Famous Portuguese Men

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Portugal has been one of the oldest countries in Europe. With a rich history and scenic landscapes, the country has been making a strong impression around the globe and so are its country men. While the younger generation would swear by Cristiano Ronaldo, the soccer sensation, to be the best gift that Portugal gave the world; there is more to Portuguese men than just soccer. Turn the pages of history and you would find a long list of Portuguese men who transformed the way the world worked. Remember Vasco de Gama, the first person to sail directly from Europe to India, thus opening maritime trade route between Europe and Asia – his successful travel was a momentous event in the history of navigation. Or even Francisco de Almeida who served as the first governor or Viceroy of the Portuguese State of India.

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 1 
Cristiano Ronaldo
(One of the Greatest Football Players of All Time)
Cristiano Ronaldo
318
Birthdate: February 5, 1985
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Funchal, Portugal

Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Portuguese football player, Cristiano Ronaldo, is one of the world's highest-paid athletes. He is a versatile attacker capable of playing on either wing as well as through the center of the pitch. He has the distinction of being the first European to score 100 international goals.

 2 
Vasco da Gama
(Explorer)
Vasco da Gama
22
Birthdate: 1469 AD
Birthplace: Sines, Portugal
Died: December 24, 1524

Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was the first to link Europe and Asia through an ocean route, when he reached Calicut in 1498, thus enriching Portuguese trade with Asia. He made a second voyage later. He was made Count of Vidigueira in 1519 and the viceroy of India in 1524.

 3 
Ferdinand Magellan
(Navigator, Explorer)
Ferdinand Magellan
36
Birthdate: 1480 AD
Birthplace: Sabrosa
Died: April 27, 1521

Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, is remembered for organizing the Spanish expedition to the East Indies from 1519 to 1522. A skilled sailor and naval officer, he was in service of the Portuguese crown in Asia. He was killed during the Battle of Mactan. The Pacific Ocean was often called the Sea of Magellan in his honor until the 18th century.

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 4 
Luís Figo
(One of the Best Portuguese Football Players of All Time)
Luís Figo
9
Birthdate: November 4, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Almada, Portugal
Portuguese former footballer Luís Figo has had successful stints with Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan. He made a La Liga record with 106 assists, the second-highest in the league. He participated in two World Cups for Portugal and was named the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year.
 5 
António Guterres
(9th Secretary-General of the United Nations)
António Guterres
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1949
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lisbon

António Guterres is a Portuguese diplomat and politician who served as Portugal's prime minister from 1995 to 2002. A favorite among the masses, Guterres was ranked the best prime minister of Portugal over the last 30 years in polls conducted in 2012 and 2014. In 2009, he was named in Forbes magazine's list of world's most powerful people

 6 
José Mourinho
(Portuguese Former Professional Football Player and One of the Greatest Managers of All Time)
José Mourinho
31
Birthdate: January 26, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Setúbal

When it comes to great football managers, Jose Mourinho’s name comes right at the top. He is regarded as one of the most tactfully brilliant managers ever, even though his defensive style has at times been criticised. He has had great stints with Premier League clubs like Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

 7 
Bernardo Silva
(Portuguese Football Midfielder)
Bernardo Silva
6
Birthdate: August 10, 1994
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal

Portuguese footballer Bernardo Silva, who began his career with Benfica and then moved on to AS Monaco, now represents Manchester City as an attacking midfielder, or winger. Best known for his dribbling skills, he has won 4 Premier League titles with Manchester City and a UEFA Nations League with Portugal.

 8 
Ricardo Quaresma
(Portuguese Footballer Who Plays as a Midfielder)
Ricardo Quaresma
5
Birthdate: September 26, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lisbon

Ricardo Quaresma is a Portuguese football player best known for his tricks, such as the rabona and curl. He played for Portugal from 2003 to 2018, during which he represented his team at three European Championships, including UEFA Euro 2016, which Portugal won. Ricardo Quaresma was named Primeira Liga Player of the Year in 2006.   

 9 
Anthony of Padua
2
Birthdate: August 15, 1195
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal
Died: June 13, 1231

Thirteenth-century Portuguese Catholic priest Anthony of Padua was the friar of the Franciscan Order. He is remembered for his self-less devotion to the poor and the sick and is revered as the patron saint of lost items. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1946.

