In addition to having pioneered porcelain manufacturing, the Pinto Basto Family played a crucial role in bringing football to Portugal. In fact, this sport was brought to the country by Guilherme, Eduardo and Frederico Pinto Basto, the great-grandchildren of the Vista Alegre founder. Frederico Pinto Basto brought the first football to Portugal in 1886 and organised the first match in October of that year. On 22 January 1889, Guilherme Pinto Basto organised the first international football match, where an English and a Portuguese team played against each other at Campo Pequeno.
Of all sports promoted by the Vista Alegre Factory, football has undoubtedly received the most attention. The first Vista Alegre football team was presented to the public in August 1915, by occasion of the opening of the football field.
The first articles of association pertaining to the current Vista Alegre Sporting Club were made official on 1 March 1952. The Club continued to receive support from the Factory’s successive Boards of Directors, which provided it with a football field, a Head Office and recreational items that could be loaned to its members.
Nowadays, the Vista Alegre Sporting Club is a member of the Aveiro Football Association and boasts about 400 junior athletes amongst its members. Additionally, the current directors have assumed an active role in promoting the Vista Alegre heritage and encouraging social activities, by organising Exhibitions, Popular Parades in honour of Saint John and Fado Nights.