1998–99 S.L. Benfica season

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Benfica
1998–99 season
President João Vale e Azevedo
Head coach Graeme Souness
(until 3 May 1999)
Shéu
Stadium Estádio da Luz
Primeira Divisão 3rd
Taça de Portugal Fifth round
UEFA Champions League Group stage (2nd)
Top goalscorer League:
Nuno Gomes (24)

All:
Nuno Gomes (34)
Highest home attendance 80,000 vs Boavista
(14 March 1999)
Lowest home attendance 2,000 vs Chaves
(14 May 1999)
Home colours
Away colours

The 1998–99 European football season was the 95th season of Sport Lisboa e Benfica's existence and the club's 65th consecutive season in the top flight of Portuguese football. The season ran from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999; Benfica competed domestically in the Primeira Divisão and the Taça de Portugal. The club also participated in the UEFA Champions League as a result of finishing second in the Primeira Divisão in the previous season.

After guiding Benfica to second place, Graeme Souness remained in charge for a first full season. The Scottish brought in a handful of British players to the team, but only Michael Thomas, Mark Pembridge and Dean Saunders got regular playing time. To offset, Benfica lost the likes of Edgar Pacheco, Brian Deane and Scott Minto.

The season started with the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League, which the club successfully passes, although not without drama. Domestically, Benfica fared better, quickly reaching the top spots by early October. However, a home draw with Alverca, starts a six-match win–less spree that put them in fifth place in the league and negatively impacted their Champions League campaign.

Benfica eventually regained their step in the Primeira Divisão. From late November till early February, they won 8 out of 9 matches, including seven in a row. This allowed them to battle the second place with Boavista with a match between in 14 March assuming significant importance. Benfica lost and started another downward spiral of erratic results that eventually led to the dismissal of Souness. Long-time assistant Shéu finished the season, with Benfica reaching 65 points, 14 less than Porto. Nuno Gomes had its best season of his career, scoring 34 goals in all competitions.

Season summary[edit]

Following a season, where Benfica made a convincing second round, collecting 41 out of 51 points.[1] Souness had his status increased, with more influence on player signings and the technical staff around him. One of his first decisions was replacing Nelo Vingada by his personal friend, Phil Boersma.[2][3][4] Vingada work as assistant was influential in helping Souness understand the intricacy of Portuguese football.[2] The Scottish also brought in reinforcements from England, inspired by the effect that Poborský and Brian Deane had in the team, when they joined in January.[5] After a pre-season that saw them meet Newcastle United, Sheffield United and Italians, Empoli and Lazio, the team was set to debut in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League against Beitar Jerusalem. With a six nil thrashing in the first leg, the second leg was a mere formality. However, in Israel, the team suffered a setback, conceding four goals, that although it did not harm progress to the group stage, it upset the management.[3][5]

In the league, Benfica started in the best possible way, amassing three consecutive wins and reaching top of the table.[6] A loss in Faro dropped them to second, but did not stop their momentum, as two more wins and a hard-fought draw against F.C. Alverca followed.[6] Equal on the first place, the team visited Boavista next. A last minute goal from Martelinho forced Benfica to spend the week in fifth place.[6] In Europe, the situation was not any better, with five points dropped against HJK Helsinki, who were making their debut in the group stage of the Champions League.[7]

"An initial scare foresees an unsettling season. With the qualification for the millionaire Champions League almost assured, Benfica unexpectedly crashes in Israel for unthinkable numbers. Still, the Champions League is a reality – as his the ever present controversy caused by Souness. His signings – Michael Thomas and Mark Pembridge in July, Dean Saunders in January, Steve Harkness and Gary Charles in March – rarely ever get it right. Adding to this, the problems with the players are recurring and successive examples of stubbornness force him out, after a home draw against Campomaiorense. By then, Champions League, Portuguese League and Portuguese Cup were a thing of the past. Till the end, it is Shéu who leads the team, and holds on to the third place with a draw in the last match-day..."

