Boavista F.C.

Full name Boavista Futebol Clube
Nickname(s) As Panteras
(The Panthers)
Os Axadrezados
(The Chequered ones)
Founded 1903 (1903)
Ground Estádio do Bessa
Ground Capacity 28,263
President João Loureiro
Manager Erwin Sánchez
League Primeira Liga
2015–16 14th
Website Club home page

Boavista Futebol Clube, commonly known as Boavista (Portuguese pronunciation: [boɐˈviʃtɐ]), is a Portuguese sports club from the city of Porto. Founded on 1 August 1903, by British entrepreneurs and Portuguese textile workers[1] (thus the "FC" being appended - the British way as opposed to the more common Portuguese way of being prepended to the club's name), it is one of the oldest clubs in the country and plays in the Primeira Liga.

It grew to become an important sports club in Portugal, with sections dedicated to several sports including football, chess, gymnastics, bicycle racing, futsal, volleyball, rink hockey and boxing among others, the most notable being the football section with their trademark chequered white and black shirts. The club is the most ecletic in the North region of Portugal, and one of the most eclectic sports clubs in Portugal, practicing a total of 16 sports.

One of the most prominent clubs in Portuguese football, with 9 main national titles won, the most sucessfull after the big three (1 Championship, 5 Cups of Portugal, 3 Supercups of Portugal), Boavista spent 39 consecutive seasons in the Primeira Liga (50 in total), winning in 2001, being together with Belenenses, the only team outside the big three to win the Portuguese Championship. Its stadium, Estádio do Bessa, was built in 1973, although football has been played there at the former 'Campo do Bessa' since the 1910s, and was revamped for use in Euro 2004.


Early League years (1934–1969)

Boavista was promoted to the Primeira Liga for the first time in 1935–36 and were relegated instantly. For the next two decades they were yo-yos bouncing between the Primeira and Segunda Divisão; their lowest ebb was in 1966, when they were relegated to the Terceira Divisão. They were promoted back to the second tier after two seasons and began building their reputation in earnest.

The Golden Era begins (1969–1981)

Their first "threat" to the league title domination by The Big Three was in 1975–76 under the guidance of Valentim Loureiro and José Maria Pedroto, when Boavista finished second.

From contenders to Champions (1981–2003)

They would be second place again in 1998–99, already in the presidency of João Loureiro. Finally, with the same President and with Jaime Pacheco as coach, in 2000–01, Boavista won the national championship after beating Desportivo das Aves 3–0, on 18 May—the first time in 55 years, and only the second time ever, that a side outside the "Big Three" had won the title. The following season saw them finish second to Sporting Clube de Portugal.

Erwin Sánchez, one of Bolivia's football legends, is widely considered to be Boavista's most influential player of the last 15 years, after helping the club win the 2001 league and captaining the team, while also participating in the over-achieving 2003 European campaign. A midfielder with an accurate and powerful long-range shot and a free-kick specialist, he was a leading player for Bolivia both in the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and finals. Sánchez left the club in March 2004, after a brief and unsuccessful spell as its manager.

The panther is the club symbol and nickname.

European forays (1981–2003)

In Europe, during the presidencies of Valentim Loureiro and of his son João Loureiro, Boavista have achieved strong success, and are referred to as 'the club with the strange shirts'. The highlight was their brilliant UEFA Cup run in 2002–03, when they were knocked out by Celtic in the semi-finals, just one match from what could have been an all-Portuguese and indeed all-Porto final with F.C. Porto. Boavista enjoyed several other high points in the same competition, including the elimination of Atlético Madrid 5–4 in the first round in 1981–82. In 1986–87, Boavista beat ACF Fiorentina but lost to Rangers in a tense second round match at Ibrox Stadium. In 1991–92, they knocked out F.C. Internazionale Milano 2–1 in the first round and, two seasons later, made it to the quarter-finals after knocking out Greek outfit OFI Crete and S.S. Lazio of Italy.

