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Benfica

"Benfica" redirects here. For other uses, see Benfica (disambiguation).

Benfica
200px
Full name Sport Lisboa e Benfica
Nickname(s) Benfiquistas
Águias (Eagles)
Encarnados (Reds)
Glorioso (Glorious One)
Founded 28 February 1904 (1904-02-28) (110 years ago)
as Sport Lisboa
Ground Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
Ground Capacity 65,647
President Luís Filipe Vieira
Manager Jorge Jesus
League Primeira Liga
2012–13 Primeira Liga, 2nd
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Portuguese pronunciation: [spɔɾ liʒˈboɐ i bɐ̃ȷ̃ˈfikɐ]), commonly known as Benfica or SLB, is a Portuguese sports club based in Lisbon, Portugal.

Founded on 28 February 1904, Benfica is one of the Três Grandes (Big Three) football clubs in Portugal. The team plays its home matches in the Estádio da Luz with a capacity of 65,647. The club's official anthem is "Ser Benfiquista". Unlike many other European football clubs, Benfica sócios (paying supporters) own and operate the club since its creation. Benfica is the world's most supported football club,[1] and the twenty-second richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €111.1 million.[2]

Domestically, Benfica holds a record of 32 Primeira Liga titles, a record of 24 Taça de Portugal (and 4 consecutively), a record of 9 Doubles, a record of 4 Taça da Liga (totally and consecutively), 3 Campeonato de Portugal and 4 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira. Benfica has the distinction of being the first club in the history of the Primeira Liga to have completed an entire 30 game season unbeaten in 1972–73 and also the first club to do it twice in 1977–78. Benfica is the most successful football club in Portuguese competitions, with 67 titles, having 69 titles overall.

Internationally, Benfica was the first and only Portuguese club to win 2 European Champion Clubs' Cup consecutively, the 1960–61 European Cup and the 1961–62 European Cup, and one Latin Cup in 1950. In addition, the club was runners-up in the 1961 Intercontinental Cup, in the 1962 Intercontinental Cup, in the 1962–63 European Cup, in the 1964–65 European Cup, in the 1967–68 European Cup, in the 1982–83 UEFA Cup, in the 1987–88 European Cup, in the 1989–90 European Cup and in the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League. Benfica holds the Portuguese record of 9 European finals and it is the seventh club with the most presence in UEFA finals.

The club was one of the founding members of the Primeira Liga in 1933 and it has never been relegated from the first division of Portuguese football.

History

Early years (1904–1950)

On 28 February 1904, a group of former students from the Real Casa Pia de Lisboa met at Farmácia Franco, located at Rua de Belém in the southwest part of Lisbon, with the goal of forming a new football club that would be called Sport Lisboa. There were a total of 24 people who attended the meeting, including the eighteen years old co-founder and future soul of the football club, Cosme Damião. During the meeting, José Rosa Rodrigues was appointed as the club's first president, along with Daniel Brito as secretary and Manuel Gourlade as treasurer. In this historic meeting it was defined that the club colors would be red and white, the emblem an eagle, and the motto "E Pluribus Unum".

Despite important football victories in the first few years, the club suffered due to poor operating conditions, namely the football field Terras do Desembargador. As a result, in 1907, several players from the first team joined the then more prosperous Sporting, located across the city at Campo Grande. This event started the rivalry between the two clubs.

On 13 September 1908, Sport Lisboa e Benfica was born when Sport Lisboa acquired, by mutual agreement, the Grupo Sport Benfica founded on 26 July 1906. Despite the merger of the two clubs, they continued their respective club operations. For Sport Lisboa they maintained the football team, the red and white shirt colors, the eagle as the symbol and "E Pluribus Unum" as the motto. For Grupo Sport Benfica they maintained the football field Campo da Feiteira, the main directors and the club's house. Under mutual agreement, both clubs determined that the foundation date of the newly formed club – Sport Lisboa e Benfica – should coincide with the foundation date of Sport Lisboa given that it was the most recognized club of the two in the merger and it was already quite popular in Lisbon due to its football merits. With regard to the new club's logo, a bicycle wheel was added to the emblem of Sport Lisboa to represent cycling, the most important sport of Grupo Sport Benfica. As for the new club's name, "Benfica" from "Grupo Sport Benfica" was merged with "Sport Lisboa" to form "Sport Lisboa e Benfica", which remains the formal full name. The club moved from the Belém area of Lisbon to the present-day Benfica area, which is a neighborhood located in the northern part of the city. Furthermore, the two entities of the new club had simultaneous associates which helped to stabilize operations and later increased the success of the merger.

However, in the beginning, problems with the club's rented football field remained. In 1913, Benfica moved to Campo de Sete Rios but four years later the club was forced to move to Campo de Benfica, due to a high rent. In 1925, Benfica built the Estádio das Amoreiras and this was the place where Benfica won its first national titles. Meanwhile, Benfica already had created the sections of roller hockey, field hockey, rugby, basketball, handball, billiards and volleyball. The Portuguese Championship began in 1934 and, after losing the first edition, Benfica won the next three (1935–36, 1936–37 and 1937–38), after ten Campeonatos de Lisboa won. In 1940, Benfica won its first Portuguese Cup. In 1941, Benfica moved to Estádio do Campo Grande. In cycling, it's worth to mention the importance of José Maria Nicolau, winner of Volta a Portugal in 1931 and 1934, who spread admiration for the club in the whole country at a time when television did not exist and there were few newspapers. Through the 1940s, Benfica won three Portuguese Championships, in 1941–42, 1942–43 and 1944–45, and won four Portuguese Cups in 1940, 1943, 1944 and 1948. By now, football was clearly Benfica's most important sport.

1950–1960

Benfica's first major international football success happened in 1950 when they won the Latin Cup defeating FC Girondins de Bordeaux at the Estadio Nacional in Lisbon and also reaching the 1957 final, this time however, losing to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. The Latin Cup was one of Europe's most prestigious club's competition Cup's along with the Mitropa Cup until the late fifties, perhaps laying the seeds for when the various UEFA's club competition Cup's begun to be organised and evolving to what it has become today, involving all the European countries, Turkey and Israel.

Another highlight came in 1954 when Benfica moved into the famous Estádio da Luz which initially had capacity for 40,000 spectators and then was gradually expanded due to club's growing success and fan base to a record capacity of 135,000 spectators, becoming the largest stadium in Europe and third largest in the world, at the time.

During the 1950s, Benfica won three Portuguese Championships and six Portuguese Cups. In addition to all these successes, Benfica was able to end the decade with the basic foundations in place, enabling the club to enter the 1960s with one of the best teams in Europe.

Golden era (1960–1970)

Benfica was the first team to break Real Madrid's dominance in European Champions' Cup by winning two consecutive European Cups against FC Barcelona in 1961, and Real Madrid in 1962.

During the 1960s, Benfica reached another three European Cup finals but losing respectively to Milan in 1963 at the Wembley Stadium in London, Internazionale in 1965 at the San Siro in Milan, and Manchester United in 1968 again at the Wembley Stadium in London.

Most of their successes in the sixties were achieved with all-time football great Eusébio. In fact, the 1960s were the best period of the club's history, in which Benfica won eight Portuguese Championships (1960, '61, '63, '64, '65, '67, '68, and '69), three Portuguese Cups (1961, '64, and '69), and two European Champions Cup (1961 and '62).

In 1968, Benfica was considered the best European team by France Football.

Silver era (1970–1994)

During the 1970s, the team faded slightly from the European scene, but remained the main force inside Portuguese football, winning six Portuguese Championships (1971, '72, '73, '75, '76, and '77) and two Portuguese Cups (1970 and '72). Jimmy Hagan led the club to three Portuguese Championships and one Portuguese Cup between 1970 and 1973. Benfica also attracted Europe-wide attention when the team reached the semi-finals of the European Champions Cup, where the team was only narrowly defeated 1–0 on aggregate by the legendary Ajax side of that era.

In 1972–73, Benfica became the first club in Portugal to last a whole season without defeat and won 28 matches — 23 consecutively — out of 30, and drew two. In that year, Eusébio also became Europe's top scorer with 40 goals, in what was his penultimate season as a Benfica player. The team scored 101 goals, breaking the 100 goals mark for the second time in their history.

The club had some corporate management problems in the late 1970s, early 1980s, but the football team managed to keep up to its high standards again, this time under the guidance of Mr. Sven-Göran Eriksson, winning two consecutive Portuguese Championships in 1983 and 1984, one Portuguese Cup, and reaching the final of the UEFA Cup in 1983 but losing on aggregate score to Anderlecht.

Following the completion of improvements to the football stadium, the board of Benfica decided to open the third level of the Estádio da Luz, which transformed it into the biggest football stadium in Europe, with a seating capacity of 120,000 spectators (up to 135,000 in the days of 'standing behind the goals'). In 1987, Benfica won another double, an achievement done for the ninth time in its history.

During the period from 1988 to 1994, Benfica made a huge financial investment in an effort to win another European Cup. Benfica reached two European Cup finals in 1988 and 1990, but lost to PSV and Milan respectively. During this period, Benfica won three championships (1989, '91, and '94) and one Portuguese Cup (1993).

The crisis (1994–2003)

Financial trouble dating back to the 1980s when Benfica completed the third tier ("Terceiro Anel") in old Estádio da Luz and a long time dream of making Benfica again European Champion started to deteriorate the club finances. The rampant spending and a questionable signing policy which allowed for squads composed of well over 30 players, further aggravating the financial problems.

Consequently, the period from 1994 through 2003 was arguably the darkest in the history of Benfica. During this time, Benfica only won one Portuguese Cup in season 1995–96 and finished in positions until then unknown, such as sixth in 2000–01 and fourth in 2001–02. Benfica entered in default during the Vale e Azevedo term of club presidency which further damaged the club credibility, and nearly every year saw the hire of two or more coaches, between 1994 and 2002, eleven coaches shared the seat, Mário Wilson, three times no less. It's during this period, that Benfica paid 13M€ for Simão Sabrosa, smashing the Portuguese transfer record, and also decided to build the new Estádio da Luz on 28 September 2001, which eventually cost 162M€.[3][4][5]

Rebuilding years (2003–present)

In 2004, with a new president Luís Filipe Vieira and manager José Antonio Camacho, Benfica won the first trophy in eight, years the 2003–04 Portuguese Cup by defeating José Mourinho's FC Porto in the final, and in 2004–05, the Portuguese championship after eleven years, this time with Giovanni Trapattoni as coach. That year was also marked by the death of the Hungarian player Miklós Fehér during a match against Vitória de Guimarães at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques. The wake was held at the same stadium and both the president Luís Filipe Vieira and the captain Nuno Gomes went to Hungary for the player's burial.

In 2004–05, Benfica won its fourth Portuguese SuperCup. In the 2005–06 Champions League, Benfica managed to reach the quarter-finals, defeating Manchester United 2–1 in the decisive group stage encounter, and then overcoming the 2005 European champions Liverpool 3–0 on aggregate. However, Benfica lost in the quarter-finals to the eventual Champions League winner FC Barcelona by an aggregate of 2–0, both goals coming during the second leg in Camp Nou. In the 2006–07 season, Benfica found themselves again facing Manchester United in a decisive Champions League group match in which the winner would advance. However, this time it was Manchester United who prevailed, gaining revenge in a 3–1 win.

On 20 August 2007, José Antonio Camacho returned to Benfica on a two-year contract, following the sacking of Fernando Santos after only one match in the league (a tie against the recently promoted Leixões), at a time when Benfica was facing a vital Champions League qualifying game against FC Copenhagen. Benfica guaranteed a place in the Champions League after defeating Copenhagen 1–0, but exited the competition at the group stage. The team was put into UEFA Cup where it lost to Getafe CF. Camacho resigned a few months later, in March and the club failed to gain a top three finish in the 2007–08 season, placing the team in the UEFA Cup.

