Every league has those teams, don’t they?
The teams everyone fears playing, the teams everyone fears getting absolutely smashed by. This is all within footballing boundaries of course: the fear comes from the threat of being humiliated, being completely and utterly outclassed and proved to be worthless in the grand scheme of the beautiful game.
Canelas 2010 are a team to be feared. Not because they will put five past you, but because they will most likely cave your head in if you try to beat them.
Canelas currently play in the Portuguese fourth tier and lead the division having won their previous twelve games by a scoreline of 3-0. Due to the core of their side and fanbase being made up of hardcore, violent FC Porto ultras who will happily threaten and intimidate other teams, twelve of their last thirteen opponents have preferred to lose by forfeit and pay a €750 fine rather than face them.
If that wasn’t enough to scare off opposition, there’s an added ‘bonus’ for those brave enough to play Canelas; just look at this:
It isn’t just other teams Canelas are threatening; referees, too, are also on the receiving end. Manuel Gomes, president of Grijo, one of the teams involved in forfeiting their fixture, told El Pais: “The referees are intimidated and don’t write what has happened. Nobody acts.”
Sources around the league suggest officials are too scared to do anything due to the threats of Canelas ultras – mostly members of Porto’s notorious Super Dragons firm – as they will be waiting for them after games to dish out violent retribution. It’s obviously pure coincidence that Canelas’ captain is Fernando Madureira, who also happens to head up the Super Dragons ultras.
He’s an extremely charming fellow, as evidenced when speaking to Sabado:
“We are not as bad as they paint us. No one walks in the field behind opponents with sticks or knives.
“I appeal to the players of the other teams that come to play, because this is football and we are like you: we have two legs and two arms. Do not get involved in political controversies.”
An anonymous league source – always anonymous, because why on Earth would you risk it, let’s be honest – expanded on the fear engulfing the league:
I understand why; we all have families, and so do the players. Nobody wants to compromise.”
The problem is this: Canelas 2010 haven’t technically done anything wrong, except for some spectacularly dirty play, so nothing can be done. Sure, the players could be suspended for violent conduct, or fans banned from the stands, but that wouldn’t stop them from doling out ‘punishment’ after league matches. A sad situation all round.