And which could now become Ronaldo’s Phenomenon.
Near one of the many river beaches created by the Tagus as it creeps inland from the peninsula of Setcover up, cries are heard. One of these creeks, called Rio Judeu, reaches as far as the small village of Amora. The beach is to cape da navy. The cries come from a group of boys. It’s 1918. They’re playing football, probably dreaming of wearing a shirt one day incarnated of Benfica, which had been born four years earlier from the merger of the football club Sport Lisboa and the cycling group Sport Benfica, or the green-and-white Sporting, founded twelve years ago by José Alvalade. Instead, three years later they would give birth to a club of their own, a club that, after almost a century, would make the future post-Cristiano Ronaldo Portuguese football phenomenon wear the first boots. Rafael Theãoa club which, after more than a century of less than glorious history, would have attracted the attention of another Ronaldoil Phenomenonlooking for another piece to add to his little football empire, a club called Amora FC.
A club founded during a picnic
They had chosen that field, near the Cabo da Marinha, because it was far from the main road, but above all because the one where they used to play was near the village washhouse and therefore also to their women, who rightly complained. There was one problem, however: when the tide rose, their new camp flooded and became impassable. They only partially solved it, as much as they could, digging ditches around the camp linesthen they built the doors with wood.
Initially, the uniforms they played with were o white or with red and black stripes (it is said, in honor of the Milan), with black shorts in both cases, until they decided to buy one that was the same for everyone. They chose blue for the shirt and white for the shorts. The decision was easy: blue was liked by all the members of the groupperhaps, writes the official site, for the Belenenses, which at that time was born on the other side of the Tagus, in the Belém district of Lisbon. Only the symbol was missing: they opted for a blue star with a yellow ball inside. The why of the star brings with it two equally fascinating hypotheses. According to some it derives from the Heineken symbol, while for others the five-pointed star is that of David, chosen as a good omen. Among other things, for a team that plays on the banks of the Rio Judeu it could also make sense.
L’Amora FC was born, however, officially three years later, the May 1, 1921. It was tradition that on that day, every year, the community of Amora gathered for a picnic in the Quinta da Princesa, a large hunting lodge owned by King Dom Manuel II and Queen Maria Pia of Savoy (who, however, had already died for a decade). It was on that occasion that it was decided to found Amora FC. The moment chosen for the foundation, a very important convivial moment for the community, has a precise meaning: Amora FC is the club of the Amora community, founded by a group of citizens and financially supported also thanks to the town’s merchants who over the years they had contributed to the purchase of shirts and materials. The first president was Mr. João Baptista Cunha and the first unofficial seat was in Taberna da Julia Quim-Quim.
The first (and last) stage
In those years, Amora FC played matches against teams from nearby villages and the question of the camp soon arose: that of Cabo da Marinha was not suitable, a stadium was needed, but obviously there was no money to buy land. The solution came unexpectedly thanks to two emigrants returning from Brazil. One of the founding partners, Mario de Carvalho, had a shop. One day, always tells the club’s official website, a couple originally from the Douro River area entered, therefore near Porto. They were returning from Brazil and were looking for a property to buy so they could move there. It so happened that there was an estate right in front of the shop, the Quinta da Medideira, owned by a certain Mr. Lima, which Mr. Carvalho, his friend, knew he intended to sell. Done deal: in the blink of an eye José and Maria were owners of the quintaneighbors and very good friends of Mr. Carvalho.
The latter, spending a lot of time on their estate, he noticed that at one end, there was uncultivated, barren land, which bordered on the walls of a factory. It would have been the perfect place to build the stadium he so wanted for his club. Convincing the factory folks wouldn’t have been a problem because the manager, Mr. Martins, was a friend of him. It only remained for him to ask Mr. José’s permission. “Do not even think about it” was his first reaction, but with a little insistence and the complicity of his wife Maria, even his resistance was overcome. All that remained was to make that land a soccer field. They did everything with their own hands: with hoes and picks they removed trees, shrubs, old vines, they even closed an irrigation canal. They called him Medideira Field, from the name of the estate. In the 1926/27 season they played their first official championship of the Almada nucleus. It is not known what position they finished in, but it is known that they did not finish last.