Boavista qualified twice for the UEFA Champions League. In 1999–2000, although having shown interesting football in the respective matches, they finished bottom of their group, thus being eliminated, but, two seasons later, sprang surprise by beating and knocking out German giants Borussia Dortmund and Dynamo Kiev in the initial group stages, advancing to the next round with Liverpool. There, "The Panthers" met with stronger challenges like Manchester United and FC Bayern Munich. With their financial objective already met, new horizons opened up for the team as they began their group by surprising FC Nantes at home by winning 1–0, and went to the top of the group after the draw between Manchester United and Bayern Munich, eventually finishing a respectable third, only one point behind the qualification.

Boavista has a reputation in Portugal and, to some extent abroad, as an attacking team, playing hard-fought matches, even in defeat. One shining example of this is the 2001 Portuguese title, during the golden João Loureiro's presidency, where the team was the best defense in terms of goals conceded, at the same time having one of the best attacks of the competition. It was only the second time a team other than the Big Three managed to win the title. The other was C.F. Os Belenenses back in the 1945–46 season. This style was mainly the brainchild of coach Jaime Pacheco. With his departure for RCD Mallorca in 2003, the team started to play less attractive football over the next two years and their results began to decline. Pacheco returned but their image only started to change when Pacheco was replaced by Carlos Brito for 2005–06. Ironically, he came back to replace sacked Željko Petrović in October 2006, who in turn was a late replacement for Porto-bound Jesualdo Ferreira, who departed before the first matchday.

Downfall (2003–2008)

2003 marked the latest appearance on the spotlight by the club. The construction of the modern and aesthetic 30.000 all covered seats Estádio do Bessa XXI (and the failure of the promised financing support from the government and municipality of Oporto for that construction[2]) left a deep hole on the club's finances, and the less money to hire quality players, together with internal turmoil, contributed to the fall of the club. So, after three consecutive failures to achieve European competition, Boavista lived through a less brilliant period. Talisman coach Jaime Pacheco returned for a third stint as Boavista manager, but the club did not manage to leave the second half of the table. The financial problems originated by the failure of the public entities promises prompted the club to a "back-to-basics" attitude, betting on younger players and resurrecting the club's youth academy, which launched the careers of well-known players as João Vieira Pinto, Petit, Nuno Gomes, Bosingwa, Raul Meireles and many others.

After the legendary President João Loureiro went out, in 2007, and during the hapless presidency of Joaquim Teixeira, despite finishing ninth in the 2007–08 season, Boavista was relegated in June 2008 to the second division due to intimidation of referees, through its involvement in the Apito Final scandal.

Back to the second and third tiers and to the first tier (2008–present)

The club suffered greatly throughout 2008–09, and although finishing in 15th place was, at first, spared from relegation to the third level, due to the irregularities-related demotion of F.C. Vizela. The club's financial debts, however, led to an eventual demotion nonetheless. This was the first time they played in the Portuguese third tier in 41 years.

In January 2013, João Loureiro, pressed by thousands of members of the club to come back, was elected President once again. After a long legal battle, in June 2013 Boavista was entitled the right to come back to the main Portuguese league.[3][4] Also, after a negotiation with the creditors of the club, the debt was cut in half, which created a lot of hope for the future, with a good number of fans of the club returning to Bessa stadium.[5]

In February 2014, Boavista also achieved a SIREVE (Companies' Recovery System through Extrajudicial Agreements) with its creditors.

In April 2014, the Executive Committee of the League approved the application for participation in the Primeira Liga in the 2014/2015 season. Through a statement,[6] the Commission explains that the application of the club also received the assent of the Technical Study Group and Audit.

After 6 years, and with the multi-awarded President João Loureiro, it returned to the Primeira Liga in the 2014/2015 season, coached by Petit, a former champion in the club, debuting in Braga. On 14 September 2014, after three defeats in the first three matches, the club recorded their first win in the Primeira Liga with a 1–0 home victory against Académica. After that match, a draw at Dragão Stadium with FC Porto. In the end of the season Boavista was on the 13th place of the table, managing to stay on the top tier, which was considered a success considering the budget the club had., In the end of the season, Boavista achieved the objective of keeping participating in the Portuguese 1ª Liga, and the same on the season 2015/2016, coached by the Bolivian Erwin Sanchez, also a former champion in the club.


