Club Sport Marítimo, or just Marítimo (pron. mɐ'ɾitimu, locally [mɐ'ɾitmu]), is a Portuguese sports club best-known for its football team that plays at the Estádio dos Barreiros in Funchal, Madeira Islands.
Their most recent foray into European competition came in 2004-05, when Gustavo Manduca's calm finish gave them a 1-0 lead after the first leg of the UEFA Cup first-round tie against Rangers F.C.. They went out on penalties after a tense second leg, but still maintain a formidable home record against European opposition, drawing with Juventus and beating the heavyweights Leeds United, whilst both clubs were in their heyday. Marítimo have also qualified for the UEFA Cup next season following a 5th placed finish in the BWINLIGA in 2007-08.
Marítimo are now regarded as an important club in Portugal, and are widely known throughout the Portuguese speaking world, in countries such as Brazil, Angola and Mozambique. The club's reserve team, C.S. Marítimo B, compete in the Portuguese Second Division.
The first ever match for Marítimo was a 2-1 win against C.D. Santa Clara, a select team composed of workers of Western Telegraph Company, and soon after began playing teams of sailors from visiting British ships. José Rodrigues Barrinhas, an old-fashioned attacking centre-half, made a name for himself in these games and in matches against the rivals CS Madeira.
The rivalry heightened in the mid-1990s when Jardim proposed a plan to unite Madeira's three main clubs, who at the time were all competing in the top division. Nacional and União both pledged their support for the scheme, in a bid for Madeira to realistically contend with the "Big Three" for the league title, however Marítimo's fans rejected the idea in mass numbers, stamping their superiority on Madeira's footballing scene.
Marítimo's most famous victory over their rivals came on July 5, 1967, when they romped to a 10-3 win at home against Nacional, a game that is considered to be one of Marítimo's finest moments - Emanuel Freitas scored 4 of the 10 goals.
The club also has a big fans base in Venezuela with sister club Club Sport Marítimo de Venezuela from Caracas, Venezuela, becoming national champions on several occasions. The club was founded in 1959 by Portuguese immigrants living in Caracas, who based their new club on their favourite team from back home in Madeira. Even today, strong ties are kept between both clubs and supporters from either side of the Atlantic ocean.
Closer to home, the club has a proud reputation of being one of the most supported clubs in Portugal after the Big three, and the most popular club on their home island of Madeira, outranking local rivals Nacional and União. The club has over 35,000 registered members (sócios) and two predominant groups of Ultras, the Esquadrão Maritimista and the Ultras Templários, the bigger and more infamous of the two.
There are several famous fans of Marítimo who have publicly declared their support for the team on various occasion, such as the multimillionaire businessman Joe Berardo and Madeira's Regional Governor, the controversial politician João Jardim.
The club was used a political vehicle in the 1970s during Madeira's fight for freedom and autonomy from mainland Portugal. Governor Jardim proclaimed his support of the club in order to gain votes and the backing from the people of Madeira, while the people in-turn supported Marítimo as a symbol of their pride and allegiance to Madeira.
Previously playing at the Campo do Almirante Reis until they moved out in 1957, Marítimo currently play their home games at the Estádio dos Barreiros, the municipality stadium of Funchal. Although uniquely picturesque, the stadium is rapidly ageing despite numerous facelifts over the years and, for the best part of a decade, the club has sought after an alternative site for a new stadium.
In October 2006, it was announced that the club would construct a new state-of-the-art stadium in the Praia Formosa area of West Funchal, named Estádio do Marítimo. However after several delays and a political war over funding and planning, the stadium plans were put on hold indefinitely, adding to a list of set-backs that stretch well over a decade. The fact that archrivals Nacional were allowed to construct a new stand and training facility at their Estádio da Madeira (with government backing) angered Marítimo's fans even more.
A year later, on September 14, 2007, an agreement between the club's directors and the Madeira government (of whom own a 40% share of the club) was reached to use the site of the current Estádio dos Barreiros as the location of a brand new, reconstructed commercial stadium. Initial plans proclaim that the new venue will be operational by 2010, Marítimo's centenary year.
See also: Marítimo managers