More than a century has passed since that first May 1921. The Quinta da Princesa has been renovated several times and today hosts different types of events, while the Campo da Medideira is still in its place, but has become an Estádio. In all this time, the‘Amora FC achieved promotion to the first division in 1980 and remained there for three seasons. For the rest of its history it floated mainly between the second and third divisions of Portuguese football. Today it is in full fight for promotion to Liga 2. He also has one women’s team, which reached the semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal in the 2021/22 season but which in the one that has just ended is relegated from Liga BPI, the women’s first division, and a’Academy where to raise the young people of the area.
His motto is very similar to that of Barcelona and, given the origins of the club, he could not recite different words: “More than a club, the symbol of the city”. More than a club, the symbol of a city. City of about fifty thousand inhabitants, no more than a village of two thousand. In fact, its population grew dramatically, like the whole district of Setúbal, in the 1970s and 1980s, following the decolonization of Portugal, which took effect in 1975 after the fall of the Salazar regime. Many immigrants from the former colonies settled here and the Leão family came from one of those former colonies, Angolawhich in 2007 decided to move to the neighborhood of the Running d’Waterthe same as Edgar Santos, Rafa’s schoolmate and son of Luis, team manager in the Amora FC academy.
Chi has launched Rafael Leão?
Edgar told, in ainterview a few months ago, that he was Leão’s first talent scout: he often faced him in the school playground and always scored, so he convinced him to play for his father’s team, who always asked him if he knew of any children who wanted to start. So Leão began to playtraining academy of Amora FC, a few steps from the Estadio da Medideira, but his destiny was beyond the Rio Judeu, beyond that inlet, on whose opposite bank stands the Benfica Campus of Seixal. His destiny was beyond all those creeks that like fingers of a large and shapeless hand seem to want to grab the peninsula of Setúbal and bring it back to the capital Lisbon. It was exactly at the point where that peninsula begins and then extends along the entire enormous estuary of the Tagus to the Atlantic Ocean: in Alcochete, in theCristiano Ronaldo Academy of the Sporting CP.
The first famous person in the world of football to have made Amora FC known, however, was probably Jorge Jesus, fresh coach of Al-Hilal, already champion of Portugal with Benfica and of South America with Flamengo. In the 1989at 35, was unknowingly preparing to play his last game as a player at the Estadio da Medideira, with the shirt ofAlmancilense, a small team from the Algarve region, which today play in the local leagues, but which at the time were playing for promotion against Amora FC. Coming off the bench with his team trailing by three goals, that match changed it: he finished 3-3. He told the rest of the story himself in a speech to the students of the University of Lisbon.
“After the final whistle, their president [curiosamente, si chiamava Mario Rui ed era un famoso macellaio della zona, n.d.r], who was on the bench, called me: ‘Oh Jorge Jesus, do you want to become the coach of Amora?’. I replied: ‘Coach? But if I’m a player. I still play, I’m not a coach.’ And he: ‘You were playing, but it seemed like you were the coach on the pitch’. This happened on a Sunday. On Monday I think about it and call it: ‘I accept the challenge’. Conclusion: Amora is promoted that year, Almancilense is not”.
Guess who was, in 2017, to make begin the newly adult Rafael Leão with the shirt of Sporting? Exact, Jorge Jesus.
Last March 15th, Amora FC is back to being talked about, once again for issues that go beyond its albeit quite encouraging results on the pitch (this year it reached the playoff phase for promotion to Liga 2, which consists of two groups of four teams, in which, however, he lost all the matches played). The Portuguese site had launched the bomb More Football: Ronaldo wants to acquire Amora FC. The news that the Phenomenon was interested in adding a piece to his small galaxy already made up of cruise e Valladolid it went around the world, but to date, almost four months later, it hasn’t been heard of since.
We don’t know if this silence is to be interpreted as the end of the negotiation or if instead the latter is proceeding with the lights off. What is certain is that Amora FC could represent a weighted investment but with great potential. In Portugal, little capital is needed, but a lot of football knowledge, to climb the two divisions that separate one of Portugal’s oldest clubs from a return to the Primeira Liga that has been missing for forty years now.