Bullfights -- No discussion of Portuguese recreation would be complete without a reference to la tourada (bullfighting). Unlike the rituals in Spain and parts of South America, in Portuguese bullfighting the bull is not killed at the end of the event, but is released to a life of grazing and stud duties. The cavaleiros (horsemen) dress in 18th-century costumes, which include silk jackets, tricornered hats, and tan riding breeches. Bullfights are held regularly in Lisbon's Campo Pequeno area, across the Tagus in the working-class city of Santarém, throughout the south-central plains, and in the Azores.

Football -- Football -- called soccer in the United States -- is the most popular sport in Portugal. It's taken so seriously that on Sunday afternoons during important matches (with Spain or Brazil, for example), the country seems to come almost to a standstill. Notices about the venues of upcoming matches are prominently posted with hotel concierges, in newspapers, and on bulletin boards throughout various cities. One of the most-watched teams is that of Porto, which won the European Cup in 1987. The loyalty of Lisbon fans seems equally divided between the two hometown teams, Benfica and Sporting Club.

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