Sunday, May 9, 2021

Benfica may get alternate route to Champions League

Benfica Blog
With Benfica looking likely to finish the season in third spot in Portugal, their route to the Champions League group stage will need to go through the league path. Which would involve advancing past two rounds to get to the group stage but this could all change if Manchester United defeat Villarreal in the Europa League final set to take place on May 26, 2021.

Since Manchester United have already qualified for the Champions League group stage a win in the Europa League would open up a spot in the Champions League group stage that normally goes to the Europa League winner. That spot would go to the club that finishes in third place in France and the third place team in Portugal would then move into the playoff round instead of starting in the third qualifying round.

In simple terms a Man United victory in the Europa League final would see Benfica only need to win one round instead of two rounds to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League. This alternate route would make Benfica's goal of joining Sporting and FC Porto in the group stage that much easier, giving Portugal three clubs in the competition for the first time since the 2017-18 season.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Celta Vigo make offer to Benfica for Franco Cervi

Benfica Blog
Spanish club Celta Vigo have maintained their interest in Benfica midfielder Franco Cervi after almost landing the player during the January transfer window. Club President Carlos Mourino is said to have Cervi on his transfer list once the transfer window opens in the summer. The 26 year old Argentinian has been used sparingly this season playing only 803 minutes and is open to a move away from Portugal if it means more playing time.

Cervi joined Benfica in the summer of 2016 from Rosario for €5.65M and has appeared in 171 games for Benfica across all competitions, scoring 21 goals while setting up an additional 26. Cervi has won five cups in his time at Benfica which include two league titles. Celta are said to have offered Benfica €4M for Cervi's services a figure that is well below what the club is looking for and negotiations are on going.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Benfica's failure to win Classico could cost them millions

Benfica Blog
Benfica once again failed to do what they have been unable to do the whole season under Jorge Jesus, WIN a big game. Benfica played FC Porto to a 1-1 draw on home field in the O Classico after taking a first half lead on a goal by Everton who's form has hit an all time high in the last quarter of the season and I look forward to seeing what he can bring to the table next season if he has finally adapted to the style of play in Portugal.

Benfica would fail to hold onto the lead as FC Porto equalized in the second half and a late winner by Pizzi in additional time was called back when Darwin Nunez was called on the offside by mere centimeters in the build up to the play. Benfica would actually see three VAR reviews go against them in this game with the earlier reviews negating potential penalty shots.

Benfica remain four points behind FC Porto for second spot with three games remaining and their hope of an automatic berth in the Champions League group stage now hangs by a thread. All is not lost for Benfica but finishing third will see the club need to get past the more difficult playoff route in which they will need to win two rounds to earn their place in next seasons UEFA show piece and the millions of dollars that comes with an appearance.