Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Benfica announce squad for Champions League game against Lyon

Benfica Blog
Benfica return to action tomorrow in the Champions League when they host French club Lyon at the Estadio da Luz. Benfica are still looking for their first victory of the competition as they get set to play a crucial third game of the group stage. The game will take place at 8pm WEST and the 18 players from the list below will dress for the game.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

Defenders- Ferro, Alex Grimaldo, Jardel, Tomas Tavares, Andre Almeida, Ruben Dias

Midfielders- Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel, Florentino, Rafa Silva, Taarabt

Forwards- Seferovic, Raul de Tomas, Carlos Vinicius

Monday, October 21, 2019

Nuno Gomes says Lyon game is crucial for Benfica

Benfica Blog
Former Benfica striker Nuno Gomes in an interview with Benfica TV stated the obvious when he said that Benfica's upcoming Champions League game against Lyon is vital in the clubs aspirations for Europe. Benfica are set to take on Lyon at the Estadio da Luz on Wednesday, were the Lisbon club hopes to earn its first points of the Champions League group stage. Gomes also commented on Lyon's new boss Rudi Garcia who was hired October 14 due to Lyon's struggles in the French league and stated that he is a big fan of the French manager.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Benfica interested in Portuguese defender

Benfica Blog
Benfica are being linked to Olympiacos' Portuguese central defender Ruben Semedo, who has gotten his game and his life back in order after spending 141 days in custody in 2018. Semedo who is currently awaiting trial in Spain on attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery charges while he was a member of Villarreal was sold this summer by the Spanish side to the Greek club for €4.5M. 
The 25 year old was recently rewarded for his stellar form to start the season by earning his first call up to the Portugal national side only a few weeks ago by Fernando Santos who told media that everyone deserves a second chance in life. According to reports coming out of Portugal, Semedo is on Benfica's radar for next season with Jardel currently 33 years old and the potential moves of Ruben Dias or Ferro to come, Benfica consider Semedo as an adequate replacement at the central defender position. Semedo would be making a return to Benfica where he spent a few years in his youth days before joining cross town rivals Sporting in 2010.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Benfica avoid Sporting disaster with Taca win

Benfica Blog
Benfica started their entry into the Taca de Portugal's 3rd round of the competition with a convincing road win against Cova da Piedade 4-0 behind a pair of goals from Pizzi and Carlos Vinicius. Benfica avoided being the second club of the Big three to be sent home on consecutive days after Sporting suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of third division side Alverca the night before. Benfica attacked Piedade from the start and almost opened the scoring just five minutes in when a Raul de Tomas cross was nearly converted by Carlos Vinicius who sent a shot off the side of the netting. Pizzi would then break in all alone on Piedade keeper Tony Batista just eight minutes later but his attempt would be turned away by the shot stopper. Vinicius would then get another opportunity to open the scoring but his shot would be sent wide. Pizzi finally opened the scoring as the first half came to an end when his give and go with Vinicius left the midfielder alone with the Piedade keeper, Pizzi's shot was stopped by Batista but took a favourable bounce ending up in the back of the net just as the half was ending.

Pizzi then doubled Benfica's lead four minutes into the second half when a Raul de Tomas shot was stopped by Batista but the ensuing rebound landed at the feet of Pizzi who made no mistake putting the ball into the back of the net. Pizzi then almost had a hat trick from a Grimaldo cross but Batista once again came up big with a stop to keep the game within two. Raul de Tomas then tried his luck at the 58 minute mark from just inside the box but Batista was up to the task once again. Grimaldo followed that up with a long distance attempt just a couple of minutes later but Batista continued to turn away Benfica from adding to their lead. Benfica though would not be denied as Carlos Vinicius would make it 3-0 converting a scramble in front of the Piedade net at the 64 minute mark. Raul de Tomas was denied from adding to the lead at the 76 minute mark as his header from a Grimaldo free kick was directed right into the hands of Piedade's keeper. Benfica would make the score 4-0 in extra time when Gedson would find an open Carlos Vinicius who's left footed shot would find the lower right corner. This Taca game was exactly as it sounded and that was all Benfica all the time as the Lisbon side moves onto the 4th round of the Taca de Portugal against a yet to be determined opponent.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Benfica announce squad for Taca de Portugal game against Cova da Piedade

Benfica Blog
Benfica have released their squad for their third round Taca de Portugal game against Cova da Piedade this upcoming Friday. Benfica play there first game of the Taca tomorrow at 8:30pm WEST on the road. They will select 18 players from the list below at the game to dress.

Keepers- Ivan Zlobin, Mile Svilar

Defenders- Ferro, Alex Grimaldo, Jardel, Tomas Tavares, Nuno Tavares

Midfielders- Pizzi, Caio Lucas, Franco Cervi, Fejsa, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel, Florentino, Samaris, David Tavares

Forwards- Seferovic, Raul de Tomas, Jota, Carlos Vinicius

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Joao Felix one of 20 finalists for Golben Boy award

