Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Benfica land Dormund midfielder Weigl

Benfica Blog
Benfica have made their first move of the 2020 winter transfer window landing defensive midfielder Julian Weigl from German side Borussia Dortmund for a reported €20M. Dortmund has gone as far as confirming the move today on their social media accounts. The purchase price for Weigl would be tied with the second highest transfer fee that Benfica have paid to acquire a player matching that of Raul de Tomas' move this summer from Real Madrid. The acquisition of Weigl should be bad news for a couple of Benfica's current midfield players with Fejsa, Samaris and Florentino looking to be on the outs with the club. Florentino though is more likely to leave the club on loan for the rest of the season as the club is not in a hurry to give up the players rights without someone meeting the buyout clause. The 24 year old Weigl who joined Dortmund in the summer of 2015 has appeared in 171 games across all competitions for the German club, scoring on four occasions while adding one helper. Benfica have yet to announce the acquisition of Weigl but the unveiling could be tomorrow as the club holds an open practice for the fans.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Benfica awarded best academy at Globe Awards

Benfica Blog
Benfica earned the co-honours with Dutch club Ajax for the best academy of 2019 at this years Globe Awards in Dubai. Benfica repeats as award winners for the second time after first winning in 2015. Benfica's now famous Seixal academy has been producing some gems over the last few years and the club is honoured to be recognized for all their hard work. Rui Costa was on hand in Dubai to receive the award on Benfica's behalf. The Seixal academy over the past few years has produced the likes of Joao Felix, Bernardo Silva, Goncalo Guedes, Andre Gomes, Joao Cancelo, Nelson Semedo, Ruben Dias, Renato Sanches and Rony Lopes to name a few and look set to continue to this trend in European football for the coming years.

Benfica could land Bruno Guimaraes with Atletico's help

Benfica Blog
Benfica are now the favourites to land Athletico Paranaense midfielder Bruno Guimaraes with the help of Spanish club Atletico Madrid who have the right of first refusal to land the 22 year old Brazilian. Guimaraes who was selected to the league Best XI for the 2019 season has already expressed his desire to move to Europe in 2020 and reports the past couple of days say the player is excited with a potential move to the Lisbon side. Atletico Madrid who currently have their sights set on landing a striker in January are rumoured to be ready to waive their right to land the player and make an agreement with Benfica that would allow the club to land the midfielder for €20M but give the Spanish club the right of first refusal if and when Benfica decide to move the player. Guimaraes appeared in 35 games across all competitions this year for Paranaense scoring four goals and setting up another three while being a force in the midfield. Benfica who are looking to strengthen their midfield in January are open to moving current midfielders Fejsa, Samaris along with wingers Zivkovic and Caio Lucas when the transfer window opens to shore up room for a Guimaraes acquisition.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Benfica with eyes on Monaco right back

Benfica Blog
According to reports coming out of sports daily Record, Benfica currently have set their sights on Monaco right back Benjamin Henrichs with a transfer move coming as early as January for the 22 year old German International. Benfica have scouted the versatile fullback who can also play at the left back and midfield position also on several occasions this fall but know that they will need to open the purse strings if they are to land Henrichs from Monaco. Henrichs joined Monaco from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2018 for a transfer fee of €20M and Monaco are said to want something similar if they are to let Henrichs depart. The 22 year old has only appeared in six games across all competitions this season for Monaco as he has battled with foot and back injuries. Benfica who currently have youngster Tomas Tavares in the starting right back role with veteran Andre Almeida on the sideline nursing an injury are looking to add some insurance as they battle to win their seventh Portuguese crown in the last eight seasons.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Rafa Silva set for return in January

Benfica Blog
Benfica winger Rafa Silva is set to make his long awaited return from injury in January of 2020 with the Lisbon Derby encounter against Sporting in mid January as the target game for his comeback. Rafa who has been out of action since October 23 after suffering an injury in Benfica's Champions League game against Lyon was off to a great start to the season before going down. 
Rafa who appeared in twelve games across all competitions before the injury had chipped in four goals and four assists and was leading the Portuguese League in player rating per game. Benfica though have continued their march to winning another league championship and his replacement Franco Cervi has contributed to the clubs success after a slow start. Benfica are looking forward to adding Rafa to the roster in January and hope that he does not take too long to shake off the rust.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Espanyol intensify move for Benfica's De Tomas

