Friday, January 31, 2020

Benfica moves on final transfer day for majority of Europe

Benfica Blog
In what was the final transfer day for the majority of European leagues with Portugal being an exception as their transfer window closes on Sunday, Benfica were involved in a few moves as the transfer window wrapped up. Benfica opened the day acquiring striker Dyego Sousa on loan from Chinese club Shenzhen FC until the end of 2020, filling a hole in the striker spot that was caused when the club sold Raul de Tomas earlier this month to Spanish side Espanyol.

Benfica would then end the loan spell of midfielder Chris Willock at West Brom and move the youngster to Huddersfield Town with the player on loan until the end of the season. Benfica then made some minor moves acquiring 19 year olds Diogo Almeida from Pacos Ferreira for an undisclosed amount and Derlis Mereles from Rubio Nu on loan. Benfica also continue in negotiations for Boavista keeper Helton Leite and with Corinthians for midfielder Pedrinho looking to wrap up the deals by Sunday.

Benfica hang on for win against Belenenses

Benfica Blog
Benfica continued their winning ways in the Portuguese League with a 3-2 victory over Lisbon rivals Belenenses in Week 19 action. Bruno Lage made one change to last weekends Week 18 squad resting midfielder Gabriel and starting Taarabt in his place. Benfica got two first half goals from Carlos Vinicius on a great solo effort and the other from Taarabt who fired home an Andre Almeida header from a corner kick for his first league goal of the season. Benfica went into the half with a comfortable 2-0 lead but Belenenses came out harder in the second half and cut the lead to one goal when Lica would flick in a low cross. Benfica would though regain the two goal lead just minutes later as Carlos Vinicius would send in substitute Chiquinho in alone and he would dance around the keeper for his first league goal of the season. Belenenses though would keep fighting and were awarded a penalty when Rafa Silva would take down Varela inside the box. Lica would score his second of the game just getting the ball past an out stretched Vlachodimos but that would be as close as Belenenses would get as Benfica would hang on for the victory. Benfica will now travel to Porto next weekend as they get set to take on FC Porto in the Classico, were a Benfica win over second place Porto could put this league season in their hands.

Benfica squad announced for Belenenses encounter

Benfica Blog
Benfica are in action at home for Week 19 as they get set to take on city rivals Belenenses. Benfica currently have a seven point lead over second place FC Porto and will look to keep it that way. Benfica will play Belenenses today at 7pm WEST and they will dress 18 players from the list below.
Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

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

Midfielders- Chiquinho, Pizzi, Taarabt, Franco Cervi, Julian Weigl, Rafa Silva, Gabriel

Forwards- Carlos Vinicius, Seferovic, Jota

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Benfica look to bring Portuguese striker home

Benfica Blog
Benfica are looking into bringing home Portuguese International Dyego Sousa from Chinese club Shenzhen FC before the transfer window closes on Sunday in Portugal as they look for a replacement striker to fill the number three role with the departure of Raul de Tomas. Benfica currently have two strikers on their roster in Carlos Vinicius and Haris Seferovic and are looking for insurance in case of injury to their front two as they look to win another Portuguese League championship. Benfica were linked with Sousa during the summer transfer window just before he was sold by Braga to Shenzhen for a bargain price of €5.4M. Benfica are in talks with Shenzhen about a loan for Sousa who has appeared in 10 games this season for the Chinese club, scoring on three occasions while also adding three helpers in 778 minutes of action. The 30 year old dual citizen is very famaliar with Portugal after first arriving in 2007 to join Madeira club Nacional. Sousa earned his first two caps with Portugal in 2019 and was a member of Portugal's Nations League 2019 winning squad. Sousa has appeared in 112 first division games during his Portugal playing career, scoring 42 goals and finished fifth last season in league scoring with 15 goals.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Benfica has a busy day with signings and potential moves

Benfica Blog
Benfica ended a busy day in the transaction front as the transfer window is set to close for many of Europe's top leagues on January 31, while the Portuguese League window closes on February 2. Benfica started the day with the signing of youngster Jota to a new contract that takes him into the end of the 2023/24 season, the deal includes a raise for the 20 year old and Benfica have increased his buyout clause to €88M. 
Benfica was then linked with a few moves in the transfer market, the first is a move for Corinthians winger Pedrinho with the players agent rumoured to currently be in Lisbon discussing terms with Benfica President Luis Filipe Vieira. The second link was a move out of Benfica for winger Franco Cervi to Mexican club Tigres. Benfica was also linked again with Boavista keeper Helton Leite as the look for a veteran keeper to back up current starter Vlachodimos. Benfica ended the day announcing the loan move of midfielder Ljubomir Fejsa to Spanish side Alaves until seasons end, Fejsa last appeared in a competitive game for Benfica on October 2 when the club traveled to Russia for a Champions League encounter against Zenit. The next 72 hours should be an exciting time for Benfica fans as the club looks to finalize any late moves to strengthen the club in their push towards the second half of the season.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Benfica make a decision on Florentino to Milan

Benfica Blog
Benfica have made a decision about young defensive midfielder Florentino when it comes to a loan move during the transfer window to Italian club AC Milan and that is that the Lisbon side will hang onto the 20 year old at least until season end. The two sides have been heavily linked over the past ten days with reports stating that Florentino would head to Milan on an 18 month loan deal with an option to buy for €40M, but Benfica manager Bruno Lage has no interest in seeing Florentino leave the club and has had discussions with Benfica President LFV about this. Florentino who signed a new contract over the summer with a buy out clause of €120M has not appeared in a league game for Benfica since early November and has appeared in 13 games across all competitions this season. Florentino was a key member of last seasons second half squad, who over turned a seven point deficit to win the Portuguese League but with the recent acquisition of Julian Weigl, Florentino's playing time will be greatly reduced. Benfica are set to sit with Florentino to discuss their expectations from the youngster as they look to win another league championship.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Benfica should land striker from Portuguese League

Benfica Blog
Benfica are still looking for a striker to replace the recently departed Raul de Tomas and with the club being linked to various strikers outside Portugal it may just be time that Benfica take a look within the Portuguese league to add a third string striker in case of injuries to current strikers Carlos Vinicius and Haris Seferovic. 
The clubs current strikers on the B squad are both under the age of 21 and without any minutes in the top league for either, the club would be taking a big risk if they do not shore up the position with half a season in front of them. A move for a striker within the league would land the club with a player who is famaliar with the style of  league play and also not break the bank. There are a handful of strikers that Benfica can turn to that are having respectable seasons for their current respective clubs, some of the names that come to mind are Rio Ave's Taremi, Gil Vicente's Sandro Lima, Aves' Mohammadi and Famalicao youngsters Anderson Silva and Toni Martinez.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Benfica perfect run continues in win over Pacos

Benfica Blog
Benfica continued their perfect run in the Portuguese league season with their victory over Pacos Ferreira and have yet to drop points away from home at a perfect 9-0-0. The starting eleven saw a change by Bruno Lage with Rafa Silva taking over for Chiquinho in the secondary striker role behind Carlos Vinicius. The change would work to perfection with Rafa looking more dangerous in the opening 30 minutes then Chiquinho has in the last ten games. Benfica thought the had opened the scoring just twenty minutes into the game when Pizzi would tap in a Carlos Vinicius cross but VAR incorrectly called Vinicius offside and the game remained scoreless until a perfect pass by central defender Ruben Dias found Rafa Silva who would score his third goal since returning from injury at the 38th minute mark. Pizzi almost doubled the lead before the half but Pacos keeper Ricardo made a spectacular stop to keep the game within one. Carlos Vinicius though would double the lead just two minutes into the second half tapping in a Rafa Silva low cross into the box. The teams would not score again as Benfica open the second half of the season with a victory to open up a ten point lead atop Portugal with second place Porto yet to play their Week 18 game. Benfica will next host Belenenses at the Estadio da Luz in Week 19 action.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Benfica squad for Pacos Ferreira announced

Benfica Blog
Benfica kick off the second half of the season on the road against Pacos Ferreira. Benfica will look to maintain their lead atop Portugal as they travel to the northern Portugal club. Benfica will play Pacos Ferreira tomorrow at 5:30pm WEST and they will dress 18 players from the list below.
Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

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

Midfielders- Chiquinho, Pizzi, Taarabt, Franco Cervi, Samaris, Julian Weigl, Rafa Silva, Gabriel

