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.