|Full name||Sport Lisboa e Benfica|
Glorioso (Glorious One)
|Founded||28 February 1904
as Sport Lisboa
|Ground||Estádio da Luz|
|President||Luís Filipe Vieira|
|2012–13||Primeira Liga, 2nd|
|Website||Club home page|
Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Portuguese pronunciation: [spɔɾ liʒˈboɐ i bɐ̃ȷ̃ˈfikɐ]), commonly known as Benfica or SLB, is a Portuguese multi-sport club based in Lisbon, Portugal. The club is mostly known for its professional football team.
Founded on 28 February 1904, Benfica is one of the "Três Grandes" (Big Three) football clubs in Portugal. Benfica is the most widely supported football club in the world and the twenty-sixth richest football club in the world in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €109.2 million. The club's motto is "E pluribus unum" and its official anthem is "Ser Benfiquista". The Benfica team is referred to as "as Águias" (the Eagles) or "os Encarnados" (the Reds), while the supporters are called "Benfiquistas".
Domestically, Benfica has won 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 (consecutively), 3 Campeonato de Portugal and 4 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira. Benfica was the first club in the history of the Primeira Liga to have completed an entire 30 game season unbeaten, in 1972–73—achieving the largest difference ever between champions and runners-up (18 points) in a 2 points per win system—and was also the first to do it twice, in 1977–78. Benfica holds the Portuguese record of 56 games without a defeat in domestic league, between 1976–77 and 1978–79. Benfica is the most successful club in Portuguese competitions with 67 titles (together with F.C. Porto), having 69 titles overall, and it is the only club to have won all the domestic competitions.
Internationally, Benfica holds the European record of most consecutive wins in domestic league and it is the only Portuguese club to have won 2 European Champion Clubs' Cup consecutively, the 1960–61 European Cup and the 1961–62 European Cup. In addition, they were runners-up in the 1961 Intercontinental Cup, 1962 Intercontinental Cup, 1962–63 European Cup, 1964–65 European Cup, 1967–68 European Cup, 1982–83 UEFA Cup, 1987–88 European Cup, 1989–90 European Cup and 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. In 2000, Benfica was ranked 12th in the FIFA Club of the Century award. In 2009, they were ranked 9th in "Europe's Club of the Century" by IFFHS. In January 2014, Benfica was ranked 10th in World Club Ranking by IFFHS. Benfica is ranked 6th in club coefficients by UEFA.
- 1 History
- 2 Support
- 3 Rivalries
- 4 Records and statistics
- 5 Crest and shirt
- 6 Stadiums
- 7 Honours
- 8 Players
- 9 Personnel
- 10 Sports
- 11 Media
- 12 Finances
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 Further reading
- 16 External links
Early years (1904–1950)
On 28 February 1904, a group of former students from the Real Casa Pia de Lisboa and members of Associação do Bem met at the back of the Farmácia Franco, located at Rua de Belém with the goal of forming a social and cultural 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 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 colours of the club would be red and white, and the crest composed of an eagle and the motto "E pluribus unum" (Out of many, one).
Despite important 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, eight players from the football team joined the then more wealthy Sporting, located across the city at Campo Grande. This major 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 which had been 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 colours, 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 recognised club of the two in the merger and it was already quite popular in Lisbon due to their football merits. In regard to the new club's logo, a cycling wheel was added to the crest of Sport Lisboa to represent 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 stabilise 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 their first national titles. Meanwhile, Benfica already had created the sections of roller hockey, field hockey, rugby, basketball, handball, billiards and volleyball. The Primeira Liga began in 1934 and, after losing the first edition, Benfica won the next three in a row (1935–36, 1936–37 and 1937–38), after winning ten Campeonato de Lisboa. In 1940, Benfica won their first Taça de Portugal. 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 Primeira Liga, in 1941–42, 1942–43 and 1944–45, and won four Taça de Portugal in 1940, 1943, 1944 and 1948. In this period, football was Benfica's most important sport.
Rise to dominance (1950–1960)
Benfica's first major international football success happened in 1950 when they won the Latin Cup, the predecessor of the European Cup, defeating Bordeaux at the Estádio Nacional, in Lisbon, with Ted Smith as manager. They reached another final of this competition in 1957 but lost to Real Madrid at their home Santiago Bernabéu.
