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S.L. Benfica

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Benfica
SL Benfica logo.svg
Full name Sport Lisboa e Benfica
Nickname(s) As Águias (The Eagles)
Os Encarnados (The Reds)
O Glorioso (The Glorious One)
Short name SLB
Founded 28 February 1904
(111 years ago)
 (1904-02-28)
as Sport Lisboa
Ground Estádio da Luz
Ground Capacity 65,647
President Luís Filipe Vieira
Head coach Rui Vitória
League Primeira Liga
2014–15 Primeira Liga, 1st
Website Club home page
Current season

Sport Lisboa e Benfica ComC, OM, MHIH[1][2] (Portuguese pronunciation: [spɔɾ liʒˈboɐ i bɐ̃ȷ̃ˈfikɐ]), commonly known as Benfica, or simply as SLB, is a Portuguese sports club based in Lisbon. It is best known for its professional football team which plays in the Primeira Liga, the top tier of the Portuguese football league system, where they are back-to-back champions.[3]

Founded in 1904 by a group of people led by Cosme Damião, Benfica is one of the "Big Three" clubs in Portugal – together with its rivals Sporting CP and FC Porto – that have never been relegated from the Primeira Liga since its establishment in 1934.[4][5] The team is nicknamed Águias (Eagles) for the eagle atop the club's crest, or Encarnados (Reds) for the shirt's colour. Since 2003, Benfica have played their home matches at the Estádio da Luz, which replaced the previous 49-year-old ground.[6] Benfica is the most supported Portuguese club, the European club with the biggest percentage of supporters in its own country,[7][8] and the world's biggest club in membership terms.[9][10] The official Benfica anthem, "Ser Benfiquista", refers to the club supporters who are called Benfiquistas.[11]

Benfica is the most successful Portuguese club in terms of domestic titles (73) and overall titles (75)[12] – or 76 including the Latin Cup[13][14] – being the only club to have won all Portuguese competitions. They have won a record 34 Primeira Liga titles, a record 25 Taça de Portugal (a record 10 doubles), a record 6 Taça da Liga, 5 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira and 3 Campeonato de Portugal. Internationally, Benfica won two consecutive European Cup titles in 1961 and 1962, a unique feat in Portuguese football. In addition, they were runners-up at the Intercontinental Cup in 1961 and 1962, at the European Cup in 1963, 1965, 1968, 1988 and 1990, and at the UEFA Cup/Europa League in 1983, 2013 and 2014. They have reached ten European finals, which ranks seventh all-time among UEFA clubs and is a Portuguese record.[15] In 2000, Benfica was ranked twelfth in FIFA Club of the Century award.[16] In 2009, it was ranked ninth in "Europe's Club of the Century" by IFFHS.[17] As of 2015, Benfica is ranked sixth in the UEFA club coefficient rankings[18] and twelfth in the IFFHS World Club Ranking,[19] which are the best positions of a Portuguese club.[20][21] As of July 2015, Benfica is the second club with the most participations in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League (34), after Real Madrid.[22]

History

Early years (1904–1950)

Cosme Damião was the main force behind the birth of Benfica
The first Benfica team, in 1904

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 Farmácia Franco on Rua de Belém with the goal of forming a social and cultural football club which would be called Sport Lisboa. There were a total of 24 people who attended the meeting, including the eighteen-year-old co-founder and future soul of the club, Cosme Damião. During the meeting, José Rosa Rodrigues was appointed as club president, along with Daniel Brito as secretary and Manuel Gourlade as treasurer. In this meeting it was defined that the club colours would be red (for bravery) and white (for peace), and that the crest would be composed of an eagle (symbolising high aspirations), the motto "E pluribus unum" (defining union between all club members), and a football ball.[23][24][25][26]

On 1 January 1905, they played their first match ever, winning 1–0 against Campo de Ourique. Despite important victories in the first few years, the club suffered due to poor operating conditions, namely the football dirt field Terras do Desembargador.[27] As a result, in 1907, eight players joined Sporting CP, located across the city. This event started the rivalry between the clubs.