On 22 May 2008, former Valencia manager Quique Flores was appointed as Benfica's new manager where he won the club's first League Cup by defeating Sporting and finished third, getting a place in the Europa League.


On 8 June 2009, manager Quique Flores resigned as coach after agreeing to a friendly contractual termination. On 17 June, he was replaced by former Sporting de Braga manager Jorge Jesus.

In the 2009–10, Benfica had the highest average home attendance of 50,033[6] and the highest mark was 58,659 against FC Porto, a game in which Benfica defeated FC Porto and conquered three important points.

On 21 March 2010, Benfica beat arch-rivals FC Porto 3–0 in the Portuguese League Cup final and won its second consecutive trophy.

Benfica was drawn against Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. At the Estádio da Luz, Benfica defeated Liverpool 2–1 but was eliminated after a 4–1 loss at Anfield.[7]

On 9 May 2010, Benfica won its final match against Rio Ave and became champion of the 2009–10 Primeira Liga,[8] conquering its 32nd championship and securing a direct entry into the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League. Óscar Cardozo finished top scorer of the Primeira Liga with 26 goals.[9]

In the next season, after participating in the Champions League, Benfica moved to Europa League and progressed to its first European semi-final in eighteen years. The team lost on the away goals rule after a 2–2 result against Sp. Braga.[10] On 23 April 2011, Benfica won the Portuguese League Cup final against Paços de Ferreira, clinching its third consecutive trophy.[11] This year the club finished second.

In 2011-12, Benfica reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League, being eliminated by eventual winners Chelsea;[12] and at home won its fourth consecutive Taça da Liga;[13] and was second in the championship, qualifying directly to the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League. Óscar Cardozo was the top scorer of Portuguese league for the second time, with 20 goals.[14]

The 2012–13 season marked Benfica's return to European finals, after coming third in their group in the Champions League, Benfica reached the Final of the Europa League, losing 2–1 to Chelsea. It was the club first European final since 1990 European Cup Final.[15][16] Domestically, Benfica was second in Primeira Liga, despite leading up to second to last day.[17] Also, Benfica reached the Final of the Taça de Portugal, their first since 2004–05, suffering a defeat at the hands of Vitória Guimarães.[18]

Support

Due to the success and popularity of its football and eclecticism, Benfica has built the biggest fan base in Portugal, with around 6 million fans and one of the biggest in the world with 14 million fans.[19][20] Benfica holds the Guinness World Record for the football club with most members.[1] Benfiquistas are spread across different countries: Andorra, Angola, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Croatia, France, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Mozambique, Netherlands, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom and United States.

Records

Eusébio presently holds records for number of total appearances for Benfica with 614 games played.

Benfica's all time top goalscorer is Eusébio, who scored 474 goals for the club in 440 games. José Águas is in second place with 374 goals in 384 games, followed by Nené, who scored 360 goals in 575 games.

Benfica holds the record of becoming Portuguese champion without losing a game, during the 1972–73 season.

In 1972–73, Benfica won 23 matches in a row and set the Portuguese league record for most consecutive victories. The club finished the season with 58 points in 30 games, the most ever obtained (96.7% efficiency), and achieved the largest difference ever between the champion and the runner-up (18 points), in a 2 points per win system.

Benfica holds the European winning streak record of 29 games (between 1971–72 and 1972–73).

Benfica holds the record of 32 Portuguese Championships, 24 Portuguese Cups, 4 Portuguese League Cups and 9 doubles.

Benfica also holds the Portuguese record of winning 2 consecutive European Champions' Cups and a record 9 European finals.

Crest

The emblem is composed of an eagle, a shield in the club colours of red and white, and the acronym SLB for "Sport Lisboa e Benfica" over a football, all superimposed over a bicycle wheel, which was taken from the Grupo Sport Benfica emblem. The club motto is "E Pluribus Unum", Latin for "Out of many, one".

