This is the official thread of SL Benfica
in the SL Benfica forum of Xtratime which is also part of the Portuguese section comprising of an FC Porto sub forum and a Sporting CP forum. Anything relevant to the club may be posted here. I encourage the members to post transfers or other matters that already have a specific thread in those specific threads, although, they still may be posted within this one as well.
Here is a little background information on our club:
Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Portuguese pronunciation: [spɔɾ liʒˈboɐ i bɐ̃ȷ̃ˈfikɐ]), commonly known as Benfica or simply SLB, is a Portuguese sports club based in Lisbon, Portugal.
Founded on 28 February 1904, Benfica is one of the Tręs Grandes (Big Three) football clubs in Portugal. The team plays its home matches in the Estádio da Luz with a capacity of 65,647. The club's official anthem is "Ser Benfiquista". Unlike many other European football clubs, Benfica sócios (paying supporters) own and operate the club since its creation. Benfica is the world's most supported football club and the twenty-second richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €111.1 million.
Domestically, Benfica holds a record of 32 Primeira Liga titles, a record of 24 Taça de Portugal (and 4 consecutively), a record of 9 Doubles, a record of 4 Taça da Liga (totally and consecutively), 3 Campeonato de Portugal and 4 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira. Benfica has the distinction of being the first club in the history of the Primeira Liga to have completed an entire 30 game season unbeaten (in 1972–73) and the only club to do it twice (in 1977–78).
Internationally, Benfica was the first and only Portuguese club to win 2 European Cups consecutively, in 1961 and 1962, and one Latin Cup in 1950. In addition, the club was runner-up in the 1961 and 1962 Intercontinental Cups, in the 1962–63, 1964–65, 1967–68, 1987–88 and 1989–90 European Cups, and in the 1982–83 UEFA Cup. Benfica holds the Portuguese record of 8 European finals played.
Benfica is the most successful football club in Portuguese competitions, with 67 titles, and the second most successful overall, with 70 titles. The club was one of the founding members of the Primeira Liga in 1933 and it has never been relegated from the first division of Portuguese football.
The emblem is composed of an eagle, a shield in the club colours of red and white, and the acronym SLB for "Sport Lisboa e Benfica" over a football, all superimposed over a bicycle wheel, which was taken from the Grupo Sport Benfica emblem.
The club motto is E Pluribus Unum, "Out of many, one".
The Benfica eagle flies from one side of the Estádio da Luz to the other before every game.
It is said to be the only Club in the world whose official anthem is sung by a tenor, Luis Piçarra, and the classic musician Antonio Vitorino d'Almeida has written a symphony to commemorate the club's first 100 years.
Benfica have been a dominant force in Portuguese football since the 1930s and are record holders of the national championship and cup titles. Major rivals are FC Porto and Sporting Clube de Portugal.
In 1950 Benfica won the Taca Latina, a precursor of the Champions League, under an English coach Edward "Ted" Smith, formerly of Millwall. Benfica was the first team to break Real Madrid's dominance in the early European Champions Cup. Having won two European Cups in a row 1961 and 1962, the Lisbon club never managed to win a European trophy again, despite reaching a number of finals. In the Champions Cup deciders against A.C. Milan (1963 and 1990), Internazionale (1965), Manchester United (1968) and PSV (1988), as well as the UEFA Cup in 1982 Anderlecht were lost. This constitutes also a record of sorts. In the 1991-1992 European Cup, SL Benfica beat Arsenal FC 4-2 on aggregate in the round of 32 but lost narrowly in the last 16. In the 2005-2006 European Cup, SL Benfica made to achieve the Quarter-Final, passing through Liverpool (2005 European Champion) with a 3-0 Aggregate but losing in next round with F.C. Barcelona (Who becomes the 2006 European Champion) in an away defeat of 2-0.
In 1968, Benfica was considered the best European Team by France Football despite its defeat in the Champions Cup. Many of its successes in the 1960s were achieved with all-time football great Eusébio in the side.
During the 1970s, the team faded slightly from the European scene, but remained the main force inside the Portuguese football scene. However, financial problems began undermining the club. In the 1980s the board decided to close the third level in the Estádio da Luz, (which transformed the stadium into one of the biggest in Europe, with a standing room capacity of 120.000) and a questionable signing policy, which included squads composed of well over 30 players, signing players for hefty sums without any sporting or financial return, such as fading Portuguese star Futre in the early 1990s, resulted in several problems.
