According to the award's jury, coordinated by José Manuel Mendes, “the work of Rui Miguel Tovar represents an original perspective in which the journey appears as a search for the current phenomenon of sport in the world”.
“It's about understanding a particular way of travelling, understanding that the traveller's gaze may not start from the trip itself. The rhythm, intensity and life are very present”, he adds.
The jury, consisting of Guilherme d'Oliveira Martins, Luísa Mellid-Franco and Paulo Moura, awarded the prize to “Viagens Sem Bola”, edited by Quetzal, by a majority vote.
To this 4th edition of the Maria Ondina Braga Travel Literature Grand Prix, instituted by the Portuguese Writers Association (APE), with the sponsorship from the Braga City Council.
Rui Miguel Tovar has been awarded the prize money of €12,500 for his work on the book.
In “Viagens sem Bola”, journalist Rui Miguel Tovar talks about football games in Qatar, Argentina, Paraguay, Italy, Spain, China, Thailand, Maldives, Vietnam, Chile, among others.
The particularity of these trips is that the author does not write specifically about football, but about everything else around the games, such as the cities, food, people, the history of a region, how to reach a certain Chinese village or to a beach soccer match in Thailand, how the fans of an Argentine club behave, or the women who watch, in secret, a game in the Qatar.
Rui Miguel Tovar was born on February 16, 1977 and became a journalist in 1995. He first began working for Record newspaper and in January 2009 moved to I newspaper, where he stayed until December 2015, when he decided to pursue a career as a freelancer.
Last year, the winner of this award was Alexandra Lucas Coelho, with the work "Cinco Voltas na Bahia e Um Beijo para Caetano Veloso".