 10 
Pepe
(Portuguese Footballer Who Plays as a Defender)
Pepe
2
Birthdate: February 26, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Maceió, Brazil

Pepe is a football player who plays for the Portugal national team and FC Porto. Counted among the leading defenders of his generation, Pepe played important roles in Portugal's championship-winning performances in the 2016 UEFA European Championship and the 2019 UEFA Nations League. He was named Süper Lig Defender of the Year in 2018.

 11 
António de Oliveira Salazar
(Former Acting President of Portugal)
António de Oliveira Salazar
14
Birthdate: April 28, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vimieiro (Santa Comba Dão), Portugal
Died: July 27, 1970
Portuguese economist António de Oliveira Salazar had been the prime minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. He had also been the minister of defense and finance, among others. He led to the Estado Novo, or New State, in Portugal. He opposed Nazism and fascism, and demilitarized his country.
 12 
Deco
(Retired Professional Football Player and Sports Agent)
Deco
5
Birthdate: August 27, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: São Bernardo do Campo, State of São Paulo, Brazil
 13 
André Villas-Boas
(Portuguese Football Manager)
André Villas-Boas
3
Birthdate: October 17, 1977
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Porto, Portugal

Portuguese football manager André Villas-Boas, who has most recently managed Marseille, has previously also served teams such as Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. He has also managed clubs in Russia and China. A motorsport lover, too, he has competed in the World Rally Championship. He hails from a Portuguese noble family.

 14 
Bartolomeu Dias
(Portuguese explorer)
Bartolomeu Dias
14
Birthdate: 1450 AD
Birthplace: Algarve
Died: May 29, 1500

Bartolomeu Dias was a nobleman of the Portuguese royal household in the 15th century. Famous as an explorer, he sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa and set up a route from Europe to Asia. He became the first European to anchor in Cape Good Hope, South Africa, during the Age of Discovery. He perished in 1500. 

 15 
Henry the Navigator
(Portuguese Prince and Main Initiator of Age of Discovery)
Henry the Navigator
6
Birthdate: March 4, 1394
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Porto, Portugal
Died: November 13, 1460
Henry the Navigator was a central figure in the 15th-century European maritime expansion and maritime discoveries. He is credited with the early development of Portuguese maritime trade and exploration. He is also credited with developing a new and much lighter ship called the caravel, which changed the way sailors sailed at that time. 
 16 
Rui Patricio
(Portuguese Football Player Who Plays as a Goalkeeper)
Rui Patricio
7
Birthdate: February 15, 1988
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Marrazes, Portugal

Rui Patricio is a Portuguese football player who plays as a goalkeeper. He was part of the national team that won the UEFA European Football Championship title in 2016. He also helped his team win the UEFA Nations League in 2019. Rui Patricio has also represented his country in two World Cups.

 17 
Jorge Mendes
(Portuguese Football Agent)
Jorge Mendes
2
Birthdate: January 7, 1966
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal

Jorge Mendes is a Portuguese football agent who is currently registered with the Portuguese Football Federation. Widely regarded as one of the most influential football agents, Jorge Mendes was adjudged Best Agent of the Year on ten occasions between 2010 and 2020 at the Globe Soccer Awards. Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodríguez, and Diego Costa are some of his well-known clients.

 18 
Pedro I of Brazil
(Former Emperor of Brazil (1822 - 1831))
Pedro I of Brazil
1
Birthdate: October 12, 1798
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Queluz, Portugal
Died: September 24, 1834

Pedro I of Brazil was the founder of the Empire of Brazil and reigned as its emperor from 1822 to 1831. He also ruled over Portugal before abdicating the throne in favor of Dona Maria II. He is credited with spreading the liberal ideals that enabled Portugal and Brazil to move to representative forms of government from absolutist regimes.

 19 
Renato Sanches
(Portuguese Footballer Who Became the Youngest Player from the Country to Play in an International Tournament)
Renato Sanches
1
Birthdate: August 18, 1997
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Amadora, Portugal

Portuguese footballer Renato Sanches had a difficult childhood, and though born in 1997, had his birth registered in 2002. Starting his career with Benfica, the talented midfielder moved on to Bayern Munich and now represents the French club Lille. He became the youngest Portuguese international player and the youngest to win UEFA Euro.

