Estádio da Luz

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Estádio da Luz
A Catedral
Estadio Benfica April 2013-1.jpg
Full name Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica
Location Lisbon, Portugal
Coordinates 38°45′10″N 9°11′05″W / 38.752678°N 9.184681°W / 38.752678; -9.184681
Broke ground 2003
Opened 25 October 2003
Owner S.L. Benfica
Operator S.L. Benfica
Surface Grass
Scoreboard Yes
Construction cost 120 million[1]
Architect HOK Sport (now Populous)
Capacity 65,647[2]
Executive suites 156
Record attendance 65,400 (25 October 2003)
Field dimensions 105 x 68 m
Website slbenfica.pt
Public transit access Colégio Militar / Luz
Lisbon Metro Blue Line
Tenants
Benfica (2003–present)
Benfica B (2003–2006, 2012–2013)
UEFA Euro 2004 / Final
2014 UEFA Champions League Final

Estádio da Luz (Portuguese pronunciation: [(ɨ)ˈʃtadiu dɐ ˈluʒ], Stadium of the Light), officially named Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, is a multi-purpose stadium located in Lisbon, Portugal. It is used mostly for football matches and hosts the home matches of S.L. Benfica. It is also called A Catedral (The Cathedral) by Benfica supporters. It was opened on 25 October 2003 with an exhibition match between Benfica and Nacional de Montevideo.

It is a UEFA category four stadium and the twenty-first biggest stadium by capacity in Europe. The Estádio da Luz hosted several matches in the UEFA Euro 2004 including the final and it will host the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final. The previous Benfica stadium with 120,000 seats, also called Estádio da Luz, was demolished in 2003 and the new one was built with a maximum capacity of 65,647 making it the 21st largest stadium in Europe in terms of capacity. HOK Sport Venue Event (now Populous) designed the stadium to use as much natural light as possible. The original Estádio da Luz hosted the 1992 European Cup Winners' Cup final and, before that final, it hosted the 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship Final held in Portugal with an impressive attendance of 127,000 people. The original stadium replaced the Estádio do Campo Grande.

The old stadium was named in honor of the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Luz (Church of Our Lady of the Light) and the people of Lisbon used to call it a Luz ("the Light") but the common English name for the stadium became Estádio da Luz which translates to "Stadium of the Light" (da Luz translates to "of the Light").

Stadium characteristics[edit]

The architect Damon Lavelle designed the stadium to focus on light and transparency, offering an incentive to name the stadium "Estádio da Luz" as the original stadium had the same name. The polycarbonate roof of the stadium allows the rays of sunlight to penetrate it, lighting the stadium. The roof, which is supported by tie-beams of four steel arches, seems to float on the underlying tribunes. The arches measure 43 metres in height and help to define the look of the stadium after having been shaped to be similar to the wavy profile of the three tiers of the stadium.

A panorama of the Estádio da Luz.

The return of Benfica[edit]

Immediately, Benfica became even more confident. In 2003–04 season, Benfica conquered the Taça de Portugal after beating FC Porto in the final, 2–1. In the 2004–05 season, the Estádio da Luz was the venue for a 1–0 victory over Sporting, before a 1–1 draw away against Boavista which sealed the championship. Following the final whistle, thousands of fans joined the Estádio da Luz to celebrate the 31st championship. In 2009–10, Benfica defeated FC Porto at Estádio da Luz 1–0, it an important victory for Benfica to win its 32nd championship and setting once again the Portuguese record. The new Estádio da Luz has reached the mark of more than 11 million spectators on its 10th birthday.[3]

Famous matches[edit]

Opening Game[edit]

25 October 2003
21:05 WEST
Benfica Portugal 2 – 1 Uruguay Nacional de Montevideo
Nuno Gomes Goal 7'47' Report Mello Goal 11'
Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
Attendance: 65,400
Referee: Pedro Proença (Portugal)

In the opening game Benfica beat Nacional de Montevideo by 2-1. Benfica's Nuno Gomes scored both goals, becoming the first scorer in the history of Estádio da Luz.

UEFA Euro 2004 - Quarter-finals[edit]

24 June 2004
19:45 WEST
Portugal  2 – 2 (a.e.t.)  England
Postiga Goal 83'
Rui Costa Goal 110'
Report Owen Goal 3'
Lampard Goal 115'
  Penalties  
Deco Penalty scored
Simão Penalty scored
Rui Costa Penalty missed
Ronaldo Penalty scored
Maniche Penalty scored
Postiga Penalty scored
Ricardo Penalty scored
6 – 5 Penalty missed Beckham
Penalty scored Owen
Penalty scored Lampard
Penalty scored Terry
Penalty scored Hargreaves
Penalty scored Cole
Penalty missed Vassell
Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
Attendance: 65,000
Referee: Urs Meier (Switzerland)

In the first quarter-final between England and Portugal, the English opened the scoring after only two minutes through Michael Owen. Portugal's constant attacking pressure from then on resulted in Hélder Postiga's 83rd minute equaliser. A controversial incident came in the dying minutes when Michael Owen hit the Portuguese crossbar, resulting in a Sol Campbell header, which appeared to have given England the lead again, but his header was ruled out for what the referee Urs Meier deemed a foul on the Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo Pereira. The sides exchanged goals in extra-time, sending the match to penalty kicks and Portugal won 6–5; Portugal's goalkeeper Ricardo saved a penalty from Darius Vassell and then scored the winning goal.

