On to the next absolute gem in and around Porto, Portugal. This time we went to Maia, one of the villages around Porto. There we found the Estadio Municipal Dr. José Vieira de Carvalho. Quite the mouth full, but the stadium is also the mouth full worth.
The stadium was built in 1930 and was later renamed to the former professor and president of Portugal; dr. José Vieira de Carvalho - coming from the city of Maia. The early years are a bit of a blur, because we can't seem to find anything on the original name of the stadium. We also can't find any confirmation on who used the stadium for the first 24 years. We do suspect it was mainly used for athletics purposes, but we are not ruling out football.
As of 1954 we can confirm with certainty football became the main sports event in the stadium. That year Futebol Clube da Maia was born. We do have to do quite some research to find anything on their first results. But we can confirm the team never managed to reach the Portuguese first division. They did play the second division regularly. The peak years were without a doubt in the 90s and the first few years of the new millennium.
Despite the fact they already played the second division before, everyone keeps referring to the last time it happened. Before their stay was always short in time. One of those examples ended in 1991 when they relegated back to the third division. In 1997 they were back again and they started their spell of nine consecutive seasons in the second division. The year 2000/01 definitely was the highlight when then ended in fourth position. They never came closer to the first division. Afterward it all went downhill for the team.
Their story in the second division ended in 2006 when they relegated back to the third division. By then financial problems started making their lives very complex. Again a year later they even went down the leagues more. It was that bad in 2009 a group of people decided to form a new team in the city; FC Maia Lidador. For two years the teams lived next to each other, but eventually the old FC Maia ceased all activities in 2011.
That's when FC Maia Lidador kind of took over the status of FC Maia, without even having that ambition. The new team started in the lower leagues, but in 14 years time they managed to collect quite some promotions. Right now they are in the highest regional league in Porto. They're far from being where FC Maia used to be, but who knows in the future. Those days might just come back.
And all of this might happen in a brand new stadium. There are rumours the Estadio Municipal in Maia will be completely rebuilt into a modern stadium with 69000 seats, instead of the 12 to 15000 seats (depending on which source you use) it has now. Some locals did mention to us these rumours are absolute nonsense and no new stadium will be built. In the meantime, whatever might happen, we can still enjoy this old glory.
If you want to enjoy our articles in Dutch, you can read them here.