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Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Portuguese pronunciation: [spɔɾ liʒˈboɐ i bɐ̃ȷ̃ˈfikɐ]), commonly known as Benfica, is a Portuguese sports club based in Lisbon, Portugal. It is best known for the professional football team playing in the Primeira Liga, the top flight of Portuguese football. Benfica are the current Portuguese champions, having won four consecutive league titles.

Benfica
SL Benfica logo.svg
Full name Sport Lisboa e Benfica
Nickname(s) Águias (Eagles)
Encarnados (Reds)
Glorioso (Glorious)
Short name Benfica
Founded 28 February 1904
(113 years ago)
 (1904-02-28)
as Sport Lisboa
Ground Estádio da Luz
Lisbon, Portugal
Ground Capacity 64,642[1]
President Luís Filipe Vieira
Manager Rui Vitória
League Primeira Liga
2016–17 Primeira Liga, 1st
Website Club website
Current season
Active departments of
Sport Lisboa e Benfica
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg
Football Football B Football U-19
Futsal pictogram.svg Roller hockey pictogram.svg Basketball pictogram.svg
Futsal Roller hockey Basketball
Handball pictogram.svg Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg Athletics pictogram.svg
Handball Volleyball Athletics
Swimming pictogram.svg Rugby union pictogram.svg Table tennis pictogram.svg
Swimming Rugby union Table tennis
Cue sports pictogram.svg Canoeing (slalom) pictogram.svg
Billiards Canoeing

Founded on 28 February 1904 as Sport Lisboa, Benfica is one of the "Big Three" clubs in Portugal that have never been relegated from the Primeira Liga – the other two are rivals Sporting CP and FC Porto. The Benfica team is nicknamed Águias (Eagles) for the symbol atop the club's crest, and Encarnados (Reds) for the shirt colour. Since 2003, their home ground has been the Estádio da Luz, which replaced the original one, built in 1954. Benfica is the most supported Portuguese club, with an estimated 14 million supporters worldwide, and the European club with the highest percentage of supporters in its own country. By the end of 2016, Benfica had 184,264 paying members. The club's official anthem, "Ser Benfiquista", refers to its supporters who are called benfiquistas. Benfica is honoured in three Portuguese Orders: those of Christ, of Merit and of Prince Henry.

With 79 domestic titles and 81 titles overall won – 82 including the Latin Cup – Benfica is the most decorated club in Portugal.[2][3] They have won a record 36 Primeira Liga titles, a record 29 Campeonato de Portugal/Taça de Portugal, a record 7 Taça da Liga and 7 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira, and are the only club to have won all of these competitions. Internationally, Benfica won back-to-back European Cups, in 1961 and 1962, a unique feat in Portuguese football. In addition, they were runners-up at the Intercontinental Cup in 1961 and '62, at the European Cup in 1963, '65, '68, '88 and '90, and at the UEFA Cup/Europa League in 1983, 2013 and '14. They have reached ten European finals, a domestic record that ranked seventh all-time among UEFA clubs in 2014.[4] Furthermore, they hold the European record for the most consecutive wins in domestic league and the record for the longest unbeaten run in Primeira Liga, in which they became the first undefeated champions, in 1972–73.[5]

Benfica was ranked twelfth in the FIFA Club of the Century award,[6] and ranked ninth in "Europe's Club of the Century" by IFFHS.[7] As of the end of the 2016–17 season, Benfica is ranked ninth in the UEFA club coefficient rankings – the best position of a Portuguese club[8][9] – and has the second most participations in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League.[10]

Contents

History

Inception and first titles (1904–50)

 
The first Benfica team, in 1904

On 28 February 1904, a group of former students from the Real Casa Pia de Lisboa and members of Associação do Bem met at the back of Farmácia Franco on Rua de Belém with the goal of forming a social and cultural football club, which would be called Sport Lisboa. There were a total of 24 people who attended the meeting, including Cosme Damião, who would be the club's most important leader in the first decades. In this meeting, José Rosa Rodrigues was appointed as club president, along with Daniel Brito as secretary and Manuel Gourlade as treasurer. It was defined that the club's colours would be red for bravery and white for peace. The founders also decided that the crest would be composed of an eagle (symbolising high aspirations), the motto "E pluribus unum" (defining union between all club members) and a football.[11][12][13] Benfica played their first match ever on 1 January 1905. Despite important victories in the first few years, the club suffered because of poor operating conditions, namely the football dirt field Terras do Desembargador.[14] As a result, eight players moved to Sporting CP in 1907, and started the rivalry between the clubs.

