Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Benfica to be seeded in round of 32 Europa League draw

Benfica will go into the round of 32 of Europa League play as one of sixteen seeded teams after today's final results of Champions League action. Benfica finished in fourth out of the eight 3rd place finishing teams and will be rewarded with avoiding the links of Inter Milan, Ajax, Sevilla, Espanyol, Red Bull Salzburg and Celtic at this time, with the last round of games set to take place tomorrow in the Europa League group stage another nine clubs will be added to the top seed. Benfica would also avoid any Portuguese club in the draw at this stage of tournament play. Sporting and Braga have already clinched a place in the round of 32 while FC Porto will clinch a spot with a victory or a Young Boys loss, Porto would also get through if both clubs draw their matches. Guimaraes is the other Portuguese club but they have already been eliminated from moving on. The draw for the round of 32 will take place December 16 in Nyon, Switzerland with the two legged encounter taking place in February.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Benfica get big win to remain in UEFA next year

Benfica Blog
Benfica came out to play tonight in Lisbon and in their last game of their Champions League group pulled off a 3-0 victory to move out of the basement and into third spot clinching a place in next years round of 32 Europa League. This Champions League campaign is going to be looked back as a what if campaign with Benfica not dressing a strong starting XI at the beginning of the tournament and giving up potential points that could have seen the club finish in the top two spots or even top the group. The club looked to not have taken the tournament start seriously and potentially chose to display their Seixal academy players as the likes of Nuno Tavares, Jota, Tomas Tavares, Florentino, Gedson and David Tavares all earning minutes during the tournament and not one of them starting regularly without an injury to one of Benfica's regular XI. Pizzi lead the way for Benfica with a goal and an assist, Franco Cervi opened the scoring for the club and a second half own goal was all that was required by Benfica who dominated for long stages of the game. Benfica's blown two goal lead after the 90th minute mark in game five against Leipzig will haunt the club going into the holidays as based on the final group standings the club would have finished second. This is hoping that Benfica decide to dress a stronger XI going forward and make a run in the Europa League as they get set to continue their play in UEFA this season.

Benfica squad for final Champions League game

Benfica go into their final group game of the Champions League needing a victory by at least two goals to at least have a chance of moving into the Europa League against Zenit but if Leipzig defeat Lyon then a win by Benfica by any margin gets them into Europa League, so basically to make it easy Benfica need a win.  Benfica will play Zenit at home at 8:00pm WEST. They will dress 18 players from the list below.
Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

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

Midfielders- Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel, Taarabt, Chiquinho, Samaris, Caio Lucas

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

Monday, December 9, 2019

Benfica get set for Zenit with heavy hearts

Benfica Blog
Benfica get set to host Zenit tomorrow in their final Champions League group game in what is a do or die for the club needing a victory and a few other scenarios to happen to have a chance to at least remain playing in UEFA's Europa League in the new year. Benfica who need a victory by two goals or more against Zenit can also move on to the Europa League if RB Leipzig beats Lyon and they defeat Zenit, so in a nut shell Benfica needs a victory tomorrow at home in front of their fans. Benfica will also go into this game with a heavy heart due to the passing of former striker Rogerio "Pippi" de Carvalho. The 97 year old passed away over the weekend and was a member of Benfica from 1942-1954 appearing in 320 games across all competitions, good for 21st on Benfica's all time list. Pippi also added 212 goals for 6th all time in club history. Bruno Lage is hoping that the club will show up and play inspired football in the memory of one of the clubs greats as a Europa League spot awaits

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Carlos Vinicius becoming lethal for Benfica

Benfica Blog
Carlos Vinicius is becoming the lethal striker that Benfica need and after scoring another brace in this weeks games, Vinicius has scored 13 goals for Benfica across competitions. Vinicius has now become Bruno Lage's starting striker replacing last seasons Swiss scoring leader Haris Seferovic and pushing aside expensive summer acquisition from Real Madrid Raul de Tomas. Vinicius has scored 9 goals in league play, tied for the scoring lead with teammate Pizzi. Vinicius has also scored more then one goal in four games of action and is averaging a goal every 64.5 minutes for Benfica. The acquisition of Vinicius from Napoli this summer for €17.5M was a move that left many Benfica fans scratching their heads but the acquisition is starting to pay dividends for the club.
The 24 year old Brazilian striker is not only scoring regularly for the club but he is gaining the attention of some of Europe's bigger clubs while moving up the rankings in Europe's golden boot rankings as he inches into the Top 100. Vinicius only became a regular call up by Lage at the end of October and he has formed some chemistry with attacking midfielder Chiquinho who has also become a regular member of Benfica's starting eleven. Benfica will hope Vinicius hot streak will carry over into Tuesday's Champions League encounter against Zenit as the club fights to stay alive in Europe this season.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Benfica continue to win in league play as they take down Boavista

