Oct 30, 2007

Porto Powers On For Eighth Straight League Win

FC Porto made quick work of Leixoes in Portugal's bwin liga today, winning 3-0 for its eighth win in as many games. The world's eighth-best club, as judged by Soccer Source's current rankings, has yet to play second-placed Benfica or fourth-placed Guimares, but earlier this season won at third-placed Sporting and against Maritomo, currently fifth in the bwin. In fact, the Dragons are unbeaten in all competition this year, though they have been tied twice in the UEFA Champions League, most recently at Olympique Marseille last week. They may face their toughest task Nov. 28 when they travel to Anfield.

Porto is a storied club with a long history and definitely have one of the cooler shields I've seen (above). They were founded in the 1890s by a wine merchant (I'm not making this up, I got it from the club's official English-language Web site) and have won 22 Portuguese league championships, including four of the last five. In the 1990s, they only captured eight of 10 titles. Not a bad tally. Coaches over the years have included Jose Mourinho, Luis Fernandez, Bobby Robson, Carlos Alberto Silva and Artur Jorge (twice), among many others. They won the UEFA Champions Cup--hitherto rechristened as the Champions League--back in 1987 in perhaps their most famous game, a 2-1 triumph over a heavily-favored Bayern Munich. That Bayern team was coached by Udo Lattek and featured players that would be shoe-ins for an international soccer hall of fame, if such a thing were to exist: Lothar Matthaus, Jean-Marie Pfaff (arguably the best goalkeeper of his generation), Michael Rummenigge, as well as Andreas Brehme and Dieter Hoeness.

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