Friday, September 30, 2022

Benfica linked to Colombian winger

Benfica Blog
Benfica scouts have been in Colombia with their eyes on Millonarios 21 year old winger Daniel Ruiz this past week according to reports from TV broadcaster DirecTV Sports. Benfica are not alone in their interest of Ruiz with Manchester City and Bragantino also linked to the Colombian youngster.

Ruiz has been a member of Millonarios since the start of 2021, spending the first year at the club on loan before Millonarios made they move permanent this year with Fortaleza for €310K. Ruiz has appeared in 90 games with Millonarios across all competitions, scoring twelve goals while setting up an additional eighteen.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Fernando Santos does Goncalo Ramos disservice

Benfica Blog
Portugal manager Fernando Santos has led Portugal to another devastating loss in another crucial game once again after Portugal lost at home earlier today to Spain 1-0. This has become a recurring theme for the national side commencing after their 2019 UEFA Nations League title but the biggest head scratcher of the day was the disservice Santos gave to Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos.

Santos decided that it was the right call to not dress the 21 year old Ramos who is currently Portugal's highest goal scorer for club this season in a game that might just require Portugal to score a goal or two. Santos instead went with players that he was more familiar with, showing his loyalty, stubbornness and foolishness all by living on past morals.

I am not saying the Ramos should have started for Portugal today but a substitution into the game in the second half was more then warranted for a player who is currently in better form then any of his teammates. Ramos who has currently scored eight goals this season for Benfica while providing six assists has scored three more goals then the next closest player and is on par for assists with one other on the squad.

This alone should have given Santos the nerve to make sure the youngster was at least an option in a game that ultimately required a goal to move onto the tournaments final four stage but alas the choice made was bringing in Joao Felix who just three days ago was unfit to even dress for their game against the Czech Republic. Santos' has time to right his wrong with Ramos who may just be the nations first choice striker when the World Cup rolls around. We will all be watching.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Benfica's future center back duo back in training

Benfica's Brazilian center backs Lucas Verissimo and Joao Victor have returned to training after both defenders have been out with injuries for an extended period of time. 

Verissimo is making his return after a long lay off that saw the 27 year old out of action since early November 2021 after he suffered a ruptured knee ligament and he is in the last phase of recovery which should see him cleared for game action in about a month. While the 24 year old Victor has recovered from an ankle injury sustained during the summer months, he has yet to appear in any games for Benfica since joining the club from Corinthians in July.

The Brazilian pair look to be the future staple of a Benfica defense for years to come but both will need to earn their spots in the clubs starting eleven with captain Otamendi and youngster Antonio Silva currently holding the fort while providing rock solid defending for the club who are currently on a thirteen game winning streak to start the season.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Benfica learns Taca da Liga opponents

Benfica Blog
The Portuguese League revealed the groups earlier today for a revamped 2022/23 Taca da Liga edition that will see eight groups competing to hoist the league trophy early in 2023. Benfica's group opponents will be Moreirense, Penafiel and Amadora with the group winner advancing to the quarter-final stage. The group games will all be played in a ten day window and are set to take place during the World Cup.

Benfica's Taca da Liga schedule:

at Amadora on November 19

vs Penafiel on November 24

at Moreirense on November 27

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Benfica at the first International Break

Benfica Blog
The first International break is upon us during the season and Benfica have already played 13 competitive games from the start of their Champions League qualifying campaign to their Champions League group stage games and seven weeks of league games in Portugal. Benfica under the tutelage of Roger Schmidt remain perfect for the season, winning all 13 of these games with an away win against Juventus included.

The season still has along long way to go but Benfica are currently in fine form to start the season and Benfica fans will hope that this form earns the club some much needed hardware this season when all is said and done. 

A look at some player stats from the first 13 games of the season

Most minutes played: 

Vlachodimos 1,170; Alex Grimaldo 1,161; Enzo Fernandez 1,111

Most goals scored: 

Goncalo Ramos 8; Rafa Silva 6; Joao Mario 5; David Neres 5

Most assists: 

Joao Mario 5; Goncalo Ramos 5; David Neres 5

Most yellow cards: 

Rafa Silva 4; Florentino 3; Otamendi 2; Goncalo Ramos 2

Most substitute appearances: 

Diogo Goncalves 8; Alexander Bah 7; Henrique Araujo 7

Most penalty kicks taken:

Joao Mario 4


These stats only include League and Champions League group stage

Total shots taken:

Rafa Silva 28; Goncalo Ramos 25; Enzo Fernandez 25

Total passes made:

