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Eurovision: Portugal jubilant after singer’s victory

Portugal was celebrating its first Eurovision victory on Saturday night, after crooner Salvador Sobral won the contest with a ballad sung in his native tongue.

“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, who suffers from a serious heart condition.

At first glance, Sobral’s decision to forgo the elaborate choreography and heavy dance tempos favoured by most contestants in the kitsch contest had made him a long shot.

But his fado-tinged song “Amar Pelos Dois” scored a crushing victory, winning top marks both from the televoters and the countries’ professional juries.

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

Even football club Benfica took the time to congratulate the singer, shortly after their fans took to the streets in the capital to celebrate a match the team had won a few hours earlier.

“We aren’t the only winners this evening…! Well done Salvador Sobral!,” the team said.

The crooner’s victory was also celebrated further away from home, with British author J. K Rowling tweeting: “Yay Portugal”.