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SL Benfica

SL Benfica is a football (soccer) club from Portugal.

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About SL Benfica

Sport Lisboa e Benfica (; ), commonly known as simply Benfica or SLB, is a Portuguese multi-sports club based in Lisbon. Although they successfully compete in a number of different sports, Benfica is mostly known for its association football team. Founded in Lisbon in February 28, 1904, it is one of the "Três Grandes" (Big Three (Portugal), in English), football clubs in Portugal, with F.C. Porto and Sporting Clube de Portugal being the other two clubs, Benfica's biggest rivals. Benfica has more than 14 million fans and the Guinness World Record for the football club in the world with most members. Benfica's supporters are often called "Benfiquistas". Benfica was elected by the IFFHS as IFFHS continental Clubs of the 20th Century and by FIFA as FIFA Clubs of the 20th Century.

It is the most successful Portuguese football club in terms of national titles, with 66 titles, and the second most successful Portuguese club overall, with 68 titles.

Benfica was one of the founding members of the Primeira Liga in 1933, and, together with FC Porto and Sporting Clube de Portugal, it has never been relegated from the First Division (Primeira Divisão, in Portuguese language) of Portuguese football.

On February 28, 1904, Sport Lisboa e Benfica (originally known as Grupo Sport Lisboa, ) was founded during a meeting in the southwest part of Lisbon involving 24 young men, led by Cosme Damião. As a result of this meeting, the most popular and successful Portuguese football club in domestic competitions was created.

Domestically, Benfica won a total of 32 Portuguese Liga titles, 24 Portuguese Cup titles, 3 Portuguese League Cup titles and 4 Portuguese SuperCup
Benfica has the distinction of being one of only two teams in the history of the Portuguese Liga to have won the championship, while completing an entire 30 game season, unbeaten (1972–73 Primeira Liga). Benfica was also unbeaten 1977–78 Primeira Liga (finishing in second place).

Internationally, Benfica won the 1960–61 European Cup and the 1961–62 European Cup. In addition, Benfica were runners-up in the 1961 Intercontinental Cup and 1962 Intercontinental Cup, in the 1962–63 European Cup, 1964–65 European Cup, 1967–68 European Cup, 1987–88 European Cup and 1989–90 European Cup, and in the 1983 UEFA Cup Final.

As a multiple sport club, Benfica has departments for basketball, roller hockey, indoor football (known as futsal), volleyball, Team handball, beach soccer, water polo, Rugby football, and cycling, among others. Due to the success and popularity of the football club, Benfica has built the biggest fan base among the "Três Grandes" (Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting Clube de Portugal) in Portugal. Benfica also has one of the biggest fan bases in the world, with many supporters outside of Portugal in countries like Andorra, Angola, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Croatia, France, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, United Kingdom, Japan, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, Switzerland, Netherlands and United States.


The foundation and first years (1904–1910)

On February 28, 1904, a meeting of young people from the Belém neighborhood of Lisbon and former students from the Real Casa Pia de Lisboa took place at the Farmácia Franco (Franco Pharmacy), located on Rua de Belém in the southwest part of Lisbon, with the goal of forming a new football club that would be called Grupo Sport Lisboa. There were a total of 24 people who attended the meeting, including the co-founder and future soul of the football 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.

The first game was played in January 1905. Despite important football victories in the first few years, the club suffered due to poor operating conditions. As a result, in 1907, several players from the first team joined the then more prosperous Sporting Clube de Portugal, located across the city.

In 1908, Grupo Sport Lisboa acquired, by mutual agreement, the Sport Clube de Benfica, a club founded in 1906 as Grupo Sport Benfica and later changed its name to Sport Clube de Benfica. Despite the merger of the two football clubs, Grupo Sport Lisboa and Sport Clube de Benfica continued their respective club operations. For Grupo Sport Lisboa, they maintained the football team, the red and white shirt colors, the eagle as the symbol, the "E Pluribus Unum" as the motto, and the logo. For Sport Clube de Benfica, they maintained the football field, the main directors, and the club's house.

Under the mutual agreement, both Sport Clube de Benfica and Grupo Sport Lisboa determined that the foundation date of the newly formed club should coincide with the foundation date of Grupo Sport Lisboa, February 28, 1904, given that it was the most recognized club (of the two) in the merger and it was already quite popular in Lisbon due to its football merits. (It is interesting to note that Sport Lisboa e Benfica is the only club of the "Big Three (Portugal)" that has never changed its foundation date.) With regard to the new club's logo, a bicycle wheel was added to the Grupo Sport Lisboa's original logo, which represented the most important sport of Sport Clube de Benfica. As for the new club's name, Benfica from Sport Clube de Benfica was added to the Sport Lisboa of Grupo Sport Lisboa to form Sport Lisboa e Benfica, which remains the formal full name of Benfica today. As for other notes, the club moved from the Santa Maria de Belém area of Lisbon to the present-day Benfica (Lisbon) 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 stabilize operations and later increased the success of the merger.
In October, 1908, a month after the agreement, the club won the first game ever against Sporting Clube de Portugal. Then, in the 1909–10 season, Benfica ended Carcavelos Club's reign (for the last three years) as Lisbon Champions. In addition, that season was considered a "golden one", as the club won all three regional championships in Portuguese competition, thus establishing a record.

An early age of achievements (1910–1921)

Between 1905 and 1922, the club won 11 Lisbon regional titles in football.

Meanwhile, club’s popularity increased outside of Lisbon's city borders. Several affiliate clubs were created, mainly in the Algarve.

The 1913–14 season was very successful, as the club was the first to win the regional Lisbon championships in all the four categories.

The first international matches were played with some relevant results: in 1913, the club won their first international football trophy, named Torneio Três Cidades (Three Cities' Tournament).

The rink hockey department was created in 1917. In 1919, the club organized the first ever football game played at night in Portugal.

It was not until the 1920s that the club became more known as Benfica. A falling out within the club regarding some football players led to several members leaving the club and founding C.F. Os Belenenses, which is now Lisbon's third largest football club. This is regarded as the second major crisis within the club.

Football crisis and cycling dominance (1922–1930)

The national football competitions only began in the 1920s. The impact of the defection of players to C.F. Os Belenenses was made worse by further losses due to the creation of Casa Pia A.C. in Lisbon. This exodus of players left Sport Lisboa e Benfica struggling in the following years and the club would only win two regional titles until 1930.

Fortunately for Benfica, cycling picked up the slack and became an important source of victories. Spearheading the team was Alfredo Luís Piedade, considered to be one of the greatest names in Portuguese cycling.

In 1925, the club inaugurated the Amoreiras Stadium. The departments of field hockey, Rugby football, and basketball were created in this decade; only the first mentioned doesn’t have official activities today.

From the time 1921–1922, one begins to realize theCup of Portugal. Championship The representative Madeira only enter in the competition next season. In 1927–1928 the club only adds to their participation. Was on the edge of Benfica win the quarter-final, with the 3-1 win until the last minute of the game, but ending up losing 3-4 in the extended discount.

The first national football titles (1930s)

The 1930s were a much kinder decade to Benfica. The club's football team started the decade by winning two national championships (for the first time) in 1930 and 1931 and one regional championship.

After losing the first national championship, Benfica won the next three championships in a row (1935–36, 1936–37, and 1937–38), and their first Portuguese Cup, in 1939–40.

Cycling continued to be the key sport within the club. The duels between Benfica's José Maria Nicolau and Sporting Clube de Portugal's Alfredo Trinidade on the road throughout the country enthralled many fans and were a critical factor for the ascendance of popularity of not only Benfica but also Sporting. José Maria Nicolau is regarded as one of Benfica's greatest ever cyclist and won two Volta a Portugal's titles in 1931 and 1934.

