Vitória Futebol Clube is a Portuguese sports club from Setúbal. Popularly known as Vitória de Setúbal (pron. , the club was born under the project name Sport Victoria from the ashes of the small Bonfim Foot-Ball Club. Today's club was established on November 20, 1910 under the name Victoria Foot-Ball Club (later changed to the present Portuguese spelling) with the motto "A Vitória será nossa" (Victory shall be ours).
Honours & achievements
Liga de Honra
- Runners-up - 1995-96, 2003-04
- Winners - 1964-65, 1966-67, 2004-05
- Runners-up - 1926-27, 1942-43, 1953-54, 1961-62, 1965-66, 1967-68, 1972-73, 2005-06
SuperCup Cândido de Oliveira
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup/UEFA Cup
- Quarter-finalists - 1968-69, 1970-71, 1972-73, 1973-74
The years from 1964 to 1974 may be considered Vitória's golden decade. In 1964/65 and 1966/67 Vitória won the Cup of Portugal
, managing to win it again in 2004/05. Those victories, resulting from ten presences in the competition finals (Final da Taça de Portugal
), are among the club's greatest achievements.
Vitória also had several 3rd place finishes and a remarkable 2nd place in the 1971/72 National Championship
. Back then, Vitória had some of the best Portuguese football players ever, like Jacinto João
, José Torres
and Vítor Baptista
Still, in the most remarkable season of all time for Vitória the club earned merely a 3rd place: In the 1973/74 season Vitória de Setúbal ended 4 points behind the Champion, (Sporting, with Golden Boot winner who holds the record for the most goals scored in one season in Portugal, Yazalde), and 2 points behind the runner-up (Benfica with their best player ever, Eusébio). Despite that, people of Setúbal still argue that if Pedroto (the most successful manager to ever command the Sadinos) had not left the team in the middle of the season, Vitória FC would have had overcome its giant opponents and would have gone on to become the National Champion for the first time.
In those years Vitória disputed and won several tournaments around the world. Nowadays, the club is fighting to reach that kind of performance, inspired by the recent Portuguese Cup conquest and subsequent Iberian Cup, as well as the debut edition of the Portuguese League Cup, earning four presences in the UEFA cup in the past ten seasons.
The 8th Army
The club supporters are known as Vitorianos
. In 1943 on the occasion of Vitória's first Cup of Portugal
final against Benfica
, thousands of people from Setúbal
and, notwithstanding the defeat by the score of 1-5, celebrated in a demonstration of fair play. In the next day's press, the people from Setúbal were nicknamed 8ºExército
(the 8th Army) because of their massive following of the team, ending in a final journey to Lisbon -- all this in comparison with the British Eighth Army
and its World War II
massive campaign in Africa
. Referring to this in the late 1990s, the first official supporters' association was baptized VIII Exército
. They show great dedication to the club and are recognized as one of the most orderly supporters in Portugal. There used to be another supporters' association, the "Furacões Sadinos" which ceased to exist in 2007. They co-existed in peace with the "VIII Exército".
Derby: Vitória F.C. vs Vitória S.C.
There is a traditional quarrel between Vitória de Guimarães
and Vitória de Setúbal
, with both teams claiming to be the
one and only "Vitória", the other being solely named the
"Guimarães" or the
"Setúbal" with a curl of the lip. The matches are somewhat tense but not violent, with both clubs contesting who has the higher number of supporters. Nevertheless the quarrelsomeness is bigger on the Vitória de Guimarães side, since the club is 12 years younger and, as they wrote in their history books, the people from Guimarães adopted the name "Vitoria" as a tribute to Vitória de Setúbal, who at the time was capturing the attention of the country due the quality of the football team. So they slightly changed the name to «Vitória Sport Clube» because «Vitória Futebol Clube» was already chosen by the Setúbal side.
Present and future
The Estádio do Bonfim
stadium was inaugurated during the club's 50th anniversary commemorations on September 16 1962
, with a capacity of >35,000, reduced to 21,530 when plastic seatings were placed. With rare exceptions the additional room for 2,800 standing spectators (1,400 behind each goal) has been closed since some years ago because attendances do not justify it anymore. Furthermore UEFA officially recognizes only the 18,728 seating places; eitherway, since 2006, the stadium is not allowed to be used for official international games, due to its decaying condition. There are plans underway for a new stadium. The new stadium is expected to be completed by the centennial commemoration in November 20 2010
The financial situation is very shaky, as seen on the first half of the 2005/06 season, when the whole team had several months of wages delayed, a situation which led to the resigning of the then manager, Luis Norton de Matos. The club has been experiencing many financial difficulties since the Carnation Revolution which brought an economic disaster to the Setúbal region with its mass layoffs and industrial collapse. Thus the stadium never saw significant repairs for lack of funds. Each year the stadium feels more uncomfortable and attendances keep on dimishing while others rise Gone are the times when more than 35,000 jostled in the stadium every weekend.
There is festering resentment in the hearts of the Vitorianos, as they experienced rejection in their quest for a place among the Portuguese cities awarded with new stadia for the Euro 2004 in favour of the wealthier tourist regions with smaller clubs but more influence on the political scene (the Leiria Stadium, the Aveiro Stadium and the Algarve Stadium). These three stadiums are nowadays known in Portugal as the White Elephants on account of being luxury stadia for meagre attendances Furthermore, there never was a Superliga team playing at Algarve Stadium as its seeded home.
Latest news and achievements
Since FC Porto assured the league title and a spot in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, in 2006-07 Vitória played the Portuguese Super Cup and the UEFA Cup as well.
In the apex of a crisis which could have lead to the end of Vitória Futebol Clube, chairman Jorge Santana da Silva resigned. Interim presidency was assumed by Carlos Costa.
Top level maintenance secured
After one of the hardest end of seasons for the Setúbal side ever, Vitória secured his presence in the top-flight level of Portuguese football. Following two managerial resigns, and a situation of financial impossibility to hire a manager, Carlos Cardoso, former Vitória F.C. golden era player and resident interim manager, was called once again to save his first and only club. In the end of the last and decisive game of this season, Carlos Cardoso stated: "I will continue to serve Vitória, after all I have a contract for some years more. If I will remain as first manager? I don't know, that will be discussed. After five painful months I feel a bit tired. I want to return to my resident coach post, always ready to help whenever is needed
Carlos Carvalhal accepted the invitation from chairman Carlos Costa and was the manager for this season: "I said «yes» because Vitória is a grand club with enormous prestige and I could not refuse an invitation from chairman Carlos Costa. When I left the club three years ago (...) I sealed a compromise with Carlos Costa, that would he reenter the club, I would do the same", "I was asked to put effort in restructuring the club from formation sectors to professional football
Following a terrible 2006-07 season, Vitória engaged in an opposite performance, reaching a remarkable 4th place when only 7 rounds were left in the season, reaching again the Portuguese Cup semi-finals and conquering the Portuguese League Cup in its debut season, leaving behind Gondomar, Braga, Benfica, Penafiel, Beira Mar and Sporting with 2 draws and 6 wins. President Carlos Costa and manager Carlos Carvalhal were considered pivotal characters in the club's renovation. In this 2007-08 season, the new stadium was also confirmed to be built by 2010.
Notable former players
Club Ranking 2007 eligible for season 2008/09
(Previous year rank in italics, UEFA Club Coefficients in parentheses)
Vitória's sports departments besides the football section: