Football is the Madeiran dream, it is the ‘King of all Sports,’ and yet it all started from very humble beginnings. The game was introduced by Englishman, Harry Hinton, and the first match was played in 1875 at Largo da Achada in Camacha. Even today, a small football ground and a plaque serve to remind locals and tourists alike that the nation’s favourite sport started on a small piece of flat land near the local parish church. Harry Hinton was later to become Honorary President of C.S. Marítimo.
Initially, teams from local villages rivalled for supremacy, but as the sport gained popularity city and regional tournaments were held, heralding the rise of teams including Club Sport Marítimo (C.S Marítimo), Clube Desportivo Nacional (C.D. Nacional), Clube Futebol Andorinha (C.F Andorinha), Clube Futebol União da Madeira (C.F. União), Sporting Clube da Madeira and União Desportivo Santana.
Enthusiasm for the sport spread throughout mainland Portugal and too many of Portugal’s overseas colonies including, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Goa and Macau. Top players from these countries have played at international level for Portugal, with Madeira nurturing and producing the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo.