Portugal: The Navigators

Although the 2022 World Cup has finished, we have decided to feature a few more of the nations that were involved. The goal is always to get to know the country, celebrate them, and pray for its people. So let’s keep this emphasis going…

By: Guadalupe Muñoa Ocampo

Football in Portugal has a long history, and its introduction to the country dates back to 1875. Its first participation was in England in 1966 where it dazzled the world. It is somewhat surprising to see that this time has been just their eighth World Cup, and the national team showed enough this year to reach the Quarterfinals with splendid and attractive football. The “navigators” are known, of course, for the undisputed figure and the emblem of excellence, Cristiano Ronaldo, but he is also accompanied by a brilliant generation that is already making history. Coming to Qatar, the Portuguese belonged to Group H along with Ghana, Uruguay, and South Korea, where they won the group.

Portugal is a relatively small country (with regards to territory), but with an extraordinary variety of landscapes: cliffs of great beauty, islands that are paradises, immense plains, and imposing mountains. The Miño and Tagus rivers irrigate the Portuguese lands, and the natural parks and fauna and flora sanctuaries are perfect places to enjoy the outdoors and nature.

The culture of Portugal is rich and varied and has been influenced by other cultures such as the Romans and the Moors. It has a rich history in art and architecture, with many UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Christ Church Convent. The primary language is Portuguese, of course. Cod and caldo verde (a kale and potato soup) are some of its famous foods. Among its important celebrations, the Colombo Festival is a festivity dedicated to the voyages of Christopher Columbus and his travels through the Madeira region. Portugal’s economic activities include agriculture, metallurgy, mechanical engineering, textiles, construction, and tourism. In addition, it is an important exporter of wine and marble worldwide.

Portuguese culture is one of the most striking in Europe. It has been strongly influenced by the Catholic tradition, and this link to religion has largely shaped its celebrations, social values, and customs. Most of the citizens are Catholic, although there are a large number of Protestant evangelicals. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Orthodox, and Buddhists are minority groups. Some authors claim that traditional practices associated with healing or disease as well as notions of envy and “the evil eye” remain part of many people’s belief systems.

Let us pray that God would strengthen the faith of our evangelical brothers and sisters, so they would continue sharing the gospel with those who still do not know Jesus. Let us pray for those who believe in magical practices, that the Holy Spirit would touch their hearts and recognize that there is only one true and powerful God.

Resources consulted:

www.espn.com.ar

www.sportingnews.com

www.mediotiempo.com

https://www.exteriores.gob.es/

Team photo: https://elpais.com/deportes/mundial-futbol/2022-11-11/la-seleccion-de-portugal-en-el-mundial-de-qatar.html

Credit: Zed Jameson

Cultural photo: https://www.turismoenportugal.org/convento-de-cristo-tomar

Credit: Miguel Hugo Carriço

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