Friday, March 31, 2023

Benfica extend the contract of Roger Schmidt

Benfica Blog
Benfica, one of the most successful football clubs in Portugal, has extended the contract of their head coach Roger Schmidt. The German coach joined Benfica in the summer of 2022 and has already made a significant impact on the team's performance with the club currently sitting atop the Portuguese League and into the Champions League quarter-final stage.

The extension of Schmidt's contract is a clear indication that the club management is satisfied with his work and believes that he can lead the team to further success. It also shows that Benfica is committed to building a long-term project under Schmidt's guidance. Schmidt's contract will go into the summer of 2026 and include an undisclosed buy out clause that should increase from the current €9M mark.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Italian clubs interested in Benfica's Rafa Silva

Benfica Blog
Italian clubs are reportedly interested in signing Benfica's Rafa Silva. The 29-year-old Portuguese winger has been in impressive form this season, scoring twelve goals and providing nine assists across all competitions. According to reports in Portugal, Lazio and Napoli are among a host of clubs monitoring Rafa's situation at Benfica. 

The Italian sides are said to be impressed with his performances and believe that he would add quality to their respective squads. Rafa joined Benfica from Braga in the summer of 2016 and has since become a key player for the Lisbon-based club. The winger's current contract with Benfica runs until the summer of 2024, but it remains to be seen if he will stay at the club beyond this season. 

Overall, it will be interesting to see how this transfer saga unfolds over the coming months as Italian clubs continue their pursuit of Rafa Silva.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Benfica hope to sign new contract with Otamendi

Benfica Blog
Benfica are pushing forward in new contract discussions with current captain Nicolas Otamendi who's contract is set to expire at the conclusion of the this season. The 35 year old center back has been a member of the club since the summer of 2020 and has appeared in 118 games across all competitions, the regular in the clubs starting XI, Otamendi has scored two goals while providing two helpers. Otamendi has been vital in the grooming of the clubs 19 year old star center back Antonio Silva.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Benfica players depart for International break

Benfica Blog
The international break is upon us once again and a group of Benfica players have departed to represent their countries during this current break which will see a total of ten Benfica players away from this squad.

Players who will be representing their countries:

Portugal - Goncalo Ramos, Joao Mario, Antonio Silva

Portugal U21 - Samuel Soares

Argentina - Nicolas Otamendi

Croatia - Petar Musa

Norway - Fredrik Aursnes

Greece - Odysseas Vlachodimos

Denmark - Alexander Bah

Norway U19 - Andreas Schjelderup

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Benfica interested in Nantes keeper

Benfica Blog
Benfica are already looking at upgrades for next season and according to reports out of France are interested in Nantes starting keeper Alban Lafont. The 24 year old who has been with Nantes since the summer of 2019 has not only caught the attention of the Portuguese giants but of clubs around Europe.

Lafont's name has also been mentioned as a potential future member of France's national side after having already appeared for all of his nations youth squads. Lafont has appeared in 144 games for Nantes across all competitions and posted 35 clean sheets in that time. Lafont also spent a season in Italy as a member of Fiorentina during the 2018/19 season.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Benfica to face Inter Milan on path to Finals

Benfica Blog
Benfica have been drawn today against Italian club Inter Milan in the quarter final stage of the Champions League as the club looks to make their way to the Finals of the Champions League for the first time since 1990 when the competition was known as the European Cup. Benfica will host the first game at the Estadio da Luz on April 11 or 12 then travel to Milan for the second leg on April 18 or 19.

The winner of the Benfica/Inter Milan clash will then move on to face the winner of the Napoli/AC Milan encounter in the semi-final round set to take place in May before then making their way to the Finals in Istanbul on June 10 which is fittingly Portugal Day. Benfica's path sees them avoid, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester City until the finals of the competition.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Benfica could look within league for new left back

Benfica Blog
Benfica may need to look at replacing current starting left back Alex Grimaldo at seasons end when the Spaniard is set to become a free agent, as the club and 27 year old have yet to come to an agreement on a new contract with the seasoning entering its final third. Benfica acquired left back Mihailo Ristic this past summer but the 27 year old has seen limited action in part to injuries and in part to Grimaldo's fine form this season.

If Benfica are unable to reach an agreement with Grimaldo the club could follow the example of their league rivals and look to acquire a player for a discounted price from inside their respective league. There are a pair of league players who could compete with Ristic for a spot in the starting XI next season and Benfica manager Roger Schmidt may just be able to work some magic a la Joao Mario with one of the two players below.

