Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Boavista F.C.

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Full name
Boavista Futebol Clube

Ground Capacity


Miguel Leal

João Loureiro


Estádio do Bessa

João Loureiro

Estádio do Bessa

Primeira Liga

Porto, Portugal

Boavista F.C. httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumb4

Os Axadrezados (The Chequered ones) As Panteras (The Panthers)


Boavista Futebol Clube, commonly known as Boavista ([boɐˈviʃtɐ]), is a Portuguese sports club from the city of Porto. Founded on 1 August 1903, by British entrepreneurs and Portuguese textile workers (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 eclectic 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 successful 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.

Foundation and the chequered shirts (1903–1933)

The club was founded on 1 August 1903, in the Boavista area, in the western part of the city of Porto. The club was founded by two English brothers, Harry and Dick Lowe, that have received an imported football from their father in England. Deciding to organize football matches in Portugal against fellow English and Portuguese workers and technicians of the William Graham factory, located in the western, industrialized area of Boavista, they founded the club, whose first name was "The Boavista Footballers". They started to organize football matches against other teams, including another English club in the city, the Oporto Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club.

The club faced a great setback in 1909, after a religious dispute between the English Anglican and the Portuguese Catholic faction. While the English favoured Saturdays to play football and refused to play on Sundays, the Portuguese preferred the opposite. The Portuguese faction won the vote for matches on Sundays. As a result, many English members left the club, the director's board of the club became mainly Portuguese and the owner William Graham withdrew financing to the club. Subsequently, in 1910, the name of the club was changed to its current form, "Boavista Futebol Clube", although the English version "Boavista Football Club" was still used until as far as the 1940s. Since 1910, the matches took place at Campo do Bessa, an area nearby the Graham Factory, that would later be the club's ground Estádio do Bessa, the oldest football ground in the city of Porto and one of the oldest still used for foobtall in Portugal. The grounds were property of the Mascarenhas family, with António da Costa Mascarenhas being the first president of the club after the cision with the English members. The inauguration tooke place on 11 April 1910, in a match against Leixões S.C. with an audience of approximately two thousand, a record for a football match in Portugal. The final result was a 3-3 draw.

In 1914, Boavista won the first edition of the Porto Championship. However, the club faced another major setback in 1914 with the beginning of World War I, with many of its English members and athletes departing to fight in the war, some of them not to be seen again. The situation worsened after Portugal entered the war in 1916. In the following decade the club increase the number of sport practiced, and its football team played against other team that visited the city of Porto, including Real Madrid C. F., R. C. Celta de Vigo and Vasas SC from Budapest. Several early important players of the club include Óscar Vasques de Carvalho a defender that was part of the Portuguese squad for the 1928 Olympic Football Tournament while playing for Boavista, and the goalkeeper Casoto, the first Boavista player to gain an international cap for Portugal in a 3-3 draw against Hungary on 26 December 1926 in Porto.

In 1933, the club adopted its now famous chequered black and white shirts, and changed its crest to reflect their new identity. The shirts were first used in a 4-0 win in a friendly match against S. L. Benfica on 29 January 1933, a date that is seen as the second birth of the club.

Early League years (1934–1969)

Boavista was promoted to the Primeira Liga for the first time in 1935–36, after finishing runner-up on the second tier after Carcavelinhos F. C.. In the first participation in the league the club finished sixth place. The next year the club won their first national title after defeating União de Lisboa 5-1 in the second tier of Portuguese football. For the next two decades they were yo-yos bouncing between the Primeira and Segunda Divisão, with the highlight being the 10 seasons between 1945 and 1955, where they played in the top flight with the exception of the 1949-1950 season, where they won the secon division title. Their best classication was a fifth place in the 1951-1952. The following decade was spent on the second diviion except the 1959-1960 season where the club was back on the top flight. Their lowest ebb was in 1966, when they were relegated to the Terceira Divisão. After two seasons, they were promoted back to the second tier, and a second consecutive promotion saw the club back the top tier of Portuguese football, and began building their reputation in earnest.