Benfica Blog
Benfica kicked off Week 13 in the league with a convincing victory away at Boavista as they continue to sit a top the Portuguese League for another week. Benfica traveled to Porto to take on a tough Boavista side who had loss only once at home this season and allowed just four goals in six home games. The game kicked off and it was Boavista who got the first chance on goal as a Paulinho strike from outside the box was saved at the center of the goal by Benfica keeper Vlachodimos. Benfica did not take long to reply and a Pizzi goal was called back just six minutes in when the Benfica midfielder was flagged for the offside. Grimaldo would then try his luck from distance but his attempt was easily stopped by Boavista keeper Bracalli. It would take until the 33rd minute mark for Benfica to finally strike and who else other then the leagues hottest scorer. Carlos Vinicius would control a Pizzi cross and his left footed strike would beat Braccili to the low left side and Benfica were up 1-0. Boavista though would level the game before the half time whistle when a Marlon lob pass would evade Benfica's back line and be headed home by Stojiljkovic.
Benfica looked to regain the lead just five minutes into the second half but Braccali would come up with a diving stop on Chiquinho to keep the game tied, but just a minute later Grimaldo would send Vinicius on goal but this time the striker would be play maker as his low cross into the box would be redirected into the net off of Franco Cervi's knee as the winger was tangled up with Boavista's Marlon.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Benfica announces squad for Boavista match

Benfica Blog
After Benfica's disappointing midweek performance in their Taca da Liga encounter they get back to league action in northern Portugal against Boavista. Benfica play Boavista on the road tomorrow at 8:30pm WEST. They will dress 18 players from the list below.
Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

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

Midfielders- Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel, Taarabt Chiquinho, Samaris, Caio Lucas

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

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Argentinian young striker being linked to Benfica

Benfica Blog
Benfica have been linked with Talleres 18 year old youngster Favio Cabral according to reports coming out of Italy. Cabral who is a striker signed his first professional contract with Talleres in March until 2022 and has also been linked with Italian clubs Torino, Genoa and Parma. Talleres President Andres Fassi has acknowledged that Cabral is in the sights of several European clubs but did not reveal what the clubs asking price for the youngster would be. Benfica continue to look to add younger players to the squad as they look to land the clubs next promising youngster.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Benfica embarrassed in Taca da Liga

Benfica Blog
Benfica decided to change ten of the clubs starting eleven from the weekends league victory over Maritimo as they went into their second group game of the Taca da Liga against Covilha. Benfica opened their Taca da Liga campaign with a scoreless draw against Guimaraes and were not able to secure a road victory over second division side Covilha with only a late Jota goal earning Benfica a point in a 1-1 draw. Benfica now sit with two points from two games and will be hoping that tomorrows Setubal-Guimaraes encounter ends in a draw thus having all four group members sitting with two points each going into the final round of games on December 21. Raul de Tomas' struggles continued in this game as Benfica's biggest summer acquisition continues to falter, Jota scored his first goal ever for Benfica's main squad and Zivkovic came in as a substitute for his first appearance of the season. Bruno Lage will need to regroup the squad as they get set to kick off Week 13 on Friday against Boavista.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Bruno Lage becomes second fastest manager to 100 goals

Benfica Blog
Bruno Lage hit his 50th game in charge of Benfica across all competitions this weekend and with Benfica's four goal performance against Maritimo this weekend, Lage became the second fastest Benfica manager to get to 100 goals in league action taking only 30 games to hit the century mark. Hungarian manager Lajos Czeiler is the only manager to get to 100 goals quicker then Lage when he did it in only 26 games back in 1963/64. Benfica are currently in negotiations to extend Lage's contract with the club and up his current salary of €500K to €1M. Lage's deal will also include a €20M buy out clause to protect the club from losing their current manager to any other clubs from around Europe.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Benfica cruise to win past Maritimo

Benfica Blog
Benfica cruised to a 4-0 victory over Maritimo in the clubs first game on its new surface after a new pitch was installed since the clubs last home game on November 2. Benfica kicked off the game quickly as a Chiquinho attempt just two minutes in was stopped by Maritimo keeper Abedzadeh. Maritimo would get their opportunity just a minute later when Daizen Maeda's shot was easily stopped by Vlachodimos but it would not take Benfica long to open the scoring as league leading scorer Pizzi would tap a Vinicius pass through the legs of the Maritimo keeper to give Benfica the lead just seven minutes into the match. Pizzi would then return the favour after being sent in alone by Taarabt he would find a wide open Vinicius to double Benfica's lead at the 17 minute mark. Maritimo looked to cut the lead in half but a Douglas Grolli header off a set piece would be sent wide of the Benfica net. Benfica would add another at the 31 minute mark when a Pizzi hard cross would evade the keeper and end up on the foot of Vinicius, his shot would deflect in off Maritimo defender Grolli. The goal was originally awarded to Vinicius but has since been awarded as an own goal in what can be considered a strange decision by the league as the shot was clearly going towards goal when it was deflected. Benfica almost made it four but Vinicius was unable to direct a Pizzi pass on net. Vinicius would get one more chance to score before the end of the half but his goal would be called back due to an offside. Benfica would go into the half up 3-0.
The second half would see young right back Tomas Tavares enter the game for Andre Almeida after the teams captain looked to have re-aggravated his thigh injury but the Benfica attack continued and Chiquinho would get the first real chance of the half when sent in

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Benfica sign new contract with Ruben Dias

Benfica Blog
Benfica have signed a new contract with central defender Ruben Dias, the new contract will take Dias to the end of the 2023/24 season and has a new buy out clause of €100M, an increase from his former clause by €34M. Dias has been linked in recent weeks with a move to Tottenham and the contract would add more money to Benfica's coffers if any club were to match Dias' new clause.
Dias is another graduate of Benfica's famous Seixal academy and has been a member of the clubs main squad since the beginning of 2017/18 season. Dias has appeared in 103 games for Benfica across all competitions, scoring on ten occasions while adding three helpers. 