Forwards- Carlos Vinicius, Seferovic, Jota

Friday, January 24, 2020

Benfica continue pursuit of players, turn to Lyon's Cornet

Benfica Blog
Benfica continue their search to add gifted offensive players to their current squad and with the recent departures of Raul de Tomas and Caio Lucas, the club have room on their roster to add a player that they feel can help the club going forward. Benfica's attention is currently on Lyon's 23 year old winger Maxwel Cornet according to reports coming from France dailies. Lyon who are now the front runners to land the services of Benfica midfield target Bruno Guimaraes for a reported €25M+ from Brazilian side Athletico Paranaense are said to be looking to add funds to their war chest in pursuit of Guimaraes and are open to listening to offers for the Ivory Coast International. Cornet joined Lyon in the winter of 2015 from French club Metz for a mere €400K and has appeared in 198 career games for Lyon across all competitions, scoring 45 goals while adding 23 assists over that same span. Cornet who is primarily a right winger can also play on the left side of the field and as a striker when needed. Benfica see Cornet in the role that Eduardo Salvio occupied with the club over the past few years before his summer departure to Boca Juniors and would give the club an option on the wing if and when they decide to use a 4-3-3 formation. No purchase price for Cornet has been reported but Benfica could expect to pay a transfer fee in the €15M-€20M range for his services.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Benfica loan Caio Lucas to Al Sharjah

Benfica Blog
Caio Lucas' stay at Benfica was a short one after joining the club in the summer on a free transfer from Al-Ain, Benfica have loaned Lucas back to U.A.E. this time with Al Sharjah for 18 months with an option to buy for €10M. Benfica will also receive €1.5M from the Emirates club for the loan spell. The 25 year old Lucas appeared in only eleven games for Benfica across all competitions, scoring once and assisting on another in 317 minutes of action this season. Lucas continued to fall down the pecking order with the club in many cases not even ending up on the substitutes bench. Al Sharajah are hoping that Lucas can regain the form he displayed with Al-Ain during his three seasons as a member of the club.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Alaves lead race to land Benfica's Fejsa

Benfica Blog
Spanish side Alaves are the leading contenders to land Benfica's little used midfielder Ljubomir Fejsa according to reports coming from Portugal. Fejsa who has appeared in only five games across all competitions for Benfica this season has also been linked with Turkish clubs Sivasspor and Fenerbahce, he last appeared on the field for Benfica in early October. The recent acquisition of German midfielder Julian Weigl during this transfer period has made the 31 year old Serbian expandable and with manager Bruno Lage's preference on smaller squads this should mean that Fejsa will depart before the winter transfer window closes. The clubs have not agreed if the move would be permanent or if Benfica will loan Fejsa until the end of the season with an option to make the deal permanent. Fejsa joined Benfica in the summer of 2013 from Olympiacos and has appeared in 168 games across all competitions scoring twice, the defensive midfield wizard though has spent more and more time in recent seasons in the clubs infirmary dealing with a long list of injuries. Fejsa has won 13 trophies in his time at Benfica with five of those being league championships.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Benfica mid-season awards by Senhor Benfica

Benfica Blog
The Portuguese League season has hit it's midway point with Benfica currently sitting atop the league with a seven point lead over second place FC Porto. I would like to take this time in the season to hand out my mid-season awards to the teams players in a variety of categories, so here goes:

Goal of the Season

Nuno Tavares
 The youngster has appeared in only 3 leagues games but his first career goal was a bomb from outside the box to get the season going.

Best Defender

Ruben Dias
Dias has been a rock all season in Benfica's back four, he is a big part of why the club has earned 12 clean sheets in the first half of the season, he has 40 clearances and 18 interceptions during the season.

Best Playmaker

Alex Grimaldo
Benfica's left back has stepped up again this season adding six assists while taking most of the clubs important free kicks, his 769 accurate pass completions leads the club at the halfway mark.