The 1940s

The 1940s saw the domination by Benfica and Sporting in the country's football championship to an extent never seen before. Between 1941 and 1950, the two clubs finished first and second in every championship except for the 1945–46 season when Benfica finished second to Os Belenenses. During this period, Benfica and Sporting each won four titles. By now, football was clearly the club's most important sport.

The 1950s

Benfica's first major international football success happened in 1950 when they won the Latin Cup by defeating FC Girondins de Bordeaux in the final. The Latin Cup was then seen as one of Europe's most prestigious European Cups in a time when UEFA (which hadn't been formed yet) had yet to launch its unified European Cups.

Another highlight came in 1954 when Benfica moved into the famous Estádio da Luz (1954). It initially had capacity for 40,000 spectators, but this was gradually expanded due to club's growing success and fan base.

Benfica won three championships during the 1950s and were runner-ups three times. They also gathered six Portuguese Cups, and their accomplishments included a series of four consecutive victories between 1948 and 1953. The Portuguese cup was not held in 1950 due to the Latin Cup being organized in Portugal.

In addition to all these successes, Benfica was able to end the decade with the foundations in place enabling the club to enter the 1960s with one of the best teams in Europe.

The golden era (1960–1970)

Benfica was the first team to break Real Madrid C.F.'s dominance in the early UEFA Champions League. Having won two European Cups in a row against FC Barcelona (1961) and Real Madrid (1962). This was the last time Benfica won an international competition.

During this decade, Benfica would reach another three European Champions' Cup finals, but the Lisbon club never managed to win a European trophy again, having lost against A.C. Milan (1963), Internazionale Milano F.C. (1965), and Manchester United F.C. (1968).

In 1968, Benfica was considered the best European team by France Football, despite its defeat in the Champions Cup. Many of its successes in the 1960s were achieved with all-time football great Eusébio playing for the Lisbon side. In fact, the 1960s were the best period of Benfica history, in which the club won an astonishing eight Portuguese Liga (1960, '61, '63, '64, '65, '67, '68, and '69), three Cup of Portugal (1961, '64, and '69), and two European Champions Cup (1961 and '62).

The silver era (1970–1994)

During the 1970s, the team faded slightly from the European scene, but remained the main force inside Portuguese football, winning six championships (1971, '72, '73, '75, '76, and '77) and two Portuguese cups (1970 and '72). Jimmy Hagan led the club to three successive Portuguese championships, and once to the national cup between 1970 and 1973. Benfica also attracted Europe-wide attention when the team reached the semi-finals of the European Cup of Champions, where the team was only narrowly defeated 1–0 on aggregate by the legendary AFC Ajax side of that era.

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 two. 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 100 only for the second time in their history.

The club had some problems in the late 1970s, early 1980s, but managed to stand up to its standards again, this time under the guidance of Sven-Göran Eriksson. In two years (1983 and 1984) the club won two championships, one Portuguese Cup, and reached the final of the UEFA Cup in 1983 against R.S.C. 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 (1954), which transformed it into one of the biggest in Europe, with a standing room capacity of 120,000. In 1987, Benfica won another double (championship and Portuguese cup), an achievement done for the ninth time in their history.

During the period from 1988 to 1994, Benfica made a huge financial investment in an effort to win another European cup, but the club failed to meet its expectations. While Benfica reached the European cup final in 1988 and 1990, it lost in the final against PSV Eindhoven and A.C. Milan, respectively. Domestically, Benfica won three more championships (1989, '91, and '94) and one Portuguese Cup (1993).

The dark years (1994–2003)

Financial trouble began to undermine the club due to rampant spending and a questionable signing policy which allowed for squads composed of well over 30 players. Consequently, the period from 1994 through 2003 was arguably the darkest in the history of Benfica. During this time, Benfica only won one Portuguese Cup in season 1995–96 and finished in positions, such as sixth in 2000–01 and fourth in 2001–02. The debts were accumulating, and nearly every year saw the hire of a new Benfica coach.

