Why everyone is afraid of Portuguese amateur side table toppers Canelas, who have been branded thugs and butchers

Why everyone is afraid of Portuguese amateur side table toppers Canelas, who have been branded thugs and butchers
  • Canelas have risen to the top of their amateur league after a string of default wins because opponents are too afraid to play them.
  • Other clubs in the fourth-tier Portuguese amateur league are outraged at the tactics of the club but none have as yet filed an official complaint.
  • The president of a rival club Grijo said Canelas players regularly intimidate opposing players and referees.
  • Canelas have won 19 matches so far this season as of the end of January — 13 of them by default because their opponents preferred to pay a fine of 750 euros ($800) rather than play.

They lead the log in the fourth-tier amateur league in the Portuguese league not because of their proficiency but rather their uncouth methods on and off the pitch.

That is the story of Canelas who are christened “thugs” and “butchers”, they have risen to the top of their amateur league after a string of default wins because opponents are too afraid to play them.

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The club, Canelas, from the suburbs of Porto, field three members of the ‘Super Dragons’ ultras, an infamous fan group of Portuguese giants FC Porto, including their team captain who goes by the nickname ‘Ape’.

Other clubs in the fourth-tier amateur league are outraged at the tactics of the club but none have as yet filed an official complaint.

The president of a rival club Grijo said Canelas players regularly intimidate opposing players and referees.

"Canelas does not respect the rules, they are thugs, butchers and our players are afraid to face them,"

Manuel Gomes told AFP.

But their tactics are paying off. Canelas have won 19 matches so far this season as of the end of January — 13 of them by default because their opponents preferred to pay a fine of 750 euros ($800) rather than play.

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That has taken the club to the top of their league, 14 points ahead of their nearest rivals.

Their antics went viral last year when a video posted on YouTube registered more than one million views and showed Canelas players decked out in their white and blue outfits turning a match against opponents from Vila FC into a martial arts exhibition with high kicks to the chest and head, tackles off the ball and dangerous lunges from behind.

About 300 supporters watched from ageing stands as Canelas were defeated 2-0, in a match where their opponents outran them and showed they had more technique.

Canastro, the club’s president, said he was “disappointed but proud” and stressed his side is not violent.

 

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