On 13 September 1908, Sport Lisboa acquired Grupo Sport Benfica (founded on 26 July 1906 and renamed Sport Clube de Benfica in March 1908) by mutual agreement and changed its name to Sport Lisboa e Benfica. Despite the club merger, 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 field Campo da Feiteira,[27] the main directors and the club's house. Both clubs determined that the foundation date should coincide with Sport Lisboa's (1904) given that it was the most recognised club and quite popular in Lisbon due to its football merits. In regard to the crest, a cycling wheel was added to Sport Lisboa's to represent the most important sport of Grupo Sport Benfica. Furthermore, the two entities of the new club had simultaneous members who helped to stabilise operations, which later increased the success of the merger. However, problems with the club's rented field remained. In 1913, Benfica moved to their first football grass field, Campo de Sete Rios. Four years later they moved to Campo de Benfica due to a high rent. In 1925, they moved to their own stadium, Estádio das Amoreiras,[27] and this was the place where Benfica won their first national titles.

The Portuguese league began in 1934, and after finishing third in the first edition, Benfica won the next three championships in a row (1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38). In 1940, Benfica won their first Taça de Portugal. In 1941, Benfica moved to Estádio do Campo Grande.[27] Throughout the 1940s, Benfica won three Primeira Liga (1941–42, 1942–43, 1944–45) and four Taça de Portugal (1940, 1943, 1944, 1949). János Biri achieved the first double for the club in 1943.

Rise to dominance (1950–1960)

Benfica's first international success happened in 1950 when they won the Latin Cup (the only Portuguese club to do so), defeating Bordeaux with a golden goal from Julinho[28] at the Estádio Nacional in Lisbon,[29] with Ted Smith as manager.[30] They reached another final of the competition in 1957 but lost to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.[29]

With Joaquim Ferreira Bogalho elected as president in 1952 and the arrival of manager Otto Glória in 1954,[30] Benfica became more modernised and professional, and moved into the original Estádio da Luz with an initial capacity of 40,000 spectators; later expanded to 70,000 in 1960.[6][27]

During the 1950s, Benfica won three Primeira Liga (1949–50, 1954–55, 1956–57 – they were champions in 1955 but Sporting CP played the 1955–56 European Cup instead) and six Taça de Portugal (1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1959), achieving the second double in 1955 and the third one in 1957. 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 in European football.

Golden years (1960–1970)

Eusébio, Ballon d'Or winner in 1965
José Águas, twice European champion

Led by manager Béla Guttmann,[30] Benfica was one of two teams, along with Barcelona, to break Real Madrid's dominance in European Champion Clubs' Cup by winning two consecutive European Cup, the first against Barcelona in 1961 (3–2) at the Wankdorf Stadium[31] and the second one against Real Madrid in 1962 (5–3) at the Olympic Stadium.[32]

Later on, Benfica reached another three European Cup finals but lost them to Milan in 1963 (2–1) at the Wembley Stadium, to Internazionale in 1965 (1–0) at the San Siro, and to Manchester United in 1968 (4–1) again at the Wembley Stadium, where they were presented with European Team of the Year by France Football.

The 1960s were the best period of the club, in which Benfica won eight Primeira Liga (1959–60, 1960–61, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69), three Taça de Portugal (1962, 1964, 1969) and two European Cup (1960–61, 1961–62). Their fourth domestic double was achieved in 1964 with Lajos Czeizler and the fifth one in 1969 with Otto Glória.

Many of their successes in this decade were achieved with Eusébio – the only player to have won a Ballon d'Or for a Portuguese club – Coluna, José Águas, José Augusto, Simões, Torres, and other notable players, who formed the team of 1963–64, which set a club record of 103 goals in 26 league matches.[33] During its golden decade, Benfica was ranked first in European football three times.

Dominance and decline (1970–1994)

Sven-Göran Eriksson won two consecutive league titles and reached two European finals
Shéu spent his entire player career with Benfica, winning 17 major titles

During the 1970s, they faded slightly from the European scene, but remained as the main force of Portuguese football, winning six Primeira Liga (1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77) and two Taça de Portugal (1970, 1972). Jimmy Hagan led the club to three Primeira Liga and one Taça de Portugal between 1970 and 1973, achieving the club's sixth double in 1972. In the same year, Benfica attracted Europe-wide attention when they reached the semi-finals of the European Cup, where they were eliminated on aggregate (1–0) by Ajax of Johan Cruyff.