Benfica squad for Maritimo game revealed

Benfica Blog
Benfica return to action in the Portuguese League and get set to take on Maritimo as they look to continue atop Portugal. Benfica last played a league game on November 9 against Santa Clara. Benfica play Maritimo at home today at 6pm WEST.
Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin
Defenders- Ferro, Alex Grimaldo, Jardel, Tomas Tavares, Andre Almeida, Nuno Tavares, Ruben Dias

Midfielders- Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel, Florentino, Taarabt Chiquinho, Caio Lucas

Forwards- Jota, Carlos Vinicius, Raul de Tomas

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Joao Felix named Golden Boy 2019 award winner

Benfica Blog
Former Benfica player Joao Felix has been awarded the 2019 Golden Boy Award following in the footsteps of Renato Sanches who won the award in 2016 as the second Benfica academy player and second Portuguese player to have been given the honour. 
The Golden Boy award commenced in 2003 by Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport and is now voted on by 11 other newspapers across Europe, in total 40 journalists vote on the award. The Golden Boy award is given to a young footballer under the age of 21 who plays in Europe and who is perceived to have been the most impressive during the calendar year. The journalists vote on the Top 5 players with 10 points being awarded to the top vote getter, 7 points for second, 5 points for third, 3 for fourth and 1 for fifth. Joao Felix who made a move from Benfica to Atletico Madrid this summer for a club record €126M scored 18 goals for Benfica last season in all competitions and has chipped in two goals for Atletico this season before suffering an ankle injury. Felix was also a member of Portugal's 2019 League of Nations title.

Voting Results for the 2019 Golden Boy Award:

1- Joao Felix (Benfica/Atletico Madrid) 332 points
    Country - Portugal
2- Jadon Sancho (B. Dortmund) 175 points
    Country - England
3- Kai Havertz (B. Leverkusen) 75 points
    Country - Germany
4- Erling Haaland (Red Bull Salzburg) 74 points
    Country - Norway
5- Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus) 71 points
    Country - Netherlands

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Benfica blow a tire late and now set for fight to remain in UEFA

Benfica Blog
Benfica coughed up a two goal lead after the 89th minute to German side RB Leipzig ending any hopes of advancing to the round of 16 in Champions League action. The draw in Germany eliminated Benfica from progressing and the club will now need to win their last home game against Zenit to have any hope of remaining in UEFA this season and moving into the Europa League as the third place team in the group. The final round of games could result in many tie breaker scenarios which we will review at the end of the blog after the game recap.

Benfica came into the game knowing they needed a road win to keep their Champions League hopes alive after Zenit defeated Lyon in the earlier game. Benfica started the game on the right foot as Chiquinho tried his luck from range but his volley just went over the net two minutes in. Leipzig captain Forsberg then would get a break when Benfica midfielder Taarabt lost possession in a poor position but his effort sliced over the bar. The clubs continued to exchange chances in the first twenty minutes but it would be Benfica who would open the scoring when Pizzi would drill his shot into the bottom right corner to give Benfica a 1-0 lead. Leipzig would then look for the equalizer after a Benfica defensive error but Vlachodimos would be up for the challenge making the stop on Nkunku. Vlachodimos would be tested again within minutes first stopping a Forsberg low strike, he would follow that up with a spectacular palm save on Sabitzer from the center of the box as Leipzig took control of the game. Benfica though would come close to scoring before the half when a Pizzi curled shot would clip the post and go wide. The half would end with Benfica up 1-0 even though Leipzig controlled large portions of the first half.

Benfica squad set for Champions League encounter

Benfica Blog
Benfica get set for their fifth group game with slim hopes of advancing to the Round of 16 in the Champions League as they travel to Germany to take on RB Leipzig. Benfica currently sit in last spot of their group having only one win in their first four games. Benfica play RB Leipzig on the road today at 8:00pm WEST.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

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

Midfielders- Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel, Florentino, Taarabt, Chiquinho, Caio Lucas

Forwards- Jota, Carlos Vinicius, Raul de Tomas

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Benfica find out opponent for Taca round of 16

Benfica Blog
Benfica have found out their opponents for next months round of 16 encounter in the Taca de Portugal as they get set to face Braga in what is the most intriguing game of the round of 16. Benfica will host their first game of the Taca tournament on December 19 after playing their first two games away from the Estadio da Luz, this round will see one of last seasons semi-finalists eliminated early from tournament play. Benfica and Braga last met in the same round of 16 back during the 2014/15 season which resulted in Braga eliminating Benfica by a 2-1 score on their way to finishing up as last seasons runner up.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Benfica to go back for Juventus keeper Perin in January

