Hundreds of people participated today in the funeral ceremonies of the football coach Vítor Oliveira, paying a final tribute to the 67-year-old coach, popularly nicknamed 'king of the climbs', who died on Saturday.
At the ceremony, which took place at Matosinhos Tank, players, coaches and managers from various clubs gathered, but above all many friends of Vítor Oliveira, as well as the national coach Fernando Santos, who was one of the first to arrive at the venue.
“He was a great friend, a companion of many years, which makes this moment very difficult. It is complicated to talk about someone as good as Vítor. I was used to being with him systematically and talking about many things in life, and, therefore, this is a loss that marks me a lot ”, said the coach, emotionally.
Pedro Proença, president of the Portuguese Football League, was also present at this last farewell to Vítor Oliveira, recalling “a man who marks the past and present of professional football in Portugal”.
“More than the death of a great coach, it is the departure of a great man. Unfortunately these recent times have been marked by losses of important people, who played an important role. It has to be a moment of unity, recognizing people like Vítor Oliveira who gave everything to have a different football ”, said Pedro Proença.
Several professional colleagues also joined in the moment, remembering more than the opponent on the field, the “great man who was off the pitch and the example he left”.
“In these years when Vítor was in football, we all recognize the attitude and dignity with which he exercised this profession. We often talk about the successes and titles he achieved, but that is insignificant in the face of the example of a man he was. Whoever deprived with him realizes the lack that he will do ”, said José Mota, coach and former player.
This feeling was also shared by other athletes who were coached by Vítor Oliveira, with several of them leaving a testimony of “longing” for this match by Vítor Oliveira.
“He was a key coach in my career, my father in football. Another very important person leaves whom I will miss a lot. It is a sad and painful moment for football, with the departure of a man who is a reference and an example for so many people. It leaves a legacy of truth and coherence in football, which I hope to be able to pass on to new generations ”, said goalkeeper Beto, currently at the service of Leixões, Vítor Oliveira's‘ heart club ’.
But several other emblems that Vítor Oliveira went through, such as Gil Vicente, Paços de Ferreira, Arouca, Leixões, Chaves, among others, paid tribute to this ceremony, where also the mayor of Matosinhos Luísa Salgueiro, or Fernando Gomes, administrator and former FC Porto player.
Vítor Oliveira, who died Saturday in Matosinhos, at the age of 67, became known as the 'king of climbs', when he got 11 promotions to the top echelon, in 18 presences, at the service of Paços de Ferreira (1991 and 2019), Academic (1997) , União de Leiria (1998), Belenenses (1999), Leixões (2007)), Arouca (2013), Moreirense (2014), União da Madeira (2015), Desportivo de Chaves (2016) and Portimonense (2017).
In more than 30 years, between 1978 and 2020, he commanded Famalicão, Portimonense, Maia, Paços de Ferreira, Gil Vicente, Vitória de Guimarães, Academic, União de Leiria, Sporting de Braga, Belenenses, Rio Ave, Moreirense, Leixões, Trofense, Desportivo das Aves, Arouca, União da Madeira, Desportivo de Chaves and Paços de Ferreira.
As a footballer, he wore the shirts of Leixões, Paredes, Famalicão, Sporting de Espinho, Sporting de Braga and Portimonense.
Portuguese Professional Football League and Portuguese Football Federation decreed a minute of silence in the games to be held this weekend, in memory of Vítor Oliveira.