Enzo Fernandez 870; Otamendi 594; Florentino 582

Total dribbles made:

Rafa Silva 46; David Neres 39; Joao Mario 26

Total interceptions made:

Florentino 23; Otamendo 23; Alex Grimaldo 13

Most Tackles:

Alex Grimaldo 25; Enzo Fernandez 25; Florentino 23

Blocked Shots:

Otamendi 4; Antonio Silva 3; Alexander Bah 2

Most Clearances Made:

Antonio Silva 23; Otamendi 18; Florentino 13

Man of the Match

Joao Mario 2; Alex Grimaldo 2; David Neres 2

League Player Ratings:

Joao Mario 7.63; David Neres 7.60; Alex Grimaldo 7.56

Champions League Player Ratings:

Rafa Silva 8.03; Alex Grimaldo 7.59; Enzo Fernandez 7.38


Saturday, September 17, 2022

Benfica players heading for International duty

Benfica Blog
With the international break upon us, some players will be departing their clubs to join the country squads for a set of qualifiers and friendlies. Benfica will see seven of their current squad members depart the club after tomorrow's game and head out to join their respected countries.

Benfica fans will see these players in action over the next couple of weeks.

Portugal - Goncalo Ramos, Joao Mario

Argentina - Nico Otamendi, Enzo Fernandez

Greece - Odysseas Vlachodimos

Denmark- Alexander Bah

Norway- Fredrik Aursenes

Benfica youngsters Antonio Silva, Henriques Araujo and Paulo Bernardo have been called up to represent Portugal's Under 21 squad.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Benfica sign new contract with defender Morato

Benfica Blog
Benfica center back Morato signed a new contract with the club earlier today that will take him into the summer of 2027 and includes a buy out clause of €100M. The 21 year old was recently named the Portuguese League defender of the month for August before sustaining an severe ankle sprain earlier this this month that looks set to keep him out of action for the next 6 to 8 weeks.

Morato had finally earned a place in Benfica's starting XI this season under the tutelage of new manager Roger Schmidt before suffering the injury. Morato's play caught the attention of many clubs across Europe and Benfica wasted no time in locking up the Brazilian center back long term and more importantly doubling his existing buy out clause. Morato joined Benfica in the summer of 2019 from Sao Paulo for €7.6M and has spent the majority of his time at the club with the B squad.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Benfica's new jewel in the backfield

Benfica Blog
Benfica may have just uncovered their latest Seixal gem with the addition of 18 year old center back Antonio Silva to the main squad thanks to a serious of injuries suffered to the back line. Silva who started the season as the club's sixth option in the back field has now become a regular inclusion of Roger Schmidt's starting XI and has not looked out of place along side club captain Nico Otamendi over the past four games.

Silva's play has not gone unnoticed by the clubs hierarchy, earning the player a recent extension on his contract until the summer of 2027. Silva has spent the past eight seasons with Benfica and was a member of last years championship winning UEFA Youth League squad. Manager Roger Schmidt will have some tough decisions to make when Lucas Verissimo, Morato and Joao Victor become healthy options once again but until then we call all enjoy the youngsters play.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Sporting expecting €30M from Joao Mario move to Benfica

Benfica Blog
Benfica midfielder Joao Mario is caught up in Sporting's dispute with Inter Milan after his move to Benfica last season after he and Inter Milan agreed to rescind the players contract. Sporting has included the €30M they expect to receive from Inter Milan who they believe circumvented their agreement when the club sold Joao Mario to Inter in 2016.

Sporting included the €30M clause in the deal to prevent the Italian club from selling Joao Mario back to a Portuguese club, which they state that both Inter and Joao Mario agreed to at the time of sale. Benfica have been excluded from the current turmoil as the situation makes its way through the judicial system.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Benfica look to continue perfect start to season

Benfica Blog
Benfica will go into the weekend looking to maintain their perfect start to the season when they travel to Famalicao Saturday for a league game. Benfica under the guidance of new manager Roger Schmidt have won all five of their league games to start the season and have also won all their five games in the Champions League which includes four qualifiers.

Benfica's longest winning run in all competitions is 18, which happened between December 12, 2020 and March 2, 2011. Benfica's longest league winning run was 29 games which occurred in the 70's from April 9, 1972 to March 11, 1973. The club still holds the European record for most games unbeaten in all competitions when from December 22, 1963 to February 14, 1965, Benfica went 48 games without suffering a loss.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Benfica open Champions League with a win

Benfica Blog
Benfica kicked off their Champions League campaign with a convincing 2-0 victory over visiting Maccabi Haifa, as the Eagles maintained their perfect start to the season under new manager Roger Schmidt winning their first ten competitive games. Benfica scored a pair of second half goals just four minutes apart in their victory with Rafa Silva and Alex Grimaldo finding the back of the net for the club.