Benfica Blog
Benfica's former Seixal academy prodigy Joao Felix has been named as one of the twenty finalists for this years 2019 Golden Boy award. The Golden Boy is awarded to the best player that is under 21 in Europe's top tier leagues and was started by Italian publication Tuttosport in 2003. The 19 year old Joao Felix had a terrific campaign with Benfica last season, appearing in 43 games across all competitions, Felix scored 20 goals while setting up 11. Felix's 2018/19 exploits caught the attention of Europe's top clubs  and earned the youngster a move to Atletico Madrid this summer for a club record €126M. Felix will be looking to be the second Benfica player to win the award after Renato Sanches took home the prize in 2016. Felix is considered one of the favourites to be crowned the winner this year along with Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt and Dortmund's Jadon Sancho. The Golden Boy award will be announced on December 16.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Benfica President back in Portugal to discuss contracts

Benfica Blog
Benfica President Luis Filipe Vieira is back in Portugal after spending the past week in Angola with former players Luisao and Pedro Mantorras. LFV is set to announce a new contract with 20 year old youngster Jota and the club at some point over the next week and will then turn his attention to signing a new contract with left back Alex Grimaldo. Grimaldo has been with the club since the winter transfer window of 2016 and is a vital piece of Benfica's current squad. Grimaldo's current contract is set to expire in the summer of 2021 and Benfica are looking to add a two year extension with the player. 

Benfica then intend to discuss contract extensions with starting center backs Ruben Dias and Ferro. Benfica are hoping to increase Ruben Dias' buy out clause from the current €66M to at least €88M as some of Europe's bigger clubs circle the player. Benfica are also interested in increasing the buy out clause with current manager Bruno Lage who is signed until the summer of 2023 but currently holds a buy out clause of only €10M and of course the better the club performs the more interest outside clubs will have in acquiring Lage for there own clubs. LFV has a busy few weeks ahead as he looks to protect the clubs assets when the time comes to seek financial reward.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Zivkovic needs to play for Benfica or depart

Benfica Blog
As we get to the half way mark of October, in a season that started August 4 when Benfica faced Sporting in the Super Cup, Serbian Andrija Zivkovic patiently awaits his first set of minutes in any competition for the club this season. Zivkovic who continues to train with the first squad, was for many including myself a logical option to step into the place of an injured Gabriel but manager Bruno Lage decided to go a different route, adding Moroccan midfielder Taarabt to the starting eleven. Then Zivkovic's name was bantered around as a choice to step into the secondary striker role with Benfica's current duo of Seferovic and Raul de Tomas struggling to find any sort of form, but once again Bruno Lage felt differently and moved to abandon the two striker set up all together at the moment. Benfica who have played 990 minutes across all competitions this season have not found a spot to use the 23 year old, so his wait for playing time continues.

Zivkovic last appeared for Benfica as a substitute on April 11 in the first leg of Benfica's Europa League encounter against Eintracht Frankfurt and last appeared in league action when he came on again as a substitute March 11 against Belenenses. The Serbian Football Federation has recently spoken up and is concerned with the lack of playing time that the former U20 World Cup champion has received from the club in the last six months. The Serbian Federation wants Zivkovic to continue to train hard and wait for his opportunity even though they seem baffled as to why that has not come this season. Zivkovic joined Benfica in the summer of 2016 and has appeared in 84 games across all competitions for the club scoring on 4 occasions while setting up 11 goals. Benfica knows that if they are to gain a financial reward on the transfer market the player will need to play regular minutes and a January loan move looks to be in the cards for the Serbian forward, both Zivkovic and the Serbian federation patiently await a decision on the direction of the club.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

RDT will be RDT again for Benfica

Benfica Blog
Raul de Tomas will have his usual R.D.T. acronym on his Benfica jersey in the upcoming Taca de Portugal after UEFA denied the player the usage of the acronym during the clubs last Champions League game. R.D.T. came on as a substitute in Benfica's loss to Zenit with R. de Tomas on top of his familiar number 9 due to UEFA regulations which does not allow players to use acronyms in place of their name on the back of their jerseys. De Tomas who joined Benfica during this past summers transfer window from Real Madrid, has had a difficult time adjusting to life in Portugal and scored his first goal of the season in all competitive games that same Champions League game. As a Benfica fan I think I would advise De Tomas to scrap the R.D.T. and go with the R. de Tomas if that gets the striker to start regularly scoring for the club.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Benfica could experiment with Grimaldo up front

Benfica Blog
With the recent adductor injury suffered by winger Rafa Silva, Benfica are looking at tinkering in the upcoming Taca de Portugal by moving left back Alex Grimaldo forward into Rafa's position in the starting eleven. The club have already experimented with Grimaldo up front in their recent training session against Alverca earlier this week but with Rafa expected to miss the teams next couple of competitive matches, the club is looking for the Spaniard to provide them with attack from the left side of the pitch in Rafa's absence. Grimaldo's move up front would open the door for youngster Nuno Tavares to get back into the lineup in the left back position.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Benfica and Cova da Piedade Taca game will go ahead at Piedade

Benfica Blog
Benfica's Taca de Portugal third round encounter against Cova da Piedade will go ahead at Piedade's home stadium of Jose Martins Vieira Municipal Stadium on October 18 at 8:30pm WEST. 
Cova da Piedade needed to meet conditions to host the game at their stadium in regards to the lighting for an evening broadcast. They were given the green light on Thursday that the condition has been met and they can proceed to sell tickets to host last seasons Portuguese League Champions. Piedade's home stadium has a seating capacity of 3,500 and the club expects the game to be sold out for this encounter.