In 1972–73, Benfica became the first club in Portugal to last a whole season without defeat, winning 28 matches – 23 consecutively – out of 30, and drawing 2. In that year, Eusébio became Europe's top scorer with 40 goals, in what was his penultimate season as a Benfica player. They scored 101 goals, breaking the 100 goals mark for the second time in the club's history, and conceded 13 goals.

In the late 1970s, early 1980s, the club had some corporate management problems but the team managed to keep up to their high standards. In 1981, Lajos Baróti secured the seventh double for Benfica by winning the Primeira Liga and the Taça de Portugal. Later, under the guidance of Sven-Göran Eriksson, the club won two consecutive Primeira Liga (1982–83, 1983–84) and one Taça de Portugal (1983), achieving their eighth double, and reached the final of the UEFA Cup in 1983 but lost on aggregate score to Anderlecht. In the same year, Benfica also won the Iberian Cup II, beating Athletic Bilbao on aggregate. Eight years later, they were runners-up against Atlético de Madrid in Iberian Cup III.

Following the completion of improvements to the stadium, the board of Benfica decided to open the third tier 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 when they standed behind the goals). In 1986–87, John Moltimore won the Primeira Liga and Taça de Portugal, obtaining the ninth double for Benfica.

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 them to PSV (on penalties) and Milan (1–0), respectively. During the same period of time, Benfica won three Primeira Liga (1988–89, 1990–91, 1993–94) and one Taça de Portugal (1993). In 1988–89, led by manager Toni, they only conceded 15 goals in 38 league matches, a club record.[33]

Crisis and recovery (1994–2009)

Financial trouble dating back to the 1980s[citation needed] when Benfica completed the third tier (Terceiro Anel) of the Estádio da Luz, along with the dream of becoming European champions again, 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 aggravated the problem.[citation needed]

The period from 1994 through 2003 was the worst in their history. During this time, Benfica only won the Taça de Portugal in 1996, suffered their biggest defeat in European competitions (7–0 against Celta de Vigo) in 1999,[34] and had their lowest Primeira Liga finishing positions, such as sixth in 2000–01 and fourth in 2001–02. The club entered in default during João Vale e Azevedo's three-year presidency,[35] which further damaged the club finances and credibility, and nearly every year hired two or more managers.[citation needed] Eleven managers shared the seat from 1994 to 2003, including Mário Wilson, thrice.[30]

It was during this period that Benfica signed Simão Sabrosa for €12 million,[36] and decided to build the new Estádio da Luz on 28 September 2001, which would eventually cost €162 million.[37][38]

In the 2003–04 season, with a new president, Luís Filipe Vieira, and manager José Antonio Camacho, who had joined in 2002,[30] Benfica won their 24th Taça de Portugal defeating José Mourinho's Porto in the final (2–1). They ended a eight-year silverware drought and dedicated the trophy to Miklós Fehér who had died in January 2004.[39]

31st league title celebration

In 2004–05, Benfica won their 31st league title (their first in ten seasons) with Giovanni Trapattoni as manager.[30] Later on, the club president, manager, and the first-team squad travelled to Hungary to deliver the Portuguese championship gold medal to Fehér's parents.[40]

In 2005–06, Benfica won their fourth Supertaça against Vitória de Setúbal (1–0). In Europe, Benfica managed to reach the quarter-finals of UEFA Champions League beating 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 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 Manchester United prevailed, gaining revenge in a 3–1 win.

On 20 August 2007, manager Camacho returned to Benfica[30] on a two-year contract, following the sacking of Fernando Santos after one match in the Primeira Liga (a tie against promoted Leixões), at a time when Benfica was facing a vital Champions League qualifying match against Copenhagen. A successful move since Benfica guaranteed a place in the Champions League after beating Copenhagen 1–0, but exited the competition at the group stage and were put into UEFA Cup, where they lost to Getafe. Camacho resigned on 9 March 2008. Afterwards, with Fernando Chalana as an interim manager, they failed to gain a top three finish in the league and were placed in the UEFA Cup.