Best Newcomer

Carlos Vinicius
Vinicius was not the striker that the clubs fans were all excited about when the season commenced but he has stepped up to take over the starting striker role and sits second in the league with 10 goals, scoring a goal in every 69 minutes of action.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Benfica turn to Boavista keeper Helton to shore up position

Benfica Blog
Benfica continue to look for a keeper to shore up the position and rumours from Portugal have the club eyeing Boavista keeper Helton Leite. Benfica have been after a keeper since the summer when their deal for Juventus keeper Mattia Perin fell through as they look for a more veteran presence with Ivan Zlobin and Mile Svilar both under the age of 22. Helton who is 29 joined Boavista in the summer of 2018 from Brazilian side Botafogo and has appeared in 28 games for the club across all competitions but only in four games this season after suffering a ligament rupture in February 2019 that kept him out of the lineup until this past September. In his absence Boavista have turned over the number one role to veteran keeper Rafael Bracali and Benfica feel that Helton would be an excellent option behind current keeper Vlachodimos. A move for Helton would free up the club to loan current back up Zlobin to another side for more playing time as Benfica see the 22 youngster as the clubs potential number one keeper down the line.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Benfica win Derby with late Rafa Silva goals

Benfica Blog
Benfica went into the Estadio Jose Alvalade knowing that the first half of the Portuguese League season would end with them in the top spot in the league, but it could be by as little as one point depending on how the day would unfold. The first part of the day could not have gone better for Benfica as Sporting Braga earned a major away win over second place FC Porto 2-1 which guaranteed that Benfica would be up by four or more points into the first turn of the season. Benfica would then go into their game against their cross town rivals looking for all three points as they worked to widen their league lead over FC Porto.

Benfica would kick off the game with the first real scoring chance when league scoring leader Pizzi's left footed shot from the right side of the box was saved by Sporting keeper Maximiano at the 11 minute mark. Sporting would come right back with a chance just of their own just a minute later as Rafael Camacho hit the right side of the post after being sent in by Bruno Fernandes. Benfica would then just miss opening the scoring as a Gabriel header off of a corner kick would take a bounce off the grass before being palmed over the bar by the Sporting keeper midway through the first half. Benfica continued to press looking for the opening goal and would get another chance to open the scoring off of a corner once again but this time Ferro would send his header sailing wide over the bar. Sporting's Camacho would get and miss his second scoring chance of the half when he would send his header right into the arms of Benfica keeper Vlachodimos. Then just moments later Sporting striker Phellype thought he had opened the scoring for the home side at the 35th minute but his strike was called back for offside and replays showed the 26 year old was ahead of everyone by a good foot. Sporting looked to gain confidence as the half reached its conclusion and Bolasie's left footed shot from in close was turned away by Vlachodimos to keep the game scoreless going into the half.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Benfica squad named for Lisbon Derby against Sporting

Benfica Blog
Benfica finish the first half of the season against Lisbon rivals Sporting in the Lisbon Derby at Sporting's Estadio Jose Alvalade tonight. Benfica and Sporting's heated rivalry will add another nugget to its history and be the talk of all the major stations and papers in Portugal over the days to come. Benfica will play Sporting at 9:15pm WEST and they will dress 18 players from the list below.
Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin 

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

Midfielders- Chiquinho, Pizzi, Taarabt, Franco Cervi, Samaris, Florentino, Julian Weigl, Rafa Silva, Gabriel, Caio Lucas

Forwards- Carlos Vinicius, Seferovic

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Gedson loan move to Tottenham complete

Benfica Blog
Tottenham have finally landed their first player in the Jose Mourinho era making Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes his first acquisition since taking over at the club. Tottenham land Gedson from Benfica on an 18 month loan with an option to purchase the player at any time for €50M, Benfica are also reported to be receiving €4.5M as a fee for the loan of Gedson for the extended period of time. The 21 year old midfielder was struggling to find playing time at Benfica this season and was keen for a move to a club that would provide this option for him. Gedson has appeared in only 13 contests for Benfica across all competitions this season, adding just one helper. Gedson who made his Benfica debut last season has appeared in a total of 59 games across all competitions for the club, scoring three goals with seven helpers. Benfica are leaning towards Mourinho molding the Seixal product into a reliable and regular midfield option for the Spurs with the hope of the club exercising the €50M option adding to Benfica's growing sales chest.