Benfica SAD has money for reinforcements

Benfica Blog
Benfica SAD has informed manager Bruno Lage that the club has money for reinforcements when the January transfer window opens. Lage is looking to add an experienced keeper with youngsters Ivan Zlobin and Mile Svilar the current club options if starter Vlachodimos were to go down with injury. Lage is also looking for a more versatile striker, ala Joao Felix as his preferred playing system requires this type of player. Benfica's current two striker experiment of Seferovic and Raul de Tomas has been a disappointment to date as both players are desinged from the same mold. Benfica also may look to add a central midfielder who's specialty is getting the ball from the midfield to the strikers while playing between the lines but with Chiquinho getting closer to returning to the club from injury, this requirement is lower on Lage's to do list. Benfica did discuss Juventus keeper Mattia Perin and Freiburg forward Luca Waldschmidt during the summer and may return to negotiate moves for the players with their respective clubs once the transfer window re-opens.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Benfica concerned with Rafa Silva after Portugal release

Benfica Blog
Benfica's injury list continues to grow and you can now add winger Rafa Silva to the list of current players out of the lineup. Rafa who was called to represent Portugal in their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers was dismissed by the national side on Monday as not being fit to perform for Portugal. Rafa is currently suffering from an adductor tendinopathy to his left thigh, the adductors are a group of muscles on the inside of the thigh that help bring your legs together. It has not been disclosed how long Rafa could be out for but he is now in the hands of Benfica's medical staff as they look to get Rafa fit for round three of the Champions League in were they will face Lyon.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Benfica players called up for International duty in October

Benfica Blog
The worlds national team squads are in action this week and that means that many clubs are practicing without their full squads as players get called up to their national sides, the Under 20 sides and more. These are the current Benfica players away with their national sides.

National Teams
Portugal - Pizzi, Rafa Silva, Ruben Dias
Switzerland - Seferovic
Greece - Vlachodimos
Morocco - Taarabt

Nigeria- Tyronne Ebuehi

Under 21 Teams

Portugal- Jota, Nuno Tavares, Gedson Fernandes, Nuno Santos

Belgium- Mile Svilar

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Benfica President admits Mourinho was offered Benfica job

Benfica Blog
Benfica President Luis Felipe Vieira has admitted that the club offered Jose Mourinho the managerial job with the club after Rui Vitoria was sacked at the start of the year but the recently sacked United manager did not have any interest in returning to Portugal to manage. Vieira had informed intern manager Bruno Lage that if Mourinho accepted Benfica's offer that he would be taking over, in which Lage told Vieira he would pick up Mourinho at the airport himself if that move came to fruition. Benfica in the end would not land Mourinho and decided to make B club manager Bruno Lage the permanent manager after the clubs performances improved during his intern.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Benfica secure signing of Pacos Ferreira striker

Benfica Blog
Benfica have secured the rights to Pacos Ferreira 19 year old striker Diogo Almeida by paying the youngsters buy out clause of €500,000. Benfica are now currently in discussions with the players agent on a new contract and are closing in on a five year agreement. The deal should become official once the transfer window opens in January and Almeida will likely join Benfica's B squad were he will get regular playing minutes. Almeida made his first team debut for Pacos early this season when he made an appearance in the clubs Taca da Liga cup game in August, he has gone on to appear in four league games this season but has yet to score for the club. Benfica acted quickly to acquire the Portuguese striker beating out other interested clubs, Almeida will join a growing list of recently acquired youngsters Vasco Pacienca, Joao Borges, Joao Resende and Molnar as they battle for a place with the main squad.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Benfica find out Taca de Portugal opponent

Benfica Blog
Benfica's first opponent in the 3rd round of the Taca de Portugal qualifying will be second division side Cova da Piedade. Benfica will take on Cova da Piedade on October 20, in what will be short 20 minute bus ride for the club. Cova da Piedade currently sit 14th in the second division and knocked out Vasco da Gama Sines with a 4-0 win to set up this clash with Benfica. Benfica reached the semi-finals of the competition last season were they were eliminated on away goals to cross town rival Sporting. Benfica will be looking to add to their nation leading 29 Taca de Portugal championships. Benfica last won the Taca de Portugal in 2017.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Benfica blows a tire in loss to Zenit in Champions League

Benfica Blog
Benfica's Champions League struggles continue as they drop another decision in their second group game 3-1 away to Russian side Zenit. Benfica who have won only four games out of their last twenty Champions League group games, really stunk up the joint in this one. The game started with a chance for each side in the first two minutes of the game before the clubs slowed the tempo down for the next 15 minutes. Pizzi would then break out on the left wing but his shot attempt would go right into the arms of Zenit keeper Lunev. A sloppy clearance from Vlachodimos to Fejsa just a couple minutes later would see Zenit open up the scoring as Dzyuba's low shot from an Ozdoev steal sent the striker in alone for the finish. Taarabt would then force Lunev to make another stop as Benfica looked for the equalizer. Zenit's defensive strategy had Benfica's lone striker in the game Seferovic isolated for the majority of the half, while Zenit continued to carve Benfica up and down the right side of the field until the half time whistle.

