Académica

Founded In
1887
Location
Coimbra, Portugal

Académica

About Académica

Associação Académica de Coimbra, commonly known as Académica, was first founded in 1876 as part of the University of Coimbra's students' union. The team's supporters claim that Académica is the most supported team in Portugal, outside of the traditional big three clubs - FC Porto, Sporting and Benfica. The football team forms part of a wider sports club.

In the past, Académica's players were all students at the University. This was still largely the case up until the 1970s, when the club began to look beyond the campus more regularly for talent. However, the club is still closely linked to the university, with many students becoming fans of the club. The team's black kit is also linked to the traditional all-black dress of the students at the university.

The club's first major success occured during the 1938–39 season, when Académica lifted the Portuguese Cup. In the final of the competition, Académica beat Benfica 4-3. The team subsequently returned to the final in 1951, 1967 and 1969, but were unsuccessful on all three occasions. Académica entered into a difficult period in the years after, which included being relegated to the second tier on multiple occasions. Their second cup win finally came about in 2011-12. On this occasion, the club defeated Sporting in the final. As a result of the victory, Académica qualified for the group stage of the UEFA Europa League for the first time.

Some of the more notable players to have represented Académica over the years include goalkeeper Henrique Hilário and the Senegalese international brothers, Ousmane and Dame N'Doye.

Since the venue's opening in 2003, the club has played its home games at the rebuilt Estádio Cidade de Coimbra. The stadium hosted matches during the 2004 European Championships and is able to hold a maximum of 30,210 supporters for Académica's matches.