Leonardo Lelo - Casa Pia - 22 years old

Lelo has had a fantastic season for Casa Pia and has caught the attention of Portuguese clubs, he has appeared in 17 league games, scoring one goal while setting up three. Lelo came up through Olhanense's youth system and has recently received a call up to Portugal's Under 21 squad. Lelo is a complete left back who can take set pieces and has excellent crosses into the box.

Ricardo Mangas - Boavista - 24 years old

Mangas is a former Seixal academy product, so the club has some familiarity with the player, he has appeared in 19 league games this season, scoring two goals. Mangas spent last season on loan with French club Bordeaux where he was regular starter but was returned back to Boavista at seasons end after the French sides relegation. Mangas has a good first touch and speed that allows him to be dangerous in the attacking zone.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Goncalo Guedes out of action with injury

Benfica Blog
Benfica have announced that forward Goncalo Guedes will undergo surgery in the next few days to an injury suffered to his left knee that is effecting meniscus which is a c-shaped piece of rubbery cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between the shinbone and thighbone. Guedes has not appeared in the clubs past couple of games after suffering the injury in a league game against Vizela.

The 26 year old who is currently on loan at Benfica from Wolverhampton, joined the club during the winter transfer window and had appeared in eight games across all competitions, scoring twice while providing one assist. The club did not announce how much time Guedes will miss after the surgery but the average time of recovery can range from three weeks to three months.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Benfica through to quarters after Brugge win

Benfica Blog
Benfica will be moving on to the Champions League quarter-finals after a dominating 5-1 victory in the second leg over Belgian side Club Brugge at the Luz after winning the first leg 2-0 away from home.

Benfica opened the scoring just two minutes into the game when Joao Mario beat Brugge keeper Mignolet but the goal would be called back on an offside in the build up to the play. Benfica would then come close on two other occasions before Rafa Silva would neatly skip away from challenges to open the scoring at the thirty-eight minute mark. Goncalo Ramos would then double the lead in first half injury time, after a brilliant Joao Mario reverse pass to the youngster who would beat three Brugge defenders for the score.

Benfica continued their dominance of play in the second half and put the game to rest when Ramos would score his second goal just twelve minutes into the half, converting a Grimaldo cross into the low left side of the net. Joao Mario made it four from the penalty spot after Brugge defender Sylla needlessly brought down Gilberto in the box and then David Neres would get in on the act to make the score 5-0 with some assistance from VAR after the goal was initially ruled offside. Brugge would end their scoreless run in the two leg encounter as Meijer found the back of the net with three minutes left in the game to break the clean sheet but it was too little too late.

Benfica have now earned roughly €70M from this seasons edition of the Champions League a club record to date and will await to find out their opponents in the quarter-finals as the competition moves along.


Palmeiras interested in Benfica right back Gilberto

Benfica Blog
Benfica right back Gilberto continues to be linked with a move back to his native Brazil with the latest Brazilian club interested in landing the 30 year old being Palmeiras. Gilberto spent the winter transfer window linked to clubs Flamengo and Atletico Mineiro but no move materialized due to the clubs failure to meet Benfica's demands.

Gilberto joined Benfica in the summer of 2020 from Fluminense for €3M and has appeared in 97 games across all competitions since his arrival, scoring eight goals while setting up an additional eight. Gilberto lost his place in the starting eleven this season and is currently Benfica's back up right back after the arrival of Alexander Bah this summer.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Benfica could play meaningful games in Boston, Toronto or Paris

Benfica Blogq
There are reports coming out from a recent meeting held by Liga Portugal that starting during the 2024/25 season the league is open to changing the current format of the Taca da Liga championship to feature only the top four first division clubs from the previous season. The proposal would also include taking a long look at taking the tournament abroad in what would turn into a week long event promoting the games.

This is great news for Benfica fans who reside all over the globe in large communities and do not always have the means to travel to Portugal to catch their favourite club live in action. The Taca da Liga competition can turn to Boston, USA; San Jose, USA; Toronto, Canada; Paris, France and Geneva, Switzerland which all have large Portuguese communities to host the competition.

Benfica have won this competition seven times since its inception in 2007, which is the most titles won by any team with their last title coming during the 2015/16 season. Benfica would of course have to finish in the top four to be a part of this potential event but it finally shows that the league is thinking outside the box.


Thursday, March 2, 2023

Benfica in race for new Swedish Pearl

Benfica Blog
Benfica are one of a handful of clubs being linked with a move for AIK Solna under 17 striker Jonah Kusi-Asare who is being hailed as the new Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the tender age of just 15 in his native Sweden according to German publication Bild. Benfica are said to not be the leading candidate for the striker, as that honour falls to Austrian club RB Salzburg who's academy is highly regarded in developing players just under the level of Benfica's Seixal academy.