The second half saw Zenit get a chance to double the lead right off the whistle but Azmoun's shot was defended by Vlachodimos. Dzyuba would have Zenit's next chance as his looping header had Vlachodimos back peddling to make the save. Benfica would then make a double change at the hour mark with Vinicius and Caio Lucas coming in for Pizzi and Fejsa. Zenit though would double their lead when a Karavaev cross towards the back post was bundled by Ruben Dias for an own goal at the 70th minute. Zenit would make it 3-0 just eight minutes later as striker Azmoun would stay onside and round Vlachodimos for a tap in into an empty net. Benfica would get one back when substitute Raul de Tomas would intercept a cheaply cleared ball from the Zenit defense and score a golaco from outside the box for his first goal in Benfica colours but that was as close as the Lisbon would come. Benfica will next play Lyon on October 23 at home as they look for their first win of the campaign and manager Bruno Lage will need to stop coaching this squad like he is Rui Vitoria 2.0, only time will tell.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Benfica announce squad for Champions League game vs Zenit

Benfica Blog
Benfica have released their squad for their Champions League group game against Zenit in Russia this upcoming Wednesday. Benfica will look to get back to .500 in group play after losing their opening group game to RB Leipzig, the game is October 2 at 8pm WEST. They will select 18 players from the list below at game time to dress.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin, Mile Svilar

Defenders- Ruben Dias, Ferro, Alex Grimaldo, Jardel, Tomas Tavares, Nuno Tavares

Midfielders- Pizzi, Rafa Silva, Caio Lucas, Taarabt, Franco Cervi, Fejsa, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel

Forwards- Seferovic, Raul de Tomas, Jota, Carlos Vinicius

Monday, September 30, 2019

Benfica struggle to play their style without Felix

Benfica Blog
Benfica have struggled up front to find their form of last season as the move by Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid this summer has left a big hole in the secondary striker spot which has yet to be filled by another player on the current squad. The season is 7 games old but the striker partnership of Seferovic and Raul de Tomas has been a gigantic failure all season, with last seasons leading scorer Seferovic scoring twice in league play and the €20M signing RDT yet to find the back of the net for the Eagles. Bruno Lage has acknowledged as much putting in midfielder Gedson Fernandes in RDT's spot in their last league game against Setubal, hoping that Gedson would provide some Joao Felix magic. Gedson though is not known as a prolific scorer in the way Felix was, so this move could be short lived and Benfica could experiment further with an assortment of players at its disposal.

Carlos Vinicius is one that could be given a longer look in the role along Seferovic, Vinicius has scored twice for Benfica this season while appearing in only 68 minutes of action. Benfica could also look at starting Chiquinho up front in the secondary striker role, once the attacking midfielder returns from injury in October. Benfica manager Bruno Lage has recently admitted that the last few games have been hard for him to watch and knows that the clubs fans expect and deserve better but Lage's style of play requires a mobile moving second striker which the club at this time has yet to find. RDT is more suitable as a central striker and although the club has yet to lose faith in the Spaniard, he may be better suited coming off the bench to substitute a Lage favourite in Seferovic. The season is a long and grueling process but Benfica's title hopes could linger on finding the guy who can play up front along Seferovic and Bruno Lage knows this.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Benfica continue poor play but still win over Setubal

Benfica Blog
Benfica squeak out another victory in the Portuguese League with their 1-0 defeat over Setubal at the Estadio da Luz. It took substitute Carlos Vinicius' goal at the 64th minute for Benfica to earn all three points. Benfica decided to move from a failing strike partnership and started just Seferovic up front with youngster Gedson Fernandes acting as the secondary striker. The first half did not see much action from both clubs with the first and only real scoring chance of the half going to Pizzi at the 35 minute mark when his left footed shot from a difficult angle was stopped by Setubal keeper Makaridze. The second half opened with a Setubal break out were Mansilla was partially in alone on Vlachodimos but his shot went wide off the side netting.
Benfica would then score from a mad scramble off a Grimaldo corner. The teams first shot was stopped by Makaridze off a Ferro kick but Benfica would gain position again after a poor Setubal clear and Rafa Silva's cross was tipped by Makaridze right to striker Carlos Vinicius who's first touch put him in scoring position at the center of the box and he made no mistake to give Benfica the 1-0 lead. Benfica then were reduced to ten men when midfielder Taarabt was handed a straight red card for a hard challenge on Zequinha at the 80th minute. Benfica would then tighten their defensive game as they hung on to defeat Setubal. Next up for Benfica is a Champions League encounter in Russia versus Zenit

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Benfica announce squad for Setubal game

Benfica Blog
Benfica have released their squad for their Week 7 upcoming game against Setubal, Benfuca will look to get back to their winning ways after a scoreless league cup draw midweek against Guimaraes. The game is September 28 at 7pm WEST. They will select 18 players from the list below at game time to dress.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

Defenders- Ruben Dias, Ferro, Alex Grimaldo, Jardel, Andre Almeida, Tomas Tavares

Midfielders- Pizzi, Rafa Silva, Caio Lucas, Taarabt, Franco Cervi, Fejsa, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel

Forwards- Seferovic, Raul de Tomas, Jota, Carlos Vinicius

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Bordeaux tried to land Gabriel during summer

Benfica Blog
Bordeaux approached Benfica in the summer transfer window with an interest in acquiring midfielder Gabriel from the club. Bordeaux who is managed now by former Benfica player Paulo Sousa wanted to see the midfielder in France this season but Benfica manager Bruno Lage was quick to put the brakes on any deal away from the Lisbon side. Negotiations did not even get to discussing dollars as Bruno Lage feels that Gabriel when healthy is an integral part of the Benfica squad. Gabriel who joined Benfica from Leganes in the summer of 2018 for €8M, had a slow start to his career with the Eagles under former manager Rui Vitoria.

