Ever wondered why there is no English-language book about the history of Portugal’s national football team in existence? There was no sense of closure, no outcome compelling enough to finish the story of a small nation competing against the odds which was being told by some of the greatest footballers ever to take the pitch.
Then, on the evening of 10 July 2016, the football-crazed country that is Portugal almost spontaneously combusted with joy as its beloved Seleção became European Champions. Eder’s stunning winner on that never-to-be forgotten Paris night was the culmination of a 50-year journey of tournament football, a voyage that was initiated by another African-born striker forever synonymous with the Seleção, Eusébio, at the 1966 World Cup in England.
From Eusébio da Silva Ferreira to Ederzito António Macedo Lopes, The Thirteenth Chapter sequentially recounts the tale of each of the 6 World Cups and 7 European Championships in which Portugal have participated.
Tournament by tournament, the harrowing drama, the sub-plots, feuds, and classic matches are described in vivid detail, from the qualifying campaign to the main event itself, embellished throughout by first-hand interviews with Portugal players who were at the centre of the action. Each chapter includes a statistical breakdown at the end, making it a useful reference book.
Interwoven are the tales of many key figures for Portugal including Eusébio, Luís Figo, Ricardo Quaresma, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eder, the man who struck Portugal’s European Championship winning goal.
Portugal’s own expression of the game and their unique contribution to the art and culture of football on both an individual and collective level are elegantly portrayed as the book builds towards its inexorable conclusion.
The last chapter is different because it was the tournament when the Seleção finally did what it had threatened to do several times – bring home the trophy!
Chapter 13 reconstructs the 26 days in France that changed Portugal’s football history, the protagonists who made it happen, and the unbridled celebrations. It concludes by looking back at the complete tapestry of the Seleção’s 50-year tournament history, analysing common themes and the reasons why Portugal finally achieved glory after several near misses.
It is a beautiful journey, a story begging to be told. We, the authors, invite each of you to join us as we celebrate the voyage of the Seleção. Enjoy!
What the 400-page book contains:
- Vivid description of each of the 13 World Cups and European Championships Portugal have taken part in;
- Statistical breakdown of all the matches, venues, scorers, squads for each tournament, including the qualifying stage;
- In-depth exclusive interviews with Portugal players at the centre of the action, specifically António Simões (WC 1966), Nuno Gomes (Euro 2000), Ricardo (Euro 2004), Fernando Meira (WC 2006) and Bruno Alves (Euro 2012), in addition to contributions from other Portugal stars such as Rui Costa, João Moutinho and many more;
- Detailed descriptions of the classic matches that will forever stay in the memory of football fans in general and Portugal fans especially;
- Meticulous reconstruction of how Euro 2016 unfolded in France;
- The back-stories of the protagonists who rewrote Portugal’s football history at Euro 2016, many of which are truly inspiring ‘’winning against all odds’’ tales, such as that of Eder;
- A step back and final analysis of “the bigger picture” of the Seleção’s 50-year history and the factors that help explain how Portugal finally met glory.
Kickstarter campaign - send a message of support to Fernando Santos
For Portugal fans purchasing the book via Kickstarter we give you the opportunity to be part of a public letter of support to Fernando Santos and the Seleção.
In exchange for an additional pledge towards the project, write a 50-word message on what winning Euro 2016 meant to you, your favourite moment of the tournament or simply a message of support and/or gratitude to Fernando Santos.
The texts will be collated and published on PortuGOAL.net. The page will then be printed and delivered to Fernando Santos at the FPF headquarters. For details click here
Article update - how can you get a copy?
Just like Fernando Santos during the Euro 2016 tournament, we were confident the campaign to fund the book would finish with us achieving our goal! Thank you to everybody who backed the Kickstarter campaign for helping make the project a success.
If you would like to order the book, two options are available: