Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Benfica announce squad for Champions League game against Lyon

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

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

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

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

Forwards- Seferovic, Raul de Tomas, Carlos Vinicius

Monday, October 21, 2019

Nuno Gomes says Lyon game is crucial for Benfica

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

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Benfica interested in Portuguese defender

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

Friday, October 18, 2019

Benfica avoid Sporting disaster with Taca win

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


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

Thursday, October 17, 2019

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

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

Keepers- Ivan Zlobin, Mile Svilar

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Joao Felix one of 20 finalists for Golben Boy award

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

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Benfica President back in Portugal to discuss contracts

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

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

Monday, October 14, 2019

Zivkovic needs to play for Benfica or depart

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

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

Sunday, October 13, 2019

RDT will be RDT again for Benfica

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

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Benfica could experiment with Grimaldo up front

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

Friday, October 11, 2019

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

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

Benfica SAD has money for reinforcements

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

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Benfica concerned with Rafa Silva after Portugal release

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

Monday, October 7, 2019

Benfica players called up for International duty in October

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

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

Nigeria- Tyronne Ebuehi


Under 21 Teams

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

Belgium- Mile Svilar
 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Benfica President admits Mourinho was offered Benfica job

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

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Benfica secure signing of Pacos Ferreira striker

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

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Benfica find out Taca de Portugal opponent

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

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Benfica blows a tire in loss to Zenit in Champions League

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

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

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Benfica announce squad for Champions League game vs Zenit

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

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin, Mile Svilar

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

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

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