Recently, the club has regained some of its sporting prowess, and in 2004–2005 won their first national championship in eleven years.
Benfica play their home games in the Estádio S.L. Benfica, also known unofficially as Estádio da Luz. It is one of Europe's largest sporting stadiums and hosted the Euro 2004 final. For that purpose it had been completely rebuilt.
The Estádio da Luz
The emblem of Benfica at the entrance to the stadiumThe Estádio da Luz (pron. IPA /(ɨ)ʃ.'ta.đi.u dɐ luʃ/), officially named the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica and commonly mistranslated as Stadium of Light, is a football stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, the home of SL Benfica. It is also called A Catedral ("The Cathedral") by Benfica's supporters.
Luz is actually the area of Lisbon in which the Estádio da Luz stands and the word 'luz' happens to also mean 'light'. Hence the misnomer 'Stadium of Light' in English usage. The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, England may well have been inspired by this Lisbon 'nickname', though it has other well established reasons for bearing the name.
It hosted several matches in the 2004 European Football Championship, including the final. The previous Benfica stadium (also called "Estádio da Luz" and one of the largest stadiums in the world with 120,000 seats) was demolished and the new one was built for the tournament with a capacity of 65,400.
During the first five years the European Cup was won by Real Madrid, but Benfica was keen to stop this when they won the 1961 and 1962 European cup putting a halt to Real Madrid's dominance. The legendary team was lead by Eusébio, José Águas, Costa Pereira,and Mário Coluna. At the time one player at Real Madrid made more then the entire Benfica squad but the legendary Eusébio was not about to let this one slip as Eusébio scored three goals in the Final against FC Barcelona, which Benfica won 3-2. In 1962 Benfica beat FC Nürnberg 6-0 and Benfica also won Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 they then beat Real Madrid in the final. In their latest run in the Champions League SL Benfica made it to the Quarter-Finals in 2006 after they knocked out 2005 European Champions Liverpool FC with a 3-0 overall score in the two legs, they also managed to knock out Manchester United in the group stages.
The days of Eusébio
The Days of the Portuguese international Eusébio were Benfica's most glory filled years. Eusébio led Benfica to two consecutive European Cups after breaking the five year winning streak of Spanish giants and Iberian arch-rivals Real Madrid. Eusébio became an instant superstar in 1966 after he led Portugal to third place in the 1966 world cup where Eusébio was the top scorer with nine goals to his name. He is considered one of Benfica's and Portugal's biggest names. In 1962, he won the European Cup, scoring two goals in the final against Puskás' and Di Stéfano's Real Madrid CF. Benfica won 5-3. He scored 46 goals for Portugal in 64 appearances, and hit 317 goals in 291 League games for Benfica. Overall, his career record was 727 goals in 715 games. He was the leading scorer in the 1966 World Cup where he scored nine goals, including four against North Korea. He was the 1965European Footballer of the Year and in 1968 was the first winner of the Golden Boot Award, as Europe's leading scorer, a feat he repeated five years later. The Portuguese League's top scorer seven times from 1964 to 1973, he helped Benfica to 10 league championships and 5 cup wins. He scored an outrageous 727 goals in 715 matches wearing Benfica's jersey. Eusébio was the all-time leading scorer for his country, with 41 goals (in 64 matches), until Pauleta surpassed his record against Latvia on October 12, 2005. His last game for the National Team was a 2-2 draw with Bulgaria on October 19, 1973 in a World Cup qualifier. Eusébio's jersey number is currently retired in honor by Benfica.
Sven-Göran Eriksson era
Sven-Göran Eriksson success at other clubs in Sweden got him into a bigger job in Portugal as Sven took over Benfica. While at Benfica Sven had what many considerer a quick impact at the Estadio da Luz when at his first season he won the Portuguese Championship and finishing runner-up in the UEFA Cup. After a second Championship the following year, Eriksson moved to Italy with AS Roma where he won the coppa Italia in 1986. In 1989 Benfica once again was where the Swedish coach began using his managing power. In 1990 Sven lead Benfica to the European Cup final with players as prolific striker Zoran Filipovic,and where they were runner-up, Sven also won another league title in 1991.
Michel Preud'homme was a famous Goalkeeper from Belgium known for his great saves. Michel Preud'homme was also at his best while at Benfica. He was the first keeper ever to win the Prestigous Yashin Award for his terrific saves in the net, during the 1994 World Cup where he was part of the Most Valuble players (MVP). He signed for Benfica after that World Cup, and won the Portuguese Football Cup in 1996 with the team. He was considered by many people the best goalkeeper at the time, an icon in his native Belgium and Benfica.
