Sunday, July 31, 2022

Benfica unveil Champions League roster


Benfica Blog
Benfica have released their roster for their upcoming third round qualifier against Midtjylland that will see the first leg held at the Estadio da Luz on Tuesday before the club travels to Denmark for the second leg next week.

Benfica roster for Champions League qualifier:

List A: Vlachodimos, Helton Leite, Gilberto, Alex Grimaldo, Vertonghen, Alexander Bah, Ristic, Otamendi, Andre Almeida, Joao Victor, Meite, Julian Weigl, Chiquinho, Gil Dias, Joao Mario, Enzo Fernandez, David Neres, Rafa Silva, Yaremchuk, Petar Musa, Diogo Goncalves

List B: Samuel Soares, Kokubo, Andre Gomes, Antonio Silva, Morato, Florentino, Paulo Bernardo, Martim Neto, Goncalo Ramos, Henrique Araujo, Diego Moreira

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Benfica interest in Ricardo Horta remains

Benfica Blog
Benfica are still intent on landing Braga winger Ricardo Horta but financial terms have yet to be agreed to between the two Portuguese league clubs who are still far apart in price. Benfica are said to be willing to offer Braga €10M plus the services of two players for Horta, while Braga insist on at least €20M plus players to consider moving the 27 year old this summer.

Braga President Antoine Salvador spoke early today and said that although Malaga owns a higher percentage of Horta's playing rights, it is Braga that decides what the price tag to let the player go will be. Horta currently has a €30M buy out clause but is said to have an agreement with the club to allow him to move if the club receives at least €20M for his services.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Benfica to face Midtjylland in Champions League qualifying

Benfica Blog
Benfica will take on Danish side Midtjylland in a third round qualifier as they kick off their quest for a spot in this seasons Champions League group stage after Midtjylland moved past AEK Larnaca on penalties earlier today. Benfica and Midtjylland will play a two leg affair with the first leg taking place at Benfica's Estadio da Luz on August 2nd and the return leg a week later on the 9th at Midtjylland's MCH Arena.

Benfica and Midtjylland will meet for the first time in Champions League play but the clubs are no strangers to one another having seen their Under 19 squads face off in the UEFA Youth League on two occasions over the past five seasons. Midtjylland was knocked out in last seasons round of 16 by Benfica who then went on to capture the 2022 UEFA Youth League Crown.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Helton Leite looks set to open the season at keeper

Benfica Blog
Benfica keeper Helton Leite looks to have wrestled the number one keeper job away once again from last seasons starter Odysseas Vlachodimos in a battle that continues to take place between the two keepers since Helton's arrival at Benfica from Boavista in the summer of 2020. Helton looks set to open the season at the clubs number when it kicks off in two weeks time.

Helton claimed the number one keeper job during the half way mark of the 2020/21 season before relinquishing that role back last season to Vlachodimos. This summer has seen the arrival of new manager Roger Schmidt who has reinstated the 31 year old Brazilian netminder back to the role he once held.

Helton's role as the clubs number one keeper could be short lived with Benfica linked to a host of keepers during the summer months, the latest being Eintracht Frankfurt's number one man Kevin Trapp. Benfica have also been linked with Trabzonspor keeper Ugurcan Cakir and Arsenal's Bernd Leno. 

Look for Benfica to complete a few moves at the position before the transfer window closes this summer, the first of which should see a new number one arrive at the Luz and the second move should see the departure of their Greek keeper Vlachodimos.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Benfica looking at Feyenoord midfielder

Benfica Blog
Benfica look ready to continue with an overhaul of last seasons disappointing side and are currently linked with Feyenoord defensive midfielder Fredrik Aursnes. The 26 year old Norwegian only joined the Dutch club last summer but left an impression with current Benfica bench boss Roger Schmidt from his time in the Eredivisie last season.

Aursnes was a key piece of Feyenoord's run to the Europa Conference League Final during the last campaign and appeared in 47 games across all competitions, scoring once while setting up four goals. Feyenoord are rumoured to be looking for around €12M to €15M for the players services, which would be a hefty profit from the €500K they paid Molde.

