Vitoria Guimarães: the Portuguese team looking to become one of the best in the country
Traditionally in Portugal, there has always been a Big Three when in comes to football clubs. However, that may all be about to change.
With the rise of Braga in Portuguese football to make the title race a four-horse battle, are we about to see a fifth team enter the stage?
Scepticism of this suggestion is both expected, and understandable. After all, in the entire history of Portuguese football, only five clubs have ever won the top flight title; it is an exclusive club that even Braga haven't yet joined.
However, Vitoria de Guimarães, little known amongst the majority of fans across the continent, are making significant strides to close the gap on the top-performing clubs in the country, in a bid to become one of the standout teams within the league.
Having recruited shrewdly in the summer transfer window, Guimarães have built a team that has the ability to compete with the best domestically, and indeed could be looking to soon break into the top 4 and earn a Europa League spot.
As it stands, they still have some way to go; currently occupying 5th in the league, able to be dubbed the "Best of the Rest" as a result, they are still 5 points short of Braga in fourth, and even further behind leaders Porto, after topping free-scoring Sporting 1-0 in their last league outing.
But their progression to the top of the Portuguese game will be slow. Indeed, for all Braga's progress so far over the past decade, they still remain without the one piece of silverware they crave the most - the Primeira Liga - and have yet to come close to making their dream a reality.
Only this season do they really look like a side capable of mounting and sustainimg a title challenge.
So if Guimarães want to become part of any sort of new 'Big Five', they must sustain their work and continue to improve their squad year upon year.
But they are in a very strong position right now. Bringing in Portuguese international midfielder Andre Andre was an absolute coup for the club, and his 6 goals already in the league prove that he was worth the expenditure.
Following him to the club in the summer window was fellow Porto midfielder João Carlos Teixeira, who has the talent and flair to make an impact, as he has shown in his brief appearances this season.
Up front, they also look strong, with former Paços de Ferreira striker Welthon now at the club, the pacey forward likely to have featured for the club a lot more this season but for the injuries he has sustained.
Alexandre Guedes is also at the club, who had already shown his ability in Portugal with Aves, and has only continued his form for Guimarães, being a crucial part in their ability to move up the league after a shaky start to the campaign.
Left winger Davidson has also been sublime, an indisputable starter, playing ahead of former Benfica man and additional summer signing Ola John , while diminutive midfielder Tozé has also been terrific.
They join a strong backline including Pedrão and Osorio, with the exceptional Wakaso playing just in front of them.
The team has an excellent balance to it, and their willingness to invest and ability to pick out top-quality domestic players makes them a potentially exciting proposition in the years to come.
Anything less than a 5th place finish this time around would have to be considered a disappointment for the team, while anything more would be a huge success. Fine lines for manager Luis Castro, but they should be able to maintain their status in the league; and build on it going forwards.