Sports Round Up: January 2024


Algarve Rugby

Rugby Club Loulé have two crucial home games in January as they bid to reach the promotion play-off group stages. After four straight defeats, Loulé sit at the bottom of the ‘south’ group but will be looking to kickstart their season with matches against Setúbal on 13 January and Évora on 20 January. Entrance to the games is free.

The ‘Untouchaballs’ touch rugby Movember tournament has been hailed as a “massive success” by organiser Phil Soames. Around forty players turned up to the event to raise awareness for men’s health charities. If you are interested in playing touch rugby in Lagos, contact Phil: 

International rugby

Following their World Cup heroics, the Portuguese men’s team have announced a mouthwatering one-off test match against world champions South Africa. The game will take place on 20 July and will see Portugal face the Springboks for the first time in their history. After beating Fiji and drawing with Georgia, Portugal won plenty of admirers at the World Cup and many have called for more high-profile matches for the so-called tier two rugby nations. It doesn’t get any tougher than an away game against the best side in the world, but it will certainly rank as a huge step forward in promoting rugby in Portugal.


Portugal has finished second in the ECI tri-nations tournament in Malaga. Despite some strong individual performances, it was host Spain who secured overall victory after losing just one of their six matches. Despite missing out on the top spot, Portugal’s Shayaddur Rahman received the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament award, taking eleven wickets in his five games.


Algarve football

After last year’s relegation from the women’s National Division 2, Guia Feminino have responded well in the regional league of Division 3. After five games, they remain undefeated and sit top of Group M. Winning the league will mean they advance to the playoffs, which will offer them the opportunity to bounce straight back up. Fellow Algarve side FC Ferreiras are fourth in the five-team group but lost 2-1 in the Algarve derby with Guia. 

On the week that the Farense stadium turns 100 years old, the Faro-based football club have announced that they are considering playing next season’s ‘big three’ at the Estádio Algarve. The ‘big three’ represent games against Sporting Lisbon, Benfica and Porto and are always sell-outs. Club president João Rodrigues has stated that though nothing has been decided, the additional revenue of playing these games at a 30,000-capacity stadium could equate to around an extra 1.5 million euros.

International football

The Portugal men’s team have completed their UEFA EURO qualifying campaign with a 100% record following a 2-0 victory over Iceland. Goals from Bruno Fernandes and Ricardo Horta saw them finish top of Group J with 10 wins from 10 games. In truth, Portugal had been placed in one of the easier groups, but with 36 goals scored and just two conceded, coach Roberto Martinez will be delighted with his side’s smooth progress.

After enjoying a fabulous first half of the year that included their first-ever World Cup victory, the Portugal women’s team have been brought back to earth with a bang. Five defeats in six games in the Nation’s League saw them finish bottom of Group A2 and they now face relegation to Tier B. There has been no shortage of shots or possession throughout the campaign, but, ultimately, five goals in six games is a telling statistic. Coach Francisco Neto will have plenty to work on if Portugal are to bounce back up at the first attempt.

RISING STAR: Henrique Rocha

Young Portuguese tennis player Henrique Rocha has continued his fine form by winning the Vale do Lobo Open. The nineteen-year-old from Porto enjoys playing in the Algarve, having reached the final of the Tavira Open and winning the title at Vila Real de Santo António. This time, he went one better by winning both the singles and doubles titles, the latter alongside his brother Francisco. At an all-time ranking high of 246, he is now the Portuguese number three.

If you wish to publicise a sporting event or a ‘rising star’ contact our sports editor David Lugg:


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