The rebuilding years

In 2004, the club regained some of its sporting prowess, with a new president and the manager José Antonio Camacho, winning the first title in eight years (the Portuguese Cup, won against José Mourinho's FC Porto in the final), and in 2004–05, the first national championship in 11 years, this time with Giovanni Trapattoni as coach — in an odd season in which the top club had the least amount of points ever and an efficiency (63.7% of points obtainable) that historically would never have been enough to secure even second place. That year was also marked by the death of the Hungarian player Miklos Feher during a match against Vitória de Guimarães at the Estádio da Luz, shocking scenes of paramedics trying to revive the player on the pitch to no avail will live on in the memory of many and certainly of the players that were there that day. The wake was held at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques and both the President Luís Filipe Vieira and the captain Nuno Gomes went to Hungary for the players burial.

In 2004–05, Benfica won the Portuguese SuperCup for the fourth time. In the UEFA Champions League 2005-06 UEFA Champions League, Benfica managed to reach the quarter-finals, defeating Manchester United 2–1 in the decisive group stage encounter, and then overcoming the UEFA Champions League 2004-05 European champions Liverpool F.C. 3–0 on aggregate. However, Benfica lost in the Quarter Finals to the eventual winner FC Barcelona by an aggregate of 2–0, both goals coming during the second leg in Camp Nou. In the UEFA Champions League 2006-07 season, Benfica found themselves again facing Manchester United F.C. 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 August 20, 2007, José Antonio Camacho returned to Benfica on a two-year contract, following the sacking of Fernando Santos (Portuguese football manager and former player) after only one match in the league (a tie against the recently promoted Leixões S.C.), at time when Benfica was facing a vital Champions League qualifying game against F.C. Copenhagen. Benfica granted a place in the UEFA Champions League after defeating Copenhagen for 1–0, but eventually exited the competition at the group stage. They then parachuted to the UEFA Cup where they were defeated by Spanish debutants, Getafe CF. Camacho resigned a few months later, in March. Benfica failed to gain a top three finish in the Portuguese Liga 2007–08 season, placing the team in the UEFA Cup for the upcoming season.

On May 22, 2008, former Valencia CF manager Quique Sánchez Flores was appointed as the club's new manager for the new season.

In 2008, Benfica launched its own TV channel called Benfica TV.

In 2009, Benfica won the second edition of the Portuguese League Cup defeating their cross-town rival Sporting CP, under the guidance of Quique Sánchez Flores

From Jorge Jesus Era to the Present (2009–present)

On June 8, 2009, manager Quique Sánchez Flores resigned as coach after agreeing to a friendly contractual termination; he was replaced by former S.C. Braga manager Jorge Jesus on June 17.

On July 12, 2009, Benfica tied 2–2 against FC Sion in their first of ten friendlies in the 2009–10 pre-season with Óscar Cardozo and Javier Saviola each scoring a goal. On July 13, in their second friendly, they beat defending UEFA Cup-champions FC Shakhtar Donetsk 2–0, with goals coming from Cardozo and Carlos Jorge Neto Martins. On 16 July, in their third friendly, Benfica beat Athletic Bilbao 2–1 with Saviola scoring two second-half goals.

On July 18, in their fourth friendly, they beat S.C. Olhanense 2–1 with a 74th minute highlight goal from Cardozo and an injury time goal from Miguel Vítor. On 21 July, in their fifth friendly, Benfica lost 2–1 against Atlético Madrid with their only goal coming from Cardozo. The game was played in front of 58,000 fans at the Estádio da Luz as this was the presentation game for Benfica and the first game former team-legend Simão Sabrosa played versus Benfica in an Atlético uniform. On July 24, in their sixth friendly, they beat Sunderland F.C. 2–0 with goals coming from Cardozo and Maximiliano Pereira. On July 26, in their seventh friendly, Benfica won the prestigious Amsterdam Tournament against AFC Ajax 3–2, with an own goal from Ismaïl Aissati and goals from Ángel Di María and David Luiz.

