This guide will be ranking the best soccer teams in Portugal, and if you are looking for the best football clubs in the Portuguese league, then this post is for you. Plus, you will learn:
- Their global ranking
- Fan base
- Titles won
And lots more. Without further ado, here are the:
Best Soccer Teams In Portugal
- FC Porto
- Vitória Guimarães
Let’s get to it.
Benfica is one of the three major clubs in Portugal that has never been relegated from the Primeira Liga, along with Sporting CP and FC Porto.
Benfica, often referred to as “The Eagles,” has played their home matches at the Estádio da Luz since 2003. Benfica boasts an estimated 14 million supporters worldwide and over 250,000 members, making it the largest sports club in Portugal and the second-largest globally.
The club’s crest features an eagle, which is also represented in their nickname, “As Águias,” and their traditional red-colored shirts. The club anthem, “SER Benfiquista,” is dedicated to the loyal benfiquistas, as the supporters are known.
They have won a record 37 Liga titles, 26 Taça de Portugal trophies, and 7 Taça da Liga titles. In addition, they have secured numerous Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira and Campeonato de Portugal victories.
Also, Benfica achieved back-to-back European Cup triumphs in 1961 and 1962, becoming the first Portuguese club to achieve this feat. They were also runners-up in several European and global competitions.
Furthermore, Benfica has been honored with various Portuguese Orders, including the Orders of Christ, of Prince Henry, and of Merit due to their achievements. The club is widely regarded as one of the most successful clubs in Portuguese football history.
In terms of rankings, they were voted 12th in FIFA Club of the Century and ranked 9th in the IFFHS Top 200 European clubs of the 20th century.
In addition, Benfica is ranked 8th in the all-time club ranking and holds the second-most participation in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League. Arguably, with their achievement, Benfica has proven to be one of the most successful football clubs in Portugal.
Porto was established on September 28, 1893, and is one of the “Big Three” teams in Portugal, alongside Benfica and Sporting CP. They have participated in every season of the Primeira Liga since its inception in 1934.
The club’s crest features a mythical creature, the dragon, which is also represented in their nickname, “Dragões,” and their blue-and-white striped shirts.
Porto’s home matches have been held at the Estádio do Dragão since 2003, replacing the previous Estádio das Antas.
In domestic success, Porto is the second most decorated team in Portuguese football history, having won 30 league titles, 18 Taça de Portugal trophies, 4 Campeonato de Portugal titles, 1 Taça da Liga, and a record 23 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira title.
They achieved a remarkable feat by winning five consecutive league titles between 1994-95 and 1998-99, which remains a Portuguese record. They won the league title without a defeat In the 2010-11 and 2012–13 seasons
Also at the International level, the team stands as the most decorated Portuguese team, with seven trophies to their name.
They won the European Cup/UEFA Champions League in 1987 and 2004, the UEFA Cup/Europa League in 2003 and 2011, the UEFA Super Cup in 1987, and the Intercontinental Cup in 1987 and 2004.
Additionally, Porto reached the finals of the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983-84 and the UEFA Super Cup in 2003, 2004, and 2011.
In fact, they recorded the third-most appearances in the group stage (23) after Barcelona and Real Madrid. In UEFA rankings, Porto ranks 9th position in the all-time club ranking.
Sporting Club was established on July 1, 1906, and they are one of the “Big Three” clubs in Portugal that has never been relegated from the Primeira Liga, alongside Benfica and Porto. The club is recognized for its diverse range of sports departments and disciplines, as well as its impressive collection of trophies.
Sporting’s men’s professional football team competes in the Primeira Liga and is widely associated with the nickname “Leões” (Lions), represented by the symbol at the center of their club crest.
The team wears green-and-white striped shirts, leading to their alternative nickname, “Verde e Brancos.” Since 2003, Sporting has played its home matches at the Estádio José Alvalade, replacing the previous stadium built in 1956.
The club anthem, “A Marcha do Sporting” (Sporting’s March), was written in 1955, and its supporters are known as Sportinguistas.
Sporting boasts a huge fan base, with over 160,000 supporters, making them the second-largest sports club by fans in Portugal and the sixth-largest in the world.
When it comes to major trophies, Sporting is the third most decorated Portuguese football team, having secured 19 league titles, 17 Taças de Portugal, 4 Campeonato de Portugal (joint-record), 4 Taças da Liga, and 9 Supertaças Cândido de Oliveira domestically.
They have also won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1963-64 season and were runners-up in the UEFA Cup in 2005.
They hold the record of participating in the first-ever European Champions Cup match, held on September 4, 1955, by invitation.
Also, they have made the most appearances in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, with 32 editions, and are ranked second in matches played and won in the competition, as well as in the all-time club ranking.
They are always there all season, striving to win titles with their huge fan base, and with all of these and their remarkable feats, they have proven to be one of the best soccer teams in the Portuguese league.
Sporting Club de Braga was established in 1921 and competes in the top division of Portuguese football, the Liga Portugal.
They play their home matches at the Braga Municipal Stadium, situated on the picturesque Monte Castro hill overlooking the city of Braga.
In recent years, Braga has achieved notable success, winning the Taça de Portugal (Portuguese Cup) for the second time in 2016 and the third time in 2021.
They also made it to the final of the Europa League in 2011, although they were defeated by fellow Portuguese side FC Porto.
Braga is renowned for hosting the Rampa da Falperra, an annual round of the European Hill Climb Championship, held on the outskirts of the city. This interesting motorsport event attracts participants and spectators.
For racing enthusiasts, Braga offers the Circuito Vasco Sameiro and the adjacent Kartódromo Internacional de Braga. Located near the local airfield, these facilities have hosted various racing events.
The Circuito Vasco Sameiro hosted the European Touring Car Cup in 2009 and 2010, while the Kartódromo Internacional de Braga has seen rounds of the Karting World Championship take place.
However, Braga’s vibrant sports scene, including their football achievements, the exhilarating Rampa da Falperra, and the exciting racing events at Circuito Vasco Sameiro and Kartódromo Internacional de Braga, contribute to the city’s dynamic and active atmosphere.
Vitória de Guimarães has had some notable achievements in their history. They have finished in the third position of the Primeira Liga on four occasions, with their most recent accomplishment coming in the 2007-2008 season.
In domestic cup competitions, they have won the Taça de Portugal in 2013 and the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira in 1988. Additionally, they have been runners-up in the Taça de Portugal six times.
The club has also made regular appearances in European competitions.
Their most memorable campaign came in the 1986-1987 season, when they reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup, marking their best finish in continental competition.
Vitória de Guimarães holds a special place in the hearts of their dedicated fans, who passionately support the team.
The club’s performances in both domestic and international competitions have brought moments of excitement and pride to the city of Guimarães.
However, as one of the best football clubs in Portuguese football, Vitória de Guimarães continues to strive for success and aims to leave a lasting impact on the Primeira Liga and European competitions.
18 football teams have been challenging for the Liga Portugal title since the 2014-2015 season, but then the teams mentioned in this post have been ranked as the best soccer teams in the Portuguese league.
Kenneth is a an avid soccer follower, fan and writer. He is a consistent follower of the sport and is a fan of Chelsea FC.