Benfica Blog
Benfica are readying to make a return to Turin for the signing of Juventus keeper Mattia Perin who is close to regaining full fitness. Benfica came very close to acquiring the former Genoa keeper from Juventus during the summer transfer window but Perin failed a physical after traveling to Lisbon and the deal was called off or with the latest rumours coming from Italy looks more like it was put on hold. Perin was dealing with a shoulder injury but has resumed training and with Juventus' signing of former keeper Gianluigi Buffon, Perin has fallen to the third choice option. Benfica were willing to pay Juventus €15M for the acquisition of Perin while adding young right back Joao Fereira to the deal this summer but no numbers have been released if this deal would still be on the table. Benfica President LFV has already confirmed that the club will be looking for a keeper in January and Perin looks to be the clubs top choice to battle current number one Vlachodimos for playing time.

Benfica sign Alex Grimaldo to new contract until 2023

Benfica Blog
Benfica and Alex Grimaldo have agreed on a new contract that will go into the summer of 2023. Benfica and Grimaldo have been discussing a new contract since the start of the season and have finally got it done. Grimaldo's new contract will also include a €60M buy out clause for any interested parties that would be eyeing the 24 year old Spaniard. Grimaldo joined Benfica from Barcelona's B squad during the winter transfer window of 2016 and has appeared in 134 games for Benfica across all competitions. He has scored on eleven occasions while setting up twenty-six goals. Grimaldo has also won eight trophies as a member of Benfica, three of those being the League Championship.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Benfica advance to round of 16 after Vizela Taca win

Benfica Blog
Benfica scraped past ten man Vizela to advance to the Taca de Portugal round of 16 after a come from behind 2-1 victory, avoiding the embarrassment of losing to a minnow early in the tournament. Vizela opened the scoring just six minutes into the game when a Samu low shot found its way past Benfica keeper Zlobin. Vizela would then be a given a blow when midfielder Ericson Duarte was sent off at the 26th minute mark after receiving his second yellow card of the game within six minutes of receiving his first. Benfica though would fail to find their form in the first half as a tough defensive Vizela fought to protect their lead all the way to the end of the half. The second half would see striker Carlos Vinicius enter the game in place of Samaris as Benfica looked to get the equalizer. Chiquinho would get the clubs first real chance six minutes into the half but his attempt would be sent over the bar. Benfica would finally bring the game level with twenty minutes left when a low Jota cross would find striker Raul de Tomas who made no mistake tapping the ball pass Vizela keeper Cajo.

Then just two minutes later Grimaldo would send a high shot past the keeper who was beat on the play but he was unable to beat the bar as his shot rang off it. Benfica continued to press and a Caio Lucas' cross into the box would find the head of Carlos Vinicius but Vizela's Cajo would come up with a big stop to keep the game leveled, but Vinicius would not be denied on this night and just five minutes from time, Lucas would send Vinicius in on goal and the strong striker would fight off the pressure of Vizela defender Aidara and send a low shot into the far left corner to give Benfica a lead they would not relinquish and get the club into the round of 16. Benfica will now await to find out who their next opponents are in the tournament but a better performance would be expected by the club as the competition will only get tougher from here.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Benfica announce squad for Vizela Taca game

Benfica Blog
Benfica get set for Taca de Portugal action as they get set to take on Vizela in the fourth round of play. After the International break Benfica look to continue their fine form in Portugal and move onto the Round of 16 of the tournament. Benfica play Vizela on the road today at 8:45pm WEST.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

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

Midfielders- Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel, Florentino, Samaris, Chiquinho, Caio Lucas

Forwards- Jota, Carlos Vinicius, Raul de Tomas

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Benfica interested in Gremio's 22 year old winger

Benfica Blog
Benfica are interested in Gremio's 22 year old winger Pepe according to reports coming out from Brazilian media. Benfica are looking to shore up the left wing spot of their line up with regular starter Rafa Silva out for an extended period of time with an injury and with summer acquisition Caio Lucas failing to make his mark, Benfica have turned their attention to Brazil to fill the void. Pepe has been a member of the Gremio organization since the summer of 2016 and has appeared in 32 games across all competitions for the club this season. Pepe has scored seven times while adding one helper. Gremio is rumoured to want in excess of €15M for the rights to Pepe and Benfica will need to fend off the likes of PSG and Roma who have also been linked to the player if they are to land his rights during the winter transfer window.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Keaton Parks will return to Benfica after New York City FC loan spell

Benfica Blog
Keaton Parks is on his way back to Benfica after an impressive loan spell with Major League Soccer club New York City FC. Parks will return to Portugal in December to join Benfica after completing his season long loan. The 22 year old defensive midfielder appeared in 26 games across all competitions for New York scoring once and setting up another. Parks joined Benfica in the summer of 2017 from Portuguese side Varzim but has spent most of his time in Portugal with Benfica's B squad, only appearing six times for the main squad for a total of just 101 minutes. Parks will likely return to the B squad after arriving in Lisbon as Benfica's defensive midfield role is pretty much locked down by the likes of Florentino, Fejsa and Samaris.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Benfica's Seferovic could miss extended period of time