On 22 May 2008, Quique Flores was appointed as manager.[30] He won the club's first Taça da Liga defeating Sporting CP. In the Primeira Liga they finished third and got a place in the UEFA Europa League. On 8 June 2009, Flores resigned after agreeing to a friendly contractual termination.[41]

Recent years (2009–present)

32nd league title celebration

In the 2009–10 season, Benfica signed Jorge Jesus as manager.[42] On 21 March 2010, Benfica beat Porto 3–0 in the Taça da Liga final and won their second consecutive league cup 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 were eliminated after a 4–1 loss at Anfield.[43][44] On 9 May 2010, Benfica won their final league match against Rio Ave and became champion of the 2009–10 Primeira Liga,[45] conquering their 32nd league title and securing a direct entry into the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League. Óscar Cardozo finished as top scorer of Primeira Liga with 26 goals.[46] Benfica had the highest average attendance in the league (50,033).[47]

In 2010–11, after finishing third in the group stage of UEFA Champions League, Benfica moved to Europa League and progressed to their first European semi-final in eighteen years. Nevertheless, they were eliminated on away goals after an aggregate score of 2–2 against Braga. On 23 April 2011, Benfica won the Taça da Liga final against Paços de Ferreira, clinching their third consecutive title in the competition.[48] Then, they finished second in Primeira Liga.

In 2011–12, Benfica reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League, being eliminated by eventual winners Chelsea;[49] won their fourth consecutive Taça da Liga,[50] 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.[51] In January 2012, Benfica was ranked eighth in World Club Ranking by IFFHS.[52]

In 2012–13, Benfica returned to a European final,[53] after coming third in their Champions League group, they reached the Europa League final eliminating Fenerbahçe, but lost 2–1 to 2012 European champions Chelsea.[54] It was the ninth European final overall for Benfica and the first since the 1990 European Cup final.[55] Domestically, Benfica was second in Primeira Liga by one point, despite leading before the penultimate day.[56] They reached the semi-finals of the Taça da Liga but lost on penalty shoot-out against the eventual winners Braga. They reached the final of the Taça de Portugal but lost (1–2) against Vitória de Guimarães.[57][58] Benfica had the highest average attendance (42,366) of Primeira Liga.[59]

The 2013–14 season was one of the best in their history as Benfica won their 33rd champions title;[60][61] won their fifth Taça da Liga, without conceding a goal (record);[62][63] reached the Europa League final for a second consecutive time,[64] without defeat (record),[65] losing it on penalties to Sevilla;[66][67] and won their 25th Taça de Portugal, achieving their tenth double[68] and an unprecedented treble in Portuguese football.[69] They completed the season unbeaten at home in all five competitions,[70] and had the best defence of all European leagues with 18 goals conceded.[71] Lima was the top goalscorer with 21 goals (14 in the league). In terms of average home attendance, the club improved the previous number to 43,613.[72] In January 2014, Benfica was ranked tenth in World Club Ranking by IFFHS.[73][74] 2014 was also marked by the deaths of club legends Eusébio and Coluna.[75][76]

Benfica started the 2014–15 season by winning the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira,[77][78] thus establishing a new Portuguese record of all four domestic titles won in a year. In August 2014, RSSSF ranked Benfica as the best team in UEFA competitions since 2009, fourth since 2004, and seventh in the all-time ranking.[79] On 17 May 2015, Benfica won their 34th league title and clinched their first back-to-back titles since 1984.[80][81] On 29 May 2015, Benfica won their sixth Taça da Liga (record), defeating Marítimo 2–1, and became the Portuguese club with most titles won (75).[12][13][14] On 15 June 2015, Benfica signed Rui Vitória as manager.[82]

Crest and colours

Eagle and motto at the entrance of the stadium

Benfica's crest is composed of an eagle – as a symbol of independence, authority, and nobility – positioned atop the shield with the colours red and white – symbolising bravery and peace, respectively – the motto "E pluribus unum" (Out of many, one) – defining union between all members – and the acronym "SLB" for Sport Lisboa e Benfica, over a football ball; everything superimposed on a bicycle wheel which was taken from Grupo Sport Benfica.[24][83]

Crest evolution

The club has had four main crests since its inception in 1904.