Benfica Blog
Spanish side Espanyol have their eyes on out of favour Benfica striker Raul de Tomas as the Spanish club look to move out of the basement of the Spanish La Liga and avoid relegation this season. De Tomas who joined Benfica in the summer for one of the highest transfer fees paid by the club at €20M has yet to find his groove in the Portuguese League and has become Bruno Lage's fifth choice up front behind starters Carlos Vinicius and Chiquinho. While last seasons leading scorer Seferovic is the clubs first choice off the bench followed of late by youngster Jota. De Tomas who wants playing time would welcome a move back to his native land but Benfica are reluctant to let the striker depart on a loan move as they look to recover some if not all of the cost of the player from Real Madrid this summer. De Tomas who has yet to score for the club in league play after appearing in seven games has a total of three goals across all competitions in 1042 minutes of action, which is a goal every 347 minutes of play. Benfica are hoping that De Tomas finds his form with the club but are ready to listen to any intriguing offers for the 25 year old striker and move on.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Benfica out of Taca da Liga and path for Taca de Portugal found

Benfica Blog
Benfica's quest for their 8th Taca da Liga cup is now over after Guimaraes won and Benfica earned their third straight draw in group play to finish runner up to the Minho club. Benfica who had a two goal lead over Setubal going into the final ten minutes on goals from Raul de Tomas and Jota had their Taca da Liga game end 2-2 and become the only club of last seasons final four to not advance once again to the semi-final round. Benfica did find out today their path in the Taca de Portugal as they get set to take on Rio Ave in mid January at the Estadio da Luz and the winner of this encounter will move on to the two leg semi-final against the winners of the Famalicao/P.Ferreira encounter. Benfica who have won 29 Taca de Portugal Cups to date could face arch rivals FC Porto if all the cards fall into place in the Finals.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Benfica squad named for Setubal Taca da Liga encounter

Benfica Blog
Benfica go into their final Taca de Liga game needing help if the are to move onto the final four. Benfica travel to Setubal looking for a comfortable victory with an inexperienced squad and hoping that Guimaraes stumble in their match against Covilha. Benfica will play Setubal away at 8:00pm WEST. They will dress 18 players from the list below.
Keepers- Mile Svilar, Ivan Zlobin

Defenders- Tomas Tavares, Jardel, Nuno Tavares, Morato, Pedro Alvaro, Joao Ferreira

Midfielders- Chiquinho, Caio Lucas, Davis Tavares, Tiago Dantas, Gedson Fernandes,  Florentino

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

Friday, December 20, 2019

Raul de Tomas' time at Benfica could be over before it begins

Benfica Blog
Raul de Tomas' summer move from Real Madrid to Benfica for €20M has yet to pane out for both the striker and club. De Tomas has yet to register a league goal or an assist in seven appearances and has scored just twice in 16 games across all competitions. Benfica manager Bruno Lage is set at this time on selecting strikers Carlos Vinicius and Haris Seferovic ahead of this summers key addition, so much so that De Tomas has even lost his spot on the substitute bench in the teams last four matches. The Spanish striker is said to be frustrated with his lack of playing time and according to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial would be open to a loan move back to Spain once the transfer window opens in January. The loan move is easier said then done with De Tomas as his €2M annual salary would be a deterrent for many clubs in Spain. Bruno Lage would also be reluctant to allow the striker to leave in January as any injury to Vinicius or Seferovic would present a problem for the club if it does not have an adequate striking option to replace either man in their fight for the Portuguese crown. The 25 year old has had a tough adjustment to Portuguese football but the striker will need to continue to work and await his next opportunity and prove to himself, the club and the fans that his almost record breaking signing was not in vein.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Benfica move into Taca quarter finals with win

Benfica Blog
Benfica moved into the Taca de Portugal quarter finals with a come from behind victory over Braga at the Estadio da Luz. Benfica who fell behind on an own goal by Ferro just 14 minutes into the game saw Pizzi and Carlos Vinicius continue their fine forms of late as each player chipped in a goal in each half to give Benfica the 2-1 win. Benfica manger made just one change from Saturdays squad inserting Zlobin in place of Vlachodimos as he looked to defeat Braga in a crucial encounter. Benfica will now await the upcoming draw to find out who their quarter final opponents will be.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Benfica in hunt for Dortmund midfielder