On August 1, 2009, in their eighth friendly, they beat Portsmouth F.C. 4–0 with Cardozo scoring two first-half goals and Weldon Santos de Andrade scoring a second-half goal. An own goal from Wilkinson late in the second half resulted in Benfica's fourth goal of the match. On August 2, in their ninth friendly, Benfica won the Guimarães Tournament against Vitória S.C. 2–0, with goals coming from Weldon and Ruben Amorim. On August 8, in their final friendly of the 2009–10 preseason, Benfica won the Eusébio Cup on penalty kicks against A.C. Milan. At the end of full-time, the match was tied 1–1 with Benfica's goal coming from Cardozo in the second half. During the penalty kick shoot-out, goalkeeper Quim (footballer born 1975) saved a total of four penalties, which gave the match to Benfica and kept the Eusébio Cup in Lisbon for the first time.

With a string of good results to start the 2009–10 season, breath-taking attacking football, and some high scoring games in the Portuguese Liga, manager Jorge Jesus and his players have brought a sense of excitement to Benfica supporters that has not been seen since the football club won the 2004–05 Portuguese Liga. This sense of excitement and renewed passion amongst Benfica fans has resulted in high hopes for domestic competitions in the Portuguese Liga 2009–10, 2009–10 Taça de Portugal, and 2009–10 Portuguese League Cup, as well as for international competition in the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League.

As the season of the Portuguese Liga progressed, excitement amongst Benfica fans and intrigue amongst rival fans led to high attendance figures in both the Estádio da Luz and opposing team stadiums throughout Portugal. For example, in a Portuguese Liga match between Benfica and União de Leiria in Leiria on 26 September 2009, the Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa had their highest attendance figure since the UEFA Euro 2004 tournament. Furthermore, informal estimates by those who attended the football match claim that more than 90% of the stadium was composed of Benfica supporters.

When the first half of the season ended after 15 matches, Benfica had a record of 11 wins, two draws, and one loss, with 39 goals scored and nine conceided. Benfica also has had the highest average home attendance with 46,737; their highest mark was 58,659 against F.C. Porto.

On March 21, the first solid proof of Jesus' work came with the conquest of the first trophy, a 3–0 win against arch-rivals FC Porto on the 2010 Taça da Liga Final. A game completely dominated by Benfica, who managed to bestow upon its rivals the 2nd defeat of the season.

On April 1 and 8, Benfica were paired with Liverpool in a two-legged quarterfinal matchup in the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League. In Lisbon at the Estádio da Luz, Benfica defeated the English club 2–1 on 1 April. However, despite the positive result in the first leg of the matchup, Benfica was defeated by a score of 4–1 in Liverpool's Anfield Stadium.

On April 13, 2010 in the Lisbon Derby, Benfica played another important match against "capital rivals" Sporting. The match began with Sporting creating more goal opportunities in the first half. Given Benfica's poor tactics, Jorge Jesus replaced Éder Luis with Pablo Aimar. This substitution helped to dramactically improve Benfica's play-making abilities. During the match, Fábio Coentrão placed the ball in the penalty area for Óscar Cardozo to score. Later on, Pablo Aimar, after a great pass from Ramires, managed to score the 2nd goal for Benfica.

On May 9, 2010, Benfica won their final match against Rio Ave and became the Champion of the 2009–10 Portuguese Liga. Óscar Cardozo scored twice in the game, which made him the top scorer of the season with 26 goals (Cardozo scored 9 penalty kicks that aided this conquest). At the end of the season, Benfica finished 5 points ahead of runner-up, SC Braga, with 76 points out of a possible 90. During the 2009–10 Portuguese Liga, Benfica recorded 24 victories, 4 draws and 2 defeats, with 78 goals scored and only 20 conceded. As the 2009–10 Portuguese Liga Champions, Benfica secured their direct entry into the Group Stage of the 2010-11 UEFA Champions League.

