Friday, September 29, 2023

Benfica pull out win over FC Porto in Classico

Benfica Blog
In a highly anticipated clash between two Portuguese football giants, Benfica emerged victorious with a 1-0 home win over ten-man FC Porto in the O Classico. This thrilling encounter showcased the true essence of classic football, with both teams displaying their skill and determination.

From the first whistle, it was evident that this match would be fiercely contested. The intensity on the pitch was palpable as players from both sides fought for every ball but the game would turn on its head just 19 minutes into the first half as FC Porto defender Fabio Cardoso would receive a straight red card for his tackle on David Neres. 

Porto still looked like the more dominant side of the first half even being down a man but it would be Benfica that would finally strike in the second half when Angel di Maria's shot would deflect off of Wendel past Porto keeper Diogo Costa.

Benfica handed FC Porto their first loss of the season and move into top spot in Portugal with a game in hand on Week 6 leaders Sporting. 


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Benfica signs agreement with Al-Nasr

Benfica Blog
Benfica and Emirates club Al-Nasr have announced an agreement between the two organizations that will see Benfica participate in the technical management of Al-Nasr's football academy going forward. A delegation from Benfica was present at the announcement today that included former striker Nuno Gomes. 

No figures have been released by either club on the compensation that Benfica would receive for taking on this role in Dubai but Benfica have had a kit sponsorship agreement with Emirates Airlines since the 2015/16 season and look to continue in their business relationship with the Emirates nation.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Benfica already searching for winter transfer moves

Benfica Blog
The summer transfer market ended less then a month ago, but Benfica are already looking at potential reinforcements for when the winter window opens and of their main focuses will be to land a right back come January.

Earlier this week Danish newspaper BT reported on Benfica's interest in Nordsjaelland's 21 year old right back Oliver Villadsen as the Eagles look to shore up the right side of the pitch and provide themselves an alternate option to current starter Alexander Bah.

Benfica and Nordsjaelland have acquainted themselves over the past year as the Lisbon club acquired winger Andreas Schjelderup last winter before loaning the winger back to the Danish side for the season this summer. Benfica are hoping that the two clubs familiarity will provide for a smoother transaction when the window re-opens again in negotiating a deal.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Benfica's early mistakes costs them game in Champions League

Benfica Blog
In a shocking turn of events, Benfica suffered a devastating 2-0 defeat in their opening Champions League game at home to RB Salzburg. The Portuguese giants were left reeling after conceding two penalties and receiving a red card within the first fifteen minutes of the match.

The game started with high hopes for Benfica, as they aimed to make a strong statement in front of their passionate home crowd. However, their dreams quickly turned into a nightmare when RB Salzburg was awarded not one, but two penalties early on. The second resulting in the sending off of defender Antonio Silva at the twelve minute mark due to a handled ball in front of his own goal.

Salzburg striker Karim Konate missed the clubs first attempt from the penalty spot, with a woeful effort that sailed over the bar but his strike partner Roko Simic made no mistake just ten minutes from the same spot, not only giving Salzburg the early lead but Benfica were now down to just ten men.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Benfica showed resilience and fought valiantly throughout the match in hopes of finding an equalizer and may have done so, if not for the superb goaltending of Salzburg keeper Alexander Schlager who turned away six great scoring chances by the time the night had concluded.

Salzburg would double their lead just six minutes into the second half with a bizarre four in on the keeper break that saw 19 year old midfielder Oscar Gloukh find the meshing, as a handful of Benfica's backline were caught out of position looking for an equalizer that became more and more daunting as the game progressed.

This defeat serves as a wake-up call for Benfica and highlights areas that need improvement. Defensive discipline must be addressed urgently to avoid similar catastrophes in future matches. Additionally, maintaining composure under pressure is crucial for success at this level of competition.

Benfica manager Roger Schmidt is not immune to some blame as he continues to baffle fans with his continued use of midfielder Fredrik Aursnes at left back, a move which provides the club with very little attack from that side of the field. 