It was not until Lage took over at the club that Gabriel would see regular action, appearing in 10 out of the clubs 11 games before a knee injury would knock him out for the season with 7 games remaining. Gabriel has been hit with the injury bug again this season and has not appeared in a league game after sustaining a collateral ligament injury in the season opening Super Cup against Sporting. The Luso/Brazilian midfielder though is inching closer to a return to the club and Bruno Lage will be counting on the 26 year old to take control of the clubs midfield, a role which he has excelled with at the club since Lage arrived.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Benfica kick off Portuguese League Cup flat

Benfica Blog
Benfica kicked off their group stage game in the League Cup or as it is better known in Portugal the Taca da Liga against Guimaraes today in what was very dull game at the Estadio da Luz. Benfica and Guimaraes ended they same way that the game begun with zeros on the scoreboard. Benfica started 8 different faces from the squad that defeated Moreirense over the weekend, with Zlobin, Tomas Tavares, Nuno Tavares, Jardel, Samaris, Gedson, Jota and Caio Lucas joining Taarabt, Ruben Dias and Seferovic in the starting eleven. 

Benfica seemed to be content in taking the opportunity to rest some of their regular faces and all the new faces came out flat in the first half, if not for the post in the first half foiling striker Bonatini strike, the Eagles could have found themselves down one. The second half saw a more aggressive Benfica squad and the entries of Rafa Silva and Gabriel, the latter's first appearance since suffering an injury in the season opening added a more intense and pressing game that was lacking. Benfica though could not find a way past Guimaraes' stingy defense and both squads seemed happy to end the game with a scoreless draw. Next up for Benfica is a home game against Setubal on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Benfica and Sporting both chase Romanian winger

Benfica Blog
Benfica and Sporting are set to battle for FCSB winger Florinel Coman when the transfer window opens in January. The 21 year old winger has caught the eye of both Lisbon clubs with his performances this season. Coman who has played regular first team footbal since the 2017/18 season the same year that he joined Romanian powerhouse FCSB from Viitorul. The youngster has already appeared in 83 games across all competitions for FCSB, scoring 20 goals and setting up another 19. The reports coming from Digi Sport in Romania state that both Lisbon clubs would need to cough up over €20M to acquire the winger a price tag that would include bonuses for FCSB to consider selling Coman to either club.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Man City want Benfica defender in January transfer window

Benfica Blog
According to reports coming out of England, Manchester City will be after Benfica defender Ruben Dias when the January transfer window opens in 2020. Man City are currently missing their regular starting center backs and have not been impressed by the play of their substitutes which has City ready to enter the transfer market. Benfica have recently signed a new deal with Dias until the end of the 2024 season and have been firm in approached by other clubs, that they want Dias' €88M buy out clause met. Dias is another home grown product from Benfica's Seixal academy and has been a member of the main squad since the 2017/18 season. Dias has appeared in 92 games across all competitions for Benfica to date, scoring 8 times while setting up three.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Benfica escape with a win over Moreirense

Benfica Blog
Benfica escaped their Week 6 league game with a 2-1 victory over Moreirense, were the club scored two goals in the last five minutes of the game to snatch the victory away from the home side.
Benfica started the game almost back to full strength after resting a handful of the clubs regular league starters in their Champions League loss to RB Leipzig midweek. The Lisbon club looked to get back to their winning ways as they continued their chase of surprise league leaders Famalicao but a tough Moreirense squad was determined to make sure that Benfica would not easily leave with the full three points and held Benfica without a shot on goal after the first 45 minutes. Benfica's new strike tandem of Seferovic and Raul de Tomas continued their early season struggle to find the back of the net.

The second half saw Moreirense open the scoring just three minutes into the half as striker Luther Singh received an attempted clearance by Benfica defender Ruben Dias right at his feet and Moreirense had the lead. Benfica then applied the pressure to find the equalizer but were continuously thwarted by a tough Moreirense side, it was not until a Ruben Dias cross went off the head of Moreirense defender Iago Santos and right to Rafa Silva who brought the game level after his header beat the Moreirense keeper to the far post at the 85th minute. The Rafa goal was Benfica's first shot on net of the game and their second shot would come at the 90th minute when Seferovic would head the ball past Mateus on a cross from substitute Jota, who entered the game just two minutes earlier. Benfica would claim the three points once the final whistle went but not as easily as some had hoped coming into the game. Benfica also saw the return of injured midfielder Gedson Fernandes who appeared in his first Benfica game since May of last season. Gedson entered the game at the 66 minute mark in place of Fejsa. Next up for Benfica is a League Cup game against Guimaraes on Wednesday.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Leicester City foiled in bid to watch Almeida

Benfica Blog
Leicester City scouts made the trip to Lisbon this week for the Champions League encounter between Benfica and RB Leipzig with the intentions to have a look at Benfica right back Andre Almeida. Unfortunately for Leicester, Benfica manager decided to give Almeida the night off and youngster Tomas Tavares got the start for Benfica. Leicester City who already have a Portuguese right back in Ricardo Pereira may be looking at Almeida as a potentially replacement for Pereira who will be sold to gather funds for the club in the future. Almeida has been a member of Benfica since the 2011 season.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Benfica announce squad for Moreirense game