The origin of the current emblem goes back to 1908, when Sport Lisboa was merged with Grupo Sport Benfica. The emblem was modified in 1930 and 1999, the last modification was essentially the repositioning of the eagle.[21] Since 2008, the club has been using commemorative emblems about important football titles in its history by adding stars on top of the current emblem.[22]

The table below shows the evolution of the emblem:[23]

Sponsors and manufacturers

Since 1974 when Benfica signed a deal with Adidas they have had a specific kit manufacturer and since 1985 have had a kit sponsor. The following tables detail the shirt sponsors and kit suppliers of Benfica by year:[24]

See also: Equipments of S.L. Benfica

Stadiums

For the training centre and youth academy, see Futebol Campus.

Benfica plays at the Estádio da Luz ("Stadium of the Light"), officially named the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, which is located in Lisbon.

The old stadium also called Estádio da Luz, the largest in Europe at that time with a capacity of 135 000, was demolished and the new one was built for the tournament with a capacity of 65,647 seats.

The new Estádio da Luz hosted several matches of the UEFA Euro 2004, including the final match. On 20 March 2012, it was designated the venue for the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League final.[25]

Museum

On 29 July 2013, the new Museum of Benfica was inaugurated and named "Museu Benfica: Cosme Damião"Cosme Damião.

Honours

Domestic competitions

  • Taça de Portugal
  • Winners (24) (record): 1939–40, 1942–43, 1943–44, 1948–49, 1950–51, 1951–52, 1952–53, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1958–59, 1961–62, 1963–64, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1971–72, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1992–93, 1995–96, 2003–04
  • Winners (4): 1980, 1985, 1989, 2005
  • Campeonato de Portugal[26]
  • Winners (3): 1929–30, 1930–31, 1934–35
  • Campeonato de Lisboa
  • Winners (10): 1909–10, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1913–14, 1915–16, 1916–17, 1917–18, 1919–20, 1932–33, 1939–40
  • Taça de Honra de Lisboa
  • Winners (19): 1919–20, 1932–33, 1939–40, 1962–63, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1987–88
  • Taça Ribeiro dos Reis
  • Winners (3): 1963–64, 1965–66, 1970–71

European competitions

  • Winners (1): 1950
    • Runners-up (1): 1957
  • Iberian Cup
  • Winners (1): 1983

European finals campaigns

Players

Current squad

For a list of every Benfica player with 25 or more appearances, see List of S.L. Benfica players.
Further information: 2013–14 S.L. Benfica season § Squad information

As of 27 September 2013.[27]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Brazil GK Artur
3 Portugal DF Steven Vitória
4 Brazil DF
5 Serbia MF Ljubomir Fejsa
6 Portugal MF Rúben Amorim
7 Paraguay FW Óscar Cardozo (2nd vice-captain)
8 Serbia FW Miralem Sulejmani
9 Argentina FW Funes Mori
10 Serbia MF Filip Đuričić
11 Brazil FW Lima
12 Brazil DF Cortez (on loan from São Paulo FC)
13 Portugal GK Paulo Lopes
14 Uruguay DF Maxi Pereira (vice-captain)
15 Netherlands MF Ola John
16 Brazil DF Siqueira (on loan from Granada CF)
No. Position Player
18 Argentina MF Eduardo Salvio
19 Spain FW Rodrigo
20 Argentina MF Nicolás Gaitán
21 Serbia MF Nemanja Matić
22 Serbia DF Stefan Mitrović
23 Uruguay MF Urreta
24 Argentina DF Ezequiel Garay
28 Portugal DF Sílvio
30 Portugal MF André Gomes
33 Brazil DF Jardel
34 Portugal MF André Almeida
35 Argentina MF Enzo Pérez
41 Slovenia GK Jan Oblak
50 Serbia FW Lazar Marković
90 Portugal FW Ivan Cavaleiro