On 13 September 1908, Sport Lisboa acquired Grupo Sport Benfica by mutual agreement and changed its name to Sport Lisboa e Benfica. Despite the club merger, they continued their respective club operations. For Sport Lisboa they maintained the football team, the shirt colours, the eagle symbol and the motto. For Grupo Sport Benfica they maintained the field Campo da Feiteira,[14] the main directors and the club's house. Both clubs determined that the foundation date should coincide with Sport Lisboa's given that it was the most recognised club and quite popular in Lisbon because of its football merits. In regard to the crest, a cycling wheel was added to Sport Lisboa's to represent the most important sport of Grupo Sport Benfica. Furthermore, the two entities of the "new" club had simultaneous members who helped stabilise operations, which later increased the success of the merger.

However, problems with the club's rented field remained. In 1913, Benfica moved to their first football grass field, Campo de Sete Rios. Four years later they moved to Campo de Benfica because of a high rent. They then moved to their own stadium, Estádio das Amoreiras, in 1925.[14] The Portuguese league began in 1934, and after finishing third in the first edition, Benfica won the next three championships in a row (1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38). In 1940, Benfica won their first Taça de Portugal, a year before moving to Estádio do Campo Grande.[14] Throughout the 1940s, Benfica won three Primeira Liga (1941–42, 1942–43, 1944–45) and four Taça de Portugal (1940, '43, '44, '49). János Biri achieved the first double for the club in 1943.

Golden years and fading (1950–94)

 
José Águas (on the left) as Benfica's captain before the 1962 European Cup Final

Benfica's first international success happened in 1950 when they won the Latin Cup (the only Portuguese club to do so), defeating Bordeaux with a golden goal from Julinho[15] at the Estádio Nacional in Lisbon,[16] with Ted Smith as coach.[17] It was the first international trophy won by a Portuguese club.[18] They reached another final of the competition in 1957 but lost to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.[16] With Joaquim Ferreira Bogalho elected as president in 1952 and the arrival of coach Otto Glória in 1954,[17] Benfica became more modernised and professional, and moved into the original Estádio da Luz with an initial seating capacity of 40,000; expanded to 70,000 in 1960.[14][19][20] During the 1950s, Benfica won three Primeira Liga (1949–50, 1954–55, 1956–57 – they were champions in 1955 but Sporting played the 1955–56 European Cup instead) and six Taça de Portugal (1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1959).

Led by coach Béla Guttmann,[17] Benfica were one of two teams, along with Barcelona, to break Real Madrid's dominance in the European Champion Clubs' Cup by winning two consecutive European Cup titles, the first one against Barcelona in 1961 (3–2)[21] and the second one against Real Madrid in 1962 (5–3).[13][22] Later on, Benfica reached another three European Cup finals but lost them to Milan in 1963, to Inter Milan in 1965, and to Manchester United in 1968 at the Wembley Stadium,[13] where they were presented with European Team of the Year by France Football. The 1960s were the best period of the club, in which Benfica won eight Primeira Liga (1959–60, 1960–61, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69), three Taça de Portugal (1962, 1964, 1969) and two European Cups (1960–61, 1961–62). Many of their successes in this decade were achieved with Eusébio – the only player to win the Ballon d'Or for a Portuguese club[23] – Coluna, José Águas, José Augusto, Simões, Torres and other players, who formed the team of 1963–64 that set a club record of 103 goals in 26 league matches,[24] a team that is regarded as one of the best in world football.[13] During the 1960s, Benfica was ranked first in European football three times (in 1965, 1966 and 1969).[25][26][27]

During the 1970s, Benfica faded slightly from the European scene, but remained as the main force of Portuguese football, winning six Primeira Liga (1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77) and two Taça de Portugal (1970, 1972). Jimmy Hagan led the team to four trophies between 1970 and 1973. In 1971–72, Benfica attracted Europe-wide attention once again when they reached the semi-finals of the European Cup, where they were eliminated by Ajax of Johan Cruyff. In the following season, Benfica became the first club in Portugal to win the league without defeat,[24] winning 28 matches – 23 consecutively – out of 30, and drawing 2. They scored 101 goals, and Eusébio was later crowned Europe's top scorer, again, this time with 40 goals. In 1979, Benfica became the last Portuguese club to admit foreign players in the team.[13]

In the 1980s, Benfica continued to thrive at domestic level.[28] With Lajos Baróti in 1980–81, Benfica became the first club to win all Portuguese titles in one season: the Supertaça de Portugal, the Primeira Liga and the Taça de Portugal. Later, under the guidance of Sven-Göran Eriksson, they won two consecutive Primeira Liga (1982–83, 1983–84)[29] and one Taça de Portugal (1983). Additionally, they reached the final of the UEFA Cup in 1983 but lost to Anderlecht.[13][29] Following the completion of improvements to the Estádio da Luz, Benfica opened the stadium's third tier (Terceiro Anel) in 1985, transforming it into the largest stadium in Europe and the third largest in the world, with a 120,000 seating capacity.[29][20] In 1986–87, John Moltimore won the Primeira Liga and Taça de Portugal. From 1988 to 1994, Benfica made a significant financial investment in an effort to win another European Cup, reaching two European Cup finals in 1988 and 1990 but lost them to PSV Eindhoven and Milan, respectively.[13] During the same period, Benfica won three Primeira Liga (1988–89, 1990–91, 1993–94) and one Taça de Portugal (1993).

Drought and return to titles (1994–)

 
Celebration of the 2004–05 league title at the Estádio da Luz

Financial trouble dating back to the 1980s, when Benfica completed its stadium's third tier,[29][30] and large investments on players started to deteriorate the club's finances.[31][32] The rampant spending and a questionable signing policy (over 100 players during Manuel Damásio's presidency),[33] which allowed for squads composed of over 30 players, further aggravated the problem.[34][35] Benfica entered in default during João Vale e Azevedo's presidency,[36] which further damaged the club's finances.[13][37] In 2001, president Manuel Vilarinho approved the construction of the new Estádio da Luz, which would eventually cost €162 million, €25 million more than the planned.[38] Consequently, the period from 1994 through 2003 was the most difficult in Benfica's history. During that time Benfica had a total of eleven managers,[17] won a single Taça de Portugal, suffered its biggest defeat in European competitions (7–0 to Celta de Vigo),[39] had its lowest league finish ever, a sixth place, and was absent from European competition for two years.[13]

In the 2003–04 season, with president Luís Filipe Vieira, Benfica put an end to their title drought by winning the Taça de Portugal against José Mourinho's Porto.[40] They dedicated the trophy to Miklós Fehér, who had died in January 2004.[41] In the following year, Benfica won the league title, eleven years after the previous one,[42] and the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira.[43] After that and until 2009, when Benfica won its first Taça da Liga, the club did not win any trophies and finished fourth in the 2007–08 league. In Europe, they had three consecutive appearances in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, with their best result being a quarter-finals stage in 2005–06, after beating Manchester United in the decisive group stage encounter and overcoming then European champions Liverpool on 3–0 aggregate.[44][45]

 
Benfica's third League and League Cup double (centre)

For the 2009–10 season, Jorge Jesus was appointed as manager,[46] a position he held until 2015. During that six-season span Benfica won 10 domestic titles, while also achieving an unprecedented treble in Portuguese football (league, cup and league cup) in 2014,[47] and the club's first back-to-back league titles since 1984.[48][49] At European level, Benfica moved from 23rd[50] to 6th place[51] in UEFA's team ranking as a result of their performance in international competition: they reached their first European semi-final in seventeen years at the 2010–11 Europa League,[52] repeated the 2005–06 Champions League quarter-finals in the 2011–12 campaign,[53] and were runners-up in Europa League for two consecutive seasons (2012–13 and 2013–14).[54][55][56]

Manager Rui Vitória joined Benfica in 2015[57] and continued the club's success by winning their third consecutive league title, with an all-time record of 88 points from 34 matches,[58][59] and the Taça da Liga.[60][61] In the following campaign, Benfica went on winning the Primeira Liga title for a fourth straight season – the club's first tetra[62] – the Taça de Portugal[63] and the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira,[64][65] in another treble achievement.[66] Internationally, Benfica reached the Champions League knockout phase for a second season in a row for the first time.[67] By winning the 2017 Super Cup, Benfica collected their twelfth domestic trophy out of sixteen possible since 2013.[68][69]