Benfica will now travel to Italy to face Juventus next week in what many believe to be a battle for second spot in the group and a chance for a place in the competitions round of 16 next year. Juventus are coming off a 2-1 loss to group favourites PSG and will not be in a welcoming mode as they will look to end Benfica's current run. Benfica and Juventus are set to battle at the Allianz stadium on September 14.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Ins and Outs of what Benfica did during the transfer window

Benfica Blog
The transfer window has closed throughout most of Europe with only a few league windows remaining open but from Europe's lesser leagues. Benfica completed some major moves both in and out at the club with their biggest change coming on the sideline by the hiring of manager Roger Schmidt who became the clubs first foreign manager since Quique Flores was at the club in 2009.

Benfica finished the summer transfer window with a positive €65M from what the club earned (€127.3M) and what the club spent (€62.3M), this total does not include the €40M the club will receive from qualifying for the Champions League group stage. 

The Breakdown of Benfica's 2022 summer transfer season:

Player Exits:

Darwin Nunez to Liverpool for €75M + add ons

Roman Yaremchuk to Club Brugge for €16M + add ons

Everton to Flamengo for €13.5M

Jota to Celtic for €7.3M

Gedson Fernandes to Besiktas for €6M

Carlos Vinicius to Fulham for €5M

Pedro Pereira to Monza for €2.5M

Nuno Santos to Charlotte for €1M

Haris Seferovic loaned to Galatasaray for €1M

Pizzi to Al Wahda on free transfer

Jan Vertonghen to Anderlecht on free transfer

Mile Svilar to Roma on free transfer

Julian Weigl on loan to Borussia Mochengladbach

Soualiho Meite on loan to Cremonese  

Gabriel on loan to Botafogo

Ferro on loan to Vitesse

Tiago Dantas on loan to PAOK

Valentino Lazaro returned to Inter Milan after loan spell

Nemanja Radonjic returned to Marseille after loan spell

Adel Taarabt became free agent


Player Arrivals:

David Neres from Shakhtar Donetsk for €15.3M

Fredrik Aursnes from Feyenoord for €13M

Enzo Fernandez from River Plate for €10M + add ons

Joao Victor from Corinthians for €8.5M 

Alexander Bah from Slavia Prague for €8M

Petar Musa from Boavista for €5M

Julian Draxler on loan from PSG for €2.5M

John Brooks signed as free agent previously at Stuttgart

Mihailo Ristic signed as free agent previously at Montpellier

Florentino returned from loan at Getafe

Chiquinho returned from loan at Giresunspor

Henrique Araujo moved up from Benfica B

Samuel Soares moved up from Benfica B

Antonio Silva moved up from Benfica B  

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Benfica make flurry of moves at deadline

Benfica Blog
Benfica made a flurry of moves during the final day of the summer transfer window for most of Europe's big leagues as they look to snap a dry spell in hardware this season.

Benfica announced the acquisition of winger Julian Draxler from PSG who will join the club on a season long loan for €2.5M, PSG will pay 80% of Draxler's salary and the loan does not include a buy option.

Benfica also acquired center back John Brooks on a free transfer, signing the 29 year old American for one season, the move helps shore up the middle of the defense, that thanks to injuries and departures had become rather thin. Brooks spent the past five season with Stuttgart in Germany.

Benfica sent midfielders Julian Weigl and Soualiho Meite out on loan for the season to Borussia Moenchengladbach and Cremonese, both midfielders loans include buy options, Weigl's option is for €15M and Meite's option has yet to be disclosed.

In an unexpected move, Fulham acquired striker Carlos Vinicius from Benfica for €5M, Vinicius was going into the second year of his loan at PSV which ended after the English club's move. Benfica will retain 50% of Vinicius' pass.

Benfica and center back Jan Vertonghen agreed to rescind the players contract, saving the club €3M on the final year of the deal. Vertonghen is already in Brussels and is set to sign with Anderlecht. Benfica did not stop there as the club and Adel Taarabt also mutually agreed to rescind the midfielders contract.

In a move that went under the radar, Benfica acquired center back Ricardo Teixeira from Leixoes for €300K, which gives the club 50% of the 21 year old's pass.

In an almost was move, current number one keeper Vlachodimos was set to join Ajax before the deal was halted at the final moments. Benfica were rumoured to have had a loan move set for PSG keeper Kaylor Navas as the replacement before the deal fell through.