— Rui Miguel Tovar on the season events[5]

After five points earned in three match days in early November, the team faced FC Porto for the Clássico on the road, losing for a fifth consecutive season, and ending up in fifth place with a seven-point gap for the leader.[8] In Europe, Benfica finished second in his group, with another late goal costing them points, now against PSV Eindhoven.[7] Nonetheless, with the advancing season, Benfica performance improved, starting a seven-game winning streak that spread two months, and saw the jump to second, only a point behind leaders Porto. They were stopped in late January, when S.C. Beira-Mar draw them at home.[9]

In February the team conceded a fourth league loss, which was followed by the premature exit of the Portuguese Cup.[10] Still, they recovered by winning the two subsequent games, matching Boavista on the league table, and facing them next, knowing that a win, would put the team one point behind leaders Porto.[9] On 14 March, Souness decided to Gary Charles and Steve Harkness, the first was coming out of an injury and the second arrived days before.[5] Benfica lost 0–3, dropped to third place and Souness saw his first handkerchiefs.[3] A week later Benfica draw against U.D. Leiria, bagging only one point out of six possible in a crucial part of the season.[11]

April would be much the same, with five points lost out of nine possible, the advantage over the fourth place, Sporting was reduced to two points.[11] With a home draw against S.C. Campomaiorense in early May, and in danger of losing the third place, Souness was sacked with immediate effect.[12][13][5] He was banned from entering the stadium,[14] and Shéu replaced him in the final four matches, winning seven points out of twelve, but more importantly, securing the third place.[10]

Competitions[edit]

  Win   Draw   Loss   Postponed

Overall record[edit]

Competition First match Last match Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win % Source
Primeira Divisão 21 August 1998 30 May 1999 34 19 8 7 71 29 +42 55.88 [15]
Portuguese Cup 10 January 1999 16 February 1999 2 1 0 1 4 3 +1 50.00 [15]
UEFA Champions League 12 August 1998 9 December 1998 8 4 2 2 16 13 +3 50.00 [15]
Total 44 23 10 11 91 45 +46 52.27

Primeira Liga[edit]

League table[edit]

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Porto (C) 34 24 7 3 85 26 +59 79 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League First group stage
2 Boavista 34 20 11 3 57 29 +28 71 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League Third qualifying round
3 Benfica 34 19 8 7 71 29 +42 65 1999–2000 UEFA Cup First round

Results by round[edit]

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
Ground H A H A H A H A H A H A A H A H A A H A H A H A H A H A H H A H A H
Result W W W L W W D L D D W L W W W W W W W D W L W W L D W L D D L W W D
Position 4 1 1 2 2 2 1 5 5 4 4 5 4 4 4 3 2 2 2 3 2 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 3

Source: FootballPortugal.net
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: D = Draw; L = Loss; W = Win; P = Postponed.

Matches[edit]

Taça de Portugal[edit]

UEFA Champions League[edit]

Second qualifying round[edit]

Group stage[edit]

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Germany Kaiserslautern 6 4 1 1 12 6 +6 13
Portugal Benfica 6 2 2 2 8 9 −1 8
Netherlands PSV Eindhoven 6 2 1 3 10 11 −1 7
Finland HJK Helsinki 6 1 2 3 8 12 −4 5

Friendlies[edit]

Player statistics[edit]

The squad for the season consisted of the players listed in the tables below, as well as staff member Graeme Souness (manager), Phil Boersma (assistant manager) and Shéu (assistant and later manager).[16][15]

Note 1: Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

Note 2: Players with squad numbers marked ‡ joined the club during the 1998-99 season via transfer, with more details in the following section.

