Portal Dos Dragões: Getting to Know FC PortoInterview • Author: Nathan Redd • Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Last week, Fenerbahçe Worldwide announced an exclusive partnership with FC Porto's Portal Dos Dragões, one of the most popular Porto fansites in the world. FBWW's Nathan L. Redd was interviewed and featured on Portal Dos Dragões. Now Fenerbahçe Worldwide turns the tables, interviewing the popular website's founder, José Carvalho. See what Carvalho has to say about his team's chances, FC Porto's history, and how Porto fans think Fenerbahçe would fare in the Portuguese Liga.
FBWW: Tell us a little more about Portal Dos Dragões. When did it start, how did you get involved, and how many visitors do you get in a typical day/week?
JC: The idea of having a website about FC Porto came in the summer of 1998,
after reading an article in a newspaper about different, easy ways to have
a website up and running. It seemed a good way to spread the "word,"
something that I could have pleasure in doing. The idea materialized in
1999. Next year, Portal dos Dragões will be celebrating its 10th
anniversary! Statistics vary, of course. In our case, it's not classified info,
everybody can see all kinds of statistics since Jan 2006. Nowadays, we're
doing between 30000-45000 unique visitors/month, 70-85 thousand
visits/month, and generally between 1-1.5 million pageviews/month. Our
traffic comes from approx. 75-100 different countries.
FBWW: Are you affiliated with the club?
JC: We're not affiliated with the club in any way. Portal dos Dragões is an
independent source of information about FC Porto since it's creation. In
the past, especially when the website started to have some recognition in
the Portuguese media, I had the opportunity to meet several club
officials. Today Portal dos Dragões is a very popular website among FC
Porto supporters. It is therefore normal if the club pays some attention
to what's going on in our community.
FBWW: Tell us more about the history of FC Porto. Who is the typical FC Porto supporter?
JC: FC Porto was founded in 1893 by a Port wine
merchant, who discovered football in one of his business trips to England.
The club won 22 national championships, 13 national cups, and 15 supercups.
Internationally, the club won the European Champions Cup (against Bayern,
1987), the UEFA Champions League (against Monaco, 2004), the European
SuperCup (against Ajax, 1988), the UEFA Cup (against Celtic, 2003) and two
Intercontinental Cups (Penarol and Once Caldas, 1987 and 2004). We also
played 2 other European SuperCups (lost to Valencia and Milan) and a Cup
Winners Cup final (lost to Juventus).
Our international reputation was also made by winning some prestigious
trophies like Juan Gamper, Teresa Herrera, Ciudad de Sevilla/Expo-92,
Trofeo Juan Acuna, Thailand Premier Cup (Bangkok), Rotterdam Tournament,
Thomas Cook Trophy (Manchester), Matines Brugeoises (Brugge), among
Of course, our players won international awards: UEFA CL player of the
year - Deco (2004), UEFA CL goalkeeper of the year - Vitor Baia (2004),
Maniche, Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira were part of UEFA team of the
year (2003-2004), African Player of the Year - Rabah Madjer (1987).
FC Porto players won the France Football Golden Shoe Award three times, awarding the best striker of the year: Jardel (98/99) and Fernando Gomes (82/83,
83/84). Jardel also won a silver (96/97) and a bronze (99/2000).
The typical supporter? That's a tough one. Someone that has a lot of
passion and a lot of pride of its club, I guess. I guess it's the same for
FBWW: For Fenerbahce supporters who don't know a lot about FC Porto, please tell us some players to watch on your team and why.
JC: It's kinda difficult to keep up with changes in FC Porto. We are a very
big club with one major weakness: being part of such a small and
peripheral market as the Portuguese one. To keep up with the teams of the
strongest and richest nations, we HAVE to sell the players that we
"produce." This year we lost Bosingwa (Chelsea), Paulo Assunção (Atl
Madrid) and Quaresma (Inter). Believe me: it´s a lot. The players to
watch: Bruno Alves in defence, Raul Meireles and Lucho Gonzalez in the
midfield, Lisandro Lopez and Christian Rodriguez in front are probably the
most important players. I hope to see some good things from Tomás Costa
(midfielder) and Hulk, in attack. Be very careful about the mighty Hulk
:-)...of course, our most important player is Lucho Gonzalez. This guy
could play in any midfield in the world; he's the "brain" of the team.
