New challenges await ambitious PortoArticle
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COUNTDOWN #11: FC Porto (POR). With rising start leaving for pastures new, the Portuguese champions must regroup to make progress

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FC Porto has won several titles in Portugal and has been increasingly competitive in the European scene. Last season, the men in blue and white reached the play-offs of the EHF Champions League, losing on away goals against eventual finalists Aalborg, and return with an appetite for something bigger.

Main facts

  • going into the EHF Champions League group phase for the third straight season
  • with a third place finish in the 2018/19 EHF Cup, FC Porto has stood out in European handball in recent seasons
  • Swedish legend Magnus Andersson heads into his fourth season as head coach
  • their impressive performances have seen the talented Miguel Martins (Szeged) and André Gomes (Melsungen) move abroad
  • Alfredo Quintana's tragic passing devastated the club and the wider sporting world last season and his spirit has lived on in the team

Most important question: Can FC Porto make a step forward?

In the last editions of the EHF Champions League, FC Porto surprised and proved that is capable of winning in any European arena. But now everyone knows the blue and white team very well and it is going to be a hard road against Barça, PSG, Kielce, Veszprém, Motor, Flensburg and Dinamo Bucuresti. FC Porto has a very balanced squad, with players full of talent and a great coach.

“FC Porto's objective for the next season is to surpass the performance that the team has already achieved in previous editions. It is not just about living up to the culture of overcoming difficulties that has existed in our club for many years, but also because we are aware of our current value,” says club manager António Borges.

“We will face the best clubs and this forces you to always be at the limit of your ambition. FC Porto have a history of ambitions and achievements that everybody knows.”

The first match on 15 September is in Ukraine against HC Motor and team captain Daymaro Salina, who heads into his eleventh season in FC Porto’s jersey, says: “Our biggest motivations will always be to do more than what we have done in the past. We will be in the strongest group but we will face it.”

Salina is particularly looking forward to the match against Barça: “We never played against them and they are the champions.”

Under the spotlight: Rui Silva

Rui Silva, who heads into his seventh season in FC Porto's jersey, has been producing great performances for his club. And he created a fabulous moment recently, scoring the decisive goal in the last seconds that put the national team in the Tokyo Olympics.

The center back, who recently renewed his contract with the club until 2025, has a giant talent and an above-average intelligence playing handball. In addition to the goals he scores, he makes precious assists and plays very well with the line player.

Always positive and focused, with Quintana tattooed on his right arm, he is one to watch in the EHF Champions League.

How they rate themselves

Since the arrival of head coach Magnus Andersson in 2018, good vibes, confidence and a new playing style, including the 7vs6 attack, have changed FC Porto.

With several great matches giving more experience to the players, the “Dragons” reached the third place in EHF Cup in 2019 and last season won all the 30 matches in the Portuguese league, as well as all the games of the national cup, winning the final against SL Benfica 31:27.

Did you know?

FC Porto have a new mascot. The Portuguese team had DRACO and now he has a partner named Viena.

Arrivals and departures

Arrivals: Pedro Cruz (Águas Santas), Pedro Valdés (Sporting CP), Sebastian Frandsen (Holstebro), Diogo Oliveira (HSC Suhr-Aarau)

Departures: Manuel Späth (HSV Hamburg), Tiago Sousa (AA Avanca), Martim Costa (Sporting CP), Miguel Martins (MOL-Pick Szeged), André Gomes (MT Melsungen), Francisco Costa (Sporting CP)

Past achievements

EHF Champions League

Participations (including 2021/22 season): 12
Last 16 (1): 2019/20
Group phase (2): 2013/14, 2015/16
Qualification (7): 1999/00, 2004/05, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2014/15


EHF Cup: 3rd: 2018/19; Group Phase: 2014/15, 2016/17; Last 16: 1998/99, 2010/11, 2011/12 Cup Winner’s Cup: Quarter-final 2000/01, 2001/02; Last 16: 1996/97, 2007/08

Portuguese league: 22 titles (1954, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009-15, 2019, 2021)

Portuguese cup: 9 titles (1976, 1977, 1979, 1994, 2006, 2007, 2019, 2021)

TEXT: Tiago