Interview with Juventude Leonina (Sporting CP - Portugal)
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Interview with Juventude Leonina (Sporting CP - Portugal)

Ultras-Tifo : Hi Ricardo! First introduce yourself, please!
Hello. My name is Ricardo, I'm 19 years old and I support Sporting Portugal since the day I live. I'm a member of Juve Leo, the oldest ultra-group in Portugal! I'm also a member of Juve Leo Holanda, the Dutch department of Juventude Leonina.

UT: Tell us a bit of the history of your group.
Like I said, we are the oldest ultra-group in Portugal. The group was formed in 1976 by students and exists now for 30 years. The group evolved a lot in the eighties and as you can see in the picture-zone, there was a lot of tifo with blusses and huge flags. We were also the first in Portugal that used "cortejos", that is walking with banners, singing etc. to the stadium of our opponent. Our group reached a peek of 8.000 member in the nineties. Now we stand in the Curva Sul of our stadium, we bring a lot of people to away-games and we have around 40 nucleos (departments like JL Holanda).

UT: What is the meaning of Juve Leo and how is your relation to your town ?
The name means Young Lions. The club was formed by students (=Young) and the simbol of our club is the Lion (=Lions). We are proud of our city Lisbon. When we go to for example Porto, we sing a song called "Cheira bem, Cheira a Lisboa". This is kind of a funny way to show that we are proud of our city.

UT: Who are your rivals or friends?
Our main-rival is Benfica. We won the last three games with big numbers from them, that must have hurt! We have a friendship with Grobari (Partizan) and we used to have friendships with 7bello (Fiorentina) and B-side (Go Ahead Eagles). In Portugal we have good relationships with Mancha Negra (Academica).

UT: Is there an other ultra group from Sporting ?
Yes, 3 other groups. Torcida Verde since 1984, Duxxi since the beginning of this century and Brigada (really small group) since last year.

UT: Have your group political tendences ?
Not really...

UT: Tell us a bit of the whole scene of Juve Leo and the general organisation (Awaygames, etc.)
We have a small house next to the stadium where anyone can go with questions. We usually just get together somewhere near the stadium and then support our team. As for away-games, you can make reservations for the games. Sometimes we travel with lots of busses to a big game, sometimes we go by train and to games in Europe usually by plane (for example: Munique, Moscow and Milan this year).

UT: Can you tell someting about the Portuguese scene?
Its a good organised scene with new groups every year. In Portugal most people support the 2 big clubs (Sporting, Porto) and the small club Benfica so these have a lot of fans. The other clubs are getting there, they are growing quickly. As for the national team, some groups, but nothing special.

UT: Every group has targets for the future, what are your targets?
This is easy. Support our club as much as we can, whenever, wherever!

UT: How do you finance your group tifo´s and tours?
Everyone pays 15 euros each year, 25 for new members. The group sells merchandise and makes money of that so they can pay for stuff. As for the tours, we from Juve Leo Holanda are going with 18 guys to Milan, we all payed that from our own pocket!

UT: Have you a good relationship with your club?
Yes, we not always got the support from our president but now the relationship is good. We love our club!

UT: What is your opinion of the Ultramovement in Europe, what scene do you like most and which scene have a good development?
I think every country has some good ultras, its difficult to say which one I like most. There are a lot of countries with good development, Portugal and Holland are growing for example the last years.

 (This interview was done in October 2006)