Benfica have let it be known that they want Braga youngster

Benfica Blog
Benfica President Luis Filipe Vieira has made it known to Braga President Antonio Salvador that the club will be all in on 20 year old winger Francisco Trincao when the summer transfer window opens in 2020. The two club Presidents held discussions about Trincao during the teams round of 16 encounter in the Taca de Portugal last December and Salvador has made it clear that he will not move Trincao without the players buy out clause of €30M being met having already turned away Newcastle and Atalanta this month. A product of Braga's youth system since 2011, Trincao made his main squad debut last season at the tender age of 18 appearing in 8 games across all competitions. Trincao has been used more frequently by Braga this season having already appeared in 17 games across all competitions scoring twice while adding four helpers. The €30M price tag on Trincao would set a new club record for Benfica in the acquisition of a player but Benfica could look at making this move a cash and player(s) deal to lower the price and hope that their good relationship with the northern Portugal club will be result in a deal beneficial to both clubs.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Benfica come from behind to advance to Taca semis

Benfica Blog
Benfica will appear in the Taca de Portugal for the second consecutive year after their come from behind victory over Rio Ave at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon. Benfica who fell behind early when Rio Ave's Lucas Piazon scored just four minutes into the contest on a brilliant free kick, brought the game level when striker Carlos Vinicius found a streaking Franco Cervi who's high shot got past Setubal  keeper Paulo Vitor. Rio Ave would regain the lead at the 31st minute as Diogo Figueiras would find a just onside Taremi who's header would get past Benfica keeper Zlobin. Benfica would fight from behind until substitute striker Seferovic's low shot would find the back of the net from a Vinicius head pass and Benfica would once again bring it level at the 64 minute mark. Seferovic would then give Benfica the lead for good just seven minutes later scoring his second of the contest from a Pizzi pass and Benfica would hang on for the 3-2 victory. Benfica will now await the winner of the Famalicao/Pacos Ferreira encounter to find out their opponent in the two leg semi-final match.

Benfica squad for Rio Ave Taca de Portugal encounter

Benfica Blog
Benfica are set to host a quarter final encounter later today against Rio Ave as they look to advance to the semi-finals of the Taca de Portugal for the second year in a row. Benfica will play Rio Ave at 9:15pm WEST. They will dress 18 players from the list below.
Keepers- Ivan Zlobin, Mile Svilar

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

Midfielders- Chiquinho, Pizzi, Taarabt, Franco Cervi, Samaris, David Tavares, Florentino,  Julian Weigl, Rafa Silva

Forwards- Carlos Vinicius, Seferovic, Jota

Monday, January 13, 2020

Benfica linked to another Real Madrid striker

Benfica Blog
Benfica are once again linked to another Real Madrid striker after the unsuccessful purchase of Raul de Tomas during the summer transfer window, the club could visit the Madrid well once again and try their luck with Dominican Republic striker Mariano Diaz. The Spanish edition of Four Four Two state that Diaz is the preferred target of Bruno Lage as he looks to replace the now departed Raul de Tomas, with the club looking at a loan deal for Diaz with an option to purchase. The under used 26 year old has only appeared in just 44 minutes of action this season for Real Madrid and would welcome a move that would garner him more playing time. Real Madrid acquired Diaz from French club Lyon during the summer of 2018 after the striker scored 21 goals across all competitions that season but Diaz has appeared in only 21 games since joining Real totaling 645 minutes of action. Benfica who currently have two experienced strikers with the club in Carlos Vinicius and Haris Seferovic are looking at Diaz as an insurance option before the transfer window closes this winter.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Bruno Lage becomes fastest manager to 100 points

Benfica Blog
Bruno Lage became the fastest manager in Portuguese football history to reach 100 points in league play after Benfica's win over Aves on Friday night. Lage has lead Benfica to 45 points this season and earned 55 points with the club after taking over at the helm in January of 2019 to hit the 100 point mark in just 35 league games. Lage's record as manager of Benfica is 33-1-1 with his only draw and defeat coming against Belenenses and FC Porto respectively with both happening at Benfica's Estadio da Luz.
Lage broke the record held by former FC Porto manager Artur Jorge, who hit the mark in 38 games from 1984-1986. 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Benfica acquire Yony Gonzalez on free transfer

Benfica Blog
Benfica have acquired 25 year old Colombian winger Yony Gonzalez on a free transfer and signed him until the end of the 2024 season. Gonzalez spent last season in Brazil playing for Fluminense after joining from Colombian side Junior FC just one year prior. Gonzalez who primarily plays on the right side is making his first move across the pond into European football and the winger could not be more excited as he told the media that he has followed Benfica for sometime. Benfica are leaning on loaning Gonzalez out for the remainder of this season with plenty of interested clubs in France glamouring for his services. Gonzalez appeared in 42 games this season across all competitions, scoring nine goals while setting up another five.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Benfica escape with a win over Aves

