Monday, February 27, 2023

Benfica enjoy wild weekend for opponents

Benfica enjoyed a wild weekend for their opponents after earning a hard fought victory over Vizela and then sitting back and watching their two closest rivals FC Porto and Braga both suffer hard wrenching defeats that saw Benfica's lead atop Portugal stretch to eight and nine points with twelve games left in the season.

Benfica's weekend was not all roses as midfielder Chiquinho looks to have suffered a muscle injury to his left thigh which will see him miss some time, while manager Roger Schmidt was given a straight red card by the match official after throwing back a water bottle into the home stands and will miss Friday's home game against Famalicao.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Benfica interested in AZ Alkmaar left back

Benfica Blog
Benfica look to be preparing for what is looking more and more likely to the departure of current starting left back Alex Grimaldo during the summer transfer window when his current contract is up with the club. The latest left back that Benfica are said to be interested in according to Gazzetta Dello Sport is AZ Alkmaar's 19 year old left back Milos Kerkez.

The Hungarian international has taken over as the regular starter with the Dutch side this season having appeared in 35 games across all competitions, while scoring three goals and adding six helpers. Kerkez joined Alkmaar from AC Milan in the winter of 2022 for a mere €2M but the deal included a right of first refusal option for the the Italian club who are able to match any offer Alkmaar receive for the left back.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Portugal manager visits Seixal to talk with trio

Benfica Blog
New Portugal national team manager Roberto Martinez arrived in Seixal on Thursday to sit down for talks with World Cup 2022 squad members Goncalo Ramos, Joao Mario and Antonio Silva. The talks are part of Martinez's meet and greet with all 26 players who represented Portugal this past December in Qatar as he gets set to lead Portugal in their campaign to qualify for Euro 2024 which will commence on March 23rd when Portugal host Liechtenstein at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Benfica's squad holds a host of Portuguese players and outside of the trio who had discussions with Martinez, Benfica also have Goncalo Guedes and Rafa Silva who have worn the Portugal jersey at one point or another and potential future squad member in Florentino Luis.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Chiquinho earning the trust of Schmidt

Benfica Blog
The sale of Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea on the last day of the transfer window left a big hole in Benfica's midfield when the club failed to add a replacement for the talented Argentinian but Benfica manager Roger Schmidt decided to place his trust in current club member Chiquinho and so far that trust has paid dividends for the club.

Chiquinho has become a regular member of the starting XI since the departure of Enzo and for a midfielder that had seen little to no playing time with the club over the past two seasons, it is a major accomplishment for the 27 year old who has been given a chance to see what he can do by the German manager.

Schmidt recently complimented Chiquinho's game since moving into a regular role and said that the midfielder is very strong on the ball, while being able to control the game and covers a lot of the field with his runs. Schmidt is counting on Chiquinho to get better and better as he enjoys a regular run of play.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Joao Mario named league player of the month

Benfica Blog
Benfica midfielder Joao Mario was named the Portuguese League Player of the month for December/January beating out Gil Vicente striker Fran and Porto's Galeno along with Arouca's Dabbagh. Joao Mario's form has been superb this season under the guidance of manager Roger Schmidt and the midfielder is being recognized for a terrific season to date. Joao Mario scored four league goals over the span of six league games in 486 minutes of action with a player rating of 7.30 to capture the award.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Benfica set to start talks for new left back

Benfica Blog
With contract talks with current starting left back Alex Grimaldo not moving forward, Benfica are already looking at options to replace the 27 year old Spaniard who is set to become a free agent at the end of this current season and are ready to begin talks with Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro for Guilherme Arana.

The 25 year old suffered a left cruciate ligament injury in September costing him a chance to represent Brazil in World Cup 2022, with no timeline yet to on his potential return, Arana could yet miss at least the first few months of the Brazilian league season. Benfica are hoping that acquiring the left back while his value is low will pay off dividends for the club in the future.

Arana would be looking to make amends after his first failed trip to Europe in which he joined Sevilla in January 2018 but appeared in only twenty-five games across all competitions for the Spanish club, spending most of his time away on loan. Arana returned permanently to Brazil in the summer of 2021 making his loan at Mineiro permanent after spending 18 months with the club.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Enzo pays tribute to Benfica during interview

Benfica Blog
It took almost two weeks but former Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez paid tribute to his former club during a post game interview with English channel BT Sport. Enzo thanked Benfica for giving him the opportunity to make the move to European football and that he would always be grateful to everyone at the club, saying his experience was beautiful and that he learned a lot while there.

Benfica sold Enzo to Chelsea on deadline day for a Premier League record of €121M just six months after acquiring the midfielder from River Plate for €10M with an additional €8m in add ons. Enzo went on to win a rare winter edition of the World Cup in December with Argentina, being named the young player of the tournament which only added to his value and eventually clinching his move to Chelsea.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Braga end Benfica run in Taca de Portugal

Benfica Blog
Benfica are out of the Taca de Portugal at the quarter final stage after suffering a penalty shootout defeat to Braga after playing 120 minutes to a 1-1 draw. Benfica took an early lead on a Goncalo Guedes header but at the 30 minute mark, right back Alexander Bah lost his cool and took an idiotic red card for stomping on former Benfica midfielder Pizzi. Braga would then equalize just six minutes after the infraction as Al Musrati would tap in the ball at the far post after what looked like a harmless corner kick.

A game that Benfica started fluently until the red card was given would go into additional time as both clubs failed to score the rest of the way. Benfica would then be handed their second red card of the game when defender Morato received his second yellow with minutes remaining in additional time. The final whistle blew and the game would be heading to penalties...

Benfica would miss just one kick from the penalty spot as midfielder Fredrik Aursnes would be stopped by Braga keeper Matheus but it was more then enough with Braga converting all five of their kicks to advance to the Taca's semi-final stage. Braga continues to be a thorn in Benfica's side, having handed Benfica their only two losses of the current season, the first during league play at the end of 2022.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Benfica set for Taca de Portugal clash

Benfica Blog

Benfica are set to face Braga in the Taca de Portugal's quarter-final stage on Thursday as they look to advance in the competition and exact revenge on the only club that has defeated the Eagles under the guidance of Roger Schmidt this season. Benfica will visit Braga once again after suffering a 3-0 defeat in league play in their final game of the 2022 calendar year. A Benfica victory would see them move on and face the winner of Casa Pia or Nacional in the semi-finals.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Benfica with eye on Huracan midfielder

Benfica Blog
Benfica already have their eyes on another Argentinian midfielder in the summer according to reports out of Portugal to replace recently departed midfielder Enzo Fernandez who joined Chelsea on deadline day for a Premier League record breaking fee of €121M. The 21 year old Santiago Hezze who applies his trade with Huracan and appeared in 37 games across all competitions last season is that player and the Lisbon side seeks to make their move when the summer transfer window opens. Hezze is a product of the Huracan youth system who made his breakthrough with the main club during the 2020 season and is now a regular with the squad.