 20 
Joaquim de Almeida
1
Birthdate: March 15, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: São Sebastião da Pedreira, Lisbon, Portugal
 21 
Ricardo Carvalho
(Former Portuguese Football Player Who Played as a Centre Back )
Ricardo Carvalho
1
Birthdate: May 18, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amarante
 22 
Nani
(Portuguese Footballer Who Plays as a Midfielder)
Nani
8
Birthdate: November 17, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Amadora, Portugal

Nani is a Portuguese football player who represented the national team from 2006 to 2017. He played an important role in Portugal's victory at the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship. Nani was also an important player for Manchester United, winning the Premier League four times and the UEFA Champions League in 2008.

 23 
José Fonte
(Portuguese Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Centre-Back)
José Fonte
3
Birthdate: December 22, 1983
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Penafiel, Portugal

José Fonte is a Portuguese football player who plays as a defender for the Portugal national team. He was part of the national team that won the UEFA European Football Championship title in 2016 as well as the UEFA Nations League in 2019. José Fonte also represented his nation at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.  

 24 
William Carvalho
(Portuguese Footballer Who Plays as a Midfielder)
William Carvalho
10
Birthdate: April 7, 1992
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Luanda, Angola

William Carvalho is a Portuguese football player who plays for the Portugal national team. He has represented his country in two European Championships and two World Cups. In 2016, he helped Portugal win the UEFA European Football Championship title. William Carvalho was also part of the team that won the UEFA Nations League in 2019.

 25 
Salvador Sobral
1
Birthdate: December 28, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal
 26 
Rui Costa
(Former Portuguese Footballer and President of the Sports Club 'Benfica')
Rui Costa
2
Birthdate: March 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amadora, Portugal

Considered one of the greatest footballers of his generation, Portuguese football legend Rui Costa now leads the club Benfica as its president. He began his career as a midfielder with Benfica and then had a successful stint with AC Milan, too, winning the UEFA Champions League with the latter.

 27 
Fernando Pessoa
(Portuguese Modernist Poet and Author of 'Mensagem' and 'The Book of Disquiet')
Fernando Pessoa
0
Birthdate: June 13, 1888
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal
Died: November 30, 1935

Fernando Pessoa was a Portuguese poet, writer, translator, and publisher. A prolific writer, he is considered one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century. While he mostly wrote in the Portuguese language, he also wrote in English and French occasionally. Besides writing under his own name, he also wrote under approximately 75 other names.

 28 
Bruno Alves
(Portuguese Former Footballer and Sporting Director of 'AEK Athens')
Bruno Alves
2
Birthdate: November 27, 1981
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal

Retired Portuguese footballer Bruno Alves who played as a center-back for teams such as Porto and Zenit Saint Petersburg, now leads the Greek club AEK Athens as its sporting director. He has also won a UEFA European Championship with the Portuguese national team and is a Commander of the Order of Merit.

 29 
Pedro Álvares Cabral
0
Birthdate: 1467 AD
Birthplace: Belmonte, Portugal
Died: 1520 AD

Pedro Álvares Cabral was a Portuguese nobleman, navigator, explorer, and military commander. Regarded as a prominent figure of the Age of Discovery, Cabral is often remembered as one of the earliest Europeans to set his foot on Brazil. Pedro Álvares Cabral is also remembered for his voyage to India in a failed attempt to return to Europe with valuable spices.

 30 
Nélson Semedo
(Portuguese Footballer Who Plays as a Defender)
Nélson Semedo
0
Birthdate: November 16, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal

Nélson Semedo is a Portuguese football player who plays as a defender for the Portugal national team. He was part of the national team that won the UEFA Nations League in 2019. Best known for his speed and dribbling skills, Nélson Semedo helped Benfica win the Primeira Liga in 2016 and 2017. He is currently playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

 31 
Philip IV of Spain
(King of Portugal (1621 - 1640), King of Spain (1621 - 1665))
Philip IV of Spain
8
Birthdate: April 8, 1605
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Valladolid, Spain
Died: September 17, 1665

Philip IV of Spain was the king of Spain from 1621 to 1665 and the king of Portugal from 1621 to 1640. He was a fine horseman and a keen hunter but was considered a weak ruler with excessive dependence on the ministers. Even though the Spanish empire expanded considerably during his reign, he was not a popular king.

