Lisbon: Portugal is rejoicing the award of FIFA’s best player title to its superstar Christiano Ronaldo. Portugal’s football mania can only be matched by Brazil, where they talk Portuguese with a football accent.
Portugal may not have Brazil’s samba rhythm in their football, but the country’s sporting history is equally glorious.
Kerala has had a shared history with Portugal, ever since Vasco da Gama’s ship anchored off Kappad in 1498. The Portuguese even shipped an elephant calf from Kerala to Lisbon in 1550. It was later taken to Vienna in Austria.
If you want to see the first printed book in Malayalam, ‘Samkshepa Vedartham’ (1772), go to Lisbon.
Portuguese prime minister Antonio Luis Santos da Costa traces his roots to Goa, which was a Portuguese colony until 1960. Goa was liberated by an army division led by lieutenant general K. P. Candeth.
Portugal is calm these days, in stark contrast with neighboring Spain where Catalans are agitating for independence.
The renowned pilgrimage center Fatima is just 2 hours away from Lisbon. Portugal’s prayers are with each step taken by Ronaldo.