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.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Benfica finds out Europa League group

 Benfica Blog 

Benfica have learned their Europa League group earlier today and will be joined by Scottish side Rangers, Polish club Lech Poznan and Belgian side Standard Liege. Benfica will kick off their Europa League campaign on October 22 in Poland against Poznan.

Benfica's Europa League schedule:

October 22 at Lech Poznan 

October 29 vs Standard Liege

November 5 vs Rangers

November 26 at Rangers

December 3 vs Lech Poznan

December 10 at Standard Liege