While at Benfica Giovanni Trapattoni was a big part of the team as he lead Benfica in the 2004/2005 season to its first League Championship in 14 years beating FC Porto in the process. He also uncovered the talents of Manuel Fernandes in the squad were many considered him to big one of the future faces of Portuguese and European Football. Trapattoni also was a big part of staff for his counter-attacking stratigies paid off.
The fans of SL Benfica, Benfiquistas, are also often referred by other teams' supporters as Lampiőes (lamps - a derogatory nickname used by rivals, stemming from the name of the club's stadium). In Portugal, over 40% of the population who likes competitive football, are said to be Benfica sympathisers. Benfica, along with Sporting, has large support abroad, especially in the former Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique, as well as among Portuguese citizens living across Europe, and the large diaspora in South Africa, Canada and the United States. Since the 2004-2005 championship, club membership figures have seen a significant increase. In April 2006 the number of club members surpassed 150,000. By July 2006 Benfica have 153,000 members, 1,000 more than Manchester United. Benfica is now the club with the most associates in the world.
From 1922-1938 the Portuguese Championship was carried out as a knock-out competition. In 1934, an experimental and unofficial League Championship (Campeonato da I Liga) was introduced. This tournament was the precursor of the Portuguese League which started with the 1938-1939 season. The previous format continued in renamed form as the cup competition.
European Champions' Cup
Portuguese Championship (I Divisăo, I Liga, Superliga, Liga)
2010, 2005, 1994, 1991, 1989, 1987, 1984, 1983, 1981, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1973, 1972, 1971, 1969, 1968, 1967, 1965, 1964, 1963, 1961, 1960, 1957, 1955, 1950, 1945, 1943, 1942, 1938, 1937, 1936
Portuguese Championship (between 1921–1922 and 1937–1938)
1935, 1931, 1930
League Championship (1934–1938, unofficial)
1938, 1937, 1936
2004, 1996, 1993, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1983, 1981, 1980, 1972, 1970, 1969, 1964, 1962, 1959, 1957, 1955, 1953, 1952, 1951, 1949, 1944, 1943, 1940
2005, 1989, 1985, 1981
Noted former players
The legendary Eusébio, whose statue stands near Benfica's stadium is a symbol of the club and of Portuguese football.
Other important or famous players in Benfica's history include:
-José Augusto Torres
-Pierre Van Hooijdonk
-Manuel Rui Costa
-Angel Di Maria
29 Miklos Fehér, Striker,2002-2004
Former Benfica coaches include:
-Cosme Damiăo : 1904-1926
-Edward "Ted" Smith : 1949-1950
-Otto Glória : 1954-1959, 1968-1970
-Lajos Czeizler : 1963-1964
-Jimmy Hagan : 1970-1973
-Milorad "Michel" Pavić : 1974-1975
-Sven-Göran Eriksson : 1982-1984, 1989-1992
-Pál Csernai : 1984-1985
-Toni : 1988, 1994, 2000-2002
-Tomislav Ivić : 1992-1993
-Artur Jorge : 1994-1995
-Graeme Souness : 1997-1999
-Jupp Heynckes : 1999-2000
-José Mourinho : 2000
-Jesualdo Ferreira : 2002
-Jose Antonio Camacho : 2002-2004
-Giovanni Trapattoni : 2004-2005
-Ronald Koeman : 2005-2006
No. Position Player
1 GK Artur
3 DF Roderick Miranda
4 DF Luisăo (captain)
5 DF Luisinho
7 FW Óscar Cardozo (2nd vice-captain)
10 MF Pablo Aimar
11 FW Lima
13 GK Paulo Lopes
14 DF Maxi Pereira (vice-captain)
15 MF Ola John
17 MF Carlos Martins
18 MF Salvio
19 FW Rodrigo
20 MF Nico Gaitán
21 MF Nemanja Matić
23 MF Urreta
24 DF Ezequiel Garay
25 DF Lorenzo Melgarejo
31 FW Alan Kardec
33 DF Jardel
34 MF André Almeida
35 MF Enzo Pérez
89 MF André Gomes
[ee Wikipedia, SL Benfica, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.L._Benfica (optional description here) (as of Aug. 22, 2006, 23:04 GMT)]