Marco “Orelhas” and brother-in-law sentenced to 18 years in prison for death of FC Porto fan. Renato Gonçalves sentenced to 20 years – Observador

The Porto Court sentenced Marco “Orelhas” Gonçalves, a FC Porto fan with ties to the Super Dragões fan group, to an 18-year prison term for the death of a club fan, Igor Silva, in May 2022. “Orelhas” cousin, Paulo Cardoso, received the same sentence, both convicted for the crime of aggravated murder. Renato Gonçalves (son of “Orelhas”) was given a 20-year prison term, the harshest of the three. The Public Prosecutor’s Office had requested the maximum penalty for these defendants on March 21 of this year.

The sentence was handed down on Wednesday afternoon at the Criminal Court of São João Novo, in Porto. The Porto Court acquitted the defendants Diogo Meireles, Miguel Pereira, Rui Costa, and Sérgio Machado. Cassandra da Costa, Marisa dos Santos, and Iara Gonçalves (daughter of Marco Gonçalves) were convicted of assaults. Marisa dos Santos was sentenced to 1 year and 8 months, while Iara and Cassandra received a 1-year suspended sentence.

The Court also set a compensation of 165 thousand euros for Igor Silva’s mother and 12 thousand euros for Elisabete Pinto, a witness who tried to help the victim and ended up being assaulted. The judge believes that the defendants “failed to control their impulses”, acting out of vengeance.


The judge decided to apply a special regime to Iara and Cassandra, even though she stated that the young women acted aggressively and motivated by the same desire for revenge. The judge emphasized the importance of collecting testimonies and investigating evidence, including CCTV footage and clothing analysis, to establish the facts.

According to the findings, Marco Gonçalves, his son, and his brother-in-law had a history of conflict with the victim, including a previous assault in a nightclub in Porto. On the afternoon of May 7, conflicts arose between these three defendants and the victim at the Estádio da Luz, with witnesses stating that Marco Gonçalves threatened Igor Silva’s life by saying, “I will kill you.”

The Court found that upon arrival in Porto, there was a “frantic pursuit” of Igor Silva. Marco Gonçalves, Paulo Cardoso, and Renato Gonçalves chased the young fan, with Marco Gonçalves and Paulo Cardoso holding Igor Silva’s legs so Renato Gonçalves could stab him. The victim managed to escape the attackers at one point, but was caught again and stabbed, resulting in his death.

The magistrate also concluded that Cassandra da Costa, Marisa dos Santos, and Iara Gonçalves did not have a direct role in the homicide but contributed to its occurrence by preventing others from assisting Igor Silva.

The judge stated that the pursuit and attack on Igor Silva were “a fast-paced, fleeting event, witnesses were in different locations, and what was seen sometimes overlaps, but despite that, they managed to convey what happened.”

The defendants denied the facts. Renato Gonçalves only admitted to one stab wound. However, Igor Silva sustained 18 stab wounds in total and his blood was found on the defendant’s jacket, which led the Court to deem his testimony unreliable.

The Court found evidence indicating that it was Renato Gonçalves who inflicted the blows on the victim and was the only one who tried to conceal himself and the jacket he wore on the day of the incidents. The judge added that several witnesses witnessed the crime and expressed fear of testifying in court.

Although all defendants were aware of this “desire for revenge,” the judge stated that it was not possible to determine if four of the defendants knew that the intention was to kill Igor Silva. Those individuals were Rui Costa, Sérgio Machado, Miguel Pereira — who are currently free — and Diogo Meireles, known as “Xió” — serving a prison sentence for another crime. Furthermore, the magistrate mentioned that there were no testimonies placing them at the crime scene.

The session was scheduled to start at 2 p.m. but began at 4 p.m. Prior to the start, family and friends of Igor Silva gathered at the courthouse wearing t-shirts with the young man’s face printed on them. Upon the defendants’ arrival at the courthouse, the group shouted “murderers,” closely monitored by the security forces who had a strong police presence at the scene.

On March 21, the Public Prosecutor’s Office requested the maximum penalty for Marco Gonçalves, Renato Gonçalves, and Paulo Cardoso — nicknamed “Chanfra.”

For the other four male defendants, the Public Prosecutor’s representative had asked for “exemplary sentences,” without specifying the lengths, and effective prison sentences of up to four years for three female defendants.

Igor Silva, 26, died after being assaulted and stabbed 18 times in the early hours of May 8, 2022. On May 7, FC Porto became the national champions after defeating Benfica 1-0 at the Estádio da Luz. There had been previous confrontations between the young man and the assailants in Lisbon, but it was upon their arrival in Porto, amid celebrations near the Estádio do Dragão, that the crime occurred.

Renato Gonçalves led a pursuit of Igor Silva, who fell victim to an ambush by eight men, including Marco “Orelhas” and Paulo Cardoso, “Orelhas” brother-in-law. Although other fans present at the scene tried to help Igor Silva, he did not survive the injuries inflicted by the attackers.

Apparently, the attack stemmed from personal disputes between the victim and the defendants, which had been ongoing for months.

Marco “Orelhas” Gonçalves is known for being the number two in the FC Porto supporters’ group, Super Dragões. During his time as a player at Canelas FC, he shocked the world by breaking a referee’s nose. He spent a significant part of his football career at Futebol Clube Cerco do Porto.

A total of 12 defendants were involved in the case. Diogo Meireles attended the session via video call.

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Asraful Shohag

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