Benfica striker Seferovic has returned from International duty with Switzerland having sustained an injury in warm ups last Friday as the Swiss side was set to take on Georgia. Seferovic was immediately released by the Swiss and returned to Benfica for medical evaluation. Benfica have confirmed that Seferovic has suffered a left leg injury and will not be counted on for this weeks upcoming fourth round Taca de Portugal encounter against Vizela. Benfica will continue to evaluate Seferovic's injury and at this time he could miss a month of action but the club is still not certain the time line on the Swiss strikers injury. Seferovic's injury will open up more playing time for this summers acquisitions Carlos Vinicius and Raul de Tomas.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Rafa Silva's recovery going well

Benfica Blog
Benfica got some good news from the Rafa Silva injury front as the wingers recovery is going well and on schedule at this current time. Rafa who injured his middle adductor tendon in the clubs Champions League encounter against Lyon is responding positively to treatment but it is too early to tell when the 26 year old will return to competition. The medical staffs first assessment of the injury put Rafa back in action sometime in March but the medical staff are set to re-evaluate the injury by the end of next week hoping to get a more accurate return to action for the Portuguese International. This type of injury normally has a four month recovery time which would see Rafa in action with Benfica in February but Chiquinho suffered a similar injury earlier this season and returned in half the time which was two months. Injury recoveries tend to go on a case by case basis and Benfica's medical staff plan to follow all protocols to make sure that Rafa returns to action fully recovered.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Besiktas want to land Benfica midfielder Gedson

Benfica Blog
Reports coming out of Turkey have Turkish club Besiktas ready to make a move for Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes when the January transfer window opens. The 20 year old Gedson is signed with Benfica until the summer of 2023 and unless Benfica are willing to complete a loan move with Besiktas it is unlikely that the Turkish side would meet Benfica's €60M price point for their Seixal academy produced player. Gedson has already appeared in 56 games for the Eagles across all competitions after making his squad debut in a Champions League qualifier last August against Fenerbahce. Gedson has scored three goals and set up seven in his Benfica career to date.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Benfica in talks with Academica for forward Lacerda

Benfica Blog
Benfica are in talks with Academica for striker Derik Lacerda according to reports from Portugal. Benfica who are looking to reinforce their U23 squad and B squad, feel that the 20 year old Lacerda would be a welcome addition to their club. Lacerda has appeared in 9 games for Academica in between the Second Division and the U23 squad in the Liga Revelacao scoring once. Lacerda joined Academica from Brazilian side Resende during the off season.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Zivkovic wants to terminate Benfica contract

According to reports coming out of Portugal, Benfica winger Zivkovic is looking to terminate his contract with the club so that he can move on a free transfer when the January winter window opens. Zivkovic who has yet to appear in any games for Benfica this season has a contract with the Eagles until the summer of 2021 and Benfica are not open to letting the player walk for free but would consider a loan move if they are able to find a taker. Zivkovic has appeared in 84 games for Benfica across all competitions scoring eight times while setting up twenty-four goals since joining the club from Partizan Belgrade in 2016.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Benfica with eyes on Colombia winger

Benfica Blog
Benfica are looking at Fluminense winger Yony Gonzalvez who's contract will end with the Brazilian club at the end of the Brazilian league season in December. The 25 year old Colombian winger is being analyzed by Benfica to reinforce the club when the January transfer window opens on a free transfer. Gonzalvez has appeared in 37 games for Fluminense across all competitions, scoring eight goals while setting up another five. Reports from Portugal say that Benfica are willing to offer the free agent a €2M signing bonus and an annual salary of €700K. Gonzalvez was a former teammate of Porto summer signing Luis Diaz at Junior FC and a member of their Championship club.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Benfica players who will be part of National sides

Benfica Blog
The worlds national team squads are once again 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, Ruben Dias
Switzerland - Seferovic
Greece - Vlachodimos
Morocco - Taarabt

Under 21 Teams

Portugal- Jota, Nuno Tavares, Tomas Tavares , Gedson Fernandes, Florentino

Belgium- Mile Svilar

Brazil- Morato

Monday, November 11, 2019

Benfica win to stay a top Portugal heading to break

Benfica Blog
Benfica traveled to the Azores for their Week 11 encounter against Santa Clara as they looked to maintain their top spot in the league going into the International break. Benfica and their rock star arrival in Sao Miguel started off on the wrong foot when Santa Clara opened the scoring 18 minutes into the game as Carlos beat out Andre Almeida to a mid cross by Rafael Ramos to head Santa Clara into the lead. Benfica's first half was one of their poorer performances of the season as they struggled to complete passes and ended the half trailing by one with their only clear scoring chance being a Ruben Dias header in additional time at the keeper.
The second half started with striker Carlos Vinicius entering the game in place of Florentino as Benfica looked to add to their attack but it was Santa Clara who would get the first scoring chance of the half at the 50th minute when Rashid's outside shot was stopped by keeper Vladchodimos. 