With Joaquim Ferreira Bogalho elected as president in 1952 and the arrival of manager Otto Glória in 1954, Benfica became more modernised and professional, and moved into the Estádio da Luz with an initial capacity of 40,000 spectators; later expanded to 70,000 in 1960.
During the 1950s, Benfica won three Primeira Liga and six Taça de Portugal. In addition to these successes, Benfica was able to end the decade with the basic foundations in place, enabling the club to enter the 1960s as one of the best teams in European football.
Golden era (1960–1970)
Led by manager Béla Guttmann, Benfica was the first team to break Real Madrid's dominance in European Champion Clubs' Cup by winning two consecutive European Cups against FC Barcelona in 1961 at the Wankdorf Stadium and against Real Madrid in 1962 at the Olympic Stadium.
Later on, Benfica reached another three European Cup finals but lost them to A.C. Milan in 1963 at the Wembley Stadium, to Internazionale in 1965 at the San Siro, and to Manchester United in 1968 again at the Wembley Stadium.
Many of their successes in this decade were achieved with all-time football great Eusébio. The 1960s were the best period of the club's history, in which Benfica won eight Primeira Liga (1960, '61, '63, '64, '65, '67, '68, and '69), three Taça de Portugal (1962, '64, and '69), and two European Champions Cup (1961 and '62).
Dominance and decline (1970–1994)
During the 1970s, the team faded slightly from the European scene, but remained the main force inside Portuguese football, winning six Primeira Liga (1971, '72, '73, '75, '76, and '77) and two Taça de Portugal (1970 and '72). Jimmy Hagan led the club to three Primeira Liga and one Taça de Portugal 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 Ajax of Johan Cruyff.
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 2. 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, and conceded 13 goals.
In the late 1970s, early 1980s, the club had some corporate management problems but the football team managed to keep up to their high standards again. In 1981, with Lajos Baróti, Benfica made its eight double winning the Primeira Liga and the Taça de Portugal. Later, under the guidance of Sven-Göran Eriksson, the club won two consecutive Primeira Liga in 1983 and 1984, one Taça de Portugal (1983), and reached the final of the UEFA Cup in 1983 but lost 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 and third largest in the world, 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 and last time in their history, conquering the Primeira Liga and the Taça de Portugal.
During the period from 1988 to 1994, Benfica made a huge financial investment in an effort to win another European Cup, reaching two European Cup finals in 1988 and 1990, but lost to PSV and Milan respectively. During this period, Benfica won three Primeira Liga (1989, '91, and '94) and one Taça de Portugal (1993).
Financial trouble dating back to the 1980s when Benfica completed the third tier ("Terceiro Anel") of the 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 problem.
Consequently, the period from 1994 through 2003 was arguably the darkest in the history of Benfica. During this time, Benfica only won one Taça de Portugal in 1996 and finished in Primeira Liga positions until then unknown, such as sixth in 2000–01 and fourth in 2001–02. Benfica entered in default during the João Vale e Azevedo term of club presidency which further damaged the club finances and credibility, and nearly every year saw the hire of two or more managers, between 1994 and 2002, eleven managers shared the seat, Mário Wilson, three times no less.
It was during this period that Benfica paid €13 million for Simão Sabrosa, smashing the Portuguese transfer record, and also decided to build the new Estádio da Luz on 28 September 2001, which would eventually cost €162 million.
Rebuilding years (2003–2009)
In the 2003–04 season, with a new president Luís Filipe Vieira and manager José Antonio Camacho, Benfica won their 24th Taça de Portugal (their first trophy in eight years) defeating José Mourinho's Porto in the final (2–1).
In 2004–05, Benfica won their 31st Portuguese League (their first in eleven years) with Giovanni Trapattoni as manager. 2004 was 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 then Benfica's president and the entire squad travelled to Hungary for the player's burial.
In 2005–06, Benfica won their fourth Supertaça against Vitória de Setúbal (1–0). In Europe, Benfica managed to reach the quarter-finals of Champions League defeating Manchester United 2–1 in the decisive group stage encounter, and then overcoming the European champions Liverpool 3–0 on aggregate. However, Benfica lost in the quarter-finals to the eventual Champions League winners FC Barcelona by an aggregate of 2–0, both goals coming during the second leg at Camp Nou.
