Sunday, October 29, 2023

David Neres will undergo knee surgery for extended absence

Benfica Blog
Benfica have lost winger David Neres for an extended period of time due to an injury to his meniscus in his left knee. The injury happened in yesterday's league game against Casa Pia, and will see the 26 year old go under the knife to repair the damage.

There has been no timeline given for the recovery time that Neres will need before he can return to action, but the injury is similar to the one sustained by Goncalo Guedes last season, which saw Guedes miss four months of action.

Neres is a big loss to a club that continues to struggle to score goals this season, having dropped points once again yesterday due to a lack of finish around the goal. He joins right back Alexander Bah and midfielder Orkun Kokcu in the infirmary.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Benfica celebrate 20 years at the Luz with mural

On the day the Estadio da Luz celebrated 20 years, Benfica unveiled a new mural celebrating their most outstanding 20 players from the first two decades of the stadium opening as selected by the club's fans. 

Ederson, Jan Oblak, Nelson Semedo, Andre Almeida, Ezequiel Garay, Luisao, Ruben Dias, Nico Otamendi, Alex Grimaldo, Pablo Aimar, Rui Costa, Angel di Maria, Nico Gaitan, Eduardo Salvio, Simao Sabrosa, Rafa Silva, Oscar Cardozo, Nuno Gomes, Joao Felix and Jonas were the players chosen by the fans.

Ten players were present for the unveiling of the mural led by club President Rui Costa. Benfica's Estadio da Luz was opened on October 25, 2003 and was built from scratch as the main stadium of the Euro 2024 tournament being held in Portugal.


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

What is wrong with Benfica in Champions League?

Benfica Blog
Benfica's struggles in the Champions League this season hit an all-time high when they lost for the second time at home in the competition to keep a perfect record that no one wants to have. Benfica will now be known as the only club to be drawn from pot one in the Champions League to have gone with zero goals and zero points in their first three games of the group stage.

Benfica's chances to advance out of the group stage are currently slim and could be none when they face Real Sociedad away in Spain after suffering a flattering 1-0 loss at home to them just yesterday. Benfica have looked like a shell of last season's club that made a run to the quarterfinals, which some would say that a series of unfortunate events saw the club exit to last years finalists.

But what has happened to the club that has looked terrible in the competition? Looking at the players that currently remain with the club, you have Joao Mario and Rafa Silva, who are a shell of the players that put fright into clubs last season. The pair scored 11 goals between them.

The lack of usage of a true defensive midfielder has also proved costly, as the pair of Orkun Kokcu and Joao Neves are a far cry from last seasons generals Enzo Fernandez and Florentino, who commanded the middle of the field.

For all the accolades that Kokcu and Neves get for their league play, one needs to sit in place of Florentino, who, for reasons unknown, has fallen out of favour with his pig-headed bench boss Roger Schmidt.

Benfica have also failed to replace departing striker Goncalo Ramos, as the trio of Petar Musa, Casper Tengstedt, and Arthur Cabral have yet to step up and provide the pressure up front that Ramos became famous for.

The left back position is also a glaring hole in the squad, as the exit of Alex Grimaldo has cost the club some attacking flare, and the free kick specialist was also known for timely goals, which current replacements Juan Bernat and David Jurasek provide neither.

Benfica have three games to correct the ship, but an advancement from group play may be out of the club's hands at this point in the competition, they can only take it one game at a time and hope for a return to form quickly, but I won't hold my breathe, and neither should you at this juncture.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Benfica awaiting response on trio of injured players

Benfica Blog
Benfica have a very important Champions League encounter on Tuesday when they host Spanish club Real Sociedad, Benfica are still looking for their first points of this seasons campaign in a game that has turned into a must win for the Eagles.

Benfica looks set to go into the game missing three of their regular starters with Angel di Maria, Orkun Kokcu and Alexander Bah all recovery from injuries, the trio have yet to complete a full training with the club since before the international break.

Benfica's medical department will re-evaluate the players today in Seixal but manager Roger Schmidt is in no hurry to use the trio unless they are given the green light to play as he looks to avoid a relapse in their injuries.

The club knows the importance of Tuesday's game and will look for others on the squad to step up in their absences.


Friday, October 20, 2023

Benfica put on a show in Azores in Taca de Portugal encounter

Benfica Blog
Benfica traveled to the Azores island of Terceira to take on Lusitania in their third round Taca de Portugal match up and showed their prowess in a resounding 4-1 victory over their over matched foes. Benfica scored a pair of goals in each half with their opponents chipping in a goal from the penalty spot just before the end of the first half.

Benfica got goals from four different marksmen with Joao Mario, Rafa Silva, Arthur Cabral and Tiago Gouveia all finding their names on the game sheet. With the victory Benfica now advance to the fourth round of the Taca de Portugal and await to find out their next opponents in this prestigious tournament.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Fenerbahce looking at Benfica midfielder Florentino

Benfica Blog
Current Turkish League leaders Fenerbahce are looking to reinforce their midfield with a defensive minded player and have their eyes on Benfica midfielder Florentino according to CNN Turkey.

Fenerbahce manager Ismail Kartal has presented the board with a list of midfielders he likes and highlighted on that list is the name of Florentino Luis. The 24 year old has been a long time favourite of the Turkish side but Benfica's current financial demands have continued to be a stumbling block in making the move possible.

Florentino is signed with Benfica until the summer of 2027 and has a buy clause of €120M, current Benfica bench boss Roger Schmidt is against moving the midfielder who he feels is a valuable part of the club.

Fenerbahce have their work cut out for them if they are to land this coveted player and do not seem to have the financial might to make this move happen.