Also his slow reaction to make changes at the half was on full display in Salzburg's second goal as the players looked gassed and out of position and when he did make substitutions, they were merely like for like and came with no tactical change.

The loss at the Luz is Benfica's second home loss in a row in the Champions League dating back to last season's quarter-final defeat to Inter Milan.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Benfica Fantasy Football 2023/24 Preview

Benfica Blog

The UEFA Champions League is the pinnacle of club football, where the best teams from across Europe battle it out for glory Benfica, one of Portugal's most successful clubs, has a rich history in this prestigious competition. Over the years, they have produced some exceptional fantasy football players who have left an indelible mark on the tournament. 

Here are our player previews for the upcoming fantasy football season.

Anatoliy Trubin - Trubin is undoubtedly a valuable asset. His consistent performances make him an excellent choice for any team manager looking to secure points through clean sheets and saves. Moreover, with Benfica drawn into a challenging group this season, there will be ample opportunities for Trubin to showcase his skills against top-class opposition.

Alexander Bah - Bah is undoubtedly a player worth considering. His consistent performances and potential for goal contributions make him an attractive option for fantasy managers looking to maximize their points tally. Additionally, his relatively low price compared to other star players provides an opportunity for budget management within fantasy teams.

Nico Otamendi - Otamendi offers immense value. Known for his aerial dominance and physicality, he poses a constant threat during set-pieces and can contribute with goals or assists. Additionally, he led last season's Champions League in ball retrievals, making him an attractive option for points accumulation.

Antonio Silva - In terms of statistics, Silva was consistently one of Benfica's top performers last season. He had a number of highlights that influenced the clubs run both domestically and in the Champions League, finishing in the Top 10 in ball retrievals and it is why he should be considered a valuable addition to any fantasy football squad.

Juan Bernat - Bernat is a valuable asset due to his consistent performances and potential for attacking returns. He often finds himself involved in goal-scoring opportunities and has even contributed with assists on several occasions. Moreover, his defensive capabilities make him an attractive option as he has frequently earned clean sheet points from his time at Bayern Munich and PSG and hopes to continue that at Benfica.

Fredrik Aursnes Aursnes' versatility adds another dimension to his game. He can seamlessly transition between defensive and attacking roles, adapting to different strategies employed by opponents. This adaptability makes him an unpredictable force that keeps defenders on their toes and this provides him the opportunity to be a good addition to any squad.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Benfica set to kick off Champions League campaign this week

Benfica Blog
Benfica will start their Champions League campaign at the Estadio da Luz against Austrian side RB Salzburg on Wednesday as they look to get out of the group stage for the third straight season in the hopes of getting past the quarter-final stage which they have been stopped at the past two seasons.

Benfica go into the contest on the back of four straight wins in league play after suffering an opening season defeat and the club is relatively healthy with only left back David Jurasek in the infirmary. Look for Benfica to come out of the gate firing on all cylinders as they look to get their Champions League off to the right start. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Benfica women capture Super Cup for second year running

Benfica Blog
Benfica Women captured their second straight Portuguese Super Cup after defeating Sporting on penalties after the two clubs played to a 1-1 draw. The outcome was the same as last season when the two cross town rivals faced off in a match up that saw Benfica also defeat Sporting in additional extra time 4-1.

The Benfica women have now captured three of the last four competitions and get set to kick off their league campaign this weekend as they look to capture their fourth straight league title. Benfica's top rivals for the crown this season will be Sporting, Braga and Famalicao. The four clubs have finished one, two, three and four the past three seasons.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Benfica finds out Taca da Liga group

Benfica Blog

The Taca da Liga third round group phase has been set with Benfica learning their group members for the 2023/24 title earlier today. Benfica are joined by first division side Arouca and second division side Aves.

