The country has also never hosted a major championship before and its team has a history of underachievement in European Championships and World Cups. Nonetheless, though hardly one of the sport's superpowers, Portugal can lay claim to a rich footballing history and in Benfica, Sporting Lisbon and FC Porto boasts three clubs with Europe-wide reputations. The Portuguese bid's official motto was simple but clearly effective: 'We love football'.
The tournament is to be held in eight cities, from Braga and Guimaraes in the north to the Algarve in the south, with five of the 10 stadiums being revamped in time for Europe's premier football event.
It was Portugal's detailed plans for the development of its stadiums which eventually won over the Uefa executive committee, with sports other than just football benefitting.
Capital city Lisbon will get a new 54,000 capacity stadium being built at an estimated cost of Â£60m. The new ground will eventually be the home of Sporting Lisbon, the 17-times winners of the Portuguese league.
The Stadium of Light, home of twice European champions Benfica, receives a makeover at a cost of Â£15m which will increase its capacity to 70,000.
FC Porto will also move into a new home as a result of the championship, with a 50,000 capacity ground being built at a cost of Â£50m. Other new stadiums are being built in Braga, Aveiro, Coimbra and the Algarve.
Which of the Stadia for Euro 2004 in Portugal do you consider the most interesting?
- Old Master
- Posts: 5394
- Joined: Wed Mar 03, 1999 12:00 am
- Location: Monaghan