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The National Team in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil SI

The National Team in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

It was on December 18th, 1921, that the National Football Team held its first official match. It was against Spain and took place in Madrid. We lost 3-1, but the result was considered by the Portuguese media as being "very honourable". That historic National Team included big names such as Cândido de Oliveira, Jorge Vieira and Ribeiro dos Reis. For the Spanish team, the main figure was the great Ricardo Zamora, perhaps the best goalkeeper in the world, in his days. On June 28th, 1925, after four defeats always against Spain, there was finally a victory. The first victory of the National Team was against Italy, at the Lumiar Stadium, packed with 16,000 spectators. The result was 1-0, with a goal by João Maia.

During these 93 years, the National Team had its moments of both joy and sadness on the field. We remember only the former ones. Some of these went down in history, like the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, where Portugal reached the quarterfinals, and (a lot closer to us) the 1966 World Cup in England, where Portugal came third, and the 1984 European Championship in France (another third place). In Riyadh, in 1989, we were World champions in the under-20 category. We later revalidated this title at Benfica's Luz Stadium in 1991, before 120,000 spectators, against Brazil.

In 1996, at the European Championship in England, we reached the quarterfinals, and in 2000, again another third place, at the European Championship organized jointly by Belgium and the Netherlands. 2004 was the year of our great disappointment. Before our public, at Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, we lost the Finals of the European Championship to Greece. These were followed by a fourth place in Germany, at the 2006 World Cup, and by honourable places in the 2008 European Championship organized by Austria and Switzerland, and the World Cup in South Africa.

In 2012 we were once again qualified for the European Championship. We lost against Spain in the semi-finals (who was at the time world champions, eventually becoming European champions again). That year, Portugal became the National Team that most often passed the group stage of the European finals — five in total — in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. In 2014, we are faced with a new challenge, the final stage of the World Cup in Brazil. The chances of achieving the title that has always gotten away from us — although we were one of, if not ‘the’ best team in 1966, 2004 and 2012 — may be again on the horizon. The dream of this achievement is again well alive our people’s mind. After all, the National Team is this year (2014) the 3rd team in the official FIFA rankings, surpassed only by Spain and Germany, but ahead of Brazil... 
Way to go, National Team! Hooray for Portugal!

Technical Details

Issue Date: 16.06.2014
Designer: Elizabete Fonseca
Printer: Offset
Process: Cartor
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 40 x 30.6 mm
Values: €0.42, €0.72