 32 
Raphaël Guerreiro
(Portuguese Professional Football Player Who Plays as a Midfielder & Defender)
Raphaël Guerreiro
2
Birthdate: December 22, 1993
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Le Blanc-Mesnil, France

Raphaël Guerreiro is a Portuguese football player who plays for the Portugal national team. He was part of the team that won the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship and the 2019 UEFA Nations League. Raphaël Guerreiro also represented his national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship.

 33 
Manuel II of Portugal
(King of Portugal from 1908 to 1910)
Manuel II of Portugal
3
Birthdate: November 15, 1889
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal
Died: July 2, 1932
Son of King Carlos I, Manuel II, was the last king of Portugal. While he came to power after his father’s assassination, he had to flee to England after the Portuguese monarchy was dissolved by a revolution. He later devoted himself to books and published Early Portuguese Books.
 34 
José Saramago
(Portuguese Writer and Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998)
José Saramago
1
Birthdate: November 16, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Azinhaga, Portugal
Died: June 18, 2010

José Saramago was a Portuguese writer who was honored with the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature. Saramago's books have sold more than two million copies in Portugal alone and have been translated into 25 languages. Among other awards, Saramago has also been honored with the Camões Prize and America Award. He is also credited with establishing the José Saramago Foundation.

 35 
António Costa
(119th Prime Minister of Portugal )
António Costa
0
Birthdate: July 17, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal

António Costa is a Portuguese politician and lawyer. He is the current Prime Minister of Portugal, serving his second consecutive term. An important and influential politician, Costa has also held various ministerial offices apart from serving as the Mayor of Lisbon from 2007 to 2015. In 2017, the Government of India honored António Costa with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman. 

 36 
Cédric Soares
(Portuguese Footballer Who Plays as a Defender)
Cédric Soares
3
Birthdate: August 31, 1991
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Singen (Hohentwiel), Germany

Cédric Soares is a Portuguese football player who plays as a defender for the Portugal national team. He was part of the team that won the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship and also represented Portugal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Apart from his national team, Cédric Soares is also currently a part of the Arsenal Football Club.

 37 
Bebé
(Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Midfielder)
Bebé
0
Birthdate: July 12, 1990
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Agualva-Cacém, Portugal

Bebé is a football player who plays as a midfielder for Rayo Vallecano and Cape Verde national team. He has also played for popular clubs like Benfica and was part of the Primeira Liga-winning team in 2015.  

 38 
Rafael Leao
(Portuguese Football Winger)
Rafael Leao
0
Birthdate: June 10, 1999
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Almada, Portugal

Portuguese footballer Rafael Leao began his youth career with Amora and then moved on to teams such as Sporting CP in his senior career. He now represents AC Milan as a winger and is known for his versatility and technical knowledge. He is also known as the Portuguese Mbappe.

 39 
Nuno Mendes
(Portuguese Football Left-Back)
Nuno Mendes
0
Birthdate: June 19, 2002
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sintra, Portugal
Angolan-origin Portuguese footballer Nuno Mendes was 9 when he began playing football. Starting his senior career with Sporting CP, he later joined the French club Paris Saint-Germain, and has a Primeira Liga win with the former and a Ligue 1 win with the latter. He is known for his speed and technical finesse.
 40 
Ricardo Domingos Barbosa Pereira
(Portuguese Football Full-Back)
Ricardo Domingos Barbosa Pereira
2
Birthdate: October 6, 1993
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal
Portuguese footballer Ricardo Domingos Barbosa Pereira is best known as a full-back for Leicester City. He has won a Primeira Liga with Porto and an FA Cup with Leicester City. He has played for Portugal in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and is considered one of the most skilled Premier League players.
 41 
Nuno Tavares
(Portuguese Football Left-Back)
Nuno Tavares
0
Birthdate: January 26, 2000
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal

Portuguese footballer Nuno Tavares started his career with the youth teams of Sporting CP and Benfica, and moved on to teams such as Arsenal later. He has won the 2019 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira with Benfica and now plays as a left-back for Marseille on loan.

