FC Porto’s Pinto da Costa ends 15,344 days of glory as President

Pinto da Costa glory days over

The Dragon Stadium, or Estádio do Dragão, of FC Porto, rose in a standing ovation to outgoing President of 42 years who brought his club to top of the world

Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa’s legacy is well known in Portugal, as President of Futebol Clube do Porto since 1982. FC Porto is a name which resonates around the world but few know the name of the man who took a regional club and made it champion of Portugal, of Europe and the World.

Pinto da Costa (born 1937) is the sports club president with the most titles won, worldwide. Over one thousand, three hundred in various modalities of sport. The most famous, and the emblematic modality for FC Porto, is men’s football.

The sage began in 1982, when he was elected President of Futebol Clube do Porto for the first time, a journey which ended on Saturday April 27 when the ex-football coach of FC Porto, André Villas-Boas, stood against him and won by a large majority of the votes. At 86 years of age, the general feeling was that it was time for the President who had brought FC Porto glory over the decades to step down.


The European Championship againt Bayern Munich (a 2-1 victory) in Vienna, at the end of the 1986/7 season was the first jewel of many in the crown of Pinto da Costa as President of FC Porto (Chief Coach Artur Jorge). The European Super Cup and World Club Championship followed under chief coach Tomislav Ivic.

At home, many titles followed, including the PentaChampionship, 5 consecutive national championships from 1994/5 to 1998/9 under Bobby Robson (2), António Oliveira (2) and Fernando Santos (1).

International glory came back with José Mourinho appointed as head coach. In 2003, the UEFA Cup (now Europa League) then in 2004, the European Championship for the second time. Mourinho went to Chelsea, Victor Fernández took FC Porto to its second Intercontinental Cup (World Club Championship) but went on to be the only coach fired by President Pinto da Costa. 

In 2011, international glory again, victory in the Europa League (Head Coach André Villas Boas). In recent times, FC Porto has been a regular fixture in the Champions League but in today’s game, it is difficult for clubs to compete against a clique of elitist giants with rivers of money flowing through their veins.

A huge thank you

From every sports fan, especially football fan, around the world, where the shirt of FC Porto is proudly worn from Damascus to Rio de Janeiro, Moscow to Ulaan Baator, from Sydney to Montevideo, from Vancouver to Shanghai, a huge embrace and thank you to Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, whose singular, unique qualities took a regional club to the Pinnacle of glory on the world stage over several decades. The name Pinto da Costa will be etched into every fibre of the history of Futebol Clube do Porto, and indeed, Portuguese and world football, and sport in general.


68 titles in men’s football

Including 2 Intercontinental Cups (1987, 2004); 2 Champions League titles (1987, 2004); 2 UEFA Cups/Europa League (2003, 2011); 1 European SuperCup (1987); 23 national Portuguese championships (1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2018, 2020 and 2022); 15 Portuguese Cups (1984, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2020, 2022 and 2023, finalist in 2024); 22 Portuguese SuperCups (1983, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2018,  2020 and 2022); 1 Portuguese League Cup (2023).

Athletics 508 titles

Basketball 63 titles

Handball 47 titles

Among others in verious modalities

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey can be reached at [email protected]

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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey