Despite the three years he frequented in the Law School of Lisbon’s University, Carlos Pinhão chose the journalistic career. As a journalist he went, in Portugal, by the newsrooms of Mundo Desportivo, Diário Popular, Século Ilustrado, Público and A Bola
The Football fever
On April 22nd of 1962, Carlos Pinhão witnessed Eusébio’s first goal to FCP Porto, in a match that anteceded the final game of the European Champions Cup between Benfica and Real Madrid.
Carlos Pinhão, foreseeing what later came to be true, wrote, in the following day about Eusébio’s goal, in A Bola: "(…) as if it was already a goal… against Real Madrid."
About this same derby, Pinhão, that leads the words, added: "An exhibition already in an approximate level of his best games in the beginning of the season, lacking only in happiness in the shot. He searched so much for the goal, without complexes of any kind, facing successive frustrations that he would come to reach it."
Carlos Pinhão, journalist and man of letters, was born on May 4th of 1924 in Lisbon. Aside from Sports, the city of Lisbon and literature were other of his passions.
As journalist he worked, in Portugal, in the newsrooms of Mundo Desportivo, Diário Popular, Século Ilustrado, Públicoand A Bola. In Spain he was part of the newsroom of Marca, in France he collaborated with France Soir and in Belgium with Les Sports.
Around here he also wrote, even though sporadically, for Diário de Lisboa and Diário do Fundão. Hand in hand with literature, he was responsible for the introduction of the tale and the chronicle in the sports journalism.
Before arriving at A Bola, Carlos Pinhão worked at Mundo Desportivowhere he lived tension episodes with the then director, Dr. José Gonçalves.
One of those moments had to do with the dislocation and representation expenses of Carlos Pinhão in a European sports competition.
Pinhão went to a certain European country and was staying in a modest hotel. When the championship ended, he called the newsroom and transmitted the participants’ results, from first to sixth place, to be in the edition of the next day.
Taking into account that international communications in the 50’s and the 60’s were expensive and long and, even, considered a luxury, Carlos Pinhão was called to Dr. José Gonçalves’ office to explain the "costs."
Furious, Dr. José Gonçalves gave him a big lecture stating that «it seemed impossible», that he had been "spending the newspaper’s money," that he had «spent a huge amount of money in trains, hotels, food and drinks, plus the telephone line» - and, after this huge "despesona" [big expense], he had just "communicated the results… only down to the sixth ranked! A scandal!"
Carlos Pinhão stated, quietly: "Mister, forgive me, but I couldn’t name more than the first six… because there were only six competing…"
The director was ashamed, without answer and immediately told Pinhão to leave his office.
"The Red Afternoon"
Back to A Bola, on November 20th of 1978, it is read on its cover «The Red Afternoon», marking the victory of Benfica over Sporting for 5-0, in the previous day.
In fact, Carlos Pinhão’s title said more than that and if we read between the lines, a new thesis could be found.
The complete title was «The Red Afternoon with Eanes watching». In this date it was lived the PREC (Process Revolucionário em Curso - Revolucionary Process in Course) and in the same day of the match, the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) had earned an extra point, or in other words, the City Hall of Évora. Pinhão, a PCP supporter, celebrated like this, with that title, the two victories – one sportive and the other, political.
Carlos Pinhão was also responsible for the introduction of humor, of the chronicle and of the tale in sports journalism, having invited, on a weekly basis, a Portuguese writer to write in A Bola. Besides a cultural vocation, there was also a commercial vocation, giving credibility to A Bola and making it into one of the most wanted publications in the market. Consequently, this publication started to be called the Sports’ bible.
One of Carlos Pinhão’s humor texts had the title of «Ataíde, Wanted» and told a funny episode between a client and an ex-client of Companhia dos Telefones.
The story was the following:
Carlos Pinhão, also responsible for «Hoje jogo eu», one of the oldest columns in A Bola, written as in a travel report, reported sports events in the several corners of the world. After the fall of the old regime, journalists similarly to Carlos Pinhão had the mission to relearn how to write freely, far from between the lines. One day, in the 80’s, it was possible to read in this column:
"The reporter entered the Botanical Garden of Glasgow (BGG), because the entrance is only forbidden to dogs and children under ten, from what is concluded that only at ten a child is above the dog, it is proverbial the affection the English dedicate to dogs. (…) Evidently, as a lisboner, I didn’t settle and asked the guard of the BGG: (…) – 'Mangericous alfacinatus?' – I don’t understand – he stated in English. (…) I didn’t insist, I already had understood that there weren’t basils, they don’t care about us."
Carlos Pinhão died on January 15th of 1993 and was one of the most notable Portuguese sports journalists, allying a literary quality to an educational sense in his chronicles.
Besides journalism, Carlos Pinhão published several literary works dedicated to the younger public.