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Brazil DF Léo Kanu (at Grêmio Osasco)
Argentina DF Lisandro López (at Getafe CF)
Brazil DF Sidnei (at Espanyol)
Brazil MF Airton (at Internacional)
Argentina MF Luis Fariña (at Baniyas)
No. Position Player
Brazil FW Alan Kardec (at Palmeiras)
Argentina FW Franco Jara (at Estudiantes)
Brazil FW Michel (at Al-Wakrah)
Portugal FW Nélson Oliveira (at Rennes)
Portugal FW Pizzi (at Espanyol)

Retired numbers

No. Player Nationality Position Benfica debut Last match
29 Fehér, MiklósMiklós Fehér  Hungary Forward

As of the 2004–05 season, president Luís Filipe Vieira said no player will wear the number 29 shirt in Benfica, since the club decided to retire the shirt out of respect for Miklós Fehér due to his tragic death.

Personnel

Technical staff

Position Staff
Manager Jorge Jesus
Assistant manager Raúl José
Miguel Quaresma
Minervino Pietra
Fitness coach Mário Monteiro
Goalkeeping coach Hugo Oliveira
Director of football Lourenço Coelho
B team manager Hélder Cristóvão

Last updated: 16 June 2013
Source: S.L. Benfica

Management

Sports

Media

Since 1943, Benfica publishes a weekly newspaper called O Benfica, the oldest sports newspaper in Portugal. With globalization, Benfica has developed in the last few years many ways of communicating with its millions of fans around the globe. The most important of these projects is its own television channel Benfica TV which started in 2008 as the first Portuguese sports club TV channel. Besides that, the club offers to their associates a bimonthly magazine called Mística and maintains a strong presence in the Internet with its own multi-language website, which includes a social network called SLB Fans, and also with website accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.

The club is involved in social intervention with Fundação Benfica (Benfica Foundation).[28]

Finances

Sport Lisboa e Benfica SAD
Revenue Decrease €88,306,830 (2012–13)
Operating income Increase €7,073,913 (2012–13)
Net income Decrease (€10,394,000) (2012–13)
Total assets Increase €416,671,267 (2012–13)
Total equity Increase (€23,809,237) (2012–13)

Sport Lisboa e Benfica-Futebol SAD was created by João Vale e Azevedo on 10 February 2000 with an initial equity of 75 million €.[29][30] The creation of an autonomous entity to manage the professional football team had 5 major reason's:[31]

  • Participation in professional competitions, both national or internacional.
  • Development of football players.
  • Exploration of TV right's, both on closed or open channel.
  • Management of image right's of the players.
  • Exploration of the Benfica brand by the professional football team.

Benfica SAD entered the PSI-20 on 21 May 2007[32] with an initial stock value of 5 € on 15,000.001 shares. on 15 June 2007, Joe Berardo launched an Initial public offering on Benfica, SAD for 3,5€ a share.[33]

On December 2009, Benfica SAD, after vote of his members, decided to increase its equity to 115 million € by absorbing Benfica Estádio, SA. The initial equity of 75 million € was by then, completely lost, when the SAD was on Balance sheet insolvency. This increase in equity means that 7,999.999 more shares are now on Stock market. Benfica valued them at 5€ each. They were admitted to the stock market on 14 June 2012.[31]

In Portugal, company's in the stock market index are obligated to provide information to his shareholders and CMVM. The most recent information was published on 19 September 2013.[34]

Every semester a more detailed information is published.[35]

In 2009-10, Benfica posted losses of 11.3 million, an improvement from the nearly 30 million loss in 2009-09.[36] In 2010–11, Benfica continued on the red, posting losses of 7.6 million euros,[36] even after the sale of David Luiz to Chelsea F.C..[37]

In 2011–12, Benfica SAD posted losses of 11.7 million euros,[38] after earning approximately 21 M€ prize money at the Champions League and selling Fábio Coentrão and Roberto for approximately 38 M€.[39][40][41]

In 2012–13, Benfica maintained their losing trend, posting losses of 10.3€ million, generating a club record 51,5M€, with the sales of Javi García and Axel Witsel for a total revenue upwards of 145€ million.[34]

See also

References

External links

  • (Portuguese) (English) (Spanish)
  • UEFA
  • Primeira Liga (Portuguese)

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