Benfica will play a game a piece against both clubs with the top team in the group advancing to the Final Four. Benfica will travel to face Arouca on October 31st and then host Arouca on November 22nd.

Benfica have captured the Taca da Liga seven times with their last victory coming in 2016.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Botafogo want to make Gabriel loan permanent

Benfica Blog
Brazilian side Botafogo are hoping to keep midfielder Gabriel permanently when his loan move from Benfica expires at the end of the current year, as the 29 year old has become a key piece to the surprising first place club.

Gabriel joined Botafogo in the summer of 2022 once it became clear that incoming manager Roger Schmidt did not see the midfielder in his plans for the season. Benfica acquired Gabriel from Leganes in the summer of 2018 for €9.6M but Botafogo are hoping that they can land Gabriel for a cost effective price before his loan deal runs out.

Gabriel made 100 appearances for Benfica across all competitions in his time at the club, scoring five goals while providing seven helpers.


Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Benfica need to get moving on Rafa Silva contract

Benfica Blog
Benfica will need to turn their focus on speedy winger Rafa Silva who's contract is set to expire at the end of the season. Rafa is said to be looking for a contract with an annual base salary of €5M per season which would double his current stipend but Benfica are said to have gone as high as €3.5M at this time.

President Rui Costa has until January to make a deal with Rafa before he is free to talk to any club and sign for free. The 30 year old has been with Benfica since arriving from Braga in the summer of 2016 and has appeared in 278 games for the club across all competitions. Rafa has scored 75 goals while providing 67 helpers in that time.

Rafa has captured six trophies while a member of Benfica with three of those being Portuguese League titles.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Benfica players set for International break

Benfica Blog
Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has given the club's players a five day break until Friday for those who will not be departing on International duty for their respective countries Benfica is currently carrying 26 players on their first team and thirteen of those players will be on duty with their home nations.

Benfica players set for International Duty:

Portugal: Antonio Silva

Portugal U21: Samuel Soares, Joao Neves, Tomas Araujo

Argentina - Nico Otamendi, Angel di Maria

Norway - Fredrik Aursnes

Croatia - Petar Musa

Turkey - Orkun Kokcu

Ukraine - Anatoliy Trubin 

Denmark - Alexander Bah

Brazil U23 - Morato

Japan U22- Leo Kokubo

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Benfica find out Champions League group opponents

Benfica Blog
Benfica have learned their fate after their Champions League group draw that saw last seasons Portuguese League champions drawn with a famaliar for in Inter Milan and the two clubs are joined by Spanish side Real Sociedad and Austrian club RB Salzburg.

The group stage will kick off for Benfica on September 20 at home against RB Salzburg.

Benfica group schedule

Game 1 September 20 vs RB Salzburg

Game 2 October 3 at Inter Milan

Game 3 October 24 vs Real Sociedad

Game 4 November 8 at Real Sociedad

Game 5 November 29 vs Inter Milan

Game 6 December 12 at RB Salzburg

Friday, September 1, 2023

Benfica have a crazy deadline with flurry of moves

Benfica Blog

Benfica had a wild final day of the summer transfer window that saw five players move clubs as they get set for the next few months to compete with the players that remained or arrived at the club.

Benfica negotiated the arrival of Spanish left back Juan Bernat from PSG on loan for the season in hopes that the 30 year old can replace the production lost from the departed Alex Grimaldo. Benfica will pay half of Bernat's €5.5M salary as part of the loan and the deal will not include an option to buy at the conclusion of the season.

Benfica saw the departure of four players with keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos being the highest profile player to move on from the club. The former Benfica number one will be joining English side Nottingham Forest for €10M + add ons and signs a four year contract with the Premier League club. 

Benfica then made three smaller moves sending midfielder Paulo Bernardo to Celtic and Andreas Schjelderup to Nordsjaelland, both on loan. While left back Mihailo Ristic joined Spanish side Celta Vigo on a permanent basis with Benfica receiving €1.5M for the move.