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Watching the World Cup Abroad: Portugal

Booked a holiday to Portugal in the next few weeks? Afraid you’re going to miss the World Cup? Sick of being stereotyped as a rowdy British fan abroad? Never fear! Icelolly is here to help you watch the World Cup and blend in with the locals on your summer holiday. 

1. Learn the lingo

It’s fair to say British fans have a bit of a tarnished reputation when it comes to watching football abroad. We think part of the problem lies in the fact that most of us only speak two languages: English and Loud English. Why not try these handy Portuguese phrases that will help you support your team Portuguese style?

Oi that was miles offside!

OYEE Isso éum impedido, pegou a fora por quilômetros! 

The ref needs glasses!

O arbitro precisa de oculos! 

That Cristiano Ronaldo is really good but he is a bit of a twazzock.

Esse Cristiano Ronaldo é muito boa mas ele e um pouco bobo. 

2. Show off your football trivia

Every British man abroad will have, at one time or another, found himself lost.

The few token phrases that you learnt will have deserted you in a haze of sunburn and cheap lager. The locals look at you with distain. You are, after all, a Brit, probably a hooligan who understands nothing of their proud heritage. You’re a long way from home and almost ready to give up hope. But wait, you have one last trick up your sleeve, a talent that will never abandon you in your time of need… You know the names of obscure footballers that hail from the country where you’re staying.

The mere mention of a late 1980s midfield enforcer or a 1950’s goal machine will have the locals fussing over you, buying you drinks, ordering you taxis and giving you slightly awkward sweaty man-hugs.Portugal is no exception, but trying to get by mentioning the usual mega-stars like Eusebio, Figo or even Cristiano Ronaldo won’t get you very far. No, what you need is to mention just one man, the late, great, Mario Coluna. Here are some key facts to impress your Portuguese hosts.   

Name: Mario Coluna

Born: 06/08/1935 Died 25/02/2014

Nickname: Monstro Sagrado ("The Sacred Monster")

Clubs: Desportivo Lourenco Marques 1951-54, Benfica 1954-70, Olympique Lyonnais 1970-71, Estrela de Portalegre 1971-72; International Caps 57 (1955-68)

Need to know: Captain Fantastic of the Portugal and Benfica teams that enjoyed huge success in the 1960s. Versatile and imposing midfielder - provided a great foil to his legendary teammate Eusebio.

What to mention: Captained Benfica to 10 league titles and 2 European cups.

What not to mention: The ’66 World Cup. Coluna’s Portugal side went out in the semi-finals to… you guessed it, England! It’s also probably not a good idea to mention the European cup final two years later when Coluna’s Benfica side lost again at Wembley to Man United. 

3. World Cup history

Part of the magic of the World Cup comes from the competition’s long history, stretching all the way back to 1930. When watching the tournament abroad it’s vital to know a bit about your host country’s proudest moments in the tournament.

Aside from the 1966 World Cup, Portugal’s best showing in the modern era came in 2006. Portugal made it through a tough quarter final with England and put up a good fight in the Semi’s against an inspired French side. However Portugal’s performance in 2006 will always be overshadowed by a certain gesture made by Cristiano Ronaldo after Wayne Rooney was sent off. What a winker! 

4. Eat and drink like a local

Knowing how to order your beer and food like the natives is a great way to shake off the ‘boozed up Brit abroad’ tag.

For draft lager order “um imperial” also known as “um fino”. The Portuguese tend to order their beer in small glasses so if you want something closer to a pint remember to order “uma caneca”, which is half a litre.

The Portuguese love their snacks as fresh as possible. Particular specialities include freshly grilled sardines and spicy pork crackling.The flavours are so intense you’ll have to make sure you don’t forget to watch the football! 

Icelolly compare deals to hundreds of different hotels in Portugal. From private villas in the Algarve to all inclusive deals in Madeira, Portugal has something to offer football fans and sun-seekers alike. Why not book today and experience the excitement of watching the World Cup abroad this summer?   

By Mark Pollock - World Cup Addict / Long Throw Specialist