The origin of the current crest goes back to 1908 when Sport Lisboa was merged with Grupo Sport Benfica. Back then, only red and white colours were displayed on the crest. In 1930, the crest was altered and the colours from the flag of Portugal were added. Sixty-nine years later, in 1999, the crest was changed again. The most significant changes were the modification and repositioning of the eagle, and the reduction of the wheel's size.[84]

Benfica have used commemorative crests since 2010 by adding stars on top of it. They started by adding one star to celebrate their first European Cup. In 2011, they added two stars to commemorate their second European Cup. In 2012, they started using three stars, each star representing 10 league titles won by the club.[85][86]

Grounds

For the training centre and youth academy, see Futebol Campus.
A panorama of the Estádio da Luz in 2009 in Lisbon, Portugal

During their history, Benfica had to play (mostly) in rented fields until 1925. Then, after their own stadium was built (Estádio das Amoreiras), they played there until 1940. In 1941, they started playing at the rented municipal stadium (Estádio do Campo Grande) before moving to their own second stadium, thirteen years later.[27] From 1954 to 2003, Benfica played at the previous 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 in 2003.

Benfica have played at the Estádio da Luz (officially named Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica), located in Lisbon, Portugal. The stadium has a capacity of 65,647 spectators;[87][88] 64,642 in Primeira Liga matches.[12]

A UEFA category four stadium,[89] the current Estádio da Luz hosted several matches of the UEFA Euro 2004, including the final. On 20 March 2012, the stadium was designated the venue for the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final, which was played on 24 May.[90]

Museum

Main article: Museu Benfica

The Museu Benfica – Cosme Damião, located near the stadium, was inaugurated on 26 July 2013 and opened to the public three days later on 29 July.[91] It was considered the Best Portuguese Museum of 2014.[92][93]

Support

Fanmade earthwork resembling Benfica crest

The supporters 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 its football team and other sports, Benfica has built the biggest fanbase in Portugal[7] with an estimated 5,8 million fans (historically 6 million),[25][94] and one of the biggest in the world with an estimated 14 million fans spread across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.[8][95][96] In some countries, Benfica has supporters' clubs known as Casas do Benfica (Benfica Houses), which are places where Benfiquistas gather.[97]

Benfica is the European club with the biggest percentage of supporters in its own country (47%)[7] and has the eighteenth highest average attendance of European football clubs, which is the highest in Portugal.[98]

Members

The members of Benfica, who are called sócios, democratically elect the club president for a four-year term by voting in each candidate list, forming the highest governing body of the club. They also participate in the general assemblies (if they are shareholders), submit proposals, take part in discussions, and so forth. They can be elected for the governing bodies, to be designated for positions or functions at the club, etc.[24] Benfica started to have elections before Portugal's transition to democracy,[99] and in 2003 it became the first club in the world to use electronic voting.[100]

On 9 November 2006, Benfica set the Guinness World Record for "the most widely supported football club", with 160,398 paid-up members.[101] As of 2015, Benfica is the biggest club in the world in membership terms, with 270,000 members.[9][10]

Rivalries

Main articles: Derby de Lisboa and O Clássico

The Derby Eterno ("Eternal Derby") is the Portuguese football derby played between the Lisbon teams of Benfica and Sporting, for over a century. It is followed in Europe, Africa, and in the Americas.[102]

The rivalry between Benfica and FC Porto comes about as Lisbon and Porto are the largest Portuguese cities, respectively. They are the most successful teams in Portugal.[96]

Sponsorship

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
1977–1984 Adidas none
1984–1987 Shell
1987–1990 FNAC
1990–1992 Hummel
1992–1994 Casino Estoril
1994–1996 Olympic Parmalat
1996–1997 Telecel
1997–2000 Adidas
2000–2001 Netc
2001–2002 Telecel/Vodafone
2002–2005 Vodafone
2005–2008 PT
2008–2012 TMN
2012–2015 MEO
2015– Emirates

Benfica have had a total of three kit manufacturers since 1977, and eleven shirt sponsors since 1984.[103][104][105]

The club's first kit manufacturer was Adidas from 1977 to 1990 (thirteen seasons), and the first shirt sponsor was Shell from 1984 to 1987 (three seasons). Fábrica Nacional de Ar Condicionado (FNAC) was the next sponsor until 1992 (five seasons). Two years before, in 1990, kit manufacturer changed to Hummel, until 1994 (four seasons) along with Casino Estoril sponsor since 1992 (two seasons).

