NEW JERSEY (FOX5NY.COM) - Over the past 20 years, four out of the last five FIFA World Cup tournaments have been won by European nations. But Portugal has yet to win the coveted prize. Soccer, or football, as they call it in Portugal, fills the nation with pride and anguish as the passion for the national team is passed down from generation to generation.
Fox 5 found some of those generations at Madrid and Lisbon, a Portuguese restaurant in the Ironbound district of Newark, where the locals were watching Portugal versus Iran.
Alfredo Tavares was born in Portugal and came to the United States in 1978. He said when he was a kid he remembers his father and grandfather crying over soccer. Tavares said that now that he is older, he understands why: because Portugal fans suffer.
His daughter Ashley, who lives in Elizabeth, shares in her father's passion.
"Ever since I was a little girl, we would watch soccer games all the time," she said.
Daniel Silva owns Madrid and Lisbon. He took over for his Portugal-born parents more than 10 years ago. What is it like when Portugal plays in the World Cup?
"It's crazy, it gets crazy," he said. "Especially when Portugal starts going into the knockout rounds."
The Ironbound has a large Portuguese population, including many first-generation Americans like Kevin Marques, who lives down the street from the restaurant. What does Cristiano Ronaldo mean to Portugal?
"He's everything—he's the captain on the sideline," Marques said. "He's the captain on the field, off the field."
While our Fox 5 Good Day crew, including traffic reporter Ines Rosales and producer Vivian Rodriguez, enjoyed the authentic food and atmosphere, tensions were high until Portugal finally got a goal from Ricardo Quaresma.
But Iran leveled the match and the game ended in a draw. Portugal will now face Uruguay, a team that has yet to give up a goal, in the knockout round.
But the Portuguese fans have faith. Tavares predicted that Portugal will face Mexico in the final and win.
"Forza, Portugal!" he cheered.