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Waterloo Region's Portuguese community celebrates big win in Euro 2024


One day after Portugal’s shootout win over Slovenia in the European Championship, a large contingent of fans are showing their support in Waterloo Region.

Once Monday’s round of 16 match ended 0-0 in regulation time, Portuguese goalkeeper Diogo Costa saved all three kicks to clinch the shootout 3-0.

Local Portuguese restaurant, Lisboa Bakery & Grill, is hosting watch parties throughout Euro 2024. Ana Jesus with the Portuguese Cultural Alliance of Waterloo Region says the tournament has revealed how significant the Portuguese community is in the region.

“We’ve got about 300,000 in all of Ontario and [Waterloo Region] is pretty much the highest percentage of Portuguese relative to total urban population,” Jesus told CTV News. “We’ve definitely been present for a while.”

Flag salesman Amjad Abuhawileh sells a wide variety of merchandise near Franklin Boulevard in Cambridge. He says his top seller of the summer is the Portuguese flag, adding that Cambridge has a large number of Portuguese residents.

When it comes to international soccer, Jesus says the national team brings all Portuguese fans together.

“Everybody cheers for Portugal. It doesn’t mater what team you support throughout the rest of the year, this becomes the one factor that kind of unites everybody regardless of where they’re from,’ Jesus said.

Portugal returns to the pitch Friday to face France in the quarter-finals. The victor will move on to play the winner between Spain and Germany with a shot at advancing to the final in Berlin, Germany. A championship win would mark Portugal’s second since 2016.

“I saw the win in Cambridge in 2016 and it was absolutely insane,” Jesus said. “If we were able to kind of clinch this one, it would be pretty epic.” Top Stories

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