UEFA Euro 2004 - Final[edit]

4 July 2004
20:45 WEST
Portugal  0 – 1  Greece
(Report) Charisteas Goal 57'
Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
Attendance: 62,865
Referee: Markus Merk (Germany)

Hosts Portugal came into the match as hot favourites, though it was Greece who came away with the glory. Angelos Charisteas headed his side in front in the second half and the Greeks held on for a shock win.

2005–06 UEFA Champions League - Group Stage[edit]

7 December 2005
20:45 WET
Benfica Portugal 2 – 1 England Manchester United
Geovanni Goal 16'
Beto Goal 34'
Report Scholes Goal 6'
Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
Attendance: 65,000
Referee: Kyros Vassaras (Greece)

Benfica went into the final match of the UEFA Champions League group stages needing a win against group favourites Manchester United. Benfica had never previously beaten the Reds of Manchester, not even during the days of Eusébio. Benfica's chances of reaching the latter stages of the Champions League seemed limited after Paul Scholes gave Manchester United Football Club a 6th minute lead. But goals from Geovanni and a deflected shot from Beto saw Benfica come back to claim a famous victory.

2005–06 UEFA Champions League - First knockout round[edit]

21 February 2006
Benfica Portugal 1 – 0 England Liverpool
Luisão Goal 84' Report
Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
Attendance: 65,000
Referee: Konrad Plautz (Austria)

After being drawn against reigning European Champions Liverpool. Central defender Luisão sprung a surprise when he headed in a winner in the 84th minute to see Benfica win 1–0. Benfica won the return leg 2–0 to claim a famous aggregate victory.

2009-10 UEFA Europa League - Group I[edit]

22 October 2009
18:00 WEST
Benfica Portugal 5 - 0 England Everton
Saviola Goal 14'83'
Óscar Cardozo Goal 47'48'
Luisão Goal 52'
Report
Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
Attendance: 44,534
Referee: Nikolay Ivanov (Russia)

An excellent Benfica performance saw them thrash an Everton side who were missing eleven players, goalkeeper Júlio César Jacobi didn't have a save to make that evening as Jorge Jesus's team gave the Merseysiders their biggest ever European defeat. Benfica triumphed 2-0 at Goodison Park in their second meeting a fortnight later.

2012–13 UEFA Europa League - Semi-finals[edit]

2 May 2013
20:05 WEST
Benfica Portugal 3 – 1 Turkey Fenerbahçe
Gaitán Goal 9'
Óscar Cardozo Goal 35'66'
Report Dirk Kuyt Goal 23'
Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
Attendance: 55,402
Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (France)

After an away defeat 0–1 against Fenerbahçe in the first leg of the semi-finals, Benfica won the return leg 3–1 (3–2 in the aggregate) defeating Fenerbahçe with one goal from Gaitán and another two goals from Óscar Cardozo which put Benfica in its ninth European final at the Amsterdam Arena, twenty-three years later, against Chelsea, the 2012 Champions League winners, but the Londoners ran out 2-1 winners in Amsterdam after a late header from Branislav Ivanovic.

Portugal national football team[edit]

Entrance of Estádio da Luz during the UEFA Euro 2004

The following national team matches were held in the stadium.

# Date Score Opponent Competition
1. 16 June 2004 2–0  Russia Euro 2004 Group Stage
2. 24 June 2004 2–2[4]  England Euro 2004 Quarter-Finals
3. 4 July 2004 0–1  Greece Euro 2004 Final
4. 4 June 2005 2–0  Slovakia 2006 World Cup qualification
5. 8 September 2007 2–2  Poland Euro 2008 qualifying
6. 10 October 2009 3–0  Hungary 2010 World Cup qualification
7. 14 November 2009 1–0  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2010 World Cup UEFA play-offs
8. 17 November 2010 4–0  Spain Friendly
9. 4 June 2011 1–0  Norway Euro 2012 qualifying
10. 15 November 2011 6–2  Bosnia and Herzegovina Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs
11. 2 June 2012 1–3  Turkey Friendly
12. 7 June 2013 1–0  Russia 2014 World Cup qualification
13. 15 November 2013 1–0  Sweden 2014 World Cup UEFA play-offs

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Feijenoord Stadion
Rotterdam
UEFA European Football Championship
Final Venue

2004
Succeeded by
Ernst Happel Stadion
Vienna
Preceded by
Wembley Stadium
London
UEFA Champions League
Final Venue

2014
Succeeded by
Olympic Stadium
Berlin