Benfica Blog
Benfica have released their squad for their Week 6 upcoming game against Moreirense after coming off a midweek Champions League loss at the hands of RB Leipzig, Benfuca will look to get back to their winning ways. The game is September 21 at 8:30pm WEST. They will select 18 players from the list below at game time to dress.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

Defenders- Ruben Dias, Ferro, Alex Grimaldo, Jardel, Andre Almeida, Tomas Tavares

Midfielders- Pizzi, Rafa Silva, Caio Lucas, Taarabt, Franco Cervi, Fejsa, David Tavares, Gedson Fernandes

Forwards- Seferovic, Raul de Tomas, Jota

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Benfica being linked with Peruvian winger

Benfica Blog
Benfica are being linked with Alianza Lima winger Kevin Quevedo according to reports coming out of Peru. The Libero a Peruvian news edition reports that Benfica are preparing an offer to sign the 22 year old on a free transfer when the youngsters contract runs out at the end of this year. Quevedo has appeared in 25 games across all competitions for Alianza this season and scored an impressive 14 goals while adding 3 helpers. The wingers fine form has also caught the attention of the Peru National side which just this month called up Quevedo earning the player his first cap in a friendly against Ecuador on the 6th. Benfica are always in search of young talent and are hoping that their offer will entice Quevedo to join the Lisbon side.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Why Bruno Lage was missing from sidelines in Champions League

Benfica Blog
Bruno Lage was noticeably absent on the Benfica sidelines in yesterdays Champions League encounter against RB Leipig. This had many fans wondering where the Benfica manager was as assistant Nelson Verissimo trolled the sidelines at the Luz. Lage for those fans that did not know was serving a one match ban handed down by UEFA for his behaviour in last seasons second leg to Eintracht Frankfurt in Europa League play. Lage's ban was the result of him berating of an official during Benfica's controversial second leg loss were a clear offside goal was allowed to stand. Lage will return to the bench for Benfica's next Champions League game against Zenit on October 2.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Benfica drop opener in Champions League against Leipzig

Benfica Blog
Benfica opened their Champions League campaign at home against current German league leaders RB Leipzig. Benfica who were without manager Bruno Lage who was serving a one match ban came out with a very different starting eleven then what we have become accustomed to this season. Benfica started youngster Tomas Tavares at right back, while Franco Cervi got into his first action of the season. Benfica also decided to split the struggling strike pair of Raul de Tomas and Seferovic with the latter being replaced by another youngster in Jota. The first twenty minutes of the game was a scrappy affair with both sides looking a bit nervous, it wasn't until the 26th minute mark that the first real good scoring chance of the game fell to the feet of Leipzig's Timo Werner but Benfica netminder Vladchodimos was up to the task denying the striker with a low shot stop. Benfica would get their first shot and scoring chance on net as the first half came to a close when striker Raul de Tomas' peeled away at the far post and headed the ball towards the goal, but that effort was cleared safely away by Leipzig keeper Gulacsi. The first half ended as it started with both clubs scoreless.

Leipzig opened the second half in a frenzy with Benfica keeper Vladchodimos making a pair of stops in the first five minutes of the second half to keep the game scoreless. Raul de Tomas then fired a shot just wide after a solo run as he continues to search for his first goal in Benfica colours. As the half got to its midpoint Benfica debuted another academy player as David Tavares entered the game in place of Jota. Benfica then came oh so close to opening the scoring at the 68th minute mark when Pizzi burst in to the box to meet a cross, his first touch was outstanding but he fired just across the goal. Leipzig would then open the scoring just a minute later as Poulsen teed a pass for on coming striker Timo Werner who's low shot got pass Vladchodimos into the far left corner. Benfica would respond immediately as a Grimaldo curling free kick was tipped away for a corner by Gulacsi. Benfica kept committing more bodies forward looking to even the score but it would be Leipzig's Timo Werner who would find the back of the net again on a goal that was first called offside before being over turned by a VAR review. Benfica would cut Leipzig's lead in half at the 84th minute as Rafa Silva's cross was converted by Seferovic. The two substitutes would link up once again just a couple of minutes later but Rafa would see his shot go wide of the far post. Benfica would get one more chance to bring the game even in extra time but Taarabt's header from a set piece would end up over the bar. When the final whistle was blown Benfica would find themselves at the bottom of Group G suffering a 2-1 home defeat to RB Leipzig as the groups other participants Zenit and Lyon's drew 1-1. Benfica's next Champions League game will be played in Russia against Zenit on October 2.

