Eurovision win sets seal on Portugal’s ‘hat trick’ weekend

An incredible Eurovision song contest win by a young man purportedly waiting for a heart transplant has set the seal on one of the best weekend’s for Portugal since the national football team won the 2016 Euro.

Salvador Sobral, 27, scored an unprecedented 758 points for a song which he readily admitted was not the usual Eurovision fare.

As a report by the BBC put it: “Where others brought slick precision sheen and dancing gorillas to the contest, he brought heart, sincerity and a simple, guileless charm”

It was the first time Portugal has won the competition after over five decades in which the country fielded songs.

Written by Sobral’s sister Luísa, Amar Pelos Dois showed, said the winner, that “music isn’t fireworks… music is feeling”.

Sobral’s lyrical take on life has been evident throughout this competition (click here).

In his acceptance speech he called the win “a victory for music that means something” in a world that has come to demand “disposable music, fast food music without content”.

Receiving congratulations from every quarter (prime minister António Costa tweeted: history has been made at Eurovision today! Congratulations Salvador! Congratulations Portugal!), the delightfully-shambolic Sobral is now on his way back home with the coveted trophy – no doubt to a hero’s welcome when he touches down at Lisbon airport.

As national tabloid Correio da Manhã reveals, it ‘almost didn’t happen’: Sobral’s health problems (he has also had to be operated on two hernias, says the paper) meant that he missed the first week of rehearsals, and there were concerns that he should attempt the flight to Kiev at all.

But these wrinkles in the picture have been ironed out by destiny, and the ‘cherry on the cake’ for Portugal is that it will now be hosting the famous competition next year.

Meantime, Sobral’s win came shortly after the Pope flew home to the Vatican – his centenary visit to Fátima an overwhelming success – and as the country celebrated an historic win by football team Benfica in the national league.

All in all, this has been Portugal’s weekend. Not even the knock-on effect of Friday’s global ransomware attack – reported to have affected Portugal Telecom and “other businesses” – has merited much more than passing mention in press headlines.

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