After a six-year absence, Portimonense is rejoining Portugal’s football elite next season.
The Portimão-based club clinched a long-awaited promotion spot to Liga NOS yesterday (April 23) despite losing 1-0 in an away match to Académico de Viseu. But Sporting de Covilhã’s thrashing of Varzim (0-4) later that day allowed Portimonense to celebrate on the way back home and ensure that the Algarve will have representation in Portugal’s Primeira Liga for the first time since Olhanense was relegated in 2013/14.
Around 2,000 people were waiting in front of Portimão town hall to welcome the team when they arrived.
“The people (of Portimão) deserve this promotion for the support they have given us throughout an extremely difficult season,” said head coach Vítor Oliveira, who achieved the 10th promotion of his career and fifth straight – a record in Portugal and an almost unmatched feat anywhere else.
“However, the championship is not over yet. We want to strengthen our position at the top (of the league) and win the title. We have an obligation to do everything that is possible to achieve this,” he said.
Whether Oliveira will remain in Portimão next year is yet to be decided. For many years, Oliveira has opted to continue leading second division teams to a promotion spot instead of signing with first division teams that fight to avoid relegation.
“I will certainly meet with the board, and we will discuss whether there are conditions for me to continue or not. It is perfectly possible for me to do so, I have done it before in my career,” he added.
The club remains at the top of Ledman LigaPro, two points clear of Desportivo de Aves.
Portimonense’s next match is at home against Leixões on Saturday (April 29), kick-off at 11.15am with live broadcast on SportTV.
Next season will be the 15th time Portimonense competes in Portugal’s top tier. Its best season was in 1984/85 when it finished fifth and clinched an UEFA Cup spot.