Benfica Blog
According to reports coming from German tabloid newspaper Bild, Benfica are currently in discussions with the agent of Borussia Dortmund's defensive midfielder Julian Weigl. Benfica would like the 24 year old to make the move to the Luz when the January transfer window opens as they look to shore up a position that the club is currently lacking in. Weigl who is no longer a regular choice of Dortmund manager Lucien Favre is in favour of a move out of the German club in January whether it be on loan or on permanent basis. Weigl joined Dortmund in the summer of 2015 from 1860 Munich for a transfer fee of €2.5M and has appeared in 170 games across all competitions for the German side. Weigl has also appeared in five games with the German national side after earning his first cap in May 2016. Benfica who currently have an aging and often injured Fejsa and an inexperienced Florentino in the defensive midfield role with a sprinkle of Greek midfielder Samaris when Lage feels the need, would have an instant upgrade in the position with the acquisition of Weigl and the German national could expect regular minutes with the Lisbon club.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Benfica to take on Ukrainian Champions in Europa League

Benfica Blog
Benfica will take on Ukrainian Champions Shakhtar Donetsk in the round of 32 in Europa League action after today's completed draw. The two clubs who finished third in their respective Champions League groups earning them a chance to continue European football this season will square off for the first time since being paired in the same Champions League group during the 2007/08 campaign. Benfica and Shakhtar split their two games with each club winning in each others respective stadiums. The two leg playoff will open up in Donetsk on February 20 with the second leg being played at Benfica's Estadio da Luz on February 27. Shakhtar who is coached by Portuguese manager Luis Castro will present a tough test for Benfica who will be looking to start off the two leg encounter with a good road game.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Benfica go into new year on top of Portugal

Benfica Blog
Benfica will go into 2020 on top of the Portuguese League after their convincing 4-0 victory over feel good story Famalicao at the Estadio da Luz. Benfica cruised to victory and were led once again by Pizzi and Carlos Vinicius, the leagues co-top scorers.
Vinicius would open the scoring late in the first half when he would tip in a Chiquinho pass, this would vault the striker into sole possession of the golden boot, moving one goal in front of Pizzi. This would only last until the second half when Pizzi would score a brace to push Benfica's lead to three goals with Chiquinho getting a helper on one of Pizzi's goals for his second assist of the evening. Pizzi would then become play maker on Benfica's final goal of the game setting up Caio Lucas for his first league goal of the season and only goal that he has scored wearing Benfica colours.
Benfica's next league game will not be until January 4 as they travel to Guimaraes but Benfica will be in action twice before the new year with an upcoming Wednesday in Taca de Portugal against Braga before traveling to Setubal to play their final group game in the Taca da Liga on the 21st.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Benfica name squad for Famalicao game

Benfica Blog
Benfica go into their last league game before the new year up against this seasons surprise squad Famalicao looking to maintain their current lead in Portugal. Benfica will play Famalicao at home at 6:00pm 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, Gabriel, Taarabt, Chiquinho, Samaris, Caio Lucas

Forwards- Carlos Vinicius, Seferovic, Jota

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Benfica sign new contract with Bruno Lage

Benfica Blog
Benfica and manager Bruno Lage have officially announced what has been rumoured to have been done for weeks now, they club and manager have agreed on a new contract that will run until the end of the 2023/24 season. Bruno Lage who was a former assistant manager of current Rio Ave manager Carlos Carvalhal at Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City, he joined Benfica last season to manage the clubs B squad until the dismissal of Rui Vitoria in January were he was moved into the intern role with the main squad. Lage's early performances with the club earned had the intern tag removed and he went on to turn the club around and win the Portuguese League. Bruno Lage's record with Benfica across all competitions is 40 wins, five draw and eight losses. Bruno Lage will now earn €2M per season to manage Benfica and his buy out clause remains at €20M. Lage currently has Benfica in top spot in the Portuguese League after 13 weeks of the season and will manage Benfica through another Europa League campaign in February.

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