  • Winners (2): 1936–37, 1949–50
  • Winners (1): 1913–14


The club has fierce rivalry with fellow city club FC Porto[7] the games between them sometimes called O Derby da Invicta.

League and cup history

The club has made 54 appearances at the top level of Portuguese football. In 1979, it also won the very first edition of the national supercup.

Sources: Soccer Library,[8] Zero a Zero, [9] Fora de Jogo. [10]

European matches

Current squad

As of 10 September 2016[11]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Azerbaijan GK Kamran Aghayev
3 Brazil DF Lucas
5 Portugal DF Talocha
6 Brazil DF Anderson Correia
7 Portugal FW Renato Santos
8 Portugal MF Tengarrinha
9 Guinea-Bissau FW Idé Gomes
10 Portugal MF Fábio Espinho
11 Portugal FW Iuri Medeiros (on loan from Sporting CP)
12 Portugal GK Fábio Mesquita
14 Croatia FW Lovro Medić
15 Azerbaijan MF Emin Makhmudov
17 Portugal MF Carraça
18 Portugal MF Henrique Martins
20 Portugal DF Edu Machado
No. Position Player
21 Portugal MF Samu
22 Portugal DF Carlos Santos
23 Portugal DF Nuno Henrique
25 Senegal GK Mamadou Ba
27 Brazil MF Anderson Carvalho
28 Portugal DF Tiago Mesquita
29 Portugal FW Edu Ferreira
30 Malta MF André Schembri
32 Brazil FW Erivelto
42 Senegal MF Idris
45 Senegal MF Mohamed Daf
61 Portugal GK Mickaël Meira
70 Portugal FW Digas
94 Brazil DF Philipe Sampaio
95 Democratic Republic of the Congo MF André Bukia

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Brazil FW Douglas Abner (at Académico Viseu)
Ghana DF Emmanuel Hackman (at Desportivo Aves)
No. Position Player
Portugal DF Fábio Ervões (at Vizela)
Portugal MF Luisinho (at Académico Viseu)


Outside photo

The Estádio do Bessa (later Estádio do Bessa XXI) is Boavista's home ground, used solely for football.

Like other stadiums used in UEFA Euro 2004, the stadium was rebuilt for the competition, but on top of the old stands, and each one of them at a different time, allowing Boavista to continue playing there. It cost €45,164,726, from which €7,785,735 were supported from the Portuguese state, and featured an all-seater capacity of 28,263 spectators.[12] Plans for improvement actually existed before the organization of the Euro 2004 was given to Portugal in 1999, and by then, the first works were already underway. It was designed by Grupo 3 Arquitectura.


Originally fully black, Boavista's kit changed throughout the years. In the 1920s the shorts were changed to white while everything else remained the same. Years later and due to the color black being considered morbid and generating a non-consensual feeling towards certain fans, the club's board decided to introduce a black and white striped shirt. Even though if drastically reduced the color black from the kit, it still proved unpopular with some supporters.

Boavista then took the drastic measure to field a team with a shirt made of red, white and blue stripes. The kit was met with some negative remarks from the press and fans, so the colors and patterns had to be changed. After a board member's trip to France, he witnessed a French team playing with a black and white checkered shirt, the dominant colors Boavista had historically on their football kits. Upon his return the team's shirt was finally changed, while the crest was also changed to reflect the new identity Boavista had reached. The checkered shirts were first used in a match against S.L. Benfica, on 29 January 1933, with Boavista winning 4–0.

Kit evolution

Boavista's first home colours
Second home colours
Third home colours
Fourth home colours

Women's team

The women's team is one of the strongest in Portugal, having won several titles in a row during the 1990s, as well as the formation U-19, U-17. U-15 and U-13 teams, that won all national championships, and brought up several talented and famous international players.

See also


External links

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