Hélder (footballer)

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Hélder Cristóvão
Helder Cristovao 290515.jpg
Hélder as a coach of Benfica B in 2015
Personal information
Full name Hélder Marino Rodrigues Cristóvão
Date of birth (1971-03-21) 21 March 1971 (age 46)
Place of birth Luanda, Angola
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Benfica B (manager)
Youth career
1988–1989 Estoril
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1992 Estoril 81 (5)
1992–1996 Benfica 125 (9)
1997–2002 Deportivo La Coruña 67 (1)
1999–2000 Newcastle (loan) 8 (1)
2002–2004 Benfica 41 (2)
2004–2005 Paris Saint-Germain 16 (1)
2005–2006 AEL 9 (0)
Total 347 (19)
National team
1991–1992 Portugal U21 10 (2)
1992–2001 Portugal 35 (3)
Teams managed
2009 Estoril
2011 Portimonense (assistant)
2013– Benfica B
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Hélder Marino Rodrigues Cristóvão (born 21 March 1971), known simply as Hélder as a player, is a former Portuguese footballer who played as a central defender, and is the current manager of S.L. Benfica B.

He amassed Primeira Liga totals of 197 games and 16 goals during eight seasons, mostly with Benfica. He also competed professionally in Spain, England, France and Greece, representing mainly Deportivo.

Hélder appeared for Portugal at Euro 1996. In 2009, he started working as a manager, going on to spend several years with Benfica's reserves.

Playing career[edit]


Born in Luanda, Portuguese Angola, Hélder first attracted attention as a G.D. Estoril Praia player, moving to S.L. Benfica for the 1992–93 season where he would stay the following four-and-a-half years, mainly as a starter. In December 1996 he signed for Deportivo de La Coruña, playing 22 La Liga matches in only six months as the club finished in third position.

In November 1999, Hélder joined Newcastle United in the Premier League on loan, making 12 official appearances and scoring against in a 2–2 away draw against Sunderland in the Tyne–Wear derby the following 6 February.[1] In that season, the Spaniards went on to conquer their first league title, with the player failing to contribute in that competition; he returned to Depor subsequently, appearing very rarely in his last year, which ended in conquest of the Copa del Rey.[2]

For the 2002–03 campaign, aged 31, Hélder returned to Benfica, playing there for two more years (being used in average of 20 league matches and winning one Portuguese Cup) and joining Paris Saint-Germain F.C. the following season, where he teamed up with compatriot Pauleta. He played his last year for Athlitiki Enosi Larissa F.C. in 2005–06, appearing rarely in the Superleague Greece and retiring at the end of the season.


Hélder appeared 35 times for the Portugal national team, scoring three goals. His first game was on 12 February 1992 in a 2–0 win over the Netherlands in an exhibition game, and his last a 0–4 loss to France in Paris on 25 April 2001, in another friendly.

Hélder represented the nation at UEFA Euro 1996, appearing in all four matches for the quarter-finalists as he started alongside Fernando Couto.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

Cristóvão began working as a manager in the summer of 2009, precisely with his first club Estoril (in the second division). On 28 September, merely two months after being appointed, he was fired.[4]

On 3 July 2013, Cristóvão returned to Benfica as manager of the reserve team, replacing Luís Norton de Matos. In the 2014–15 season, he led them to their second best position in the second level, a sixth place (fifth in 2013–14), as the highest scoring team with 81 goals.[5][6]

Benfica B only managed to stave off relegation in the 2015–16 campaign in the last matchday, defeating S.C. Freamunde 5–0 at home and also benefitting from a 1–1 draw between C.D. Mafra and C.D. Aves.[7][8][9][10] Cristóvão's team collected more losses (21) than wins (15), conceding 64 times whilst scoring 59;[11] additionally, on 15 March 2016, he was suspended for 30 days after being sent off against S.C. Covilhã, which ended with a 2–2 home draw.[12]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 19 February 2017[13][14]
Team From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Estoril July 2009 28 September 2009 8 1 5 2 9 12 −3 012.50
Benfica B 3 July 2013 Present 170 73 40 57 263 220 +43 042.94
Total 178 74 45 59 272 232 +40 041.57




  1. ^ "Phillips brace earns derby draw". BBC Sport. 6 February 2000. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Helder, un parche para momentos puntuales" [Helder, pitching in here and there] (in Spanish). Memorias de Riazor. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Portugal progress as Group D winners". UEFA.com. 6 October 2003. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "Hélder Cristóvão deixa comando técnico" [Hélder Cristóvão leaves helm of team]. Record (in Portuguese). 28 September 2009. Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Equipa entra hoje em cena" [Team gets going today]. Record (in Portuguese). 3 July 2013. Archived from the original on 30 June 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Continuar a fazer crescer os jovens do Benfica" [Continue to make Benfica's youngsters grow] (in Portuguese). S.L. Benfica. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Benfica B desilude e Hélder Cristóvão tem lugar em perigo" [Benfica B disappoints and Hélder Cristóvão's position is in danger] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "Mesmo com reforços, Benfica B empata e continua em zona de descida" [Even with additions, Benfica B draws and is still in relegation zone] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 24 April 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  9. ^ "Benfica B-Freamunde, 5–0: Goleada para a manutenção" [Benfica B-Freamunde, 5–0: Routing for survival]. Record (in Portuguese). 14 May 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  10. ^ "O milagre do Tondela fez cair o União. Rio Ave ganha Europa ao Paços" [Tondela's miracle dropped União. Rio Ave takes Europe from Paços]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 15 May 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  11. ^ "Três pontos fulcrais ganhos em Braga" [Three vital points won in Braga] (in Portuguese). S.L. Benfica. 30 April 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  12. ^ "Benfica B: Hélder Cristóvão suspenso por 30 dias" [Benfica B: Hélder Cristóvão suspended for 30 days] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  13. ^ "Hélder Marino Rodrigues Cristóvão". Zerozero. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  14. ^ Hélder coach profile at Soccerway

External links[edit]