In 1994, both the kit manufacturer and shirt sponsor changed, the former changed to Olympic until 1997 (three seasons) and the latter changed to Parmalat until 1996 (two seasons). Then, Telecel sponsored Benfica until 2000 (four seasons). Three years before, in 1997, Adidas started manufacturing the kit again until the present day.

In 2000–01, the shirt was sponsored by Netc (netcetera). In 2001–02, the shirt sponsor was shared between Telecel and Vodafone. The following year, Vodafone continued to be the sponsor until 2005 (four seasons). Then, Portugal Telecom (PT) was the sponsor for the next three seasons. In 2008, shirt sponsor changed to TMN also for three seasons. In 2012, MEO became the shirt sponsor until 2015, again three seasons.[106]

On 19 April 2014, it was announced that Benfica and Adidas had renewed the previous ten-season contract of 2003 until 2021.[107]

On 19 May 2015, Emirates signed a three-year shirt sponsorship deal with Benfica, worth up to €30 million, to become its main jersey sponsor until 2018.[108][109]

Media

Main articles: Benfica TV, O Benfica and Mística
Benfica TV logo

Benfica TV is a sports television network created and operated by Benfica, which includes two premium channels available in high-definition. BTV1 live broadcasts Benfica home matches in Primeira Liga, Benfica B and Farense in Segunda Liga, youth department, and other sports, including the youth levels. BTV2 broadcasts live matches of Premier League and Greek Super League. It also airs the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Moreover, the club publishes the weekly newspaper O Benfica and the bimonthly magazine Mística.

Finances

Sport Lisboa e Benfica S.A.D.
Traded as EuronextSLBEN
Revenue Increase €105,039,030 (2013–14)
Increase €33,526,913 (2013–14)
Increase €14,165,000 (2013–14)
Total assets Increase €440,679,267 (2013–14)
Total equity Increase (€8,401,237) (2013–14)

Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol, SAD (a public limited company)[110] was created by João Vale e Azevedo on 10 February 2000 with an initial equity of €75 million.[111][112] There were five major reasons for creating an autonomous entity to manage the professional football team:[113]

  • Participation in professional football competitions at domestic and international level.
  • Development of football players.
  • Exploration of TV rights on open and closed channels.
  • Management of the players' image rights.
  • Exploitation of the Benfica brand by the professional football team and at sporting events.

Benfica SAD entered the PSI-20 on 21 May 2007[114] with an initial stock value of €5 on 15,000,001 shares. On 15 June 2007, Joe Berardo launched a partial takeover of Benfica SAD (60%) for €3.50 a share,[115][116] which was not successful. On 23 December 2009, after a vote of its members, Benfica SAD 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 meant that more than 7,999,999 shares were on the stock market, whose value was €5 each.[117] They were admitted to the stock market on 14 June 2012. (In Portugal, companies in the stock market index are obligated to provide information to their shareholders and the Portuguese Securities Market Commission, and every semester a more detailed report is published.)[118] In 2009–10, the SAD 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,[119] even after the transfer of David Luiz to Chelsea.[120] In 2011–12, SAD posted losses of €11.7 million,[121] after earning €20 million from the UEFA Champions League,[122] €30 million for Fábio Coentrão,[123] and €8.6 million for Roberto.[124] In 2012–13, SAD posted losses of €10.3 million and generated a club record €51.5 million with the transfers of Javi García and Axel Witsel for a total revenue of more than €145 million.[125] On 31 July 2014, the SAD completed the acquisition of Benfica Stars Fund by spending around €28.9 million for 85%, thus purchasing the remaining economic rights of nine players.[126][127] In 2013–14, SAD posted profits of €14.1 million, the total revenue was of €185 million with expenses of €151 million, both a club record. It was the first record profit since 2006–07.[128]

Benfica is ranked as the twenty-sixth richest football club, with an annual revenue of €126 million,[129] and the fortieth most valuable football brand, valued at €85 million.[130] The club was praised for its transfer policy between 2007 and 2014.[131]

Records and statistics

For more details on this topic, see List of S.L. Benfica records and statistics.