Benfica would then equalize just four minutes later as Pizzi's low cross went by a crowd of players ending up on the feet of substitute Vinicius who directed it into an empty net and the game was level. The next twenty minutes of the half was a back and forth affair with no real scoring threats, that was until the 78th minute when a poor clear by Santa Clara defender Cesar hit Andre Almeida and deflected to the feet of Seferovic who broke down the middle finding Pizzi to the left and the league's top scorer would make no mistake sending a low shot past keeper Marco to give Benfica the lead. The goal would energize Benfica and they looked to add to it just a minute later when Seferovic would take a hard shot just inside the box that was handled by Marco. Santa Clara though sent a chill through the Benfica faithful when Ukra's low shot from a long Rashid cross would go just inches from the far left post in additional time but that was as close as it would get as Benfica would come from behind to defeat Santa Clara 2-1. Benfica will now return to league action on November 30 after when they host Madeira club Maritimo.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

The arrival of Morato makes Conti departure likely

Benfica Blog
Benfica look set to move center back German Conti when the January transfer window opens, the 25 year old center back has yet to appear in any game this season and has only appeared in ten games for Benfica across all competitions with one goal since joining the club in the summer of 2018 from Colon for €3.5M. The acquisition this summer of 18 year old Brazilian center back Morato looks to have all but ended Conti's Benfica time. Morato has had strong performances in his appearances for Benfica in the UEFA Youth League, playing in all four games and has also appeared in three games with Benfica's B squad. Morato looks to be the heir apparent to join the main club when the departure of Ruben Dias or Ferro arrives in the future. Benfica acquired Morato from Brazilian side Sao Paulo for €6M.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Benfica squad for upcoming Santa Clara tilt

Benfica Blog
Benfica return to league play with an upcoming tilt on the road against Azorian club Santa Clara as they look to get back to their winning ways and maintain their league lead before the International break kicks in. The game will take place today at 6pm WEST and 18 players from the list below will dress for the game.  

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin, Mile Svilar

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

Midfielders- Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel, Florentino, Taarabt, Chiquinho, Caio Lucas

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

Friday, November 8, 2019

Benfica field replacement under way at the Luz

Benfica Blog
Benfica are currently replacing the field at Estadio da Luz for the third time since June as they club looks for a field that will assist the club playing their brand of football more smoothly. Benfica has received complaints from the squads players and visiting clubs about the pitches poor condition this season. Manager Bruno Lage has also gone as far as saying that the poor pitch may have been a contributing factor to the clubs recent rash of injuries this season. Benfica will not play a home game at the Estadio da Luz again until November 30 so the club made the decision to have the current pitch ripped out and replaced.

Benfica manager Bruno Lage is glad to be seeing the old pitch gone and hopes the replacement works for the clubs style but more importantly Lage admits that the health of his players and of visiting players has always been his main concern.

Benfica striker Seferovic being linked to Roma

Benfica Blog
Benfica's Swiss striker Haris Seferovic is being linked with a move to Italian side Roma according to reports coming from Italy. Roma who are currently managed by Portuguese Paulo Fonseca are looking for an alternative to 33 year old Edin Dzeko and with currently loanee Nikola Kalinic failing to impress have turned their attention to the Lisbon side. The 27 year old Seferovic signed a new contract with Benfica over the summer that puts him under Benfica control until the 2024 season, the new deal also includes a €60M buy out clause. Seferovic joined Benfica on a free transfer in the summer of 2017 and won the golden boot in the Portuguese league last season with 23 goals. Seferovic has appeared in 96 games for Benfica across all competitions, scoring 38 goals while setting up 13. Benfica who have already earned an enormous amount during the summer transfer window will be looking to cash in on the big Swiss striker which may not bode well for Roma's ambitions.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Benfica set to launch own streaming service

Benfica Blog
Benfica are set to launch their own streaming service called "Benfica Play" in December. Executive director Domingos Soares de Oliveira said that Benfica Play will be similar to Netflix and will give the clubs fans exclusive access to the clubs backstage content which would include dressing room conversations and training sessions. The streaming service will be fully dedicated to Benfica content with a goal of bringing the fans closer to the club. Soares also made it clear the Benfica Play would be separate from Benfica TV and that the streaming service would not be showing any live content. There was not any pricing for the new streaming service released and if fans from outside Portugal will be able to subscribe to the service.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Benfica fall behind early and can't recover in loss to Lyon

Benfica Blog
Benfica traveled to France to face Lyon just two weeks after earning their first victory in their Champions League campaign against the same French side but the club fell behind early and could not recover losing 3-1. This was Benfica's third loss in four contests, making their outlook for progression to the Champions League round of 16 less likely. Bruno Lage continued to tinker with his starting lineup dressing a squad with an average age of 22.7 years for the contest while regular starters Pizzi, Andre Almeida and Seferovic watched from the sidelines. Benfica President Luis Filipe Vieira's Champions League plan for the club may be to show off the academies developing players then actually trying to win contests, which is disappointing for the legion of the clubs fans across the globe who have watched smaller sides like Ajax and Monaco make runs over the last few years.

