Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Benfica Player Profile - Nene

Benfica Blog

Nene (Striker)

Years Active (1968-1986)

Benfica Career (1968-1986)

Born: November 20, 1949 (71 years old)

Nene spent his entire senior career at Benfica a rarity in today's modern game, spending almost 20 years with the club before retiring at the age of 37. Nene was named the Portuguese player of the year in 1971 while competing with Benfica legend Eusebio at the club and was a member of Benfica's losing UEFA Cup 1982-83 finalists. Nene won a total of ten Portuguese League championships, seven Taca de Portugal and two Super Cups while scoring 371 goals for Benfica across all competitions sitting third all time on the club scoring list behind only Eusebio's 473 and Jose Aguias' 379.

Nene also earned 66 caps with the Portuguese national side scoring 22 goals and was a member of the nations 1984 Euro semi-finalists. The individual highlight of Nene's international career came in that same tournament were his late winner against Romania saw the Quinas clinch a spot in the knockout stage in their last game of the group stage qualifying.

Nene will always be regarded as one of the best players to don the Benfica jersey and from those lucky enough to have watched the player in his prime would admit that he was one of the quicker #7's, Nene would be immortalized on the clubs legends row, if one ever existed as his 575 club appearances are the most by any player to wear the Benfica colours.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

January to bring wind of change at Benfica

Benfica Blog
January may just see a flurry of moves made by Benfica, a club who is currently struggling to find its identity under manager Jorge Jesus. Benfica are set to make moves when the January transfer window opens with more departures then arrivals at the club. Benfica look set to move on from long time eagle Franco Cervi along with Chiquinho and Julian Weigl who was just acquired in January. Look for Benfica to also end their two year loan deal with Barcelona for Jean-Clair Todibo after barely four months with the youngster not getting one minute of playing time under Jesus. A winter arrival of central defender Lucas Verissimo from Santos would also trigger the departure of defender Ferro. Jorge Jesus has informed club President Luis Filipe Vieira that he would like an upgrade in the midfield, a part of the field that has been a sore point for the club all season long. Benfica have been mentioned as a possible destination for Portuguese international William Carvalho and Skahtar's Victor Kovalenko but any acquisition of both or either would need to see the club sell some of its current players. Jorge Jesus has a vision for Benfica that has yet to come to fruition, he is asking the club for the resources to make this project happen but Benfica fans are a restless bunch and Jesus may already be running out of time.

Friday, December 25, 2020

What Benfica need for Christmas this year

Benfica Blog
With the Christmas season upon us, we take a look at what old St. Nick can bring the club this holiday season to make it a joyous one for all the Benfica fans around the globe.

An attacking midfielder:

Benfica has an out of position Pizzi in the middle on many occasions and Taarabt who's best games tend to be against lesser opponents, the clubs other options leave a lot to be desired so Santa can look at placing a Viktor Kovalenko from Shakhtar or Jack Grealish from Aston Villa under the tree this winter. This is the clubs biggest wish this Christmas.

A defensive midfielder:

Benfica's options at the position run from Julian Weigl, Gabriel and long time club member Samaris. All three are capable of having decent games every now and then but lack the consistency needed to play regularly in the starting eleven. Santa can bring a consistent defensive midfielder to the club in the mold of Portuguese international William Carvalho or Denis Zakaria from Monchengladbach. This would be a secondary gift that Santa could add under the tree this season.

A right back:

The injury to regular starter Andre Almeida has hampered the clubs defensive play while providing little attack from summer signing Gilberto and Diogo Goncalves who is just learning a new position. With Almeida getting up there in age, Santa could bring the club a younger and more reliable right back this winter with the likes of Denzel Dumfries from PSV or Fabricio Bustos from Independiente to be added as bonus gift this Christmas.

The holiday season tends to be a festive time for people all around the globe and if Santa can drop off a few presents at the Estadio da Luz this season, the club will be better off for it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Benfica blow tire again in Super Cup

Benfica Blog
Benfica lose again in another must win game, their third time this season since the return of Jorge Jesus and the so called super transfer summer has looked anything but super. Benfica lose to rivals FC Porto today, 2-0 for the Portuguese Super Cup and now are 0-3 in must win games this season. Benfica did not look dangerous during much of the game and an early VAR decision penalty put the Eagles down 1-0 just twenty minutes in. Benfica came close to drawing level on a Grimaldo free kick that rang off the cross bar with just a few minutes left in the game but Porto sealed the win in the dying minutes when the doubled their lead handing Benfica a disappointing loss to their northern rivals.