Crest and shirt

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
1977–1984 Adidas[70][71]
1984–1987 Shell
1987–1990 FNAC
1990–1992 Hummel[71][72]
1992–1994 Casino Estoril
1994–1996 Olympic[72] Parmalat
1996–1997 Telecel
1997–2000 Adidas[73]
2000–2001 Netc
2001–2005 Telecel/Vodafone
2005–2009 PT/TMN
2012–2015 MEO
2015– Emirates

Benfica's crest is composed of an eagle (as a symbol of independence, authority and nobility), positioned atop the shield with the colours red and white (symbolising bravery and peace, respectively); the motto "E pluribus unum" ("Out of many, one" – defining union between all members); and the club's initials ("SLB") over a football; everything superimposed on a bicycle wheel (representing one of the first sports in the club, cycling).[12][74]

The club has had four main crests since its inception in 1904. The origin of the current crest goes back to 1908 when Sport Lisboa merged with Grupo Sport Benfica. Back then, only red and white colours were displayed on the crest. In 1930, the crest was altered and the colours from the flag of Portugal were added. Sixty-nine years later, in 1999, the crest was changed again. The most significant changes were the modification and repositioning of the eagle, and the reduction of the size of the wheel.[75] Benfica have used commemorative crests since 2010 by adding stars on top of it. They started by adding one star to celebrate their first European Cup. In 2011, they added two stars to commemorate their second European Cup. In 2012, they started using three stars, each star representing 10 league titles won by the club.[76][77]

Benfica have always worn red shirts. During the Estado Novo, the Censorship Services prohibited the benfiquistas (Benfica fans) from referring to the team as Vermelhos (meaning "reds") so that it was not confused with communism, instead being referred to as Encarnados (meaning "flesh-coloured" and "reds"), which is still used, even after the Carnation Revolution.[78] Benfica have had a total of eleven shirt sponsors since 1984.[79]

Grounds

During their history, Benfica had to play (mostly) in rented fields until 1925. Then, after their own stadium was built (Estádio das Amoreiras), they played there until 1940. In 1941, they started playing at a rented municipal stadium (Estádio do Campo Grande) before moving to their own second stadium, thirteen years later.[14][20] From 1954 to 2003, Benfica played at the previous Estádio da Luz, the largest stadium in Europe and the third largest in the world in terms of capacity at the time.[29] It was demolished in 2003 and the new stadium was built in the same year, with a construction cost of almost €119 million.[80] Since then, Benfica have played at the Estádio da Luz (officially named Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica), located in Lisbon, Portugal.

A UEFA category four stadium,[81][82] the current Estádio da Luz hosted several matches of the UEFA Euro 2004, including the final. On 20 March 2012, the stadium was designated the venue for the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final, which was played on 24 May.[83] The stadium was built with a full seating capacity of 65,647[84][85] and it currently has 64,642 seats.[1]

A panorama of the Estádio da Luz in 2009

Training centre

Benfica's training centre and youth academy, named Caixa Futebol Campus, is located in Seixal, Lisbon Region. It was built in 2005 and opened on 22 September 2006.[86] In 2015, Benfica received the award for Best Academy of the year at the Globe Soccer Awards.[87]

Museum

The Museu Benfica – Cosme Damião, located near the stadium, was inaugurated on 26 July 2013 and opened to the public on 29 July.[88] It was considered the Best Portuguese Museum of 2014 by the Portuguese Association of Museology.[89]

Support

 
Benfica fans celebrating a goal at the Estádio da Luz
 
Benfiquistas celebrating the league title in 2010

The supporters of Benfica are known as benfiquistas. They sing the club's anthem at the start of every home match and sometimes during the match.[90] They call the club o Glorioso (the Glorious One)[91] hence the popular chant "Glorioso SLB". In some countries, Benfica has supporters' clubs known as Casas do Benfica (Benfica Houses), which are places where benfiquistas gather.[92] Benfica is also supported by the Diabos Vermelhos and the No Name Name Boys, two unlegalised supporters' groups, as they are not registered at Instituto do Desporto e Juventude.[93] More recently, Benfiquistas started to celebrate league titles with the team at the Marquis of Pombal Square in Lisbon.

