FC Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira congratulated his players on "maintaining their humility" after they defeated CD Das Aves 4-1 on Sunday to retain the Portuguese title.
Needing a win to beat off competition from both Sporting Clube de Portugal and SL Benfica on the final day of the season, Porto were being held 1-1 at the break by an Aves side battling to avoid relegation, but pushed on after the interval to send their opponents down and, more importantly, claim their 21st title - and their first under Ferreira's leadership.
"It was a difficult campaign for Porto but the team remained united," said the coach after the final denouement. "It was a victory that everybody involved played a part in. I would like to dedicate this title to the players and to the president. The players managed to maintain their humility after being crowned last year and they never lost their identity."
Goalkeeper Vítor Baía came on for the final minutes of the game in order to claim his tenth Liga title - and possibly his last, since many expect him to announce his retirement soon - on the pitch. "I want to celebrate this title as it was my first," he said. "It is a title won with a lot of hard work. We fully deserved this title as we were always in first place."
Influential winger Ricardo Quaresma, one of Porto's key players this season, added: "It is very exciting to win the title on the last day. Everybody thought Sporting would be the champions and many doubted Porto and the players. We proved once more we have a great team. We knew we would end up winning this title. We came on to the pitch with that ambition."
After the match the supporters celebrated outside the Estádio do Dragão, with the players joining the celebrations from a balcony above the crowd of fans. As the evening moved on, fans congregated in the city centre for an all-night party and can now look ahead to the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage and attempt to repeat their triumph of three years ago.
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