No. Pos Nat Player Total Primeira Liga Portuguese Cup UEFA Champions League
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1 GK Belgium Michel Preud'homme 27 -31 21 -21 0 0 6 -10
2 DF Morocco Tahar El Khalej 28 4 22 4 2 0 4 0
3 DF England Gary Charles 4 1 4 1 0 0 0 0
4 MF England Michael Thomas 25 1 18 1 1 0 6 0
5 DF Portugal Paulo Madeira 36 2 28 2 2 0 6 0
6 DF England Steve Harkness 9 0 9 0 0 0 0 0
7 MF Czech Republic Karel Poborský 36 6 27 6 1 0 8 0
8 MF Portugal João Pinto 36 7 28 4 1 0 7 3
9 FW Portugal Nandinho 4 1 4 1 0 0 0 0
10 FW Wales Dean Saunders 19 5 17 5 2 0 0 0
11 FW Sweden Martin Pringle 19 1 12 1 0 0 7 0
12 GK Russia Sergei Ovchinnikov 18 -18 14 -12 2 -3 2 -3
13 DF Brazil Ronaldo Guiaro 40 2 30 2 2 0 8 0
14 DF Portugal José Sousa 15 0 10 0 0 0 5 0
15 MF Wales Mark Pembridge 28 3 19 1 1 0 8 2
16 DF England Scott Minto 17 0 10 0 1 0 6 0
17 MF Ukraine Serhiy Kandaurov 27 5 22 5 2 0 3 0
18 FW Portugal Jorge Cadete 17 3 16 3 1 0 0 0
19 DF Portugal Bruno Basto 22 1 18 1 1 0 3 0
20 MF Portugal Hugo Leal 35 3 27 3 2 0 6 0
21 FW Portugal Nuno Gomes 43 34 34 24 2 3 7 7
22 MF Portugal José Calado 33 3 24 0 2 1 7 2
23 MF Portugal Hugo Porfírio 6 0 3 0 0 0 3 0
24 GK Portugal Paulo Lopes 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
26 MF Portugal Luís Carlos 21 1 19 1 2 0 0 0
28 FW England Brian Deane 7 1 4 0 0 0 3 1
30 MF Portugal Luís Andrade 15 0 12 0 0 0 3 0
31 FW Portugal Pepa 2 1 2 1 0 0 0 0

Transfers[edit]

In[edit]

Entry date Position Player From club Fee Ref
1 July 1998 DM Luís Andrade Belenenses Undisclosed [17]
1 July 1998 RW Nandinho Salgueiros Undisclosed [18]
1 July 1998 DM Marco Freitas Vitória Guimarães Free [19]
1 July 1998 DM Michael Thomas Liverpool Free [20]
1 July 1998 LW Mark Pembridge Sheffield Wednesday Free [21]
1 July 1998 LW Hugo Porfírio Racing Santander Undisclosed [22]
8 December 1998 ST Dean Saunders Sheffield United Undisclosed [23]
16 December 1998 FW Jorge Cadete Celta de Vigo Undisclosed [24]
1 January 1999 LB Bruno Basto Alverca Loan return [25]
14 January 1999 RB Gary Charles Aston Villa Undisclosed [26]
9 March 1999 LB Steve Harkness Liverpool Undisclosed [27]

Out[edit]

Exit date Position Player To club Fee Ref
1 July 1998 RW Edgar Pacheco Real Madrid Free [28]
1 July 1998 CB Jorge Soares Marítimo Free [29]
1 July 1998 LB Abdelkrim El Hadrioui AZ Alkmaar Undisclosed [30]
1 July 1998 DM Tiago Pereira Rayo Vallecano Undisclosed [31]
1 July 1998 AM Basarab Panduru Porto Free [32]
1 July 1998 AM Deco Salgueiros Undisclosed [33]
12 October 1998 ST Brian Deane Sheffield United Undisclosed [34]
1 January 1999 DM Jamir Gomes Alverca Undisclosed [35]
14 January 1999 LB Scott Minto West Ham United Undisclosed [36]
4 March 1999 ST Martin Pringle Charlton Athletic Undisclosed [37]

Out by loan[edit]