In 2006–07, 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, manager Camacho returned to Benfica on a two-year contract, following the sacking of Fernando Santos after only one match in the Primeira Liga (a tie against the promoted Leixões), at a time when Benfica was facing a vital Champions League qualifying game against FC Copenhagen. A successful move since Benfica guaranteed a place in the Champions League after defeating Copenhagen 1–0, but then exited the competition at the group stage. The team was put into UEFA Cup where they lost to Getafe CF. Camacho resigned on 9 March 2008, then with interim manager Fernando Chalana the club failed to gain a top three finish in the league, 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 Taça da Liga defeating Sporting. The club was third in Primeira Liga getting a place in the Europa League.
Recent years (2009–present)
In the 2009–10 season, Benfica had the highest average home attendance of 50,033 and the highest mark was 58,659 against F.C. Porto, a game in which Benfica won 1–0. On 21 March 2010, Benfica beat Porto 3–0 in the Taça da Liga final and won their second consecutive trophy. In Europe, 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. On 9 May 2010, Benfica won their final league match against Rio Ave and became champion of the 2009–10 Primeira Liga, conquering their 32nd Primeira Liga title (a new record) and securing a direct entry into the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League. Óscar Cardozo finished top scorer of the Primeira Liga with 26 goals.
In 2010–11, after participating in the Champions League, Benfica moved to Europa League and progressed to their first European semi-final in eighteen years. The team lost on the away goals rule after a 2–2 result against Braga. On 23 April 2011, Benfica won the Taça da Liga final against Paços de Ferreira, clinching their third consecutive trophy. The club finished second in Primeira Liga. In 2012, Benfica was ranked 8th in World Club Ranking by IFFHS.
In 2011–12, Benfica reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League, being eliminated by eventual winners Chelsea; won their fourth consecutive Taça da Liga (a new record), and was second in Primeira Liga qualifying directly to the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League. Óscar Cardozo was the top scorer of Primeira Liga for the second time, with 20 goals.
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 but lost 2–1 to the 2012 European champions Chelsea. It was the ninth European final for Benfica, their first since the 1990 European Cup Final. Domestically, Benfica was second in Primeira Liga despite leading until the penultimate day. They reached the semi-finals of the Taça da Liga but lost in penalty shootout against the eventual winners Braga. They reached the Final of the Taça de Portugal (their 34th and first since 2004–05) and suffered a defeat (1–2) against Vitória de Guimarães by an offside goal. Benfica had the best average attendance (42,366) in Primeira Liga.
The supporters (adeptos) of Benfica are known as "Benfiquistas". They call the club o Glorioso (the Glorious One) hence the popular chant "Glorioso SLB".
Due to the success and popularity of their football team and other sports such as athletics, basketball, cycling, futsal, roller hockey and others, Benfica has built the biggest fanbase in Portugal with an estimated 5,8 million fans (historically 6 million), and one of the biggest in the world with an estimated 14 million fans spread across different countries such as 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 the United States.
The club has the 25th highest average attendance of European football clubs.
Derby de Lisboa
The Derby da Capital is the most important football derby match in Portugal. It is played between the Lisbon teams of Benfica and Sporting. Sporting fans used to represent the wealthier society from Lisbon, while Benfica fans represented the working class. The rivalry originated back in 1907 when eight Benfica players switched to the Sporting side in search of better working conditions. The match is followed worldwide, with the game being transmitted live especially in the former Portuguese colonies.
The rivalry between Benfica and F.C. Porto comes about as Lisbon and Porto are the two largest cities in Portugal respectively, and both clubs are two of the wealthiest, currently the most successful and influential football teams in Portugal.
Records and statistics
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. Luisão is the active player with more appearances.
Benfica was the first to win the Primeira Liga without a defeat during the 1972–73 season and also the first to do it twice in 1977–78. The club also holds the record of 56 games in Primeira Liga without a defeat from 24 October 1976 to 1 September 1978.
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 champions and runners-up (18 points), in a 2 points per win system.