The acquisition of Aursnes at that price tag would more then likely mean the departure of Julian Weigl who has already been linked with various clubs in the Bundesliga this summer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Benfica set to open up the Portuguese League season

Benfica Blog
The Portuguese League has announced the opening week schedule for the 2022/23 season and Benfica will kick off the first game of the new campaign at the Estadio da Luz against Arouca on August 5th. Benfica will then open up the Week 2 schedule the following week on August 12th when they travel away to take on league newcomers Casa Pia.

Benfica's upcoming Champions League qualifying schedule is the reason that the club will play their first two games of the season on back to back Fridays, disappointing many of their North American fan base who may be stuck at work and unable to catch the action of the season start. Benfica are set to face the winners of Midtjylland or AEK Larnaca in the third qualifying round phase for a spot in this seasons Champions League group stage.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Deal between Benfica and Galatasaray closed for Seferovic

Benfica and Turkish side Galatasaray have agreed on a loan deal for 30 year old Swiss striker Haris Seferovic which should see Seferovic depart to Istanbul over the next couple of days. Galatasaray will be responsible for Seferovic's full salary this season and the deal will have an automatic buy option which would be triggered for €3.5M if Seferovic appears in 15 games during the 2022/23 season.

Seferovic joined Benfica during the summer of 2017 on a free transfer and has appeared in 187 games for the club across all competitions, scoring 74 goals while setting up an additional 24. Seferovic won the golden boot in Portugal during the 2018/19 season with 23 goals and was the runner up for the award during the 2020/21 season with 22 goals. Seferovic has won one League Championship and two Super Cups while a member of Benfica.

Benfica manager looking for one more striker

Benfica Blog
Newly appointed Benfica manager Roger Schmidt is looking to see the club add a prolific striker to the fold before the transfer window closes over the next few weeks. With the departure of Darwin Nunez and the likely departures of Haris Seferovic and Goncalo Ramos, this would leave Schmidt with the options of Roman Yaremchuk, Henrique Araujo, Roger Pinho and newly acquired Petar Musa in the fold.

The German manager would like to see the club invest in a striker in the mold of Darwin, who is fast and has a good ability to finish. Schmidt is also open to the idea of adding a couple of other players to the squad, preferably in the midfield and in net. Benfica have already added six new reinforcements this summer, having spent €46.8M in those acquisitions with only Mihailo Ristic signing on a free transfer.

Benfica is set to commence their quest for a spot in this upcoming seasons Champions League group stage in the next month and will learn their third qualifying round opponents this week.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Benfica linked to Lyon midfielder Aouar

Benfica are linked once again with Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar according to reports coming from France, just one day after Benfica President Rui Costa announced that the club was far from done during the current transfer window of making moves to improve the club for the upcoming 2022/23 season. The 24 year old Aouar has come up through the ranks of the French club and made his first appearance with the main squad in 2016. 

Aouar has appeared in 214 games across all competitions for Lyon, scoring 40 goals while setting up 35 assists. The Frenchman was seen as the next big thing but his career went the way of his club who have slid away from contention in France. Benfica are not alone in their interest of Aouar with Spanish side Real Betis also being linked with the midfielder, Lyon are ready to move on from the player for a reported €10M.

Benfica also announced earlier today that they would be loaning center back Ferro to Dutch club Vitesse for the season.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

My personal all time Starting XI for Benfica

Benfica Blog

I have been a Benfica fan for as long as I can remember, the love of the club started at a young age in a household full of Benfica fans. The first football club that I watched live in a stadium, the first football club that brought me joy and at times tears. Benfica was in my blood and I have enjoyed every minute of the ups and downs.

Looking back as far as I can remember there were always certain players that stood out to me, players that I wanted to see in the starting eleven every game and not understanding at a young age that players needed to rest and could not always dress in the colours that I loved. The disappointment of injuries and the departure of these set of players pulled at my heart strings throughout my childhood and to some degree into my adult life.

Benfica are a club that means so much to so many people not only in Portugal but around the globe and to be a fan of this club has provided all of us with cherished moments. We all have our favourite players and wish that these players had a chance to play all at the same time on the field together but alas for people that have been fans for decades this is not always possible.

