In The Heat Of Lisbon
On the 20th November 2012, Celtic will return to the city of their greatest triumph to face Benfica in their final away match of the Champions League group stages for this season. I will not be travelling to Lisbon personally, but in light of the success of @MBBarca (the account I set up initially for Celtic fans travelling, like myself, to Barcelona this year) I have decided to set up corresponding pages and accounts for the other away trips to Lisbon (@MBBenfica) and Moscow (@MBMoscow). Below, you will find several frequently asked questions which I have answered to the best of my abilities. Over time, more questions will be answered, and their answers published for you all to refer to. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me (on here or on Twitter) and I will do my utmost to find the answers to your queries.
When and where is the match itself?
The match will take place on the 20th November 2012 at the Estadio da Luz (also known as “The Stadium of Light”), and is scheduled to kick off at 7.45pm local time and Celtic Park time, as both cities can be found in the same time zone. The stadium itself is located approximately eight kilometres north of Lisbon’s city centre, and is not too far away from the Estadio Jose Alvalade, the home of Sporting Lisbon. It is not difficult to tell the two arenas apart, as the red one is obviously the home of Benfica, and the green one that of their rivals.
How can I make my way to the stadium?
The best way for supporters to reach the stadium (presuming they have been in the city centre socialising beforehand) will be via the city’s subway system (Metro). The blue line goes past the stadium, and supporters are advised to get off at the station known as “Colégio Militar/Luz”, for a short walk to the stadium itself. One of the main stations in the city centre is known as “Baixa-Chiado”, and a ticket for the metro system will only set you back a few euros. A metro map can be found below:
What will the weather be like?
Obviously, it is impossible for me to predict the weather. However, after looking at the November averages for many years in Lisbon, it is possible for me to estimate roughly what sort of weather anyone travelling to Lisbon would be likely to encounter. Average temperatures range from around 11-17 degrees centrigrade, with a few hours of sunshine bathing the city most days. However, as it will almost be the beginning of winter, you should be aware that overcast days with some rain occur fairly often. These rainstorms are generally just short sharp showers, but it is possible you will encounter a more prolonged one. The stadium is mostly covered by a roof (unlike the Camp Nou), but it may still be an idea to take a light waterproof jacket on your travels if you have one.
Travelling to the site of Celtic’s 1967 European Cup Triumph?
Unsurprisingly, many of the Celtic supporters travelling to Lisbon this autumn will want to see the Estadio Nacional, the ground where Jock Stein’s Celtic defeated the great Inter Milan 2-1 on the 25th May, 1967, for themselves. The stadium itself is now a public park, meaning you can simply walk into the arena and onto the field of play when you wish to do so. With a current capacity of over 35,000, it is undoubtedly an impressive place to visit. You can stand on the spot where Billy McNeill lifted the European Cup, and even walk down the steps into the tunnel where Bertie Auld famously began to sing the Celtic song as the two teams waited to emerge into the blistering Portuguese sunshine.
The stadium itself can be found in a western area of Lisbon known as Oeiras. There is no subway line which goes anywhere near this location. However, it is only around 15-20 minutes by car from the city centre of Lisbon, and it may well be worth taking a taxi for the sake of convenience. If, however, you wish to use public transport, instructions of how to get to the stadium using the overground train network can be found here: http://www.thecelticwiki.com/page/Estadio+Nacional+-+Directions
MORE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WILL APPEAR HERE IN TIME
All that is left for me to do is to wish all of you travelling to Lisbon a safe and enjoyable trip (other information on the city of Lisbon can be found here: http://wikitravel.org/en/Lisbon). Sadly, I will not be there to meet many of you as I will have the privilege to do in Barcelona, but I have no doubt you will all represent the support and Celtic Football Club very, very well. Our support have a fantastic reputation around the world, and I am convinced this positive reputation will only continue to grow as we move into the future. Over and over, we will follow you…