Jorge Jesus return has yet to bring much joy to the fans of the club having missed out on Champions League play to start the year, then crawling back to draw a game with Rangers in Scotland which cost the club a chance of winning their Europa League group and now losing to their rivals in what is the first trophy of this seasons campaign. Benfica currently sit second in Portugal going into the Christmas break and have endured too many sub par performances especially from the middle of their field. Benfica will return to action on the 29th when they host Portimonense in Week 11 action.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Benfica will face Braga in Taca da Liga semi-final

Benfica Blog
Benfica and Braga are set to face off in the Taca da Liga semi-final in Leiria on January 20 with the winner of the semi-final advancing to the Final on January 23 against the winner of the FC Porto and Sporting encounter. Benfica advanced to the semis after a quarter final victory in penalties over Guimaraes while Braga defeated second division side Estoril 3-1. Benfica are seven time winners of the Taca da Liga but last won the competition in 2016 while Braga are the current defending champions and also won the competition in 2013. The two clubs met in league action in November with Braga defeating Benfica 3-2.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Valencia contact Benfica about defender

Benfica Blog
Valencia are linked with a loan move for Benfica center back Ferro, the Spanish side is said to have already contacted the Lisbon club to discuss the 23 year old according to Spanish radio. Ferro who is down the pecking order in options for Benfica manager Jorge Jesus has played only 106 minutes across all competitions this season and is keen to make a move away from the club in January as he looks for regular playing time. Valencia has been one of the worst defending teams in La Liga this season and currently sits mid table in Spain and have also been linked with Porto defender Diogo Leite in recent weeks. Ferro is a Benfica academy graduate and has appeared in 64 games across all competitions for Benfica scoring four times.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Benfica linked to another Brazilian League player

Benfica Blog
Benfica continue to be linked to players currently playing in Brazil's Serie A with the latest player rumoured to have interest from the club being Internacional's midfielder Patrick. According to Globesporte, Benfica is not alone in their interest of the 28 year old, with Mexican club America and Argentina's Boca Juniors also linked for the services of Patrick. Benfica manager Jorge Jesus is said to appreciate the quality that Patrick displays on the field and would not mind having the player in Lisbon. Patrick joined Internacional in the winter of 2018 has appeared in 31 games across all competitions for them this season, scoring four goals and setting up another two.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Benfica should give Joao Ferreira a chance at right back

Benfica Blog
Benfica manager Jorge Jesus has still not been able to find an adequate replacement for injured starter Andre Almeida and with Almeida likely to miss the remainder of the season it is time that the Benfica manager give a regular shot to 19 year old right back Joao Ferreira. Jesus used Ferreira in the final Europa League game of the group stage and Ferreira did not look out of place in the starting eleven. A natural right back unlike Diogo Goncalves, Ferreira could bring a little consistency and defensive play that lacks with summer acquisition Gilberto. Ferreira has been with the B club since the summer of 2019 and has appeared in 24 games with the squad since then. Ferreira was a failed physical away from joining Juventus last summer as part of a deal for keeper Mattia Perin but Perin's failed physical put an end to the move. Ferreira has been a regular member of Portugal's youth system and if Ferreira is able to step into the role at right back, Benfica can then use any funds geared for the position to strengthen a midfield which has much bigger holes in January. Only time will tell if Jorge Jesus will give the youngster the minutes to see what he has in Joao Ferreira.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Benfica cruise in Taca de Portugal win

Benfica Blog
Benfica had an easy time in their fourth round Taca de Portugal encounter against Vilafranquense, defeating the second division club 5-0 to advance to the round of 16. Benfica got a pair of goals from Swiss striker Seferovic and singles from Goncalo Ramos, Pizzi and Pedrinho in the game and join Portuguese League rivals, FC Porto and Sporting in moving forward. Benfica have one league game against Gil Vicente before taking on FC Porto in the battle for the Portuguese Super Cup, December 23.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Benfica potential opponents in Europa League round of 32

Benfica Blog
Benfica ended their Europa League group campaign on Thursday with a 2-2 draw against Standard Liege to finish second in their respective group behind Scottish side Rangers. Benfica will now have a more difficult path in the round of 32 as there next opponent will come from group winners and the four higher seed third place finishers from the Champions League. The draw for the round of 32 will take place on December 14.

The 15 clubs that Benfica could draw on Monday:

Man United, Tottenham, Arsenal, Leicester City, AC Milan, Napoli, Roma, Ajax, PSV, Bayern Leverkusen, Hoffenheim, Villarreal, Dinamo Zagreb, Club Brugge, Shakhtar Donetsk.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Benfica's search for center back takes them to Turkey

Benfica Blog
With the January transfer window set to open in less then four weeks, Benfica continue their search for a center back to add to the club as they look to strengthen the squad. Benfica have recently been in talks with Brazilian club Santos for defender Lucas Verissimo but have not presented terms to that liking of Santos board and reports now coming out of Turkey have Benfica linked to Trabzonspor center back Vitor Hugo who joined the Turkish side in October from Palmeiras for €3.2M, signing a four year contract. The 29 year old Hugo has appeared in seven games since joining Trabzonspor and is in his second stint in Europe after spending a spell with Fiorentina from 2017-2019. Benfica manager Jorge Jesus hopes to have a few reinforcements when January comes and Hugo is just the latest in what is becoming a long list of center backs linked to the club.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Benfica look to newly acquired Boavista right back

Benfica Blog
Benfica continue to search for an adequate replacement on the right side of the back four and reports out of Portugal have the club looking into newly acquired Boavista right back Reggie Cannon. Boavista acquired Cannon this past summer from Major League Soccer club FC Dallas for €2.5M and the American international has adapted well to the Portuguese League appearing in all nine regular season games for Boavista. With regular starter Andre Almeida out for a few more months injured, the clubs only options are Gilberto and Diogo Goncalves who is learning a new position. Jorge Jesus would like to add another option at the right back position as early as January and Benfica have the 22 year old Cannon in their sights. Boavista are said to be looking for around €10M to move Cannon have already turned down a €5M offer from an unnamed European club.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Benfica manager refuses to discuss William Carvalho move

Benfica Blog
Benfica manager Jorge Jesus refused to answer a question during a recent interview with reporters when he was asked about Benfica links to Real Betis and former Sporting midfielder William Carvalho. According to Spanish paper Mundo Desportivo Real Betis will look to move Carvalho when the January transfer window opens and are looking for €20M for the Portuguese international. Carvalho who is another former Jorge Jesus player from his Sporting days last played in Portugal in 2018 and it is said that Benfica are very interested in the services of the 28 year old. Benfica could look to move Julian Weigl to help finance a move for Carvalho and with the German's recent change in representatives his departure from the club is only starting to heat up. Jesus did say in his presser that he trusts Julian Weigl, Gabriel and Samaris in the position of defensive midfielder and although William Carvalho is an excellent player it was not important to discuss a player that was not part of his current club.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Benfica advance to round of 32 in Europa League

Benfica Blog
Benfica have advanced to the round of 32 after their convincing 4-0 win over Polish side Lech Poznan in round five of six group games to be played. All that is left to be decided now is who will finish on top of the group as Benfica and Scottish club Rangers both sit with identical records of three wins, two draws and zero losses going into next Thursday's set of games. Rangers currently hold the tie breaker for top spot based on away goals after both clubs played to a pair of draws head to head but the game played in Lisbon ended 3-3 giving Rangers the current advantage. Benfica's victory today saw Jan Vertonghen open the scoring for his first goal in a Benfica uniform and also saw Pizzi and Darwin Nunez chip in their fifth goals of the competition to sit one back of the current league leader. Julian Weigl would finish the scoring for the club on the night and Benfica now go into their last group game against Standard Liege with the option to rest some of their regulars who have been averaging two games a week between their UEFA and league commitments.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Santos playing hard ball with Benfica for defender

Benfica Blog
Benfica continue to negotiate with Santos for the services of central defender Lucas Verissimo as the Brazilian side play hard ball to drive up the price of the 25 year old. Santos' board was not impressed by the offer received from Benfica President Luis Filipe Vieira in his recent visit to Brazil last week looking to close the deal for the defender. Santos' board informed Vieira that they favoured a bid made from Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr which surpassed Benfica's reported bid of €6.5M but Verissimo has made it known to the club that he will only depart Brazil for a European league club and is not interested in a move to the middle east, complicating matters of any move being made outside of that region. Benfica do not look interested in increasing their bid for Verissimo and are open to switching targets and moving onto Flamengo defender Leo Pereira if negotiations with Santos continue to stall.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Benfica roster for Maritimo encounter

Benfica Blog
Benfica look to get back to winning ways after a bit of a tailspin the last two games after five straight victories to start the league season. As the club currently sits in fourth spot but can move back into third with a victory over Maritimo in Madeira. Benfica will play Maritimo today at 7pm WEST and they will dress 20 players from the list below.

Keepers- Vlachodimos, Mile Svilar, Helton Leite

Defenders- Diogo Goncalves, Alex Grimaldo, Otamendi, Vertonghen, Jardel, Gilberto, Joao Ferreira

Midfielders- Chiquinho, Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Rafa Silva, Samaris, Everton, Gabriel

Forwards- Waldschmidt, Seferovic, Goncalo Ramos, Facundo Ferreyra

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Julian Weigl hires new agent, is Benfica exit next?