Benfica is the most popular club in Portugal[94] and has always been seen as the working-class club of Portugal.[95] According to a study done by Vox Populi, the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE) and Secretaria de Estado das Comunidades, Benfica has 14 million supporters worldwide: over 5.5 million in Europe (4.7 in Portugal); over 6 million in Mozambique (3.8) and Angola (2.7); over 1 million in the United States and Canada; with the rest of supporters located in Brazil, Venezuela, Caribbean, Indochina, China, Australia and India.[91][96][97][98][28] According to a study performed for UEFA in 2012, Benfica is the European club with the highest percentage of supporters in its own country (47%).[94]

In the 2016–17 season, Benfica had an average home attendance of 55,952 in the Portuguese league, a new record at the Estádio da Luz. It was the highest average of the competition and 9th highest among other European clubs.[99][100] The highest home attendance record was also broken – 64,519 spectators saw Benfica's 5–0 win over Vitória de Guimarães in the last match at Da Luz.[101]

Members

The members of Benfica, who are called sócios, democratically elect the club president for a four-year term (three years until 2010)[102] by voting in each candidate list, forming the highest governing body of the club. They also participate in general assemblies, submit proposals, take part in discussions, and so forth. They can be elected for the governing bodies, to be designated for positions or functions at the club, etc.[12] In 2003 the club switched to electronic voting,[103] and since 2010 only members with 25 years of uninterrupted filiation (as an adult) can candidate to the presidency of Benfica.[102]

On 9 November 2006, Benfica set the Guinness World Record for "the most widely supported football club" with 160,398 paid-up members.[104] In 2014, according to a study by Movimento por um Futebol Melhor, Benfica had 270,000 members and was the biggest club in the world in membership terms.[105][106] On 31 March 2015, Benfica reported to have 246,401 members.[107] However, after a scheduled renumbering by the club in August 2015, the number decreased to 156,916.[108] In April 2017, Benfica reported they had a total of 184,264 members by 31 December 2016.[109]

Rivalries

Benfica has rivalries with Sporting CP and FC Porto, with whom it forms the "Big Three": Portugal's most decorated clubs. None of them have been relegated from the Portuguese league since its establishment in 1934.[110][111]

The Derby de Lisboa is the most important football derby in Portugal,[95] and is played between the Lisbon-based teams of Benfica and Sporting, for over a century. It is followed in Europe, Africa and the Americas.[112]

The rivalry between Benfica and FC Porto comes about as Lisbon and Porto are the largest Portuguese cities, respectively. They are the two most successful clubs in Portuguese football, with Benfica historically being the most successful team.[28] Any match between them is called O Clássico.[113]

Media

In 2008, Benfica launched its own sports-oriented television network, Benfica TV (BTV for short), and has operated it since then.[114][115] Its premium channel broadcasts Benfica's live matches at home in the Primeira Liga, home matches from Benfica B in the LigaPro,[116] from the under-19 team and below, as well as matches from other sports of the club, including youth categories.[117] Until 2016, it broadcast three seasons of the English Premier League,[118] and one season of the Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1.[119]

Moreover, the club publishes the weekly newspaper O Benfica each Friday, since 28 November 1942. It contains information about everything in the club, mostly news. By 2005, it had a circulation of close to 10,000.[120][121] Benfica also publishes the quarterly magazine Mística since 6 December 2007. Free of charge for Benfica members,[122] it includes interviews with players and personnel of the club, reports about the club's history and recent events, news, opinion pieces, overviews of different sports of the club, with football being its main focus, and a section dedicated to club members.[123] Issue 33 had a circulation of 115,602 in mainland Portugal.[124]

Finances

Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol, SAD (a public limited company)[125] was created by João Vale e Azevedo on 10 February 2000 with an initial equity of €75 million.[126][127] There were five major reasons for creating an autonomous entity to manage the professional football team: participation in professional football competitions at domestic and international level; development of football players; exploitation of TV rights on open and closed channels; management of the players' image rights; exploitation of the Benfica brand by the professional football team and at sporting events.[128]

