In July of 1973 I arrived to Coimbra, loaned by Benfica.
Only 19, I was living the dream of playing in the 1st league in Académica, a reference club at the time for all players wishing to play and continue higher education simultaneously.
The fact of leaving home and living on my own for the first time attracted me. My ambition was to pursue a degree in Law. Coimbra’s environment was perfect, with thousands of students. What I did not know was that the name Norton de Matos had a heavy weight on politics— looked down upon by the rightwing conservative party that dominated the country. Thus, I failed the entry exam of Law in an oral exam, by half a point. As a player in Académica it was an unfortunate surprise for all and a unique case in the history of players of the club. Months later came April’s Revolution of 1974, where everything could have been different— but I didn’t want to go back to law. I went on an took physical education.
In the picture, I stand with my teammates, Zé Manuel (Artur Jorge’s brother) on my right, and on my left Cano Brito.