Benfica Blog
Benfica midfielder Julian Weigl could be on his way out of the club when the January transfer window opens after hiring agent Pini Zahavi to represent him going forward. Weigl arrived at Benfica last January from Borussia Dortmund for €20M when Bruno Lage was still the manager of the club but is not a first choice option since the arrival of new manager Jorge Jesus to the club. The 25 year old Weigl has only started in three games for Benfica this season, playing a total of 435 minutes. It is rumoured that Weigl's decision to hire Zahavi is to find a new club were he can play regular minutes with Italian trio AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus linked to his services. Benfica are said to want €25M if they are to consider moving Weigl when the transfer window opens.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Benfica manager assures Vlachodimos is starting keeper

Benfica Blog
Benfica manager Jorge Jesus surprised many today when he made the decision to start keeper Helton Leite over normal starter Vlachodimos in a crucial Europa League encounter against Rangers. The Benfica boss assured the clubs faithful that Vlachodimos will be back between the posts when the club takes on Maritimo in Week 10 action on Monday. Jesus felt that Leite's recent start in the Taca de Portugal against Paredes was not a real test for the keeper and since he is unfamiliar with Leite, he felt that the Rangers encounter would be an ideal test for Benfica's current back up. Jesus also added that even if Leite was the best player on the field today, Vlachodimos would be back in net against Maritimo. Benfica added Leite during the summer window after being linked with the 30 year old keeper for some time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Benfica in crisis as nine players out of Europa League

Benfica Blog
Benfica are in crisis mode as a total of nine of the clubs players are set to miss their Europa League encounter against Rangers on Thursday with a mix of injuries and illness. Manager Jorge Jesus is scrabbling to piece together a squad by adding some of the clubs B team players to the main roster. Benfica will be without Darwin Nunez, Julian Weigl and Taarabt all due to COVID-19 as the trio have all tested positive for the virus. The club also have Andre Almeida, Nuno Tavares, Todibo and Pedrinho out of action with injuries, while center back Otamendi is out of action due to red card received during their last meeting against Rangers. Benfica are also unable to use the services of midfielder Samaris due to the fact that the club did not register him as an option for the Europa League competition. Benfica look set to start a strike combo of Seferovic and Waldschmidt for the first time this season when the club travels to Glasgow and expect team captain Jardel to play along side Vertonghen in the center of the back four. Benfica take on Rangers Thursday at 8pm WEST in the battle for top spot in their group.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Benfica linked to Famalicao defensive midfielder once again

Benfica Blog
Benfica are once again linked to Famalicao's defensive midfielder Goncalo Assuncao, as they look to strengthen their defensive play in the back end. Some may be wondering why the club is looking at a position that they had someone in place to play the role before loaning him out, in Florentino Luis but current club manager Jorge Jesus is not only looking for a defensive midfielder but one that can form one half of a midfield pair in which he felt Florentino was not capable of doing. Assuncao has also been linked with FC Porto and French side Nice and is the son of former FC Porto midfielder Paulo Assuncao and has a contract with Famalicao until the summer of 2025. Assuncao also has a €50M buy out clause that will make any negotiation difficult for any of the interested parties but Jesus has asked club President Vieira to make Assuncao a priority come January.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Benfica pair test positive for COVID-19

Benfica Blog
Benfica have been dealt a possible blow to their League and UEFA campaigns as both striker Darwin Nunez and midfielder Julian Weigl have tested positive for COVID-19 the club announced today. Nunez has spent the last two weeks with the Uruguayan national team where there was an outbreak of COVID-19 that effected players and staff, Nunez more then likely caught the virus from this outbreak. While Weigl remained in Lisbon during the international break and it is unknown how Weigl may have caught the virus. The two players will now be out of action indefinitely until they return a negative test for COVID-19.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Benfica part of group looking at next Ronaldo

Benfica Blog
Benfica are linked to what some in the football world are calling the new Cristiano Ronaldo and that is Hungarian midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai who currently applies his trade with Austrian side RB Salzburg. According to 90 minutes, Benfica are on the long list of clubs that includes Bayern Munich, PSG and Real Madrid who are looking to make a move for the Hungarian International. The 20 year old has been a member of Salzburg since January 2018 and has appeared in 74 games across all competitions for the Austrian club, scoring 22 goals while adding 33 helpers. Szoboszlai's play this season in the Champions League is one of the main reasons he has caught the attention of some of Europe's bigger clubs with Salzburg looking for a minimum €25M to start discussions on Szoboszlai's departure.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Benfica open to move for LAFC winger

Benfica Blog
Benfica are being linked with Los Angeles FC winger Brian Rodriguez from North America's Major League Soccer League according to reports coming from Portugal. The 20 year old winger has been on Benfica's radar for a bit of time and the club looks set to make a formal offer to LAFC during the next transfer window. Body Armor's annual 22 under 22 player rankings has Rodriguez as the second best ranked player in this category and reported that Rodriguez has devastating 1 on 1 skills and is elite at chance creations. Rodriguez who is in his second season with LAFC has appeared in 32 games across all competitions for the club, scoring three goals while setting up eight. Rodriguez also made his national team debut with Uruguay in September 2019 and has scored three goals in eight appearances. This display has caught the attention of many of Europe's clubs and Benfica is not alone in their interest of the Uruguayan international.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Benfica linked with Red Star youngster

Benfica Blog
Benfica are being linked to Red Star Belgrade's 18 year old winger Andrija Radulovic according to site todofichajes. Radulovic has been labelled the "New Shaqiri" in Serbia, a reference to the Swiss International Xherdan Shaqiri. Benfica are not alone in their interest of the U19 Serbian International as Inter Milan and Valencia are two clubs mentioned to be also keeping a close eye on Radulovic. Thanks to the current world pandemic of COVID-19, Radulovic is said to be available by Red Star for a bargain price of around €1.5M, the 18 year has appeared in 8 senior games with Red Star over the past two seasons, scoring on one occasion.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Jorge Jesus asks Vieira for Mineiro right back

Benfica Blog
Benfica manager Jorge Jesus is looking to add to the right side of his back four and has reached out to President Luis Filipe Vieira to make a move for Atletico Mineiro's Guga when the transfer window re-opens in January. Jesus has not been impressed by the play of summer signing Gilberto who he has been forced into action after the injury suffered to starting right back Andre Almeida. Jesus has also been working with youngster Diogo Goncalves in the role of right back from his usual wing position but the youngster is still a ways from getting a grasp of the new position. Jesus knows Guga from his time at Flamengo and feels that the 22 year old would strengthen a position that the clubs manager feels is one of his weakest. Guga joined Mineiro in January of 2019 and has appeared in 47 games across all competitions, scoring once. Mineiro is said to want €6M to depart with the services of their starting right back.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Benfica goals against has not been seen in 74 years

Benfica Blog
Benfica for the first time in 74 years have allowed three goals in three consecutive games after suffering two league defeats to Boavista 3-0 and Braga 3-2 and drawing with Rangers in the Europa League 3-3. The last time this happened was in 1946 when Benfica lost three consecutive games to Sporting 3-1, FC Porto 3-2 and Estoril 6-3. Benfica has also conceded 9 league goals after 7 rounds of play, the last time they let this many goals was during the 2001/02 season, when they had conceded 10 goals at the same stage of the season. Benfica finished in fourth spot that season. Benfica manager Jorge Jesus stated at his press conference after the Braga loss that he is not use to such poor results and will need to work with the squad during the international break to turn things around.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Darwin hopes for two year stay at Benfica

Benfica Blog
Summer signing Darwin Nunez who is off to a great start with his new side Benfica has let it be known through his agent Edgardo Lasalvia that he is enjoying his stay with the club and hopes to remain with the Lisbon side for at least two seasons. Nunez became Benfica's all time record signing when the club acquired the player from Spanish side Almeria for €24M in September and wisely added a €150M buy out clause to the Uruguayan strikers contract.

Nunez's hot start to his Benfica career has already caught the attention of Spanish giants Barcelona and English side Man City, with more clubs surely set to inquire about the 21 year olds availability as the season goes on. Nunez has scored five goals and set up six others in his first ten games with the club across all competitions. Benfica fans can thank Edinson Cavani, another Uruguayan striker who turned down the clubs advances which lead them to turn to Nunez as their secondary option. A move that now looks set to pay the club a huge dividend down the road.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Rui Costa in isolation due to COVID-19

Benfica Blog
Benfica legend and newly elected club vice president Rui Costa is in isolation due to recent contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Costa was not in the stands during today's 3-3 draw between Benfica and Rangers in Europa League action and it was disclosed that Costa took the initiative to quarantine himself after learning that he had been in contact with the positive COVID-19 person. Costa will also not be in the stands when Benfica host Braga this upcoming weekend before the International break.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Brazilian trio still adapting to European football

Benfica Blog
The newly acquired Brazilian trio this summer are all adapting to the style of game played in Europe from their homeland as the season continues to move forward. Brazilians, Everton, Gabriel and Pedrinho all joined the club during the summer transfer window for a combined €40M and all three have yet to make their mark this season. Benfica manager Jorge Jesus feels that the trio has a lot of talent between them but have yet to reach their potential as they adjust to the more demanding European game which provides less space to work with and more defensive responsibility.
Everton who is a regular for the Brazilian national side is the only one of the trio who has played regular minutes and also the only one to have scored across all competitions while chipping in five helpers. Gilberto has only started to play regularly with the injury to starting right back Andre Almeida, while Pedrinho has played the least minutes of the three and thus far been the least impressive. The Brazilians will continue to work with manager Jesus as they learn his system and what is required in European football as they look to help the club succeed this season.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Jorge Jesus has talk with Gabriel about attitude

