Jubilant Portugal celebrates first Eurovision victory

Eurovision Song Contest winner Salvador Sobral was greeted by thousands upon his return home on Sunday.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Portugal's winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2017, Salvador Sobral arrives at Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon, Portugal, May 14, 2017.

Jubilant Portugual on Sunday heaped praise on the country's first ever Eurovision song contest victor Salvador Sobral, who suffers from a serious heart condition but triumphed with a melancholy ballad.

"When we are very good, we're the best of the best. Congratulations Salvador Sobral," President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa wrote in a message to the 27-year-old crooner.

The singer returned home on Sunday where he was greeted by thousands at Lisbon airport.

"A page of history has been written in Portuguese this evening at Eurovision. Bravo Salvador! Bravo Portugal," Prime Minister Antonio Costa tweeted.

TRT World's Sarah Jones reports.

The singer stirred the professional judges and the public in the 60-year-old contest with a melancholic rendering of "Amar Pelos Dois" (For the Both of Us), sung in his native tongue rather than English which is unusual for Eurovision which draws around 200 million television viewers.

Sobral's quietly sensitive performance set it apart from more flashy displays like bookmakers' favourite Italian Francesco Gabbani and his "dancing naked ape", as well as Azerbaijan's entry featuring a man on a stepladder wearing a horse's head.

His decision to forgo the elaborate choreography and heavy dance tempos favoured by most contestants had made Sobral, a fan of trumpeter Chet Baker, a long shot to win.

The previous best Portuguese Eurovision ranking was sixth place, back in 1996.

TRTWorld and agencies