A Leicester City fan travels to watch Sporting Lisbon.
By outfoxed
Tuesday 24 Feb 2009 14:10:00
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A roofer goes to Lisbon.
"The wine is good, the fish is good, the women is very good!"

This was our taxi drivers advice about Lisbon as he took us from the airport to our digs, we had landed at Lisbon after a very short stay in Faro due to fog our plane couldn’t land so we landed at Faro waited what seemed like an eternity and then flew 25 minutes to Lisbon.

This was the 5th football weekend we had done and so we are getting to know the routine now. Straight to the hostel to drop off bags and check in, I love staying at hostels as a) they are very cheap (50 euro’s for 3 nights and b) you get to meet people from all over the world.

Once checked in it was straight onto the Metro to try and get legitimate tickets from the ground. As you approach Sporting Lisbon’s ground I was struck by how ugly it is.
I can only describe it as a lego set with all different colour pieces thrown together, we had already passed Benfica’s ground which was superb. Once at the ticket office it was clear that this game was a sell out so we decided to head off for some food and a few beers and try our luck with the tout’s a couple of hours before kick off the next day.

Friday night was spent on a bit of a bar crawl ending up in the obligatory Irish bar that seems to be in every city you go to. The bars on the whole were good and the beer was about what we were paying back home so happy days, as long as you can ignore the lucky lucky men selling everything from wooden lion’s to bags of heroin and coke!

Saturday afternoon was spent watching the scores come in on soccer Saturday and with 2 Leicester fans, an Evertonian, a west ham fan, a Villa fan  and a Leeds fan it was an interesting afternoon.

So, onto the ground and try our luck with the touts, I was quite nervous about this as there is always the chance of buying fakes and the disappointment that goes with that. We found one respectfully looking bloke who seemed to
be ordering all the other touts around and bought 2 tickets off him for 40 euro’s each. We had decided to split up into 3 groups of two to try and make it easier to get the tickets. There is a couple of bars in the ground and also a Lidl and a cinema so the next hour was spent in there having a few beers with the locals. Once they knew we were English they wouldn’t leave us alone, asking us to teach them songs (the highlight was me and my mate teaching them the burning ring of fire dud dud dud dud der de der L.C.F.C.) and buying us endless beers.

30 minutes before kick off it’s up to the turnstile to see if we have been conned or not and as we walk up and scan the tickets, straight in no problems my relief at this point was massive as I could finally relax and enjoy the game.

 
The game itself was surprisingly quick paced and the first touch of the players was exceptional. Sporting take the lead n 11 minutes before Reyes (he of Arsenal) equalises from the penalty spot on 36minutes which sends the Benfica fans next to us mad!. Sporting start the second half on top and take only 2
minutes to regain the lead through derlei and then add another through the very impressive Liedson. Benfica manage a consolation but it’s too little too late and we all head out into the Lisbon night happy to be amongst the Sporting fans and not the Benfica fans. We read in the paper the next day there had been lots of trouble outside the ground but I can honestly say I didn’t see any and it was a lot friendlier than when we went to the Lazio v Roma game.

 

 

 

I woke up Sunday with the mother of all hangovers having stayed out well into the early hours drinking. After grabbing some breakfast we decided to do the open top bus tour of the city and see a bit more of the capital. I’ve got to say Lisbon is a beautiful city. On November the 1st 1755 Lisbon was struck by a massive earthquake which destroyed the whole city. You can read about it in much more depth here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1755_Lisbon_earthquake

Because of this the city is relatively new. By far the most inspiring part of the city is the April 25th bridge which is a smaller version of the Golden gate bridge, I’ve never been to San Francisco but if this bridge is smaller god only knows how awe inspiring that one is.

Sunday night was a quiet one as we had to be up and out the digs by 7am to catch the 12:30pm flight home which in hindsight we didn’t need to because it was delayed for 4 hours but that didn’t spoil the fact we had a brilliant weekend and the weather was superb (up to 24 degrees on the Sunday!).

If you’ve not been to Lisbon I highly recommend it. Taxi drivers tend to know a lot about the city they live in and ours was spot on!



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