Benfica Blog
Benfica manager Jorge Jesus was unimpressed by the reaction he received from midfielder Gabriel upon the players substitution in the clubs recent Europa League game against Standard Liege. Jesus substituted Gabriel at the 72nd minute of the game and the midfielder was unhappy with being taken off the pitch. What was followed was harsh words from the Benfica manager towards the midfielder that had Rui Costa intervene to calm the mood but the two would sit and talk about the situation and Jesus made it clear to the player that he would be let off with a warning and that any further bad behavior will result in a fine and possible suspension from the club. Jesus expects that Gabriel will not be a problem again going forward and that he understands what is expected from him by the manager and club.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Benfica score flurry of second half goals in Europa League win

Benfica Blog
Benfica needed to get into the second half to open the scoring and added an additional two goals in 3-0 victory over Standard Liege in Europa League play. Benfica dominated the majority of the first half holding the visitors to no shots on goal but were unable to get on the scoresheet in front of a small home crowd for the first time since the pandemic hit. Benfica would open the scoring just four minutes into the second half when Waldschmidt was taken down in the box by Liege defender Bope. Pizzi would step up to the dot and make no mistake beating Liege keeper Bodart low and to the left. Benfica would then double their lead at the 66 minute mark from the penalty spot once again when left back Nuno Tavares was taken down in the box by Liege right back Collins. 

In a surprising move striker Waldschmidt would step up to take the penalty instead of regular spot taker Pizzi and the young German did not disappoint burying the ball into the high top right corner. Benfica would add one more just ten minutes later as Pizzi would score his second of the game off a deflected that would get past the keeper. This game would also mark Diogo Goncalves' debut in the right back spot, a position that the 23 year old has been working on during training since the arrival of Jesus to the club. Benfica will next host Rangers in a battle for top spot in their respective group on November 5.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Alex Grimaldo done for the year with injury

Benfica Blog
Alex Grimaldo suffered an injury in yesterdays league game against Belenenses and is set to miss the remainder of 2020. Grimaldo suffered a severe sprain to his left ankle on a sliding tackle to stop a Belenenses attack and was immediately substituted. Benfica will turn to youngster Nuno Tavares and also have the option of using Franco Cervi in the position if needed. Grimaldo is the second regular starter set to miss an extended amount of time with an injury joining right back Andre Almeida.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Benfica getting ready to host fans for first time since pandemic

Benfica Blog
Benfica will be allowed to host fans for the first time since the shut down in March due to the current world pandemic when they host Standard Liege in Europa League action Thursday. On October 17 Benfica received authorization from the Ministry of Health and the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) to allow for 7.5% of Estadio da Luz's capacity (65,000), this means Benfica will be able to have 4,875 fans in the stands. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow exclusively to club members and can only be purchased online to avoid cluster of fans getting together to purchase tickets. This will be Benfica's first home game with fans since their league home game against Moreirense on March 2.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Its Darwin, Darwin, Darwin in Europa League action

Benfica Blog
Benfica opened their Europa League campaign in Poland with a 4-2 victory over Lech Poznan as last seasons second place clubs in their respective leagues squared off. Benfica opened the scoring just eight minutes into the encounter as Pizzi converted from the penalty spot after a hand ball in the area by defender Tomasz Dejewski. Pizzi's opening goal was the first goal of the competition, thus enshrining the midfielder into the UEFA history books as the first scorer of the 2020-21 Europa League.

Poznan brought the game to level just six minutes later when a low left footed shot from striker Mikael Ishak inside the six yard box found the bottom left corner. Benfica would regain the lead just before the half when right back Gilberto's cross found the head of striker Darwin Nunez as the Uruguayan scored his first goal in Benfica colours and first in a European competition. The lead was once agian short lived as just two minutes into the start of the second half Ishak would strike once again on a rebound to level the game 2-2.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Benfica squad for Lech Poznan Europa League clash

Benfica Blog
Benfica have their squad set for their Europa League group game opener against Lech Poznan tomorrow as the club travels to Poland. Benfica takes on Poznan at 12:55pm WEST and Jorge Jesus will select 20 players from the list below to dress and will be allowed five substitutions during game action.