Benfica Blog
Benfica got a scare from league cellar dwellers Aves at the Estadio da Luz in Week 16 and escaped the game with a 2-1 victory in a game that saw the debut of recently acquired German midfielder Julian Weigl. It was Aves that opened the scoring at the 20th minute mark when striker Mohammadi's individual effort saw him rough the ball past Benfica keeper Vlachodimos. Benfica's chances in the first half were many with the best one coming from striker Seferovic that was stopped in close range by Aves keeper Beunardeau but the clubs would go into the half with an unexpected Aves leading the way. Benfica made a change to start the second half bringing in striker Carlos Vinicius to replace Jota but Aves continued to stand tall as they defended their slim one goal lead. It was not until the 76th mark when Vinicius was hauled down in the box by midfielder Falcao that league scoring leader Pizzi would convert from the penalty spot to bring the game level. Andre Almeida who was making his first start for Benfica since November 30 due to injury would play the hero on this day as his low shot from a corner would get past Aves keeper Beunardeau at the 86th minute to give Benfica the victory as they get set for their Week 17 encounter against Lisbon Derby rivals Sporting.

Benfica squad for Aves match named

Benfica Blog
Benfica go into Week 16 with a home game against the leagues cellar dwellers Aves in Portuguese League action. Benfica will need to be focused on this encounter and not look ahead to next weeks Lisbon Derby and the seasons halfway mark. Benfica will play Aves at 7pm WEST. They will dress 18 players from the list below.
Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

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

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

Forwards- Carlos Vinicius, Seferovic, Jota

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Benfica President in Italy looking at Serie B striker

Benfica Blog
Benfica President Luis Filipe Vieira is in Italy looking to close a deal for 21 year old Serie B striker Gianluca Scamacca according to reports from Italy. Benfica who are in the process of closing a sale with Espanyol for the services of Raul de Tomas have their eyes set on his replacement and feel that the Sassuolo striker who is currently on loan at Ascoli would be the right fit for the club. Benfica are said to have offered Sassuolo €10M plus bonuses to acquire Scamacca and Vieira is preparing to meet with Scamacca personally as he looks to convince him to join the Lisbon club this January. Scamacca has appeared in 17 games for Ascoli this season scoring ten goals and has been a member of Italy's youth national sides at every level from U15 to the U21. Benfica are reluctant to go much higher then their current offer for a player that has appeared in only three Serie A games to date.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Benfica sell Raul de Tomas for potential profit

Benfica Blog
Reports coming out of both Portugal and Spain have Benfica reaching an agreement with Espanyol for the services of recently acquired Spanish striker Raul de Tomas. Espanyol are said to have made an offer to Benfica yesterday to land De Tomas for €20M plus bonuses which would actually earn Benfica a profit on the €20M the club paid Real Madrid this summer to acquire the 25 year old. De Tomas has not been able to find a groove since joining the Lisbon club and with Benfica looking to shore up their midfield the €20M will assist in their chase to land Atletico Paranaense midfielder Bruno Guimaraes. Benfica could earn up to an additional €2.5M in bonuses this season if De Tomas or the club hit certain targets that have been agreed to. Benfica will get €1M if De Tomas appears in ten league games, they will also earn an additional €1M bonus if Espanyol avoid relegation this season. Benfica are also set to earn €500K if De Tomas scores ten goals for Espanyol and will retain 20% of the players rights towards any future sale. De Tomas' Benfica career has been less then memorable and the Spaniard has been pushing to leave the club and return to his native Spain since losing regular minutes to Carlos Vinicius and Chiquinho. De Tomas has appeared in 17 games across all competitions this season, finding the net on three occasions while adding one helper.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Ajax being linked with Benfica keeper Vlachodimos

Benfica Blog
According to reports coming from Portugal Dutch side Ajax are interested in landing Benfica starting keeper Vlachodimos next summer to replace their current starting keeper Andre Onana who looks set to depart with links to some of Europe's bigger clubs.
Vlachodimos who joined Benfica in the summer of 2018 for €2.5M from Greek club Panathinaikos is the replacement that Ajax favour but Benfica would not let their current number one depart for anything less then €15M. Vlachodimos has appeared in 72 games across all competitions since joining Benfica and has kept a clean sheet in 44% of the games for 32 in total. Benfica have spent the past 6 months looking for a keeper to battle Vlachodimos for the starting job but have yet to land that said keeper and the Greek International is currently being backed up by 22 year old Ivan Zlobin.

