Feiteira Football Field

1907/08 - 1910/11

Founded in 26th of July 1906, in Benfica, the Grupo Sport de Benfica (GSB), especially turned to Cycling and Pedestrianism (Athletics). The club’s inauguration party took place in 02-09-1906, with a “Festival” including Cycling events, Running races and “gincanas”. The gincanas, running races using ribbons, negatives and “púcaros”) were performed in Quinta da Feiteira, gently ceded by its owner, Mr. César de Figueiredo.

In 26-05-1907, Quinta da feiteira’s field was already in the hands of GSB, next to Estrada de Benfica, a field prepared to sporting festivals and football matches. This field was inaugurated in 14-07-1097 - the event was a part of the club’s 1st anniversary festivities. By that time, the field was getting improved, especially, the field of play, in order to become flat and free of irregularities.

The Grupo Sport Lisboa (GSL) - SLB in its embryonic stage - did not have a football field in Belém (the place it was born), but some of its members were also GSB members. So, in 24-11-1907, in spite of being still considered a neutral field, GSL played for the first time in Feiteira. On that match, for the regional Lisbon championship, we won 1-0, against the Internacional (CIF).

A few months later ( in March 1908), GSB changes its name to Sport Clube de Benfica. In 13-09-1908, after absorbing the GSB structures (members, leaders, headquarters and facilities) , the “Glorious” Sport Lisboa implements Benfica in the name, by the new area influence, changes its designation to Sport Lisboa e Benfica (SLB) and takes control of Quinta da Feiteira’s Field.

In 04-11-1908, during a board reunion, it was decided to call the owner, César de Figueiredo, with the purpose of obtaining his permission to start the field reformulation, something imperative to offer better conditions to the place. With the chairman’s João José Pires financing, they wanted to build stands around the field and a headquarter. And, according to the reformulation importance, they would ask for a minimum 10 year renting contract.

The diligence result was communicated by the chairman himself. The ground owner would not concede the ten years contract, because it was destined, by the town hall, to a park. But, if they do not solve the question in a short time to star the process, Mr. César de Figueiredo would sell the land (evaluated in 60 “contos”), in order to build some houses.

The information caused them a great concern. With the serenity restored, the Vice-president, Alfredo Luís da Silva, said the rent was too heavy, and therefore unbearable to the Association Financial Resources. The board would have to give away the idea of the Feiteira improvement and, consequently, try to find out a land in Benfica’s area, capable of offering good conditions to raise field of play, worthy of a club with such a dimension in the Capital sports movement.

The concluded works plan for Feiteira would be reserved to the new football field. After all, it took a few time to understand that the private field problem would not be completely solved with the Feiteira’s solution. It was not possible to remain there. However, and for three seasons (1908/09 to 1910/11), great matches were played there, with massive crowds which have contributed to consolidate the popularity and the honours.

Photo of the team in 1907 Photo of the team in 1907

Our club’s first great victory, still with Sport Lisboa name, was in 10-02-1907, against Carcavellos Club, at home (2-1) - the englishmen squad was unbeatable for 9 seasons!, since 1898. After our affirmation as the best portuguesemen club, we have won the “Glorioso” nickname... until today! In spite of do not having a huge crowd in that particular match, the news were running very fast among the Sportsmen in Lisbon city, who started to attend our matches, with an increasing anxiety to watch new great victories - For this reason, the Quinta da Feiteira field was always with a good attendance.

Photo of the team in Carcavelos Photo of the team in Carcavelos

In 23-01-1910, according to the Ilustração Portuguesa and the O Século there were more than 8000 people. According to Tiro e Sport and Diário de Notícias there were more than 5000 people attending to the match between the “Glorioso”, which was performing a sensational season, and Carcavellos Club, unbeatable for 3 years (since that 10-02-1907 game). We defeated the “English masters” again, this time for 1-0, our second victory against that Portuguese football mythical club! We won, for the first time, an Regional Champion official title (1st division) - The first of many and many titles throughout our History. The prestige and the popularity of our club were increasing with no turning back and, because of Feiteira’s localization (next to Benfica’s church, in the neighborhood with the same name), the name BENFICA was being more and more used, in opposition to Sport Lisboa denomination. During 1908 and the next years, our club’s board directors have continued to look for a ground to establish a football field, but with no results. Although, in 1910, some works were made in Feiteira, with a 70$460 réis charge, thanks to a donation given by some members generosity. In the same year, during a meeting on April 22nd, the still existing problem was asking for a quick resolution (the club was taking the risk of having no field), so it became an object of a careful analysis. But the solution would come only in 1912, with the Sete Rios Field rental, valid from the next year on. There were four long years, full of difficulties and doubts, but all exceeded.

It would be with the perspective of changing place that Benfica would perform its last match, in 22-05-1911, at Quinta da Feiteira and, at the same time, the first international match of its history.

The french opponent was Stade BordelaisUniversité. It was the “goodbye” to Feiteira and Benfica, where the club have won its projection, dragging multitudes, spreading its popularity and overlapping the strength of Benfica’s name to the Sport Lisboa designation. Over there we played 22 matches, with 14 victories, 3 draws and 5 losses; 56 goals for and 18 goals against.

Nowadays, there are buildings and yards located in those fields, between Estrada de Benfica and Rua Emília das Neves, as the Quinta da Feiteira’s destiny was the urbanization. The new Emília das Neves street is exactly located over one of the old field’s sidelines.

Campo da feiteira Characteristics

Campo da Feiteira
Quinta da Feiteira, next to Benfica’s church
Occupation time
Between 26-05-1907 and 31-12-1911
Approximated area
Area: 9600 m2 (120m x 79m)
(Data collected from História do Sport Lisboa e Benfica 1904-1954, Vol. I, p.74)
Current situation
Buildings and backyards between Estrada de Benfica and Rua Emília das Neves
Type of property
Rental: 40 thousand réis (40$00)/year. Paying each semester
Inauguration date and first match
Inaugurated by Grupo Sport Benfica, in 14-07-1907
First match of Grupo Sport Lisboa: 24-11-1907, for Regional de Lisboa, against CIF (W 1-0)
First match as SLB: 25-10-1908, for Regional de Lisboa, against Sporting CP (W 2-0)
Last match date
22-05-1911: Friendly match versus Stade Bordelais (French club) (L 2-4)
Best attendance
In 23-01-1910, for the Regional, against Carcavellos Club (W 1-0)

Top Matches

25/10/1908 2 - SL Benfica
0 - Sporting CP
First match for the Regional de Lisboa, using the field to play at home
01/01/1905 4 - SL Benfica
0 - Ajudense FC
Attendance “Record” at a Sports Event in Portugal: 1000 people
28/02/1909 5 - SL Benfica
0 - S U Belenenses
First thrashing: 5-0
23/01/1910 1 - SL Benfica
0 - Carcavellos Club
Second winning against the “English Masters” and attendance record in Portugal: 8000 people
09/04/1911 15 - SL Benfica
0 - Lisboa FC
For the Lisboa Regional Championship

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