Benfica SAD entered the PSI-20 on 21 May 2007[129] with an initial stock value of €5 on 15,000,001 shares. On 15 June 2007, Joe Berardo launched a partial takeover bid for Benfica SAD (60%) for €3.50 a share,[130][131] which was unsuccessful. On 23 December 2009, after a vote of its members, Benfica SAD increased the equity to €115 million by absorbing Benfica Estádio, SA. The initial equity of €75 million was by then completely lost, when the SAD was in balance sheet insolvency. This increase in equity meant that more than 7,999,999 shares were on the stock market, whose value was €5 each.[132] They were admitted to the stock market on 14 June 2012. (In Portugal, companies in the stock market index are obligated to provide information to their shareholders and the Portuguese Securities Market Commission, and every semester a more detailed report is published.)[133]

In 2009–10, the SAD posted losses of €11.3 million, an improvement from the nearly €30 million loss in 2008–09. Benfica continued in the red in 2010–11, with losses of €7.6 million,[134] even after the transfer of David Luiz to Chelsea for €25 million.[135] In the next season, SAD posted losses of €11.7 million,[136] after earning €20 million from the UEFA Champions League,[137] €30 million for Fábio Coentrão,[138] and €8.6 million for Roberto.[139] In 2012–13, SAD posted losses of €10.3 million and generated a club record €51.5 million with the transfers of Javi García and Axel Witsel for a total revenue of more than €145 million.[140] On 31 July 2014, the SAD completed the acquisition of Benfica Stars Fund by spending around €28.9 million for 85%, thus purchasing the remaining economic rights of nine players.[141][142] In 2013–14, SAD posted profits of €14.1 million, the total revenue was of €185 million with expenses of €151 million, both a club record. It was the first record profit since 2006–07.[143]

In April 2014, Benfica and Adidas renewed their previous ten-season contract of 2003 until 2021, for around €4.5 million per year.[144] In May 2015, Emirates signed a three-year shirt sponsorship deal worth up to €30 million to become Benfica's main jersey sponsor until 2018.[145][146] A month later, Benfica was ranked by Brand Finance as the fortieth most valuable football brand, valued at €85 million.[147] Then in December, Benfica sold its first-team TV rights as well as the distribution and broadcasting rights to NOS in a three-year deal, receiving €40 million per season, with the option to extend the contract to a maximum of ten seasons, totalling €400 million.[148][149] Six days later, Luís Filipe Vieira stated that the money from the contract with NOS is to lower Benfica's debt.[150] In October 2016, Benfica reported total assets of €416 million, an increase of 14.2%, and total liabilities of €495 million, an increase of 6.1%.[151] In January 2017, Benfica was ranked by Deloitte as the twenty-seventh highest revenue generating football club, with a revenue of €152.1 million.[152] As of June 2017, Benfica has earned €617 million from player transfer fees since the 2010–11 season, more than any other club in the world.[153]

Players

First-team squad

As of 18 September 2017[154]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Mile Svilar[155]
2   DF Lisandro López
3   DF Álex Grimaldo
4   DF Luisão (captain)
5   MF Ljubomir Fejsa
6   MF Filipe Augusto
7   MF Andreas Samaris
8   DF Douglas (on loan from Barcelona)
9   FW Raúl Jiménez
10   FW Jonas
11   FW Gabriel Barbosa (on loan from Internazionale)
12   GK Júlio César
13   GK Paulo Lopes
14   FW Haris Seferović
17   MF Andrija Živković
No. Position Player
18   MF Eduardo Salvio
19   DF Eliseu
20   MF Filip Krovinović
21   MF Pizzi
22   MF Franco Cervi
23   DF Pedro Pereira
27   MF Rafa Silva
30   GK Bruno Varela
33   DF Jardel
34   MF André Almeida
38   DF Marcelo Hermes
42   MF Martin Chrien
66   DF Rúben Dias
84   FW Diogo Gonçalves
90   MF João Carvalho

