A city that is bound by one love. Futebol Clube do Porto. A city of fine tradition and culture, inhabited by people who are bold and look to the future. Old and young, brought together through a passion for one club.
When exploring the spirit, vibrancy and beauty of porto, we (Cult Kits) met a Porto fan who's ties with the club go back before his father. Miguel Sul, his family and friends 'are' FC Porto.
We spent the week with Miguel, exploring the city and understanding why FC Porto means so much to the fans.
CK: What's your earliest memory of going to watch FC Porto?
MS: My first game was an away fixture, in Lisbon. I must have been 3 or 4 years old, and my whole family went to that game, even my grandma, who painted my cheeks blue and white. The first thing I remember loving was the sound, the roaring sound of thousands of people passionately living the game. Sounds like that are usually scary to children, but all I could do was smile and laugh. The sounds of football made me happy.
CK: How would you describe your bond with the club?
MS: FC Porto is a big part of me. For 16 years of my life I have lived far away from my city of Porto, and the way I’d find to feel closer to home was watching the games, even from afar, but living every moment like I’d be in the Dragão, wearing the badge on my chest and converting people from other nationalities to our club, teaching them the way of the dragon.
Miguel & Bernardo wearing the home and away 22/23 FC Porto shirts
CK: How would you describe what Porto means to you, your family and the people of Porto?
MS: The club itself is a way of life. People from Porto have a grit, we call it “raça”, it is and indescribable power of will to succeed, to get ahead, to get their first. Our players sport that philosophy on the pitch, just like we supporters do on our daily lives. Gets us out of the bed faster, makes us stronger at work. This way of life makes every moment of celebration a well-earned one, through hard work and determination.
When my family gathers, there’s always a moment when we discuss the club with passion. We talk about the game, mostly, tactics, plays, a particular way a player received a long ball, a great pass. We love the game of football, and every one of these conversations makes us happy, because we know that our players are leaving it all out on the field, win or lose, and that’s all we ask for.
Bernardo Sul – wearing the FC Porto 22/23 home shirt
CK: What do you think FC Porto does for the people of Porto?
MS: FC Porto is Porto’s heart. If we lose, which doesn’t happen regularly, people are sad for a whole week, you feel it in the air. The very weather seems to agree with the mood of the city. Markets are quieter, and people feel the weight of being alive in the Universe to be heavier. Now, when we win, and we win a lot, the city shines brighter, the noises of our streets are happy ones. You hear bursts of laughter from coffee shops, older folks walk faster and smile more. When we win a title, an important match, a big Champions League match, this city is electric.
CK: Was there any other choice but to support FC Porto?
"My whole family are “sócios”, we have a long, generational tradition of supporting and being members of our FC Porto. It was the only possible choice, we are born dragons."
CK: What's a usual match day routine?
MS: In the morning, I feel extra excited. I find myself thinking about the players, worrying if any of them is known to have any small injuries that can affect not only their performance, but the way they feel too. By the time the lineup is announced, my dad and I usually analyse it thoroughly, and discuss the tactical implications of the gaffer’s choices, bouncing them off the opposing team’s lineup. We enter the stadium early, to get a feel of the players during warm up, and smell the grass. We always wear our Porto kits, and when the game starts we feel like we’re in there too, in every play.
CK: What is the city like after an FC Porto win?
MS: The city oozes with electricity after a win. We supporters have a song that is a plea to the club, and there’s a part of it that goes “give us, on this day, another joy, another victory”. That is the way the city lives every fixture, the very happiness of the people of Porto is enhanced by a victory in a football game.
CK: The club is blessed with a great history, but what is your favourite moment in your time as a fan?
MS: My favourite moment happened in May 2013, at the Dragão. The opposing team needed only a draw to become Champions of Portugal in our stadium. My dad and I were there, excited as always, and with all due respect to the other team, knowing with an unbreakable confidence that FC Porto was going to win that match. By minute 80’ the result was 1-1 and we admit we were a little nervous then. But, at that time, a young player named Kelvin entered the match, and the confidence of his first touch gave us a little thing called hope. Minute 90’ and the result was still 1-1.
"The stadium’s foundations shook with the roaring thunderous noise of 50.000 dragons screaming."
I was biting on my shirt’s collar, sweating from every inch of my body as if I was the one running in the pitch. Minute 92’ and a brilliant through pass enters the opposing defensive line. The stadium held its breath. Without hesitation, Kelvin shoots with his left foot as he enters the area, scoring. What was stillness became a volcano. The stadium’s foundations shook with the roaring thunderous noise of 50.000 dragons screaming. Me and my father among them, in tears of joy, and hugging every single person we knew and didn’t know. The Champions of Portugal in 2013 was FC Porto.
"It’s something that unites us, he is very proud to have passed the passion he feels for the club to me, and I am very lucky to have that in common with my dad."
CK: How does you love of FC Porto strengthen the bond between you and your father?
MS: It’s something that unites us, he is very proud to have passed the passion he feels for the club to me, and I am very lucky to have that in common with my dad. Children don’t always share their parents’ passions, being from the natural generational gap or other factors. For example, my dad and I have very different music tastes, styles of clothing (even if we always agree that the FC Porto kit is beautiful every year), movie choices… But one thing we will always have in common is our love for Porto. And that is priceless.
CK: What do you think of this season's kits?
MS: This season’s kits are beautiful. Over the last few years, New Balance has been establishing itself as a great lifestyle brand, as well as a technological reference in the making of football kits. This year is not different, the home shirt is classy, with a small V-neck and thin blue stripes.
Sebastiao Maia wearing the FC Porto 22/23 home shirt
I also love the yellow away shirt, combined with the sand coloured shorts, it is one of the best kits in the world right now, in my opinion. What I like the most about the third shirt is it's minimalism. Simply blue, all blue. Like our hearts.
The FC Porto 22/23 home, away and third shirt is available from New Balance and FC Porto now.
Photography - Aleksandar Jason for Cult Kits x New Balance