FBWW: What is the current state of Portuguese football? Is the level of quality improving? Where would you rank the Portuguese Liga along with fellow European leagues?
JC: The state of Portuguese football at the national team level has
been doing well, even tough we missed an unique chance of becoming
european champions, at home, in 2004. You know...if you want to say you
have success, you'd better prove it by showing your trophy cabinet...they
have been failing in that last step. It's not an opinion, it's a fact.
At the club level the situation is different. It's a small market, and the
clubs struggle with financial problems. FC Porto maintains higher
standards because it is a renowned team which sells top players, and then
you have Benfica and Sporting desperately trying to keep up. Then...it's a
completely different reality for the other clubs.
In Europe you have Spain, Italy, Germany and England as the big leagues. I
think the Portuguese league is in a group of leagues that follow
"immediately" after. The thing is that there is a HUGE difference between
the top four and the others.
FBWW: There will be a good number of Fenerbahçe fans making the trip to Porto for the game. What can fans expect at Dragon Stadium?
JC: I'm sure that Fenerbahçe fans will enjoy our stadium very much. It's a
jewel of stadia architecture. It's very modern and functional. On the
other hand, it's not such a hot ambiance as you can see in Turkey. Of
course, it all depends on the home team performance ;-)
FBWW: Have you ever been to Turkey? Are you planning to come to the match in Istanbul?
JC: I've never been in Turkey. I'll probably visit the country one day for
a dive trip! Of course, I'd like to spend some time in Istanbul. We'll see.
Normally I don't travel to see football matches. The last one I saw was
againt Chelsea, in London. Helton, our goalkeeper, decided to offer the
qualification to our opponents...
FBWW: Are most Porto fans familiar with Fenerbahçe? What is your opinion of the team and Turkish football in general?
JC: I have the feeling that we pay much more attention to other leagues,
than the average supporter from other European countries. I thing that
everybody knows the major clubs in Turkey. Turkish football made a great
evolution in the last 20 years. That third-place finish in the World Cup in 2002
was not a surprise for me. We know that there's a lot of investment in the
FBWW: In your opinion, what would it take for FC Porto to win the UEFA Champions League again?
JC: If we sell our best players every year, it's almost impossible. Of
course, all sorts of things have to be there in order to even consider
winning the competition. In 2003 and 2004 we had great players, teams and
an outstanding coach. The formula is always the same. Not easy to repeat a
lot of times. As Mourinho likes to say...there a lot of contenders, but
only one wins.
FBWW: Have you seen Fenerbahçe play much? If so, how do you think they would fare in the Portuguese Liga?
JC: I sometimes see games from La Liga or the Premier League. Sometimes. I
basically see the games of my club. Fenerbahçe is definetely a good team.
Of course I reckon we could do better, but I would LOVE to see Fenerbahçe
ahead of Benfica and Sporting :-)
FBWW: What is your opinion of both the UEFA Champions League and Group G this year? Who are your favorites to advance and why?
JC: Arsenal and FCP have more experience. But look at what Fenerbahce did
last year...I don't believe Kiev will have any chances. Any of the other three teams
can go to the next phase.
FBWW: Which team would you line up against Fenerbahce on September 17 and why?
JC: Helton; Sapunaranu, Bruno Alves, Rolando, Benitez; Fernando, Raul
Meireles Lucho Gonzalez; Christian Rodriguez, Candeias and Lisandro Lopez.
In the goal and defence because it's what we can lineup (Fucile would play
in Benitez's place but he cannot play). In the midfield Meireles and Lucho
are always there. Fernando is a young talent that lacks experience but ...
I would still bet on him to "clean up" in the midfield. Ahead I would give
a chance to young Candeias in the wings. Candeias is very young, without
experience but...who knows?! I hope Lisandro Lopez starts scoring goals
FBWW: Fenerbahce Worldwide readers are both Turkish and non-Turk; our supporters are spread around the world and on nearly every continent. What message would you send to us from the FC Porto supporters?
JC: It' so great that our clubs are involved in something so great as the
Champions League each year, and that we can play at this level. I hope
that Fenerbahçe fans can have a good time during their stay in Porto.