Benfica name squad for Champions League game against RB Leipzig

Benfica Blog
Benfica have released their squad for the upcoming opening game in the Champions League as they get set to take on RB Leipzig at the Estadio da Luz on September 17 at 8pm WEST. They will select 18 players from the list below at game time to dress.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

Defenders- Nuno Tavares, Ruben Dias, Ferro, Alex Grimaldo, Jardel, Andre Almeida, Tomas Tavares

Midfielders- Samaris, Pizzi, Rafa Silva, Caio Lucas, Taarabt, Franco Cervi, Fejsa, David Tavares

Forwards- Seferovic, Raul de Tomas, Jota

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bruno Lage says key for International breaks is to stay sharp

Benfica Blog
Benfica manager Bruno Lage says that his main concern during the International breaks is keeping the players that have not been called up to their national sides sharp as the club could be out of action for 10 to 14 days. Lage has experienced International breaks as an assistant manager but admits that managing Benfica sees many of the clubs main players away and in this time he focuses on the players at hand, Benfica played Estoril in a friendly during the recent International break.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Benfica continue chase for top spot with win over Gil Vicente

Benfica Blog
Benfica continued their chase for top spot from surprise league leaders Famalicao as they took on Gil Vicente who opened the season with a victory over one of the big three, a 2-1 win over FC Porto. Benfica started the game pressing Gil Vicente and were awarded a penalty at the ten minute mark when Pizzi was taken down inside the box. The penalty also taken by Pizzi was stopped by Gil Vicente keeper Denis but Benfica's constant attack would finally cash in when a cross into the box by Andre Almeida ended up deflecting in off center back Nogueira to give the Eagles the lead just before the half. Pizzi doubled Benfica's lead early in the second half off of a corner kick from Alex Grimaldo, adding to his league leading six goals and making amends for the missed penalty earlier. That would be all that Benfica would need resulting in a 2-0 win over Gil Vicente, Benfica will be on the road next week as they get set to face Moreirense and currently sit one point behind top spot in Portugal

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Florentino suffers injury and could be out more then a month

Benfica Blog
Benfica defensive midfielder Florentino Luis has sustained a right knee injury missing the clubs Week 5 game this weekend and could miss potentially more. Florentino looks to have suffered a slight tear to his meniscus according to reports coming out of Portugal, an injury that he picked up in his last appearance at Braga. The club announced that the 20 year old will not have a minor surgical procedure done to clean his right knee and could be out for more then a month. Florentino has appeared in every game this season for Benfica and the injury is a major blow to a club set to open their Champions League campaign. Florentino joins a growing list of Benfica casualties with Chiquinho, Carlos Vinicius, Gabriel and Gedson already in the infirmary.

Benfica name squad for home game against Gil Vicente

Benfica Blog
Benfica have released their squad for their upcoming home game today against Gil Vicente after the International break, the game will take place on September 14 at 7:00pm WEST. They will select 18 players from the list below at game time to dress.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

Defenders- Nuno Tavares, Ruben Dias, Ferro, Alex Grimaldo, Jardel, Andre Almeida, Tomas Tavares

Midfielders- Samaris, Pizzi, Rafa Silva, Caio Lucas, Taarabt, Franco Cervi, Fejsa

Forwards- Seferovic, Raul de Tomas, Jota

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Gabriel ready to return to Benfica roster

Benfica Blog
Benfica midfielder Gabriel is closing in on returning to the squad after missing the last four weeks with a knee injury suffered in the Super Cup on August 4 against Sporting. Gabriel has began training with the club this week and could be an option for Bruno Lage in this weekends encounter against Gil Vicente. Lage may also chose to hold off in inserting the midfielder into the lineup as the club kicks off their Champions League campaign next week.

Bruno Lage looks to Serbian amid injury woes

Benfica Blog
Benfica over the past couple of weeks have lost two offensive weapons that have been part of Bruno Lage's main squad on game days, Chiquinho and Carlos Vinicius are both currently on the clubs injured list with both players set to miss an extended period of time. Lage now looks set to turn to little used Serbian international Andrija Zivkovic to help fill some of the offensive void lost to injuries. Zivkovic who has not dressed for Benfica this season, was all but set to leave the club on loan as he looked for regular playing time elsewhere this summer but Lage was quick to put a halt to any move out by the Serb after Chiquinho suffered his injury.

Lage's attacking options were handed another blow last week when newly acquired striker Vinicius joined the clubs infirmary which also includes Gabriel and Gedson. The contexts in the world of soccer can change over night and a non used Zivkovic now looks set to be a utilized player going forward for Benfica when they release their game day squads as an option of attack. Benfica's schedule will include a flurry of games over the next little while with the Champions League ready to commence and Zivkovic will get his chance to show Benfica or any other clubs that may have their eye on the 23 year old that he has the skill and talent to play on a regularly basis, time will tell if he is up to the task at hand.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Andre Alemida hopes for a future move to Premiership

Benfica Blog
Benfica right back Andre Almeida was recently interviewed by Mega Hits radio and during the interview Almeida revealed that he has always dreamt of going to the Premier League one day. Almeida is a fan of English clubs Liverpool and Manchester United for their historic achievements and the stories behind both clubs. The 29 year old recently signed a two year extension with Benfica that contains a buy out clause of €30M. Almeida has been a member of Benfica since the summer of 2011, joining the club from Lisbon rival Belenenses and has appeared in 251 games across all competitions scoring 6 goals and assisting on 35. A converted midfielder, Almeida has been the starting right back at Benfica since the departure of Nelson Semedo in the summer of 2017.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Benfica dominated best XI of 2018/19 season

Benfica Blog
The Portuguese League had their annual Gala Quinos de Ouro on September 2, 2019 for the 2018/19 season and announced the best XI of the league season. Benfica who were last seasons league champions dominated the best XI with six selections.

