Maritimo fans.

Maritimo fans.

Maritimo is one is one of my favorite football clubs to watch at the stadium when I travel the world and I get to see them every now and then as I work a fair bit on Madeira Island. They have a cozy little stadium in a great setting and a very lively crowd.

Maritimo is as old as the portuguese republic.

Maritimo fans blowing their horn.

Maritimo fans blowing their horn.

Maritimo was founded in 1910 the same year that Portugal went from being a monarchy to being a republic. That fact actually reflects the green and red shirts they are wearing. When Portugal was a monarchy, the national flag was blue and white, but when Portugal became a republic the flag was changed to a green and red banner and because of that the founders of the club decided to play in green and red shirts, so Maritimo is in a way a club that portrays Portugal transition from being a monarchy to being a modern state.


It started down by the docks.

Maritimo was founded by people who worked at the docks in Funchal and in the beginning they mostly played games with teams consisting of visiting sailors from foreign ships. Because it was founded by poor dock workers, it remains the working class team of Madeira today, unlike their rivals National, who have mostly been supported by the wealthy merchants of the island.


Maritimo were once champions of Portugal.

Maritimo used to be champions.

Maritimo used to be champions.

Maritimo grew quickly to be a success team and won the portuguese championship in 1926, as one of the only teams outside Lisbon and Porto ever to win the portuguese championship.


Maritimo was isolated during the Salazar dictatorship.

When the fascist dictator Antonio Salazar took power, Madeira revolted against the Salazar government and were quickly defeated, but that revolt resulted in Salazar hating the guts of everything that came from Madeira, so the teams from the island were not competing in the national championships for more than 4 decades, leaving them to only play against each other. Officially it was because of the travel expenses to the mainland that they did not play in the national league, but I can assure you that this was nothing but a political move, because of Salazar’s hatred towards the island.


Maritimo’s stadium is a bit of a rundown construction site, but it has a lot of charm.

Maritimo's stadium has been under renovation for quite a while.

Maritimo’s stadium has been under renovation for quite a while.

There are few football stadiums in this world that I like more than Estadio dos Barrieros in Funchal. It’s perched on a hilltop quite close to the city center of Funchal and it’s quite old and quirky and a quarter of the stadium had been under renovation for years, but things keep getting delayed because of financial issues. But that does not stop the good fans of Maritimo from coming to the stadium and they have a good showing at their little stadium and the crowd is very lively and very mixed. Being a guy, I personally love the fact that many young girls come to watch Maritimo’s games, but you have people of all ages.


Section 2 is where it happens.

Enjoying the game with Carlos Mane, who used to play for the club and now trains youth players at Maritimo.

Enjoying the game with Carlos Mane, who used to play for the club and now trains youth players at Maritimo.

Behind one of the goals, there is an area called section 2 and this where you want to be if you like a bit of action, as this is where the hardcore fans are standing, together with all the brass band that comes to every game and supports their team with constant music from the second the players enter the ground. Section 2 is also the cheapest part of the stadium to be, with regular tickets costing 12€ at the moment of writing. Tickets at other parts of the stadium costs between 15 and 35€.


The captain is nicknamed after a german legend and he has a nice little bar.


The current captain of Maritimo is nicknamed “Briguel” after the german defender Hans Peter Briegel, who played on the West German team that were runners up in the 1982 world cup. Briguel also owns a really cosy little tropical style lounge bar called Maresia Bar, that I love to hang out at. It’s located on Praia Formosa, just outside Funchal and is well worth visiting. I’m actually sitting there writing these lines as it’s next to where I live when I am working on the island. Great island to live and work and a great island to watch football.

The stadium DJ doing his job.

The stadium DJ doing his job.

Maritimo has great fans.

Maritimo has nice fans.


  1. Really enjoyed this Claus! I’m currently blogging about my travels around Europe watching Man United, but I’d love to experience some of the more remote and small teams like this some day. Looks great!

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