Lyon would open the scoring quick just four minutes into the game when a Dubois cross landed in between Benfica keeper Vladchodimos and his defenders, Lyon center back Andersen would get a head on it, thumping the ball into the back of the net to give Lyon the lead. Aouar would then send a cross towards goal at the twelve minute mark and as Vladchodimos rushed off his line to punch it clear he collided with center back Ferro, knocking the youngster out of the game with what appeared to be a concussion, Ferro was attended to by the medical staff and taken off on a 
stretcher, he was replaced by veteran Jardel. Lyon would then get a chance to double their lead halfway through the first half as Aouar found Dembele but the striker's touch was too heavy and Vladchodimos was there to claim the ball.

Benfica announce squad for Champions League game vs Lyon

Benfica Blog
Benfica continue their busy schedule of games as they travel to France to take on Lyon in their fourth game of the Champions League. Benfica will be looking for another win against Lyon as they try to climb out of the basement of their group and into a qualifying spot in the round of 16. The game will take place today at 8pm WEST and 18 players from the list below will dress for the game.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin, Mile Svilar

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

Midfielders- Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel, Florentino, Taarabt, Chiquinho

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

Monday, November 4, 2019

Benfica busy run sees them move to top spot

Benfica Blog
Benfica have ended a run of three league games in seven days, gaining maximum points in all their encounters and vaulting the Lisbon club into top spot in all of Portugal two points in front of second place side FC Porto and four points in front of third place Famalicao. Benfica kicked off their busy campaign with a uninspiring 1-0 victory over Tondela on the road, were an early Ferro header helped Benfica escape with the victory. Benfica manager Bruno Lage would then make five changes to the starting eleven as Benfica would host Portimonense mid-week. The changes seemed to spark Benfica offensively as the club cruised to a 4-0 win as Carlos Vinicius earning his first league start, lead the way with a brace while Andre Almeida and Ruben Dias scored the other markers. Benfica left back Grimaldo chipped in three helpers in his man of the match performance. 
This victory along with an FC Porto draw in Madeira against Maritimo vaulted Benfica into top spot in the league. Benfica would then end their week with another home tilt this time against Rio Ave, earning another clean sheet and their eighth of the season in a 2-0 victory, Pizzi and Ruben Dias would score for the league leading Eagles. Benfica will now turn their focus to tomorrows Champions League encounter against Lyon as they look to escape the basement of their group hoping to hand the French side another loss.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Benfica announces squad for Rio Ave game

Benfica Blog
Benfica continue their busy week of games with a home encounter against Rio Ave in Week 10, Benfica who now sit in top spot in the league after Week 9's midweek games. This weekends game will take place today at 6pm WEST and 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, Nuno Tavares

Midfielders- Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel, Florentino, Taarabt, Samaris, Chiquinho

Forwards- Seferovic, Jota, Carlos Vinicius

Friday, November 1, 2019

Benfica and Vizela Taca game already set

Benfica Blog
Benfica's upcoming Taca de Portugal 4th round game against Vizela has been set, the game will take place November 23 at the Estadio Futebol Clube Vizela. Benfica and Vizela will meet for the first time ever in the Taca de Portugal. Benfica won their 3rd round Taca de Portugal encounter against Cova da Piedade, while Vizela defeated Casa Pia to move into the 4th round of the competition.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Napoli back in on Benfica left back Grimaldo

Benfica Blog
Napoli are back in on Benfica left back Alex Grimaldo based on reports coming out of Italian publication Calciomercato. Napoli who were linked with Grimaldo during the summer transfer window want to land Grimaldo as soon as the January transfer window opens but Benfica would not let the 24 year old leave the club for any less then €40M price tag. Benfica and Napoli's summer talks also included Portuguese left back Mario Rui coming the other way in any deal between the clubs for Grimaldo but Benfica would be more inclined to make that deal now with youngster Nuno Tavares waiting in the wings. 

Benfica acquired Grimaldo from Barcelona during the winter transfer window of 2016 for what is now a bargain price of €2.1M. The Spaniard has appeared in 131 games for the club across all competitions scoring seven times while setting up twenty three goals. Benfica may also choose to hold onto Grimaldo until the summer transfer window where the likes of Barcelona and Juventus' could make a move for the player after also being linked to Benfica's left back. Grimaldo has been called by some as the next Jordi Alba and Benfica will do their best to maximize any return for their starting left back

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Benfica squad for upcoming Portimonense game

Benfica set to face Portimonense at home in Week 9, in what is a rare midweek league game today. Benfica will look to add to their unbeaten five game run since suffering their home loss to FC Porto as both clubs battle a top the Portuguese League. The game will take place at 8:15pm WEST and 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, Taarabt, Samaris, Chiquinho

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Benfica look to replace poor pitch at Estadio da Luz

Benfica Blog
Benfica are looking at replacing the whole pitch at the Estadio da Luz after noticing during their O Classico encounter against FC Porto on August 24 that the stadium grass is not at the quality that it was the previous season. Benfica manager Bruno Lage confirmed today that the pitch will be replaced at some point in November and hopes the change will give the club better ball movement which was a key to the clubs success last season. Lage is also concerned that the poor pitch has played a part in the clubs player injuries this season with Rafa Silva the latest to be hurt on the clubs home grass. Rui Costa the clubs sporting director and general manager Tiago Pinto traveled to the Netherlands to find a solution on Monday, the pitch change will actually be the third for the club since the June.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Boca Juniors activate buy out clause for Lisandro

