The Académica de Coimbra, the fourth team with the most followers in Portugal (only Benfica, Porto and Sporting surpass it) has just experienced the worst episode in its history by confirming its relegation to Liga 3, the Portuguese Third Division, for the first time since was founded in 1887. The team, led by the former Deportivo player, Rayo Vallecano and Atlético Madrid Ze Castro, who confirmed after the match that he was retiring, drew (0-0) against Peñafiel, remaining 13 points from salvation when there are only four games left to play. dispute.
“It was my last year, my classmates know it. I didn’t leave when things were going well and I don’t want it to seem like I’m leaving now when they’ve gone bad,” confirmed Ze Castro at the end of the match. The center-back ends his career with a historic blow in one of the most important teams in Portugal, in which important footballers such as Fernando Couto and Sergio Conceiçao have played and which only ten years ago was proclaimed champion of the Taça de Portugal .
Académica, in addition to being the oldest football club in Portugal, It is also the first team to be founded on the Iberian Peninsula, which makes it indispensable in the history of football in southern Europe.. In the 1960s, its golden age, it was the club that put Eusebio’s Benfica in trouble the most, absolute dominator of Portuguese football in those years.