On April 14, 2011, Benfica progressed to their first European semi-final (after being eliminated from UEFA Champions League and ending his group in 3rd place to qualify for the Europa League) in 18 years, set to face S.C. Braga in the Europa League semi-finals on April 28, 2011.

On April 23, 2011, Benfica won the League Cup Final against F.C. Paços de Ferreira, clinching their 3rd consecutive league cup trophy.

On May 5, 2011, Benfica was eliminated by S.C. Braga in the semi-finals of Europa League by 2–2 in aggregate, with Braga proceeding to the finals through away goals rule.

The second year of Jorge Jesus heading the club was considered a failure, as the club had the worst championship start of all time. Benfica ended up in second place. The team's only success was the Portuguese League Cup. Benfica reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Club statistics and records

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 638 goals for the club in 614 games. José Águas is in second place with 438 goals in 514 games for the club followed by Nené, who has scored 359 goals in 575 games.

The club jointly holds the record of having gone a whole season without losing a game, during the 1972–73 Portuguese Liga season and has a European winning streak record of 29 games between 1971–72 Portuguese Liga and 1972–73 Portuguese Liga.


The emblem is composed of an eagle, a shield in the club colours of red and white, and the acronym SLB for "Sport Lisboa e Benfica" over a football, all superimposed over a bicycle wheel, which was taken from the Grupo Sport Benfica emblem. The club motto is "E Pluribus Unum," Latin for "Out of many, one".


The Estádio da Luz , officially named the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, which translated means, "Stadium of Light," is a football (soccer) stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, the home of Benfica.
It is called "a Catedral" (the Cathedral) by the Benfica fans.

The term Luz refers, historically, to the parish of the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Luz (Church of Our Lady of the Light). The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England may have been inspired by the name of this Lisbon stadium.

In Portuguese, the word Luz means "Light". Although the stadium was named in honor of the parish, the words da Luz in the parish name translates to "of the Light". Hence, the name is not mistranslated and is correctly translated.

The stadium hosted several matches in the UEFA Euro 2004, including the final match. The previous Benfica stadium (also called "Estádio da Luz (1954)" and one of the largest stadiums in the world with 120,000 seats) was demolished and the new one was built for the tournament with a capacity of 65,647.

Training centre and youth academy

Benfica owns state-of-the-art training facilities in Seixal Municipality. The complex is called the Caixa Futebol Campus, named after sponsor Caixa Geral de Depósitos, a leading Portuguese bank. It is here that the professional team trains daily and also is the home of all Benfica's youth squads.

History of team honours

From 1922 to 1938, the Portuguese Championship was carried out as a knock-out competition. In 1934, an experimental and unofficial League Championship (Campeonato da I Liga) was introduced. This tournament was the precursor of the Portuguese League which started with the 1938–39 season. The previous format continued in renamed form as the cup competition.

International finals campaigns

1950 Latin Cup

(Primeira Divisão, Primeira Liga, Campeonato Nacional):
- - Winners (32) (Record): Portuguese Liga 1935–36, Portuguese Liga 1936–37, Portuguese Liga 1937–38, Portuguese Liga 1941–42, Portuguese Liga 1942–43, Portuguese Liga 1944–45, Portuguese Liga 1949–50, Portuguese Liga 1954-55, Portuguese Liga 1956–57, Portuguese Liga 1959–60, Portuguese Liga 1960–61, Portuguese Liga 1962–63, Portuguese Liga 1963-64, Portuguese Liga 1964–65, Portuguese Liga 1966–67, Portuguese Liga 1967–68, Portuguese Liga 1968–69, Portuguese Liga 1970–71, Portuguese Liga 1971–72, Portuguese Liga 1972–73, Portuguese Liga 1974–75, Portuguese Liga 1975–76, Portuguese Liga 1976–77, Portuguese Liga 1980–81, Portuguese Liga 1982–83, Portuguese Liga 1983–84, Portuguese Liga 1986–87, Portuguese Liga 1988–89, Portuguese Liga 1990–91, Portuguese Liga 1993–94, Portuguese Liga 2004–05, Portuguese Liga 2009–10
- - Runners-up (25): 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

