"He has unique and singular experience at national and international level. It will be up to Mário Santos to ensure the organisational structure of the club's sports, to understand the growth of its training, to strengthen the competitiveness of the active sports - including women's sports -, to continue the commitment to adapted sports and to integrate new sports that fit in with the club's strategy and culture," the former coach of the 'blue and white' football team announced today at the campaign headquarters in Porto.

Leader of the FPC between 2004 and 2013, the year in which he ended a five-year stint on the Executive Committee of the Portuguese Olympic Committee (COP), Mário Santos distinguished himself as head of the Portuguese Missions to the Singapore2010 Youth Olympic Games and the London2012 Olympic Games, boasting a vast CV of experience in the sector.

"We have to lay the foundations for eclectic and solid growth, which will allow us to sustainably have competitive teams, with athletes who are in national teams and on Olympic missions. May FC Porto continue to win as it has done so far, but may it also continue to grow, train and be exemplary," added André Villas-Boas.

The lawyer served, among other positions, as vice president of the European Canoeing Association, between 2007 and 2015, and had experience as director of the anti-doping control panel and head of the sea kayak committee of the International Canoeing Federation, where he also worked as a legal advisor, from 2008 to 2021.

Appointed by the government as a specialist on the National Sports Council from 2016 to 2024, Mário Santos, 52, was a member of the General Council of the University of Coimbra between 2013 and 2018 and has been practicing law specialising in sports law.

The elections for FC Porto's governing bodies for the 2024-2028 quadrennium are being contested by three candidates, led by Pinto da Costa (list A), André Villas-Boas (B), a former coach of the football team, and Nuno Lobo (C), a businessman and teacher, as well as an independent list for the Board of Governors led by Miguel Brás da Cunha (D).

The election will take place on 27 April, between 09:00 and 20:00, at the Estádio do Dragão, in Porto, at a time when Pinto da Costa is serving his 15th consecutive term, which gives him the status of the most successful and longest-serving manager in world football.


A passionate Irish journalist with a love for cycling, politics and of course Portugal especially their sausage rolls.

Rory Mc Ginn