Álvaro Siza and Souto Moura made a garden disappear from the central plate of Avenida dos Aliados. There are those who do not forgive them. But the architects left a large amphitheater in the heart of the city, the square where the people of this land always find space to make themselves heard, whenever and wherever.
Two years ago, when FC Porto were champions for the last time, little was heard. The pandemic and the police tried to curb the festivities, which literally ended up with a cane.
Today, everything was different. Whoever was at the top of the avenue, if he stood next to the water mirror looking south, was rammed by the roar. It must be said that it is the echo of the voice of the dragon, of the champion. It is, perhaps, also something else: the party, finally, with its face uncovered.
Siri is a huge German Shepherd Dog. The dog came, also dressed up, with her family for the Allies to see the beginning of the party. Isabel says it’s important for everyone to come and celebrate — “to pass the tradition on to their children” and also to the dog, who, lying on the granite parallels, calmly watches the arriving crowd.
“It’s breathing again, exorcising a lot of bad things”, he says, about the pandemic. Joana, the daughter, notices that the dog is already transformed into the protagonist: “it is the center of attention”, she emphasizes, while those who pass, pass by to photograph the dog. New ones pass, old ones pass. Grown up and small. Some babies in arms, others in strollers.
From Darwin’s non-goal to Zaidu’s goal
Like many, Isabel and her family left for Baixa to follow the final stretch of the game. Even so, while the ball was rolling in Luz, Avenida dos Aliados was given over to tourists. With the final end occupied by the subway works, there is less space for walking and getting to the shops is walking through a labyrinth of slabs and ramparts.
However, in the adjacent streets and squares, glued to the televisions, the fans felt the game with the same intensity as inside a stadium. On an esplanade in Praça Filipa de Lencastre, right next to it, between the Ceuta tunnel and the hotel, the support cheerleaders were set up from a distance. And when the Reds’ goal was ruled out, for offside, the festive roar was heard. It was enough to keep the 0-0 for FC Porto to guarantee the championship.
But Zaidu did not want the team to win the championship without winning the game. And there he scored the winning goal, at 90 + 4. In Porto, the party was closer — but the referee Luís Godinho still needed to blow the final whistle to confirm the result and the fans were left waiting for that signal, that last sentence to guarantee that now, yes, there are 30, damn it, 30 blue and white championships.
When that fine arbitration tone played in Lisbon, the party exploded in Porto. Soon everyone headed for the Allies. And those who were already there more joined: coming from the side, with sweaters, scarves and flags. To the sound of trumpets, firecrackers and rockets. Shouting “Porto”, “Pinto da Costa” and swearing at the defeated SLB.
The sky turned off the sun, the street lamps came on and the glow and smoke of the festivities shed light on the growing crowd. They came by subway, they came by car. They arrived there on foot.
With access cut off, cars piled up in Trindade, in Sá da Bandeira, honking their horns in loud celebration there too. Whenever a new subway train entered the station, more people threw up their hands, celebrating and screaming.
“For me there were no doubts”, says Marco about the time. “We only lost one game”, recalls the Felgueiras fan, who lost the game to head to the epicenter of the party. “It is important to celebrate here, until late at night”, he adds, assuring that he will wait for the arrival of the players.
A one-year break as champions is not serious: “we are already used to it”, says a fan who came with the family of Paços de Ferreira just to follow the game and the championship party. “We are not discouraged — every now and then we have to give some joy to the other fans”, she says, referring to the last championship, which Sporting CP from Lisbon won after almost two decades without the title.
Leave home to go home
Avenida dos Aliados was the scene of the first screams, but the party took place on the edge of the stadium. In Antas, a few metro stations from the center of Porto, the bandstand was next to door 24. It was there that Pepe summoned the supporters, and it was there that they soon began to gather (while having a party at the travel).
The authorities advised supporters to prefer public transport. We did it too — and on the short journey between the center of Porto and Estádio do Dragão, whenever the doors opened at the stations, it was possible to hear the screams and chants, indicating that, in the carriages ahead, the groups continued the party. . Upon arrival at the stadium station, there were even fireworks exploding on the pier.
Apart from the pyrotechnic devices, the party went on without any major upheavals. The crowd gathered next to the stadium, like a huge audience sprawled on both sides of the bandstand set up next to door 24, which opens onto the Alameda das Antas. And there were people up there, people not at the top of the viaduct, people at the access to the shopping center.
At 11:30 pm, Emanuel played, to animate a dancer where everyone danced — even the cleaning ladies twirled with the guards, in a lively party. By this time, the Dragons bus was at the Sanctuary of Fátima. The team still had to make another stop, while the chants, dances, smoke, firecrackers and rockets animated the fans, who celebrated the images on the giant screen.
It was after two in the morning when, finally, the team began to be called: first Pepe, the captain. The euphoria of the fans burst. One by one, the players crossed the bridge that connected the stadium to the circle (which is actually one of the stadium’s ticket offices) where they could be seen by everyone. At that top, they got together to celebrate a little closer to those who supported them during a season that continues (and still has a Cup to win).
One by one, the players went up to be celebrated. One by one applause, between TikTok dances and thanks. until the misterSérgio Conceição and his technical team, who joined the party — and continued it.
It may be that in this land the vv will be exchanged for the bb. What is never exchanged here is pride for something else — not even the party, when it’s to celebrate.