Keepers - Vlachodimos, Helton Leite, Mile Svilar

Defenders- Alex Grimaldo, Nicolas Otamendi, Jan Vertonghen, Gilberto, Nuno Tavares, Jardel, Ferro

Midfielders- Gabriel, Pizzi, Julian Weigl, Pedrinho, Taarabt, Everton, Chiquinho, Franco Cervi, Diogo Goncalves, Rafa Silva

Forwards- Darwin Nunez, Seferovic, Waldschmidt, Goncalo Ramos

Monday, October 19, 2020

Andre Almeida suffers serious injury to knee

Benfica Blog
Benfica right back Andre Almeida looks set to miss an extended period of time due to a knee injury suffered in yesterdays club victory over Rio Ave. Almeida was stretchered off the field just 13 minutes into the game with what the club is describing as a sprain to his right knee that has caused a rupture to the anterior cruciate ligament and the inner collateral ligament. The 30 year old continues to be accompanied by Benfica's medical team which is following all the recommended protocols for dealing with the injury. Almeida has been Benfica's starting right back since the 2015-16 season and with no timeline yet released for the length of time that Almeida will miss, Jorge Jesus will need to turn to summer acquisition Gilberto to fill Almeida's role. Jesus has also been working with midfielder Diogo Goncalves in training at the right back spot and could give the youngster a chance going forward.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Benfica in talks with Gremio for striker loan move

Benfica Blog
Benfica are currently in talks with Gremio about a loan move of striker Facundo Ferreyra to the Brazilian side for the season according to reports from Portugal. Benfica have been looking for a home for Ferreyra ever since the end of his one and a half season loan spell with Espanyol and the 29 year old Ferreyra continues to train separately from the main squad at Seixal. Ferreyra knows that a move to Gremio will give him the opportunity to get some regular minutes this season as the Brazilian transfer window does not close until November 9. Ferreyra is one of the higher salary earners at Benfica and after the acquisition during the summer of Everton Cebolina from Gremio, Benfica hope that the Brazilian side will continue the warm relations. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Benfica players registered for Europa League

Benfica Blog
Benfica have released their player list for the Europa League which will commence on October 22 and conclude on December 10 after six games of group action. Benfica will be in a group with Lech Poznan, Rangers and Standard Liege.

Benfica registered the following 25 players with UEFA for the round of games along with a B list:

Keepers: Vlachodimos, Helton Leite, Mile Svilar, Samuel Soares*

Defenders: Andre Almeida, Gilberto, Otamendi, Jan Vertonghen, Ferro, Jardel, Todibo, Alex Grimaldo, Nuno Tavares, Frimpong*, Tomas Araujo*, Joao Ferreira*, Pedro Ganches*, Filipe Cruz*

Midfielders: Pizzi, Gabriel, Taarabt, Julian Weigl, Rafa Silva, Everton, Pedrinho, Franco Cervi, Diogo Goncalves, Paulo Bernardo*, Umaro Embalo*, Tiago Araujo *, Rafael Brito*, Ronaldo Camara*

Forwards: Darwin Nunez, Seferovic, Waldschmidt, Goncalo Ramos*, Henrique Araujo*

* Notes B List player



October 22 at Lech Poznan

October 29 vs Standard Liege

November 5 vs Rangers

November 22 at Rangers

December 3 vs Lech Poznan

December 10 at Standard Liege

Monday, October 12, 2020

Benfica have not given up on Santos defender

Benfica Blog
Benfica have not given up on landing Santos central defender Lucas Verissimo and are looking to make a move once the transfer window opens up again in January. Benfica were heavily linked with a move for Verissimo but the clubs did not come to an agreement on price with rivals FC Porto also getting into the mix hoping to snatch the defender from under Benfica's noses. The 25 year old Verissimo has been linked with a move to join manager Jorge Jesus since his time at Flamengo and the Lisbon side will work hard to make sure this happens in January.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Gremio intersted in Benfica's Franco Cervi

Benfica Blog
Brazilian side Gremio have interest in Benfica midfielder Franco Cervi but have yet not contacted the club about the Argentinian midfielder. Gremio President Romildon Bolzan Junior admitted as much on program Caju Tricolor. Junior knows well Cervi's current situation at the club were he is not in Jorge Jesus plans for the upcoming season and mentioned Cervi's time with former club Rosario Central. The Gremio side is preparing a formal offer to Benfica for the 26 year old who is signed with Benfica until the summer of 2023. Cervi joined Benfica back in the summer of 2016 and has appeared in 151 games across all competitions, scoring twenty goals while setting up another twenty five. Benfica are said to be looking at around €15M to move on from Cervi and are not interested in releasing the player on loan.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Could Facundo Ferreyra get another chance at Benfica?

