We are staying in Matosinhos, Portugal for a while longer. Next to Leixoes SC, there is another beautiful stadium to be found. This beauty belongs to Leça FC. Their Estadio do Leça FC has been around since 1992, but the history of the team goes way back.
Five years after Leixoes SC set the example, Leça FC started off as well. As of 1912 they played friendly games in their Campo Hintze Ribeiro. Despite the fact Leça FC never officially joined the Portuguese FA, they did manage to make the lives of some of the stronger clubs in the neighbourhood very difficult in friendly games. Up until 1916 at least, because as of then Leça FC seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth.
Until they appeared again in 1922. Leça FC moved to the Campo Miguel Bombarda and this time they did join the Portuguese FA. Real competition football started for them, finally. And as of their first season, the results were great. Leça FC started having great ambitions. Those ambitions were rewarded in 1941 with their very first promotion to the Portuguese highest national division. One year later though the team relegated again and a long path in the second and third national divisions started.
In the 70s and the 80s Leça FC even fell back to the fourth division and lower, but by the time the 80s were ending they were back were they belonged. Even more so, in the early 90s the ambitions were back again and they prepared for their return in the first division by building a brand new stadium, their Estadio do Leça FC. In 1993 the club won the third division and only two years later they managed to go back to the first division after winning the second division.
This time Leça FC did better than during WWII and they managed to stay in the highest division. But in 1998, the Portuguese FA punished them after accusations of corruption and bribery. Leça FC was put back in the second division. The expectation was they would fight for immediate promotion, but up until now they didn't manage to go back to the highest level. The opposite happened in fact. Slowly they fell back to the lower national leagues.
Right now Leça FC is playing the fourth national level in Portugal. The fans will most definitely think back with joy to the days when they had players like Sergio Conceiçao and Ricardo Carvalho in their team. And who knows, maybe those days might come back. But for now their Estadio do Leça FC has to deal with fourth division football.
If you want to enjoy our articles in Dutch, you can read them here.