Crest and shirt
Benfica crest is composed of an eagle—as a symbol of independence, authority and dignity—positioned on top of a shield with the club's colours red and white, the motto "E Pluribus Unum" (Out of many, one), and the acronym "SLB" for "Sport Lisboa e Benfica" over a football; everything superimposed on a bicycle wheel, which was taken from the Grupo Sport Benfica.
The origin of the crest goes back to 1908, when Sport Lisboa was merged with Grupo Sport Benfica. The crest was modified in 1930 and 1999, the last modification was essentially the repositioning of the eagle. Since 2008, the club has been using a commemorative crest about important football titles in their history by adding stars on top of it.
Since 1974 when Benfica signed a deal with Adidas they have had a specific kit manufacturer and since 1985 have had a kit sponsor.
From 1954 to 2003, Benfica played at the old Estádio da Luz, the largest stadium in Europe and the third largest in the world in terms of capacity (at the time). It was demolished and the new stadium was built with a capacity of 65,647 spectators. Currently with an official capacity of 64,642 in domestic matches and 65,000 in European matches.
On 26 July 2013, the Museu Benfica – Cosme Damião was opened to the public.
- Winners (32) (record): 1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1941–42, 1942–43, 1944–45, 1949–50, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1993–94, 2004–05, 2009–10
- Runners-up (27): 1943–44, 1945–46, 1946–47, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1951–52, 1952–53, 1955–56, 1958–59, 1965–66, 1969–70, 1973–74, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1981–82, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1995–96, 1997–98, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13
- 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
- Runners-up (10): 1938–39, 1957–58, 1964–65, 1970–71, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1988–89, 1996–97, 2004–05, 2012–13
- Winners (4): 1980, 1985, 1989, 2005
- Winners (3): 1929–30, 1930–31, 1934–35
- Runners-up (1): 1937–38
- As of 22 January 2014.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
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.||Player||Nationality||Position||Benfica debut||Last match|
|29||Fehér, MiklósMiklós Fehér||Hungary||Forward||24 August 2002||25 January 2004|
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 death.
Current technical staff
|Assistant manager||Raúl José
|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
Since 1943, Benfica publishes a weekly newspaper called O Benfica, the oldest sports newspaper in Portugal. With globalisation, Benfica has developed in the last few years many ways of communicating with their millions of fans across the world. The most important of these projects is their 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 their own multi-language website, which includes a social network called SLB Fans, and also with website accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.
|Operating income||€7,073,913 (2012–13)|
|Net income||(€10,394,000) (2012–13)|
|Total assets||€416,671,267 (2012–13)|
|Total equity||(€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. There were five major reasons for creating an autonomous entity to manage the professional football team:
- Participation in professional competitions, both national or international.
- Development of football players.
- Exploration of TV rights, both on closed or open channels.
- Management of image rights of the players.
- Exploitation of the Benfica brand by the professional football team.
Benfica SAD entered the PSI-20 on 21 May 2007 with an initial stock value of €5 on 15,000,001 shares. On 15 June 2007, Joe Berardo launched an Initial public offering of Benfica SAD for €3.50 a share.
On 23 December 2009, Benfica SAD, after a vote of their members, decided to increase the equity to €115 million by absorbing Benfica Estádio, SA. The initial equity of €75 million was by then completely lost, when the SAD was in balance sheet insolvency. This increase in equity means that 7,999,999 more shares are on the stock market. Benfica valued them at €5 each. They were admitted to the stock market on 14 June 2012.
In 2009–10, Benfica posted losses of €11.3 million, an improvement from the nearly €30 million loss in 2008–09. In 2010–11, Benfica continued in the red, posting losses of €7.6 million, even after the sale of David Luiz to Chelsea
In 2011–12, Benfica SAD posted losses of €11.7 million, after earning approximately €21 million from the Champions League and selling Fábio Coentrão and Roberto for approximately €38 million.
In 2012–13, Benfica maintained their losing trend, posting losses of €10.3 million, generating a club record €51.5 million with the sales of Javi García and Axel Witsel for a total revenue of more than €145 million.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Benfica.|
- Official website (Portuguese) (English) (Spanish)
- S.L. Benfica at UEFA
- S.L. Benfica at Primeira Liga (Portuguese)