Sunday, October 15, 2023

Benfica prepare for third round Taca de Portugal encounter

Benfica Blog

Benfica are gearing up for their third round Taca de Portugal encounter against Azores club Lusitania on Friday in the picturesque island of Terceira, in what amounts to a battle between David and Goliath once again.

The match looks set to be a spectacle of football taking place in the small island of just over 53,000 people between two clubs with contrasting backgrounds but equal ambitions to advance.

Lusitania will be flying in over 40 sports venue assistants from the mainland of Portugal due to the logistics of hosting the defending league Champions and Portugal's most popular club at the Estadio John Paul II which normally holds 7,000 fans.

This will set the club back $20,000 to cover all accommodations for these workers but it will be worth the media coverage and free advertisement that the brand will receive from such a big match.

Benfica will be looking for nothing short then advancing to the next round and have their focus on making a run to the final to capture a trophy that has alluded them since the 2016/17 season.


Friday, October 13, 2023

Rosario Central want Di Maria next season

Benfica Blog
Argentinian club Rosario Central are hoping to land Benfica winger Angel di Maria next season once he becomes a free agent in hopes of having Di Maria end his career where it started. Rosario's sporting director Federico Lussenhoff spoke earlier today about preparing the right conditions to bring Di Maria back next summer.

Benfica acquired the talented Di Maria from Rosario Central in the summer of 2007 for €8M and the 35 year old spent three seasons with Benfica before departing and joining Real Madrid. Di Maria's career has taken him through Manchester United, PSG and Juventus before returning to Benfica this summer. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Benfica need to give Cabral more time to adapt to club

Benfica made a significant signing this summer when they acquired striker Arthur Cabral from Fiorentina for €20M to replace departing striker Goncalo Ramos who moved on to join PSG. 

However since his arrival Cabral has struggled to find his footing and has yet to score or provide a helper in the limited time that he has appeared in games.

Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has continued to shuffle between Cabral, Petar Musa and Casper Tengstedt as he looks to find the piece that can replace what the club lost with departure of Ramos. 

Cabral has appeared in 230 minutes of the 900 minutes that the club has played this season, which does not bode well for the striker as he looks to adapt to his new club and teammates.

Benfica need to give their summer acquisition regular playing minutes if we are to see what he can bring to the club as if Cabral is to build chemistry with his new teammates he will actually need to be on the pitch with them.

Benfica should look to include Cabral against the leagues minnows more regularly in the hopes that he can provide the club with what they first saw when acquiring the 25 year old this past summer.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Benfica injuries starting to mount

Benfica Blog
Benfica are under an injury alert stage of the season as three regular starters hit the infirmary within a few days during this past week. Benfica have lost right back Alexander Bah, midfielder Orkun Kokcu and winger Angel di Maria to injury.

All three players injuries are not deemed to be serious and the trio should not miss extended periods of time but the injuries are serious enough that both Bah and Di Maria will not report for international duty while Kokcu looks to be following suit.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Benfica looking at Boavista right back

Benfica Blog
Benfica are currently looking to make a move for a right back when the winter transfer window opens up in January as the club currently lacks anyone to back up current starter Alexander Bah who has struggled to stay healthy in the first few months of the season.

Reports from Portugal have Benfica linked with a move to acquire U21 International Pedro Malheiro from Boavista. The 22 year old has been Boavista's regular starter at right back since half way through last season and has appeared in 60 games across all competitions for the northern Portugal club, scoring twice while providing seven helpers.

This move for Malheiro should be cost efficient and give the club the coverage that they are currently lacking since the departure of Gilberto in the summer to Brazil.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Roger Schmidt shows us he is not the smartest guy in the room

Benfica Blog

Roger Schmidt's starting XI revealed his foolishness as Benfica suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of last seasons Champions League finalists Inter Milan. The match showcased a lack of tactical awareness and poor decision-making on Schmidt's part, ultimately leading to the clubs downfall, as the German skipper seems to not have learned a dam thing from the clubs exit to these same Italians last season.

However, amidst the disappointment, goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin looks to have emerged as a potential superstar between the posts as the young Ukrainian kept the score respectable, by turning aside seven shots with the majority on the difficult side which prevented the outcome from becoming embarrassing.

But getting back to Schmidt his team selection to commence the game was questionable from the start as his decision to not play a natural striker and start David Neres, Rafa Silva and Angel di Maria up front did not have the desired effect he seems to have hoped for. Then his choice to leave hard nosed defensive midfielder Florentinto on the sidelines in what was expected to be a tough encounter, left a gapping hole in the middle of the field that was exploited all second half.

Benfica's unwillingness to find a reliable back up at right back during the summer transfer window also did not help the teams cause as the club was forced to play young center back Tomas Araujo in place of Alexander Bah who went down 23 minutes into the game, ending the clubs attacking prowess from that side of the field for the remainder of the encounter.

Schmidt has been slowly losing his shine as his lack of foresight further highlights his inability to read the flow of play accurately and make the appropriate changes, the injury to Bah should have seen the club change to a 3-4-3, this way utilizing the strengths of the players he had on the field, instead Schmidt continues to show us that he is not the smartest guy in the room... again.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Benfica travel to Milan in rematch from last season

Benfica Blog
The anticipation is building as Benfica, the Portuguese football champions, travel to Milan for a highly anticipated rematch against Inter in Champions League action. The clash is a rematch from last season's quarter-final match up between the two clubs that saw Benfica suffer a heartbreaking elimination at the hands of last seasons finalists.

For Benfica supporters, this match holds great significance. It represents an opportunity to exorcise last seasons demons and to see Benfica's Champions League campaign get back on track after they suffered an opening round game loss to RB Salzburg to kick off this seasons competition.

Benfica are coming off a victory over fierce rivals FC Porto this past weekend and hope to carry the momentum of that victory into tomorrows contest against Inter.