Estádio do Dragão

The Estádio do Dragão (English: Dragon Stadium; literally Stadium of the Dragon) is a football stadium located in Porto, Portugal, with an all-seated capacity of 50,399. Inaugurated on November 16, 2003, it is the current home ground of F.C. Porto, having replaced the club's old venue, the Estádio das Antas (English: Antas Stadium). It is a certified UEFA category four stadium, and was one of the venues of the UEFA Euro 2004.

Construction and inauguration

Construction works began in late 2001, and were complete in November 2003, some months after what was expected, since in February 2002, Porto mayor Rui Rio changed the estate distribution, criticizing the plan for including high-scale housing and shopping for the area. These actions forced the chairman of F.C. Porto, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, to halt all building operations, which were only resumed after a consensus was reached.

Designed by Portuguese architect Manuel Salgado and built by Portuguese contractor Somague, it cost €97,755,318, of which €18,430,956 was subsidized by the government. To help underwrite costs, each stand carries one or two sponsor names: Super Bock (south), tmn (east), meo (west), and Coca-Cola (north stand). Away fans are placed in the left corner of the north stand, while home Ultra groups, Super Dragões and Colectivo Ultras 95, occupy the south stand and the north stand, respectively, like on the old stadium.

The stadium was inaugurated on November 16, 2003, with a match against F.C. Barcelona, which featured the debut of a 16-year-old Lionel Messi in the Catalan side. Porto won 2–0 with goals by Derlei and Hugo Almeida. Due to severe turf problems, however, Porto was forced to return and play in the old Estádio das Antas, until the turf was replanted by mid-February 2004.


The stadium's name is derived from the presence of a dragon on the club's crest, which is composed of an old stitched leather football under the city's coat of arms. It is also the nickname of the club's football team. Other alternatives were considered, such as keeping the old name, Estádio das Antas (officially, unlike the former stadium), or name after former player Pinga, former manager José Maria Pedroto, or president Pinto da Costa (holding office since 1982).

Major events

Constructed to become one of the venues of the UEFA Euro 2004 tournament, it staged the inaugural match between hosts Portugal and eventual winners Greece, as well as three group stage, one quarterfinal, and one semifinal fixtures. The stadium further cemented its reputation as an all-round sports and entertainment venue when it hosted the Portuguese leg of The Rolling Stones 2006 world tour, and the 2009 Race of Champions South Europe finals.

Portugal national football team

The following national team matches were held in the stadium.