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
15   MF André Carrillo (at Watford until 30 June 2018)
28   MF Cristian Arango (at Desportivo das Aves until 30 June 2018)
  DF Mato Miloš (at Lechia Gdańsk until 30 June 2018)
  DF Patrick Vieira (at Vitória de Setúbal until 30 June 2018)
  MF André Horta (at Braga until 30 June 2018)
  MF Bryan Cristante (at Atalanta until 30 June 2018)
No. Position Player
  MF Diego Lopes (at Panetolikos until 30 June 2018)
  MF Oscar Benítez (at Boca Juniors until 30 June 2018)
  MF Pedro Nuno (at Tondela until 30 June 2018)
  MF Salvador Agra (at Desportivo das Aves until 30 June 2018)
  MF Talisca (at Beşiktaş until 30 June 2018)
  FW Jhon Murillo (at Kasımpaşa until 30 June 2018)

Other contracted players

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
  MF Ola John

Former players

Retired numbers

No. Player Position Benfica debut Last match
29   Miklós Fehér FW 24 August 2002 25 January 2004

On 27 January 2004, Benfica retired the squad number 29 in memory of Miklós Fehér, who died while playing for them two days before.[41][156][157]

Personnel

Technical staff

 
Rui Vitória is the current manager.
Position Name
Head coach Rui Vitória
Assistant coach Arnaldo Teixeira
Sérgio Botelho
Minervino Pietra
Marco Pedroso
Fitness coach Paulo Mourão
Goalkeeping coach Luís Esteves
Benfica LAB coordinator Bruno Mendes

Source: [158]

Management

 
Luís Filipe Vieira is the current president.
Position Name Member no.
President Luís Filipe Vieira 3,312
Vice-president Domingos Almeida Lima
José Eduardo Moniz
Nuno Gaioso
João Varandas Fernandes
João Costa Quinta
Fernando Tavares
3,666
4,534
29,522
39,363
12,111
5,690
President of general assembly Luís Nazaré 4,769
President of fiscal board Nuno Afonso Henriques 2,259

Source: [159]

Records and statistics

Individual

 
Statue of Benfica's all-time top goalscorer, Eusébio

Nené is the player with most official appearances (575).[160] Eusébio is the club's all-time top goalscorer[161] with 473 goals in 440 competitive matches.[162] He is also Benfica's top scorer in UEFA club competitions with 56 goals.[39] Luisão is the player with most titles won (20), has the most appearances in European matches and is the captain with most matches.[39][163] Cosme Damião is the longest-serving coach (18 consecutive years).[164] Otto Glória is the coach with the most league titles won (4).[165] Jorge Jesus is the coach with most titles (10: 3 leagues, 1 cup, 5 league cups, 1 super cup).[166] Rui Vitória is the coach with the highest percentage of wins in the domestic league with a minimum 34 matches played (85.29%).[167]

Team

Benfica became the first team in Portuguese league history to complete two seasons without defeat, namely the 1972–73 and 1977–78 seasons. In the former, they achieved two records: 58 points in 30 matches, the most ever obtained (96.7% efficiency), and the largest difference of points ever between champions and runners-up (18 points) in a two-points-per-win system.[168] In the 2015–16 campaign, Benfica amassed 88 points in 34 matches and set the points record since the league is contested by 18 teams.[59][169] Benfica's record of lowest number of goals conceded in the Primeira Liga was achieved in 1988–89 with manager Toni: 15 goals in 38 matches.[24]

Benfica holds the European record for the most consecutive wins in domestic league (29), between 1971–72 and 1972–73,[5] as well as the record for the longest unbeaten run in domestic league (56 matches), from 24 October 1976 to 1 September 1978.[170][171] In addition, Benfica holds Europe's longest unbeaten run in all competitions since the advent of European competition: 48 matches from December 1963 to 14 February 1965. This record ranks third overall.[172]

In the 1965–66 European Cup, Benfica scored 18 goals against Stade Dudelange and achieved the highest goal margin on aggregate in European Cup[173] and their biggest win in UEFA competitions.[39] In the UEFA Europa League, Benfica was the first club to reach two finals consecutively, the latter without defeat.[174]

As of the 2017–18 season, Benfica have 37 appearances in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League and 19 appearances in the UEFA Cup/Europa League. Additionally, they have appearances in now-defunct competitions: 7 in UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and 2 in the Intercontinental Cup.[39]

Recent seasons

Benfica's season-by-season performance over the last ten (completed) seasons:

