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Dados de Fernando Peyroteo Peyroteo5.jpg Fernando-peyroteo.jpg Peyr.jpg
Nome Fernando Baptista de Seixas Peyroteo
Nascimento 10 March 1918
Naturalidade Humpata - Angola - Portugal
Posição Football player (forward)
League Season Club Played Goal Honours Caps
1932/33 Atlético Moçâmedes
1933/34 Atlético Moçâmedes Mossamedes Regional Champion
1934/35 Académico Sá da Bandeira
1935/36 Académico Sá da Bandeira
1936/37 Sp. Luanda Luanda Regional Champion
1ª Divisão 1937/38 SPORTING 30 57 Lisbon Regional Champion
National Champion
2 1
1ª Divisão 1938/39 SPORTING 26 44 Lisbon Regional Champion 1 0
1ª Divisão 1939/40 SPORTING 31 54 1 2
1ª Divisão 1940/41 SPORTING 20 37 Lisbon Regional Champion
National Champion
Portugal Cup
1 1
1ª Divisão 1941/42 SPORTING 25 52 Lisbon Regional Champion 1 0
1ª Divisão 1942/43 SPORTING 31 38 Lisbon Regional Champion
1ª Divisão 1943/44 SPORTING 29 38 National Champion
Imperio Cup
1ª Divisão 1944/45 SPORTING 31 40 Lisbon Regional Champion
Portugal Cup
3 4
1ª Divisão 1945/46 SPORTING 35 56 Portugal Cup 2 2
1ª Divisão 1946/47 SPORTING 23 47 National Champion
Lisbon Regional Champion
5 0
1ª Divisão 1947/48 SPORTING 28 37 National Champion
Portugal Cup
Lisbon Regional Champion
2 2
1ª Divisão 1948/49 SPORTING 23 40 National Champion 2 1
Total Official Games= 334 543 20 13
  • Fernando Peyroteo

Peyroteo was not only the greatest scorer in the history of Portuguese football, he holds the claim to the best world average of goals per games in national championships, with 309 goals scored in 189 games. This gives an unsurpassed impressive average of 1.6 goals per game. It is difficult to find words to qualify this superlative striker.

Peyroteo only recently started to be given his due as the best Portuguese striker ever, which is partly due to the distant time in which Peyroteo lived, at a time in which official European competitions did not yet exist, and in which World War II interrupted the tournaments between national teams.

  • The initial years
Fernando Peyroteo, the "stradivarius"

Fernando was born in Angola, and his not very Portuguese family name reveals the Spanish origins of one of his grandparents. He became a Sporting Clube de Portugal fan ("sportinguista", as it is said in Portuguese) by influence of his older brothers, who played football in Sporting Clube de Moçâmedes, and it was due to a dispute between them and the management of that club that young Fernando ended up playing in Atletico Clube de Moçâmedes, the local competitor.

He was a strong and well built boy, but not very fit and even a little fat. Prof. Angelo Mendonça advised him to do gymnastics to gain physical power. He stopped playing football for a while, and for two years he followed the training programme with great discipline. He became a fair gymnast, and he even won local titles in swimming, and practised rowing and basketball.

However, his great passion remained football, and in 1932, at 14 years of age, he started to play as an inside forward in the reserve team of Atletico. One year later he joined the main team, where he was local champion, and by then he was already called for the Mossamedes selection.

In 1934 he went to the town Sá da Bandeira to attend secondary school and started playing for the club Academico, then already as a centre forward striker, standing out as a great scorer. Two years later he came to represent Sporting Clube de Luanda, a Sporting Clube de Portugal affiliate club, where again he was champion.

He was 19 years old when he arrived to Lisbon on June 26, 1937, accompanied by his mother who was returning to Portugal for health reasons. He was received by relatives but also by Aníbal Paciência, an Angolan friend that played in Sporting, and who introduced him to the Club's management, already aware of his reputation as scorer.

They took him to meet the magnificent Clubhouse in the Foz Palace in central Lisbon, where he did not feel comfortable in an atmosphere full of noise, smoke and feminine perfumes, that he later declared were not proper for a sportsman. Nevertheless, it was there that he committed himself to Sporting, which was, after all, his big dream.

He was then offered a train ticket to go to Coimbra to watch the Portuguese Championship Final, in which Sporting lost 3-2 against FC Porto. That was his first chance to watch his future teammates, led by Joseph Szabo.

During the Summer pause, he settled in Sintra with his family. He went often to nearby Lisbon, and in one of those visits an emissary from FC Porto offered him a great deal of money, much above his promised wage in Sporting. He rejected the offer claiming that he had already signed for Sporting, which was not true, but his word had no price, and was already given to the Portugal Lions.

  • The career in Sporting

In August 1937 he finally trained for the first time with Sporting, where despite being nervous to the point his legs were shaking, he scored three goals to the legendary Azevedo, proving there and then his worth to Joseph Szabo, who immediately realized that he had a rough diamond in his hands. Szabo started to work with Peyroteo four times a week, when the rest of the team only trained twice, and recommended to the Club's management to quickly sign the official contract.

A goal-scoring machine

Peyroteo started to deliver goals and victories in his first game, 12 September 1937, a friendly against Benfica, where he scored two goals in the 5-3 win.

By then he had finally signed his contract, with a 500 Portuguese escudos premium and a monthly salary of 700, which was what the best Sporting players received at the time. However, there was always extra award money for those who deserved it, and Peyroteo quickly became the best paid player.

He became a true goal-scoring machine, becoming the greatest Portuguese scorer of all time, holder of a series of records that will likely never be beaten. He led the Sporting attacking line for 12 seasons, in which he was always the best scorer of the team , integrating two mythical advanced lines: the one that became known as the "Five Violins", of which he was the "stradivarius" and the one that preceded it, where he had the company of Mourão, Pireza, Soeiro and João Cruz.

In this period he won six national titles, four Portugal Cups, eight Lisbon Regional Championships, and the Imperio Cup, becoming the third Sporting player who conquered most silverware, only surpassed byAzevedo and Manecas, who played longer than he did.

Some of the numbers that follow may not be completely accurate, in particular for the friendly games, but they were verified based on multiple sources of the time. The numbers are indicative of Peyroteo's unparalleled scoring vocation, which resulted especially from his main weapon which was an easy, powerful shot, which was allied to a good head game and complemented by an excellent positional sense as well as by a powerful and impressive physical capacity. It was not by chance that we was sometimes nicknamed "the Tank"

Peyroteo's powerful shot

So, in total in his career in Portugal, Peyroteo scored 706 goals in 435 games, which includes 13 goals in 20 caps for Portugal. For Sporting he made 415 games including friendlies, scoring 693 goals. In 334 official games, he scored 543 goals, including 309 goals in 189 national league games. He was the top scorer of the National Championship five times, setting a record of 43 goals in 19 games, which would only be beaten in 1974 by Yazalde who scored 46 goals but in 29 games.

He scored 9 goals in a single game against Leça, and 8 goals against Boavista. He scored 6 goals four times, 5 goals nine times, 4 goals 18 times, and had 41 hattricks - and we are only counting official games.

He was the first player to score a goal at the National Stadium, when he opened the score in the game in which Sporting defeated Benfica 3-2 with two goals by him, winning the Imperio Cup as well as the Stadium Cup offered by the Government to celebrate the occasion.

It is easy to understand that it is very difficult to choose a single afternoon of glory, but surely 25 April 1948, the day he scored the four goals with which Sporting defeated Benfica 4-1, essential to conquer the title conquest that became known as the Lollipop Championship, will go down in history as one of his greatest achievements.

Benfica was one of his favourite victims, as he scored 64 goals in the always exciting Lisbon derbie. In one of them he was sent out one of the three times that happened in his entire career, as he was an extremely correct player. It was in a duel with Benfica defender Gaspar Pinto, who, unable to stop Peyroteo, used and abused of dirty tactics, ending with an insult to the mother of Peyroteo, who replied with a punch.

  • Memories and National Team
Peyroteo: A goal-scoring machine
Video with some of Peyroteo's most remarkable moments

Peyroteo made his debut in the national team in his first season with Sporting, in the famous game in which Azevedo won the nickname "Cat of Frankfurt", when Portugal achieved a historic draw in Germany. In total, he scored 13 goals in his 20 matches for Portugal, at a time when there were few international competitions and where the Portuguese national team was far from being able to compete with the best.

In his book "Memories of Peyroteo", this huge player tells several delightful stories, mainly involving Joseph Szabo for whom he had a great admiration and a very special affection. He went out of his way several times in defense of Szabo, when the "Master" was the target of unfair criticism from fans that did not tolerate any defeat.

In these stories we get to know the pranks of the intractable Manecas, who liked to irritate the coach by hiding the dummies with which he explained his tactics; or the way Pireza managed to evade from the long races that the coach imposed to the team, hiding in the close by Campo Grande avenue to smoke a cigarette; and even the endless soccer lessons that Szabo liked to give him after training, preventing him from going to go to the movies, for which he had already bought the ticket. But the funniest of all is perhaps the one in which Peyroteo explains how Szabo pardoned him for the "ten percent" fine applied to all players who were late for training, instead forcing him to buy a very expensive and loud alarm clock, and that the Hungarian coach said that when it rang in Sintra where Peyroteo lived, even Azevedo would hear it in his home in Barreiro, across the river Tagus.

  • Farewell to a legend
The goodbye speech

Surprisingly, Peyroteo decided to retire from fotball in 1949 at the age of only 31, something that many think cost Sporting the championship of 1949/50, which would have been the first Tetra of the Club, and would have made possible a record of eight consecutive championships.

It is said that this decision was motivated by the fact that a sporting goods store that Peyroteo had opened in Lisbon had left him with some debts, and, eager to pay the debts off, he decided to make his farewell party, which at the time provided significant money to the departing players.

This demonstrates not only the character and honesty of this man, but also his little love for money, which prevented him from making a fortune. He even refused to receive emissaries from Bordeaux who came to Lisbon to offer him a magnificent contract, always invoking his love for Sporting. Sporting may not have been grateful enough to him, since it is said that a fairly modest sum for the Club would have been enough to solve his problem and extend his career for another two or three years.

On September 25, 1949 Peyroteo made his last official game for Sporting, in a 2-1 win against Atletico Portugal, thus winning the Preparation Cup, a pre-season trophy.

On the day of his farewell party, marked with a game against Atletico Madrid, Fernando Peyroteo declared to the Sporting fans:

I have been a soldier in the ranks of national sport, and a soldier does not escape from his duty, no matter what the circumstances! But today I recognize that I am an old soldier... I can no longer meet the demands faced by a football player who wants to stay in shape and be useful to his club and to the sport. When I enter the field, I am filled with enthusiasm, but after half a dozen kicks on the ball, an inexplicable tiredness falls on me.

This was 5 October 1949, certainly one of the saddest days in the history of Sporting Clube de Portugal.

The money raised helped him to pay the debts, but his business at Casa Peyroteo continued to make a loss, and eventually he returned to Angola, where he also did not find the happiness he deserved, eventually returning to Portugal.

It was then, in the 1961/62 season, that Fernando Peyroteo was the manager of the National Team, but only for two games. A 4-2 defeat at Luxembourg, which was also the first time Eusebio played for Portugal, was fatal to him, raising a wave of protest from Benfica supporters that ended in his definitive departure from football.

Unfortunately, fate is not always fair to great men, and Peyroteo was the victim of a terribly undeserved punishment, when an injury suffered in a veteran game in Barcelona took him to the operating table, the intervention went badly, and his leg had to be amputated.

He died at 60 years of age, the 28th November 1978, victim of a heart attack, forever an immortal hero of Sporting Clube de Portugal.

In 1997 he was awarded the posthumous Stromp Award in the category Rememberance ("saudade" in Portuguese).

On February 3, 2018, the General Assembly of Sporting Clube de Portugal unanimously approved the perpetual assignment of club member No. 9 to Fernando Baptista de Seixas Peyroteo, a tribute to the shirt number he usually wore. To-mane 16h59min de 24 de Março de 2009 (WET)

  • Matches, goals and their averages
SEASONS PT L. National L. Exp.L. PT Cup Lisbon L. Imperio Cup Latin Cup Official SCP Friendlies Sporting National team TOTAL
1937/38 6 11 1,8 14 34 2,4 10 12 1,2 30 57 1,9 8 14 1,7 38 71 1,9 2 1 0,5 40 72 1,8
1938/39 10 14 1,4 6 7 1,2 10 23 2,3 26 44 1,7 5 13 2,6 31 57 1,8 1 0 0 32 57 1,8
1939/40 17 29 1,7 4 8 2 10 17 1,7 31 54 1,7 8 14 1,7 39 68 1,7 1 2 2 40 70 1,7
1940/41 14 29 2,1 4 6 1,5 2 2 1 20 37 1,8 5 8 1,6 25 45 1,8 1 1 1 26 46 1,8
1941/42 12 28 2,3 3 5 1,7 10 19 1,9 25 52 2,1 5 10 2 30 62 2,1 1 0 0 31 62 2
1942/43 18 21 1,2 3 4 1,3 10 13 1,3 31 38 1,2 4 5 1,2 35 43 1,2 0 0 0 35 43 1,2
1943/44 17 24 1,4 2 1 0,5 9 11 1,2 1 2 2 29 38 1,3 10 26 2,6 39 64 1,6 0 0 0 39 64 1,6
1944/45 15 19 1,3 6 10 1,7 10 11 1,1 31 40 1,3 7 16 2,3 38 56 1,5 3 4 1,3 41 60 1,5
1945/46 21 37 1,8 4 8 2 10 11 1,1 35 56 1,6 2 9 4,5 37 65 1,7 2 2 1 39 67 1,7
1946/47 19 43 2,3 4 4 1 23 47 2 3 2 0,7 26 49 1,9 5 0 0 31 49 1,6
1947/48 17 14 0,8 5 13 2,6 6 10 1,7 28 37 1,3 4 12 3 32 49 1,5 2 2 1 34 51 1,5
1948/49 23 40 1,7 2 3 1,5 25 43 1,7 14 12 0,9 39 55 1,4 2 1 0,5 41 56 1,4
1949/50 6 9 1,5 6 9 1,5 6 9 1,5
TOTAL 6 11 1,8 183 298 1,6 14 34 2,4 37 62 1,7 91 133 1,5 1 2 2 2 3 1,5 334 543 1,6 81 150 1,8 415 693 1,7 20 13 0,7 435 706 1,6


  • PT: Portugal, L.= League, Exp.=Experimental
  • In this table, games in representation of the Selection of Lisbon, Military Selection and Mixed Team BSB were not included, in which, according to some sources, Peyroteo scored a further 40 goals in 15 appearances.