More commonly known as União da Madeira and the Unionistas, the club was originally located and created in the old town of Funchal on the 1st November 1913, and currently plays at its base at Centro Desportivo da Madeira in Ribeira Brava. The club is one of the oldest in Portugal and one of the founding members of the Madeira Football Association.

The club, like C.D Nacional, have had mixed fortunes and though relatively small compared to their rivals, they have been promoted to the Primeira Liga several times since 1989. Unlike many of the other clubs, they have had a nomadic existence for they have made both the Estádio dos Barreiros (Marítimo) and Estádio da Madeira (Nacional) their home at one time or another.

The club retains both historic and community links to the island not only through its characteristic blue and yellow colours but through its service to the people, culminating in the club being awarded several medals including the Funchal City Medal (Medalha de Ouro da Cidade do Funchal); an impressive achievement for a small club.

Although relatively small, the club encourages several other sporting activities including basketball, handball, volleyball, roller hockey, fencing and rugby.

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