The Golden Era begins (1969–1980)

The first season after promotion was very difficult. The club lost all of their away games, but their home record was quite better, as they were defeated only once, against Varzim S.C.. They avoided relegation by only one point after a 2-0 win against S. C. Braga in the last day of the season. Between 1969 and 1974 the club had several managers, most notably Fernando Caiado, a former star player of the club in the 1940s and the 1950s, and in Benfica in the 1950s, that has collected 15 international caps for Portugal. Another manager of the club was Aymoré Moreira, a former world cup winning manager for Brazil in 1962. The year of 1974 saw the arrival of manager José Maria Pedroto and Valentim Loureiro, then head of the football department, that would later become one of the most influential presidents of the club. In the first year in charge Boavista achieved their best classification ever, a fourth place in the 1974-1975 chanmpionship. In the same season Boavista won Taça de Portugal for the first time after defeating Benfica 2-1 in the final. The match was disputed at Estádio José Alvalade instead of the traditional Estádio Nacional because of the association of the national stadium with the fascist regime, since Portugal was living the revolutionary period after the Carnation Revolution. The club disputed a European competition for the first time in the following season. They eliminated F.C. Spartak Trnava in the first round of the 1975–76 European Cup Winners' Cup, being defeated 3-1 on aggregate against Celtic F.C. in the second round. The following season saw the first "threat" to the league title domination by The Big Three when Boavista finished second. The club also won the Portuguse Cup for the second year in a row, after successfully defending their title by defeating Vitória de Guimarães, 2-1 in the final disputed at Estádio das Antas in Porto. Manager José Maria Pedroto left the club for F.C. Porto at the end of the season. In the following season, Boavista finished again in fourth place, qualifying for UEFA Cup for the first time. After finishing seventh place in the following season, Boavista hired the experienced English Manager Jimmy Hagan, that led the club to its third Cup of Portugal win in 5 years, after defeating Sporting C.P. 1-0 in the replay of the final after a 1-1 draw occurred the day before. At the beginning of the following season, the two main clubs from the city of Porto organized the first edition of the Portuguese Supercup, a season-opening match opposing the League winner (F.C. Porto, managed by José Maria Pedroto) and the Cup winner. The match was contested at F.C. Porto stadium Estádio das Antas, and Boavista with new manager Mário Lino won 2-1 in a violent match where Boavista finished with 9 players after 2 players had been sent off, and claimed the first edition of the Portuguese Supercup.

From contenders to Champions and European forays (1980–2003)

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. He would later come back to the club during the 2015-16 season, taking over after the departure of former teammate Petit. Despite losing the first few games and seeing the team fall into the relegation spots, he managed to avoid relegation at the end of the season. He stayed with the team for the 2016-17 but was eventually sacked after a home defeat against historical rivals C.F. Belenenses, being replaced by Miguel Leal on October 11, 2016.

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) 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 (2008–2014)

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. 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.

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

Back to the first tier (2014–Present)

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, 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 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.


  • Primeira Liga
  • Winners (1): 2000–01
  • Taça de Portugal
  • Winners (5): 1974–75, 1975–76, 1978–79, 1991–92, 1996–97
  • Runners-up (1): 1992–93
  • Supertaça de Portugal
  • Winners (3): 1979, 1992, 1997
  • Runners-up (1): 2001
  • Segunda Divisão
  • Winners (2): 1936–37, 1949–50
  • Campeonato do Porto
  • Winners (1): 1913–14
  • Rivalries

    The club has fierce rivalry with fellow city club FC Porto 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.

    As of 24 February 2017

    Sources: Soccer Library, Zero a Zero, Fora de Jogo.

    Current squad

    As of 26 January 2017

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

    Out on loan

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


    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. 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, black shorts and white and black striped socks. The kit was met with some negative remarks from the press and fans, so the colors and patterns had to be changed. The club president, Artur Oliveira Valença, founder of the newspaper 'Sport', and sports events promoter, decided to go to France to get some ideas about the equipments. There, he witnessed a French team playing with a black and white checkered shirt, the dominant colors Boavista had historically worn 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, and the checkered shirts have become the trademark of the club ever since. The checkered shirts were first used in a match against S.L. Benfica, on 29 January 1933, with Boavista winning 4–0.

    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.


    Boavista F.C. Wikipedia