- Portuguese Cup (Taça de Portugal):
- - 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): 1937–38, 1938–39, 1957–58, 1964–65, 1970–71, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1988–89, 1996–97, 2004-05

- Taça da Liga (Taça da Liga):
- - Winners (3) (Record): 2008-09 Taça da Liga, 2009-10 Taça da Liga, 2010-11 Taça da Liga

- Portuguese SuperCup (Supertaça de Portugal):
- - Winners (4): 1980, 1985, 1989, 2005
- - Runners-up (11): 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2004, 2010

- Taça de Portugal (Campeonato de Portugal):
- - Winners (3): 1929–30, 1930–31, 1934–35
- - Runners-up (1): 1937-38

Regional (Lisbon) titles

- Cup of Honour (Taça de Honra):
- - Winners (18): 1919–20, 1921–22, 1962–63, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1987–88

- Campeonato de Lisboa (Lisbon Championship):
- - Winners (10): 1909–10, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1913–14, 1915–16, 1916–17, 1917–18, 1919–20, 1932–33, 1939–40
- - Runners-up (20): 1906–07, 1908–09, 1910–11, 1914–15, 1918–19, 1921–22, 1922–23, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1940–41, 1941–42, 1942–43, 1943–44, 1944–45, 1946–47

- Lisbon Championship – 2nd Category/Reserves:
- - Winners (42): 1909/10, 1910/11, 1912/13, 1913/14, 1914/15, 1915/16, 1917/18, 1918/19, 1919/20, 1920/21, 1921/22, 1926/27, 1928/29, 1930/31, 1935/36, 1938/39, 1940/41, 1942/43, 1944/45, 1948/49, 1949/50, 1952/53, 1953/54, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1965/66, 1969/70, 1970/71, 1971/72, 1974/75, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1980/81, 1981/82, 1986/87, 1992/93

Unofficial national titles

- Império Cup (Taça do Império):
- - Winners (3): 1912, 1913, 1918
Note: It shouldn't be translated as Empire Cup as it refers to Império LC, a Lisbon club from the early 20th century.
- Títulos dos Jogos Olímpicos Nacionais (Titles of the National Olympic Games):
- - Winners (3): 1910, 1912, 1913
- Taça de Ribeiro dos Reis (Ribeiro dos Reis Cup):
- - Winners (3): 1963–64, 1965–66, 1970–71

International titles

- UEFA Champions League:
- - Winners (2): 1960–61 European Cup; 1961–62 European Cup
- - Runners-up (5): 1962–63 European Cup; 1964–65 European Cup; 1967–68 European Cup; 1987–88 European Cup; 1989–90 European Cup

- Intercontinental Cup (football):
- -
Runners-up (2):
1961 Intercontinental Cup, 1962 Intercontinental Cup

- UEFA Cup:
- - Runners-up (1): 1982–83 UEFA Cup

- Latin Cup:
- - Winners (1): 1950

- Iberian Cup:
- - Winners (1): 1983

Friendly Competitions

- Três cidades Trophy:
- - Winners (1): 1913

- Quatro cidades Trophy:
- - Winners (1): 1916

- Páscoa Trophy:
- - Winners (1): 1925

- Ramon de Carranza Trophy:
- - Winners (2): 1963, 1971

- Badajoz Trophy:
- - Winners (2): 1969, 1973

- Salamanca Trophy:
- - Winners (1): 1973

- Vinho do Porto Trophy:
- - Winners (1): 1973

- Los Angeles Trophy:
- - Winners (1): 1975

- Belo Horizonte Trophy:
- - Winners (1): 1975

- Braga Trophy:
- - Winners (1): 1977

- