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Hammers to face Portuguese test

Filed: Thursday, 4th July 2013
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's prestigious end-of-pre-season friendly this summer will be held against Portuguese side Pacos de Ferreira.

In recent seasons, West Ham have become accustomed to playing host to some of Europe's biggest teams at the end of pre-season. Clubs such as Athletico Bilbao (2000), Olympiakos (2006), Roma (2007) and Real Zaragoza (2011) have all visited the Boleyn Ground for the traditional curtain-raiser.

Therefore the announcement of Pacos de Ferreira being United's final opponent of the 2013 pre-season campaign will come as something of a surprise to Hammers fans, many of whom will no doubt be sliently asking themselves "who?"

Officially formed in 1950 (although predecessor Sport Club Pacense has already been running for 20 years), the Club have steadily risen through the Portuguese ranks and having won the second division three times before qualifying for Europe for the first time in their history in 2006/07.

Last season Pacos, under the watchful eye of Paulo Fonseca (who has since left to become Porto's new manager) went one further and achieved their highest ever finish - third place - in the Primeira Liga, granting them a place in next season's Champions League play-offs. And all this despite playing in a stadium with a capacity of just 5,255.

Although mostly unknown to fans of English soccer, PdF's squad - the majority of which is homegrown - includes the likes of Peruvian international Paolo Hurtado and Guinean international striker Cicero Semedo.

Notable former players include former Burnley defender Andre Bikey and ex-Porto and Benfica star Marco Ferreira.

The match will take place at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday, 10th August. Kick off is at 3pm and tickets are priced at 15 for season ticket holders and 20 for non-season ticket holders.

Pacos de Ferreira: Honours

Third Division: 197374
Segunda Liga (Second Division): 199091, 199900, 200405
Portuguese Cup: Runner-up 200809
Portuguese League Cup: Runner-up 201011
Portuguese Supercup: Runner-up 2009

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