. But though Sporting have competed in Europe most seasons since then, they have under-achieved.

Their finest season was 1963-64 when they won the now-defunct Cup-winners Cup in remarkable fashion. They hit back to beat Italy's Atalanta after being beaten by two clear goals in the first leg; they beat APOEL of Cyprus (trained by former England defender Neil Franklin)
by a European record 16-1 in a snowstorm; they lost 4-1 at Old Trafford then crushed Manchester United 5-0 at home; and it took a play-off to beat Lyon in the semi-finals.

The final, against MTK Budapest in Vienna, went to 3-3 after extra time. There were no penalty shootouts in those days so Sporting had to start all over again in a replay in Antwerp. This time they won 1-0 with a goal direct from a corner by left-winger Jose Morais.

Given a bye in the first round the next year they were then immediately elimimnated by Cardiff City! Even so, central defenders Alexandre Batista and Jose Carlos plus left-back Hilario were first choice for Portugal at the 1966 World Cup finals here in England in which they
finished third. Other star names down subsequent years have included the likes of current Real Madrid hero Luis Figo.