Individual

Statue of the club's all-time top goalscorer, Eusébio

Eusébio is the all-time top goalscorer with 474 goals in 440 matches. Nené has the most official appearances overall (575). Luisão has the most appearances in European matches and is the captain with most matches.[132] Cosme Damião is the longest-serving manager (18 years). Jorge Jesus is the manager with most titles (10).[133]

Team

Benfica became the first team in Portuguese league history to complete two 30-game seasons without defeat, namely the 1972–73 and 1977–78 seasons. In the former, they achieved two records: 58 points in 30 matches, the most ever obtained (96.7% efficiency), and the largest difference of points ever between champions and runners-up (18 points) in a two-points-per-win system.[134]

Benfica holds the European record for the most consecutive wins in domestic league (29), between 1971–72 and 1972–73,[135] as well the record for the longest unbeaten run in domestic league (56), from 24 October 1976 to 1 September 1978.[136][137]

In the 1965–66 European Cup, Benfica scored 18 goals against Stade Dudelange and achieved the highest goal margin on aggregate in European football[138] and their biggest win in UEFA competitions.[34]

In UEFA Europa League, Benfica was the first club to reach two finals consecutively, the latter without defeat, which is a record.[65]

Recent seasons

Further information: List of S.L. Benfica seasons

The table below shows the last 10 completed seasons.

Season Pos Pld W D L GF GA Pts Top league scorer Goals Top overall scorer Goals TP TL ST UCL UEL
2005–06 3rd 34 20 7 7 51 29 67 Nuno Gomes 15 Nuno Gomes 17 QF W QF
2006–07 3rd 30 20 7 3 55 20 67 Simão 11 Simão 16 R16 GS QF
2007–08 4th 30 13 13 4 45 21 52 Óscar Cardozo 13 Óscar Cardozo 22 SF R4 GS R16
2008–09 3rd 30 17 8 5 54 32 59 Óscar Cardozo 17 Óscar Cardozo 17 R16 W GS
2009–10 1st 30 24 4 2 78 20 76 Óscar Cardozo 26 Óscar Cardozo 38 R32 W QF
2010–11 2nd 30 20 3 7 61 31 63 Óscar Cardozo 12 Óscar Cardozo 23 SF W RU GS SF
2011–12 2nd 30 21 6 3 66 27 69 Óscar Cardozo 20 Óscar Cardozo 28 R16 W QF
2012–13 2nd 30 24 5 1 77 20 77 Lima 20 Óscar Cardozo 33 RU SF GS RU
2013–14 1st 30 23 5 2 58 18 74 Lima 14 Lima 21 W W GS RU
2014–15 1st 34 27 4 3 86 16 85 Jonas 20 Jonas 31 R16 W W GS
  • R4 = Fourth round, Q3 = Third qualifying round, GS = Group stage, R64 = Round of 64, R32 = Round of 32, R16 = Round of 16, QF = Quarter-finals, SF = Semi-finals, RU = Runners-up, W = Winners

Honours

As of 29 May 2015, Benfica have won a record 34 Primeira Liga, a record 25 Taça de Portugal (and 4 consecutively), a record 6 Taça da Liga (and 4 consecutively), 5 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira, 3 Campeonato de Portugal (73 domestic titles), and 2 European Cup (75 overall titles).[12][13][14]

In 2014, they achieved an unprecedented treble of Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal, and Taça da Liga.[139][140] They also won the Supertaça,[77][78] becoming the only club to have won all four domestic titles in a year. It is also the only club to have won the Primeira Liga and Taça da Liga, moreover, three times.

Domestic

Winners (34): 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, 2013–14, 2014–15 (record)
Winners (25): 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, 2013–14 (record)
Winners (6): 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2014–15 (record)
Winners (5): 1980, 1985, 1989, 2005, 2014
Winners (3): 1929–30, 1930–31, 1934–35

European

Winners (2): 1960–61, 1961–62
Runners-up (5): 1962–63, 1964–65, 1967–68, 1987–88, 1989–90
Runners-up (3): 1982–83, 2012–13, 2013–14

Worldwide

Runners-up (2): 1961, 1962

Doubles and Trebles

10: 1942–43, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1963–64, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1986–87, 2013–14 (record)
3: 2009–10, 2013–14, 2014–15 (record)
1: 1960–61
1: 2013–14 (record)

Orders

Players

For reserve team players, see S.L. Benfica B.

