Over 60% of all the world’s cork is harvested in Portugal. So every time you buy a screw-top bottle of wine you’re putting some poor Portuguese cork farmer out of business. It may be the easy option but it’s not good for Portugal’s economy and it’ll never look as cool as expertly uncorking a bottle.
Despite Portugal only having a population of around 10.5 million people, there are approximately 215 million native Portuguese speakers worldwide. Thanks largely to their former colonial exploits in Brazil.
Although not technically Portugal at the time, in 150 BC the northern tribes of the Iberian Peninsula were able to expel the all-conquering Romans from their territory under the leadership of Viriatus. So successful was he that he thwarted Rome’s best generals in battle as he led his countrymen to recapture more and more of Lusitania, as the Roman’s called it. He was undone when Rome changed tact and bribed his allies to kill him, which they did in 139 BC. Assholes.
Pretty damn good considering it’s a nation of just 10.5 million people. Despite some prolonged periods of absence from the World Cup Portugal have a third place finish in 1966 and a fourth place finish in 2006 to be proud of. Although they failed to get past the first knock-out round in their three other appearances.
In the European Championship they’ve reached at least the quarter-final stage of the last five tournaments, including a final appearance when they were hosts in 2004.
Acceptable National stereotype
They love exploring. Granted it’s been a while since they’ve done it with any great gusto but during the Age of Discovery Portuguese explorers were at the forefront thanks to the likes of Ferdinand Magellan, Pedro Álvares Cabral and Vasco da Gama. They largely found new ways around stuff we already knew was there but who doesn’t love a short-cut?
Unacceptable National Stereotype
A poorer version of Spain. The women all have moustaches.
Don’t Be Surprised If They
Fail to make it out of their group. It’s a tricky group and if Ronaldo has an off day against Ghana or the USA the world’s biggest football tournament might have to say an early goodbye to the world’s best player. They have the talent to further but this is potentially a trickier group than they might expect.