chapter  9
The Paradox of the Portuguese Game: The Omnipresence of Football and the Absence of Spectators at Matches
ByJoão Nuno Coelho, Nina Clara Tiesler
Pages 23

Although Portuguese football is reasonably well-known to international football fans, at least since Benfica and the national team of Eusébio & Co., the general idea abroad that Portugal is a ‘football country’ is much more recent (Euro 2004). It seems that, today, the country is known elsewhere particularly for its football and football celebrities. However, people who live in Portugal, even if they don’t share an interest in or taste for the sport, have long been aware from personal experience of football’s social

importance in the country. Television ratings, sports newspaper sales or the omnipresence of the subject in everyday conversations leave no doubt whatsoever as to the social impact of football on Portuguese society.