Thursday 24 November 2022, 05:00

Creating best possible conditions for Portuguese football

  • FIFA FORWARD helps to enhance infrastructure at the Cidade do Futebol

  • Funding enables Portugal to increase vital initial investments in football development

  • Women’s national team on the brink of making history

In 2016 the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) opened its Cidade do Futebol (City of Football) complex to bring all of its sporting and administrative activities together in one place. In addition to the new FPF headquarters, the Cidade do Futebol boasts a technical centre, including a 340-capacity stadium, two grass pitches, a set of dressing rooms equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and an office area reserved for coaching and support staff.

The City of Football’s infrastructure was enhanced with support from the FIFA FORWARD development programme.

"The financial support provided by the FIFA FORWARD programme helped us to do even more than we [originally] set out to do," explained FPF president Fernando Gomes. "We used the funds available to us in recent years to create and improve the conditions and infrastructure we have here," he added. "First of all, the FIFA FORWARD programme is about strengthening our national teams by creating the infrastructure and facilities required for football development. In our case, we did this in an exemplary way by building the City of Football. This entire investment was crucial to our aim of creating the best possible conditions for development, and the contribution from the FIFA FORWARD programme was undoubtedly a deciding factor in encouraging us to invest in this facility." Gomes also stressed that the increased initial investment is essential both for the national teams and the development of football in Portugal as a whole.

The improvements have also had a positive impact on the women’s national team’s training regime. "The structure of our daily training programme has changed because we can now train at different times," said women’s national team coach Francisco Neto. "The quality of the pitch and the lower risk of injury resulting from this allows the players to perform at an even higher level. That has definitely helped us hugely when it comes to the internal dynamic, the conditions we can offer our players and their wellbeing. It puts the players completely at ease, and as part of the technical team, we love the environment we find ourselves in here now," he explained. "FIFA plays a fundamental role as it provides a global reference point for football, in our case for the women’s game," Neto continued. "It is extremely important for us to be able to access support and follow best practice examples. Fortunately the associations have worked with FIFA to address these challenges, and that has given women’s football a real boost." This uptick in fortunes has been reflected in the Equipa das Quinas’ recent success. Having defeated Belgium 2-1 and Iceland 4-1 after extra time in the UEFA qualifying play-offs for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia / New Zealand 2023™, Portugal are just one win away from reaching their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup™ finals. Neto’s team made it into the play-off tournament by having the third-best record of the three European play-off winners behind Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland, and will face either Thailand or Cameroon. The play-off tournament will take place between 18 and 23 February 2023 in the New Zealand cities of Auckland and Hamilton.

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Programme history

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