Current squad

As of 2 July 2015[141][142]

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

No. Position Player
2 Argentina DF Lisandro López
4 Brazil DF Luisão (captain)
5 Serbia MF Ljubomir Fejsa
6 Portugal MF Rúben Amorim
7 Greece MF Andreas Samaris
9 Brazil FW Derley
10 Argentina MF Nicolás Gaitán
11 Brazil FW Lima
13 Portugal GK Paulo Lopes
15 Netherlands MF Ola John
16 Portugal FW Nélson Oliveira
17 Brazil FW Jonas
18 Argentina MF Eduardo Salvio
19 Portugal DF Eliseu
20 Brazil GK Júlio César
21 Portugal MF Pizzi
24 Italy MF Bryan Cristante
25 Uruguay FW Jonathan Rodríguez (on loan from Peñarol)
27 Germany MF Hany Mukhtar
28 Portugal DF Sílvio (on loan from Atlético Madrid)
30 Brazil MF Talisca
32 Portugal FW Bebé
33 Brazil DF Jardel
34 Portugal MF André Almeida
No. Position Player
37 Brazil DF César
50 Portugal MF Candeias
78 Portugal FW Gonçalo Guedes
83 Portugal FW Rui Fonte
89 Portugal FW Nuno Santos
92 Sweden DF Victor Lindelöf
93 Portugal MF Nélson Semedo
97 Portugal MF João Teixeira
Brazil GK Ederson Moraes
Brazil DF Marçal
Brazil DF Sidnei
Morocco MF Adel Taarabt
Portugal MF Dálcio
Brazil MF Diego Lopes
Serbia MF Filip Đuričić
Argentina MF Luis Fariña
Morocco MF Mehdi Carcela-González
Portugal MF Pelé
Portugal MF Raphael Guzzo
Paraguay FW Francisco Vera
Portugal FW Ivan Cavaleiro
Venezuela FW Jhon Murillo
Portugal FW Yannick Djaló

Out on loan

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

No. Position Player
3 Portugal DF Steven Vitória (at Philadelphia Union until 31 December 2015)
42 Brazil DF Luís Felipe (at Paysandu until 31 December 2015)
Uruguay MF Jim Varela (at Rampla Juniors)
 

Retired numbers

No. Player Position Benfica debut Last match
29 Hungary Miklós Fehér FW 24 August 2002 25 January 2004

On 27 January 2004, the club decided to retire the squad number 29 in memory of Miklós Fehér, who died while playing for Benfica on 25 January 2004.[39][143][144]

Personnel

Current technical staff

Position Name
Head coach Rui Vitória
Assistant coach Arnaldo Teixeira
Sérgio Botelho
Minervino Pietra
Marco Pedroso
Fitness coach Paulo Mourão
Goalkeeping coach Hugo Oliveira
Benfica LAB coordinator Bruno Mendes

Source: [145]

Management

Luís Filipe Vieira is the current president
Position Name
President Luís Filipe Vieira
Vice-president Rui Cunha
Rui Gomes da Silva
Domingos Almeida Lima
José Eduardo Moniz
Nuno Gaioso
João Varandas Fernandes
Alcino António
Sílvio Cérvan
President of general assembly Luís Nazaré
President of fiscal board Nuno Afonso Henriques

Source: [146]

Other sports

Active teams

Defunct teams

See also

References

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Further reading

  • Correio da Manhã (2004). Benfica Centenarium 100 nomes 100 histórias [Centenarium Benfica 100 names 100 stories] (in Portuguese). Portugal: Heska Portuguesa, S.A. (published January 2004). ISBN 972-99026-1-5. 
  • Tovar, Rui Miguel (2014). Almanaque do Benfica [Benfica Almanac] (in Portuguese). Portugal: Lua de Papel. ISBN 978-989-23-2764-8. 

External links