Season Pos Pld W D L GF GA Pts Top league scorer Goals Top overall scorer Goals TP TL ST UCL UEL Rnk Refs
2007–08 4th 30 13 13 4 45 21 52 Óscar Cardozo 13 Óscar Cardozo 22 SF R4 GS R16 18th [175][176][177][178]
2008–09 3rd 30 17 8 5 54 32 59 Óscar Cardozo 17 Óscar Cardozo 17 R16 W GS 23rd [179][180][181][182]
2009–10 1st 30 24 4 2 78 20 76 Óscar Cardozo 26 Óscar Cardozo 38 R32 W QF 17th [183][184][185][186]
2010–11 2nd 30 20 3 7 61 31 63 Óscar Cardozo 12 Óscar Cardozo 23 SF W RU GS SF 17th [187][188][189][190]
2011–12 2nd 30 21 6 3 66 27 69 Óscar Cardozo 20 Óscar Cardozo 28 R16 W QF 14th [191][192][193][194]
2012–13 2nd 30 24 5 1 77 20 77 Lima 20 Óscar Cardozo 33 RU SF GS RU 9th [195][196][197][198]
2013–14 1st 30 23 5 2 58 18 74 Lima 14 Lima 21 W W GS RU 5th [199][200][201][202]
2014–15 1st 34 27 4 3 86 16 85 Jonas 20 Jonas 31 R16 W W GS 6th [203][204][205][206]
2015–16 1st 34 29 1 4 88 22 88 Jonas 32 Jonas 36 R32 W RU QF 6th [207][208][209][210]
2016–17 1st 34 25 7 2 72 18 82 Konstantinos Mitroglou 16 Konstantinos Mitroglou 27 W SF W R16 9th [211][212][213][214]
  • R4 = Fourth round; GS = Group stage; R64 = Round of 64; R32 = Round of 32; R16 = Round of 16; QF = Quarter-finals; SF = Semi-finals; RU = Runners-up; W = Winners

Honours

 
Benfica's two European Cups at the club's museum

Benfica have won a record 36 Primeira Liga,[215] a record 29 Campeonato de Portugal/Taça de Portugal (and 4 consecutively),[216] a record 7 Taça da Liga (and 4 consecutively), 7 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira – totalling 79 domestic titles – and 2 European Cups – totalling 81 titles overall, or 82 titles with the Latin Cup. Therefore, in terms of overall titles, Benfica is the most decorated club in Portugal.[3][64][65] (The Latin Cup, a forerunner of the European Cup,[217] is excluded from the trophy count by FIFA,[18] although its official website did include it.)[218] In 2014, Benfica achieved a historic treble of Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal and Taça da Liga.[219][220] Benfica is also the only club to have won the Primeira Liga and Taça da Liga, moreover, four times.

Domestic competitions

Winners (36) – record: 1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1941–42, 1942–43, 1944–45, 1949–50, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1993–94, 2004–05, 2009–10, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17
Winners (29) – record: 1929–30, 1930–31, 1934–35, 1939–40, 1942–43, 1943–44, 1948–49, 1950–51, 1951–52, 1952–53, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1958–59, 1961–62, 1963–64, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1971–72, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1992–93, 1995–96, 2003–04, 2013–14, 2016–17
Winners (7) – record: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16
Winners (7): 1980, 1985, 1989, 2005, 2014, 2016, 2017

European competitions

Winners (2): 1960–61, 1961–62

Other competitions

Winners (1): 1950

Doubles

11 – record: 1942–43, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1963–64, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1986–87, 2013–14, 2016–17
4 – record: 2009–10, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16
1: 1960–61

Trebles

1 – record: 2013–14
  • Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal and Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira
2 – record: 1980–81, 2016–17

Orders

See also

References

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Further reading

  • Correio da Manhã (2004). Benfica Centenarium 100 nomes 100 histórias [Centenarium Benfica 100 names 100 stories] (in Portuguese). Portugal: Heska Portuguesa, S.A. (published January 2004). ISBN 972-99026-1-5. 
  • Pereira, Luís Miguel (2014). Bíblia do Benfica [Benfica Bible] (in Portuguese). Portugal: PrimeBooks. ISBN 978-989-655-215-2. 
  • Tovar, Rui Miguel (2014). Almanaque do Benfica [Benfica Almanac] (in Portuguese). Portugal: Lua de Papel. ISBN 978-989-23-2764-8. 

External links