We all have our favourite and who we think is our best Benfica staring XI in our lifetime and these are mine going back to 1990 in a 4-4-2:

Monday, July 11, 2022

Enzo Fernandez set to join Benfica this week

Benfica Blog

The exit of River Plate from the Copa Libertadores last week is a blessing in disguise for Benfica as the club will see the arrival of their newly acquired midfielder Enzo Fernandez this week, as opposed to a later date if River Plate was to remain in the tournament. Benfica will announce the acquisition of Fernandez after his arrival in Lisbon having acquired the 21 year old last month for €10M plus an additional €8M in addons.

Fernandez was caught at the Buenos Aires airport before his departure to Portugal earlier today and had the opportunity to speak to journalists making sure that all knew of his excitement to be joining Benfica. Fernandez also stated that it has been a childhood dream of playing in Europe and he is prepared to give his all for Benfica as he always has with River Plate.

Fernandez is considered by many as one of the more exciting up and coming Argentinian players and a potential future star with the national side. Benfica hope to continue to grow the player to his full potential as they continue their preparation for the upcoming season.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Sporting want €30M from Joao Mario move to Benfica

Benfica Blog
Sporting have filed a lawsuit against Benfica midfielder Joao Mario in Lisbon courts, seeking €30M from the player that it feels it is owed due to Joao Mario joining Benfica last summer from Inter Milan. Sporting are claiming that Joao Mario joining Benfica violated their original sale terms with Inter back in 2016 which included an anti-rival clause if Joao Mario was sold to another Portuguese club and that Inter and Joao Mario's agreement to terminate the players contract was a work around to avoid paying them the fee.

What is not known at this time is if Sporting will also file a suit against Inter Milan since they state that both the Italian club and Joao Mario agreed to the anti-clause fee of €30M at the time of Joao Mario's sale from Sporting to Inter. The 29 year old is currently enjoying his first camp under new Benfica manager Roger Schmidt and is said to be calm about the labour court filing by his former club and is currently focused on finding a role under his new manager for the upcoming 2022/23 season.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Benfica release 2022/23 league schedule

Benfica have found out their schedule for the 2022/23 season which will kick off the first weekend in August and wrap up at the end of May with a break due to World Cup 2022 taking place in Qatar from mid November to a few days before the end of the calendar year in December. Benfica kicks off their campaign against Arouca at the Estadio da Luz and end their campaign against Santa Clara also at home.

Benfica will take on FC Porto in Week 10 at the Dragao and host the return leg in Week 27. Benfica will face off against their city rivals Sporting in Week 16 at the Luz and then travel to Alvalade for a Week 33 encounter.

Other notable games include Benfica traveling to the Azores to play Santa Clara in Week 17 and traveling to Madeira to face Maritimo in Week 24. Benfica will be in the Algarve to face Portimonense in Week 32 and face Casa Pia another Lisbon club in Week 2 and Week 19. Benfica and Braga face off in Week 14 and 31.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Benfica ready to send Gabriel to Brazil

Benfica Blog
Benfica midfielder Gabriel has found out that he is not in the plans this season of incoming manager Roger Schmidt and Benfica are once again looking for options to send Gabriel who has a contract with the Lisbon side until the summer of 2024. Gabriel spent last season on loan with Qatar club Al-Gharafa were he appeared in 30 games across all competitions, scoring 7 goals while providing 8 helpers as his club finished the season in fifth spot.

Brazilian clubs Flamengo and Botafogo are both said to be interested in the services of the 28 year old who last played in Brazil back in 2011 for Resende-RJ before joining Juventus under 19 side in Italy. Benfica are open to selling Gabriel if their price point is met but are also open to another loan for the midfielder. Gabriel last appeared in a game with Benfica in May of 2021 were he picked up an assist in a victory over Guimaraes in league play.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Benfica hope to take Joao Victor away from Porto

Benfica are hoping to swoop in a take away Corinthians center back Joao Victor away from league rivals FC Porto as the two clubs battle for the 23 year olds signature. Benfica director Rui Braz has travelled to Brazil ready to submit a €12M offer to Corinthians to pry Victor away from FC Porto who are said to have offered the Brazilian club €10M for his services.

Benfica who have a bundle of cash from their €75M sale of striker Darwin Nunez last month, are looking to add a player that has appeared in 74 games across all competitions for Corinthians, having yet to score a goal and setting up one in his time with the club. Victor is currently under the orders of Portuguese manager Vitor Pereira has been with Corinthians since the winter of 2017.