The Best XI for the 2018/19 season:

Keeper: Iker Casillas (FC Porto)

Defenders: Alex Grimaldo (Benfica) Ruben Dias (Benfica), Eder Militao (FC Porto), Alex Telles (FC Porto)

Midfielder: Pizzi (Benfica), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), Danilo (FC Porto)

Forwards: Joao Felix (Benfica), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Seferovic (Benfica)

Monday, September 9, 2019

Benfica suffer another set back with Vinicius injury

Benfica Blog
Benfica have suffered another injury blow with recently acquired striker Carlos Vinicius going down with a muscle injury to his left thigh. The injury will sideline the Benfica striker for up to four weeks and he will miss Benfica's opening game of the Champions League. Bruno Lage already has regulars Gabriel, Chiquinho and Gedson out with injury and Vinicius adds another player in Lage's rotation to the list. Vinicius joined Benfica this summer from Napoli and has appeared in four league games, scoring once in 37 minutes of play.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Manchester United interested in Benfica pair

Benfica Blog
Manchester United scouts were recently spotted in Braga at Benfica's most recent league game and the English side are said to have had an eye on not one, but two of Benfica's youngsters. United's manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer is said to be intrigued with both Benfica defender Ruben Dias and defensive midfielder Florentino Luis. Solskjaer would like the players sooner then later and is keen on acquiring the pair when the winter transfer window opens in January. Dias and Florentino currently have buyout clauses of €88M and €120M between the two of them and after a summer that saw the club infused with cash from player sales Benfica would be less inclined to sell either player in January if their buy out clauses are not met by United. The youngsters are current main stays in Benfica's starting eleven and key members of the squad as they look to push for another league title.

Ruben Dias who is 22 years of age and Florentino who is 20 years of age both came through Benfica's much talked about Seixal academy, the academy has produced the likes of Bernardo Silva, Goncalo Guedes, Joao Felix and Renato Sanches to name a few players.  Benfica will one day line their pockets with cash when they are ready to sell each player but that time may not be in January 2020 much to the disappointment of the Manchester club. United and their deep pockets will more then likely need to hold off until next summer if they are interested in acquiring the youngsters from Benfica, as the club would be more open to discussing a move at that time. Benfica fans should enjoy watching Dias and Florentino this season as United are the first but not the last of Europe's elite that will be knocking on the door for each player come January.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Benfica players called up for International duty

Benfica Blog
The worlds national team squads are in action this week and that means that many clubs are practicing without their full squads as players get called up to their national sides, the Under 20 sides and more. These are the current Benfica players away with their national sides.

National Teams

Portugal - Pizzi, Rafa Silva, Ruben Dias, Ferro

Switzerland - Seferovic

Greece - Vlachodimos, Samaris

Morocco - Taarabt

Under 21 Teams

Portugal- Jota, Nuno Tavares, Florentino

Belgium- Mile Svilar

Under 19 Team

Portugal - Tomas Tavares 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Benfica submit player list for Champions League

Benfica Blog
Benfica have submitted their player list to UEFA for the upcoming Champions League tournament. Benfica submitted their main A list squad and a secondary B List squad in which players can replace players that are removed from the A list squad. Benfica will start their Champions League campaign after the International break against RB Leipzig at home on September 17, 2019.

Benfica A List Squad

Keepers: Vlachodimos, Zlobin

Defenders: Ruben Dias, Andre Almeida, Ferro, Alex Grimaldo, Conti, Tyronne Ebuehi, Jardel

Midfielders: Pizzi, Florentino, Gabriel, Rafa Silva, Gedson, Fejsa, Samaris, Chiquinho, Taarabt, Franco Cervi

Forwards: Raul de Tomas, Seferovic, Carlos Vinicius, Caio Lucas, Zivkovic

Benfica B List Squad

Keepers: Svilar, Celton Biai, Fabio Duarte

Defenders: Nuno Tavares, Joao Ferreira, Kalaica, Tomas Tavares, Pedro Alvaro

Midfielders: Tiago Dantas, David Tavares, Goncalo Ramos, Rafael Brito

Forwards: Jota, Nuno Santos

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Franco Cervi turns down Boca Juniors, next stop Mexico?

Benfica Blog
Benfica midfielder Franco Cervi remains with the Lisbon club after most of the major transfer windows closed Monday and reports coming out of Portugal and Argentina indicate that the 25 year old declined a move to his homeland and the chance to play for Boca Juniors. The reports also state that Cervi is close to moving to Mexico and joining an unnamed club. The Mexican league's transfer window remains open and with Cervi out of manager Bruno Lage's main roster it is a move the midfielder is open to accept. Cervi joined Benfica in the summer of 2016 from Rosario and has yet to appear for the club this season.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Benfica bounce back with win over Braga

Benfica Blog
Benfica bounced back after their Classico loss to Porto and defeat Braga 4-0 on the road at Estadio Municipal. Benfica was awarded a penalty to open the scoring in the first half and Pizzi stepped up and converted to put the Eagles ahead at the 25 minute mark and that score remained until the half ended. Pizzi then scored his second of the game a couple of minutes into the second half to double the Benfica lead. Braga then extended Benfica's lead to three as Bruno Viana deflected a Seferovic cross into the box and into his own goal. Ricardo Esgaio followed Viana's lead deflecting a Jota pass into his goal also to increase the score to 4-0. Benfica would cruise the rest of the way on their way to victory. Pizzi's brace now has the midfielder at 5 league goals in his first four games, while Benfica's striker duo continue to struggle to get on the scoresheet. Benfica will next face Gil Vicente after the International break in two weeks time.