Benfica Blog

With Benfica unable to find a squad to take on striker Facundo Ferreyra, the Eagles have registered the 29 year old Argentinian with the league as the club moves forward with the season. Ferreyra was acquired by Benfica on a free transfer in the summer of 2018 after he had just finished a 28 goal campaign with Ukraine champions Shakhtar Donetsk but Ferreyra's time at Benfica was short lived with the player appearing in only nine games across all competitions, scoring once before departing on an eighteen month loan deal with Espanyol.

Ferreyra did not fair much better in his loan spell scoring nine times in 36 games across all competitions with six of those goals coming in Europa League qualifying against lesser opponents. The former Ukrainian golden boot winner seems to have lost confidence and form but could he be another Jorge Jesus reclamation project? Although Ferreyra's league registration could be just a formality, Ferreyra is currently striker number four on the clubs depth chart and an injury or two could see Ferreyra back on the pitch with the club.

Ferreyra will arrive from Barcelona were he was awaiting a move and work at the training center were he should be presented with a training regiment from the technical team as he prepares to rejoin the squad. The striker who earns around €2M per season declined offers to join clubs in the Middle East and China and now awaits a chance to prove to the club, the manager and himself that he is not a has been.


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Is Jesus to blame for the Seixal exodus?

Benfica Blog
The exodus of Benfica academy players since the return of Jorge Jesus to Benfica has a lot of Benfica fans in arms as the academies best players move to find playing time elsewhere with the veteran manager not interested in providing any minutes with the main squad as he looks to more seasoned players to fill those roles. Benfica fans fear that even though the majority of loans do not include buy options at their conclusion, most of these players will never don the clubs jersey again a la Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo. 

Many fans recall Jesus' last run with the club and although successful the clubs youth system took a hit in development and reward with many of the academies big names providing a smaller financial return, when you look at Bernardo's and Cancelo's sales, which amounted to a combined €30M. Would the likes of Ruben Dias, Nelson Semedo, Renato Sanches, Victor Lindelof, Goncalo Guedes or Joao Felix have been so successful with the club if Jesus was on the sidelines? Would these six have provided the club with an infusion of €330M in sales with Jesus patrolling the club?

These are all questions that we look at with the current exodus of the academies best players via loan. Benfica have loaned defensive midfielder Florentino Luis to Monaco, winger Jota to Real Valladolid, right back Tomas Tavares to Alaves, center back Pedro Alvaro to Belenenses, attacking midfielder David Tavares to Moreirense and the clubs most talented prospect Tiago Dantas to Bayern Munich with the last loan deal unknown if a buy clause is included or not. The clubs current crown jewel, striker Goncalo Ramos is still with the club but will he be utilized or squandered by Jesus, this question is still unknown and the answer to this question could see the white towels arrive outside the stadium quicker then any would anticipate and this could be a first for a club that may just be sitting atop the league. So is Jesus to blame for the Seixal exodus? The fans will answer that shortly.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Benfica center backs look old and broken

Benfica Blog

Benfica have moved on from their young starting center back and Portugal international this week when Ruben Dias was sold to Man City for €68M. Benfica replaced Dias with a slow aging veteran in Nicolas Otamendi, who got his first start for Benfica alongside another aging veteran in Jardel who was in replacing another aging veteran in Jan Vertonghen who is already out with an injury, suffered in Week 2 of action. Get the idea? The three center backs aged 34 (Jardel), 33 (Vertonghen) and 32 (Otamendi), could make this a very long season for the Lisbon side all on the account of Jesus and his insistence on veteran center backs. 

The issue has now gotten more complicated when Jardel was replaced in the second half of today's game by Ferro after suffering another injury to the long list of injuries that have kept the Benfica captain out of the lineup on a regular basis the past few seasons. Ferro who is the only young body at age 23 on this current Benfica squad that plays center back, just only a few weeks ago was being mentioned as a player not needed by Jesus and set to leave the club on loan. Benfica currently have only two center backs healthy in Otamendi and Ferro and will need to look at making a move in the transfer market to shore up the back line with none of its current B squad players ready to play a pivotal role with the club this season.

The one name that continues to be linked to Benfica is former Jesus player Ruben Semedo. The 26 year old Olympiacos defender is said to want to make the move to Benfica but both clubs continue to dance around when it comes to the sale price with Benfica not wanting to get close to the €15M asking price. The club may not have a choice but to bite the bullet as it sits one injury away from having to move Samaris or Weigl to the center back position on a full time basis. Benfica could also look within the Portuguese League with the transfer window remaining open until October 25 in Portugal and turn to Rio Ave's Toni Borevkovic or Famalicao's Riccieli if they are looking to spend under €5M to shore up the spot with a young talented player as the current old and broken center backs seems to be a flawed approach.