Portimão hosts Copa Ibérica this weekend

Portimão hosts Copa Ibérica this weekend

Portimão will host the first ever Copa Ibérica this weekend featuring FC Porto, La Liga’s Betis Seville and Getafe as well as home side Portimonense.

The tournament, coinciding with Porto’s pre-season training camp in Lagos, represents closer co-operation between the Portuguese and Spanish leagues, and Portuguese League President Pedro Proença expects “three days of festivities on the lines of the present domestic League Cup competition final phase format with four matches played out in front of one full stadium”.

Portimão mayoress Isilda Gomes added: “We have installed a fan zone, football appeals to lots of people, and we want to welcome all our visitors in the best possible way.”

The four-way tournament forms part of the year-long ‘European City of Sport’ programme which has seen a wide variety of events already taken place in the municipality and will be covered by cable company Sport TV.

The first match kicks off this Friday at 8.30pm between FC Porto and Betis followed by Saturday’s encounter between Portimonense and Getafe at the same time. The third and fourth place game takes place on Sunday at 11.30pm ahead of the grand finale that evening, again at 8.30pm. The venue is the Municipal Stadium and tickets are priced at €6.

Thereafter Portimonense’s next ‘dress rehearsal’ will take place on Wednesday at 6pm against Lille.

Meanwhile, Portimonense’s latest ‘test’ matches ahead of this weekend’s main event produced a loss and a draw.

Against Sporting Braga last Saturday, the visitors dominated during the first half and could have been ahead by the interval but for some solid defending from the hosts. Portimonense manager António Folha then rotated the complete starting eleven resulting in a much more positive performance during which Aylton and Luquinha went close before a Braga free kick settled the issue close to the end. Unfortunately, the game was preceded by a heated and very public discussion over recent transfers between Braga president António Salvador and Portimonense majority shareholder Theodoro Fonseca with the protagonists almost coming to blows.

Monday evening’s rescheduled encounter with Marítimo again involved a multitude of players on both sides, the team from Madeira taking the lead through Getterson before Pedro Sá scored the equaliser five minutes from the end.

Off the pitch, the Paulo Fonseca-managed Roma have emerged as the latest suitors for the recently returned Bruno Tabata. A formal offer in the region of €20 million from the Italian giants is expected shortly for the talented Brazilian. At the same time, Paulinho has been strongly linked with China’s Shenzen, the player’s salary demands providing the only stumbling block to a €10 million deal with Porto’s Bruno Costa a possible replacement in midfield. In contrast, ‘old hand’ Wellington is said to play no further part in Folha’s future plans and has been told to look for another club.


Photo: Pedro Proença, Portuguese League President, Portimão mayoress Isilda Gomes, and Robson Ponte, Portimense vice-president