Benfica Blog
According to reports coming out of Argentina's El Dia newspaper, Boca Juniors have exercised the buy out clause option to acquire defender Lisandro Lopez and make his loan move permanent from Benfica. Benfica will pocket €3M from the sale of the 30 year old who was loaned to Boca in January of this year and who's buy out clause was set to expire at year end. Lisandro joined Benfica in the summer of 2013 and appeared in 54 games across all competitions, scoring six goals and adding three helpers. He won eight trophies in his time with the club which included three league championships.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Benfica announce squad for Tondela encounter

Benfica Blog
Benfica return to action today in the Portuguese League away against Tondela after spending close to a month without a league game due to international break and Taca games taking place since their last league game. The game will take place at 4pm WEST and 18 players from the list below will dress for the game.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin, Fabio Duarte

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

Midfielders- Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Gedson Fernandes, Gabriel, Florentino, Taarabt, Caio Lucas, Chiquinho

Forwards- Seferovic, Jota, Carlos Vinicius

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Benfica watching LA Galaxy winger and Mexican International

Benfica Blog
Benfica have been linked with Mexican winger and current LA Galaxy player Uriel Antuna according to reports coming from America. Antuna who can play on both wings but prefers the right side of the pitch, has spent the season on loan with the Galaxy from Manchester City. Antuna's MLS season is now over after the Galaxy were eliminated earlier this week from the playoffs and his loan spell with the Galaxy officially ends on December 31. This would open up the 22 year old to a move when the transfer window opens in January. Antuna appeared in 31 games for the Galaxy this season, scoring six goals while setting up another six and was acquired by Man City from Mexican club Santos Laguna back in the summer of 2017 but has yet to appear for the English side. Benfica is interested in shoring up the right side of their attack so this move for the talented Antuna make a lot of sense.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Benfica snag 18 year old away from Sporting

Benfica Blog
Benfica have landed 18 year old defensive midfielder Miguel Montenegro from third division club Condeixa. Montenegro who can also play center back was offered a contract by Lisbon rivals Sporting after testing for the club but Benfica convinced the 6 foot 2 midfielder to sign a training contract until January, which would then become a firm signing with the club until the end of the 2023 season. Montenegro has appeared in five games with Condeixa this season and will join Benfica's U23 team in January.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Benfica win on Portuguese keepers blunder

Benfica Blog
Benfica earned their first points of this seasons Champions League campaign with a 2-1 victory over French club Lyon, Benfica can give a big thanks to Portuguese keeper Anthony Lopes for his late game blunder that gifted Benfica all three points in this encounter. Benfica who sat dead last in their group after losing their first two games of the campaign needed the victory at home to keep their hopes of advancing to the round of 16 alive and the Eagles started the game off right, when a pinball session in Lyon's box ended on the feet of Franco Cervi who found an open Rafa Silva and his low shot beat Lopes giving Benfica the 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game. Rafa's goal was the first scored in this Champions League campaign by a starting player for Benfica. Rafa then was close to doubling Benfica's lead just two minutes later when his shot from just outside the box curled narrowly past the top right corner. Rafa's night though would end quickly as the player pick up a groin injury and was replaced by Pizzi at the 20 minute mark. Lyon would get the their first chance of the game at the 30 minute mark as Cornet would bear down on goal but a quick play by Benfica keeper Vlachodimos to close the angle would see him save the ball from ending up in the back of the net. Benfica would get another chance to double their lead before the end of the half when right back Tavares' crisp pass to Seferovic was wasted by the striker who sent the ball well over the bar. A scrappy first half ended with Benfica up 1-0 as both sides failed to get into a rhythm.

The second half started with Lyon a little more focused to even the score but Ruben Dias used his face to block a Tousart shot that was heading on goal, defecting the opportunity away from the goal ten minutes into the half. Lyon would then come a crossbar away from bringing the game level as Cornet's effort on goal was deflected by Ferro up and over Vlachodimos but the crossbar made the stop to keep Benfica in the lead. Lyon though would not be denied the equalizer and a Dubois cross from the right side of the box would find Depay at the back post and the striker would volley past Vlachodimos to bring the game level at the 70 minute mark. Depay then would get close to giving Lyon the league 10 minutes later as his attempted curl was earmarked for the top right corner but Vlachodimos was equal to the task and palmed the shot away. Benfica would then get their chance to regain the lead when Pizzi would pick up the ball in the central of midfield and his swerving effort on goal would ring the outside of the post and go wide. It was just one minute later that Lyon's Portuguese keeper Anthony Lopes would gift Benfica the win as his attempt for a quick throw out would be intercepted by Pizzi and Benfica's leading scorer would make no mistake depositing the ball into the back of an empty net to give Benfica the 2-1 lead with five minutes remaining in normal time. Benfica would hang on as Lyon threw everyone forward looking for the equalizer but to no avail and although Benfica still sit in the basement of the group after the win, they are now just three points away from the top spot. These two clubs will meet again in France in two weeks as Benfica look for a repeat of their home performance.