Benfica squeeze out victory at Guimaraes

Benfica Blog
Benfica eked out a victory at Guimaraes this weekend in Week 15 action to remain ahead of FC Porto by four points in the race for the League Championship. Benfica got a first half goal from Franco Cervi at the 23rd minute mark when the Argentine winger picked up a Pizzi cross into the box and had his low shoot get past Guimaraes keeper Douglas. The hosts Guimaraes though keep pressuring as they looked for an equalizer before the half but Vlachodimos came up big twice first turning away Lucas Evangelista's strike and then denying Marcus Edwards byline attempt. The second half saw Guimaraes keep the pressure coming but Benfica would hang on and earn their league leading eleventh clean sheet of the season in a hard fought 1-0 win. Benfica return to action on Friday at home in Week 16 action against cellar dweller Aves but a midweek quarter final Taca de Portugal game against Rio Ave.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Benfica name squad for Guimaraes encounter

Benfica Blog
Benfica open the 2020 season in Week 15 with an away game to take on Guimaraes in Portuguese League action. Benfica will be looking to send Guimaraes a message of the Northern Portugal club topped their Taca da Liga group moving onto the semi-finals of the tournament. Benfica will play Guimaraes at 8:30pm WEST. They will dress 18 players from the list below.
Keepers- Vlachodimos, Ivan Zlobin

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

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

Forwards- Carlos Vinicius, Seferovic, Raul de Tomas

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Benfica make it official with Weigl signing

Benfica Blog
Benfica have made it official announcing the signing of German defensive midfielder Julian Weigl. Benfica have acquired the 24 year old from Borussia Dortmund for €20M and signed him until the end of the 2023/24 season. Weigl will also have a buy out clause of €100M for any future clubs that may be interested in his services. Benfica fans should enjoy Weigl's passing ability and his eye catching style of play. Weigl has enjoyed the eye of some of Europe's bigger clubs over the past couple of seasons with Barcelona, Manchester City and PSG all enamoured by his style of play. Benfica paid a hefty price making Weigl their second highest purchase ever matching Raul De Tomas' price tag from this summer.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Benfica's Team of the Decade 2010-2019

Benfica Blog
The decade is over and what a decade it was for Benfica as the club returned to its glory days as the second half of the decade came around. Benfica finished the decade winning 6 League titles from 2010-2019 the highest by any club in Portugal, Benfica also added 6 Taca da Liga crowns, 4 Portuguese Super Cup titles and 2 Taca de Portugal crowns for a total of 18 trophies during the decade. The club also appeared in two Europa League Finals although they lost in both cases the club would like to snap its 50+ year drought without a UEFA trophy. The decade was also a money maker for the club as it came out on top of Europe with €953M in player sales since 2010 and Joao Felix's summer 2019 sale of €126M accounting for 13% of this total alone.

I now take a look at the best starting XI for Benfica this decade:

Keeper: Ederson (2015-2017)

Back up: Jan Oblak (2014-2017) 

Right Back: Maxi Pereira (2010-2015)

Back Up: Nelson Semedo (2015-2017)

Center Backs: Luisao (2010-2018), Ezequiel Garay (2011-2014)

Back Ups: Ruben Dias (2017-2019), Jardel (2011-2019)

Left Back: Alex Grimaldo (2016-2019)

Back Up: Eliseu (2014-2018)

Midfielders: Pizzi (2014-2019), Nico Gaitan (2010-2016), Nemanja Matic (2011-2014), Eduardo Salvio (2012-2019)

Back Ups: Pablo Aimar (2010-2013), Enzo Perez (2011-2015), Renato Sanches (2015-2016), Rafa Silva (2016-2019)

Forwards: Jonas (2014-2019), Oscar Cardozo (2010-2014)

Back Ups: Konstantinos Mitroglou (2015-2017), Lima (2012-2015)

There you have my Benfica Team of the Decade and boy what a decade it has become here is to the next decade being even better.