Exit date Position Player To club Return date Ref
1 July 1998 CB José Soares Alverca 30 June 1999 [38]
1 July 1998 DM Marco Freitas Alverca 30 June 1999 [19]
1 July 1998 DM Amaral Corinthians 30 June 1999 [39]
1 July 1998 AM Erwin Sánchez Boavista 30 June 1999 [40]
1 January 1999 RW Nandinho Alverca 30 June 1999 [18]
8 January 1999 ST Martin Pringle Charlton Athletic 1 March 1999 [41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tovar 2012, p. 556.
  2. ^ a b "Dezassete meses de Graeme Souness" [Seventeen months of Souness]. Record (in Portuguese). 21 April 1999. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "Souness and the fortunate seven". In Bed with Maradona. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Football: Souness must tame monster of Benfica". The Independent. 7 December 1998. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Tovar 2012, p. 563.
  6. ^ a b c Tovar 2012, p. 564.
  7. ^ a b Tovar 2012, p. 569.
  8. ^ Tovar 2012, p. 565.
  9. ^ a b Tovar 2012, p. 566.
  10. ^ a b Tovar 2012, p. 568.
  11. ^ a b Tovar 2012, p. 567.
  12. ^ "Man of war". When Saturday Comes. July 1999. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "Big balls and handkerchiefs: Souness at Benfica". 90s Football Parody. 1 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "Souness vai ser despedido da Luz" [Souness will be sacked]. Record (in Portuguese). 3 July 1999. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c d Tovar 2012, p. 570.
  16. ^ "Sport Lisboa e Benfica Squad 1998-99". footballzz.co.uk/. 
  17. ^ "Andrade Profile". Worldfootball. 
  18. ^ a b "Nandinho na Luz para se despedir" [Nandinho in Luz to say goodbye]. Record (in Portuguese). 11 July 1999. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  19. ^ a b "Benfica chega acordo com V. Guimarães sobre o "caso" Marco Freitas" [Benfica reaches agreement with V. Guimarães over Marco Freitas]. Record (in Portuguese). 19 June 1999. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Marco Freitas had contract from the Minho-team. At the end of the previous season, when he contract ended, Benfica signed him on a free transfer 
  20. ^ "Michael Thomas Profile". Soccerbase. 
  21. ^ "Mark Pembridge Profile". Soccerbase. 
  22. ^ "Porfírio pode ter nova oportunidade no Benfica" [Porfírio could have new opportunity at Benfica]. Record (in Portuguese). 1 July 1999. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Hired a year ago from Racing Santander 
  23. ^ "Dean Saunders Profile". Soccerbase. 
  24. ^ "Vale e Azevedo quer 650 mil por Jorge Cadete" [Vale e Azevedo wants 650 thousand for Jorge Cadete]. Record (in Portuguese). 8 February 2000. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. This price would mean that Benfica could sell Cadete for a higher price that it cost a year ago, when they signed him from Celta de Vigo for 400 thousand 
  25. ^ "Bruno Basto Profile". World Football. 
  26. ^ "Gary Charles Profile". Soccerbase. 
  27. ^ "Steve Harkness Profile". Soccerbase. 
  28. ^ "Edgar Profile". Worldfootball. 
  29. ^ "Jorge Soares Profile". Worldfootball. 
  30. ^ "Abdelkerim El-Hadrioui Profile". Worldfootball. 
  31. ^ "Tiago Pereira Profile". Worldfootball. 
  32. ^ "Nica Panduru Profile". Worldfootball. 
  33. ^ "Toni descobriu Deco: "Erro histórico do Benfica"" [Toni, who discovered Deco: "Historical mistake from Benfica"]. Maisfutebol (in Portuguese). 26 August 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 
  34. ^ "Brian Deane Profile". Soccerbase. 
  35. ^ "Jamir, a prenda indesejada" [Jamir, the unwanted gift]. Público (in Portuguese). 27 December 1998. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  36. ^ "Scott Minto Profile". Soccerbase. 
  37. ^ "Martin Pringle Profile". Soccerbase. 
  38. ^ "José Soares Profile". Worldfootball. 
  39. ^ "Proposta para Amaral visa novo empréstimo" [Offer for Amaral is for a new loan]. Record (in Portuguese). 7 June 1999. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Connected with Benfica for two more seasons, the footballer was loaned last year to Corinthians 
  40. ^ "Vale e Azevedo: "Cumpro esta promessa como todas as outras"" [Vale e Azevedo: "I always fulfil my promises, like every others I've done"]. Record (in Portuguese). 2 June 1999. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Vale e Azevedo announced that Sanchez, loaned to Boavista 
  41. ^ "Charlton run into a spot of trouble on brink of the snake pit". The Guardian. 19 April 1999. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 

Bibliography