 42 
Jorge Jesus
(Portuguese Retired Footballer Who Played as a Midfielder)
Jorge Jesus
0
Birthdate: July 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Amadora

Jorge Jesus is a Portuguese former football player who played as a midfielder. He is best known as a manager, having achieved success with clubs like Benfica and Flamengo. In 2013 and 2019, Jorge Jesus was named among the top 10 club coaches in the world by IFFHS. He is currently managing Fenerbahçe Spor Kulübü.

 43 
Eder
(Portuguese Footballer Who Plays as a Forward)
Eder
1
Birthdate: December 22, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bissau, Guinea-Bissau

Eder is a Portuguese football player who plays as a forward. He represented the Portugal national team from 2012 to 2018 and helped the team win the UEFA European Championship in 2016. Eder has also played for clubs like Braga and Lokomotiv Moscow

 44 
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
(Politician, University teacher, Journalist)
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
2
Birthdate: December 12, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lisbon

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is a Portuguese academic and politician. He is the current President of Portugal, serving his second consecutive term. An influential politician, Marcelo has served as the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Leader of the Opposition, and President of the Social Democratic Party. He has also worked as a legal scholar, political analyst, journalist, and law professor.

Catherine of Braganza
4
Birthdate: November 25, 1638
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Palace of Vila Viçosa, Vila Viçosa, Portugal
Died: December 31, 1705
 46 
Matheus Nunes
(Brazilian-Born Portuguese Football Attacking Midfielder)
Matheus Nunes
0
Birthdate: August 27, 1998
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Born in Brazil, Matheus Nunes moved to Portugal at age 12. While he initially worked in his family’s bakery, he soon joined the team Ericeirense and later won a Primeira Liga with Sporting CP. He refused Brazil’s call to join their national team and joined the Portuguese national team instead.

 47 
Raul Meireles
(Portuguese Retired Footballer Who Played as a Midfielder)
Raul Meireles
3
Birthdate: March 17, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Porto

Raul Meireles is a Portuguese retired football player who played as a midfielder for the national team in many European Championships and two World Cups between 2006 and 2014. Raul Meireles is best known for winning the 2012 UEFA Champions League while playing for Chelsea.  

 48 
Afonso de Albuquerque
1
Birthdate: 1453 AD
Birthplace: Vila Franca de Xira
Died: December 16, 1515

Afonso de Albuquerque was a Portuguese statesman, admiral, and general. A fierce military commander, Albuquerque expanded the influence of the Portuguese across the Indian Ocean while serving as the viceroy of the Portuguese State of India from 1509 to 1515. Afonso de Albuquerque's military brilliance in the initial Portuguese campaigns helped Portugal to become the first intercontinental empire in history. 

 49 
Leonardo Jardim
(Football Manager)
Leonardo Jardim
0
Birthdate: August 1, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Barcelona, Venezuela

Leonardo Jardim is a Portuguese football manager who has managed popular teams like Braga, Olympiacos, and Sporting CP. As a manager, he has helped various teams achieve success; in 2013, he helped Olympiacos win the Super League Greece and the Greek Football Cup. Leonardo Jardim is the current manager of Shabab Al-Ahli Club.

 50 
Simão Sabrosa
(Portuguese Retired Footballer Who Played as a Left Winger)
Simão Sabrosa
1
Birthdate: October 31, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vila Real

Simão Sabrosa is a Portuguese retired football player who was known for his dribbling skills. He represented his country in two European Championships and two World Cups. Simão Sabrosa also played for clubs like Benfica, winning the Primeira Liga with the club in 2005.

Portuguese men made their worth count in the literary field as well with giants like Jose Antoio Camoes, Joao de Deus, Almeida Garrett, Pedro Correia Garcao penning verses and poetry. Carlos Viegas Gago Coutinho was an aviation pioneer and the first to cross South Atlantic Ocean by air. Each of them and many more contributed greatly in Portuguese history and civilization. Read through this write-up, details about the life and works of famous Portuguese men.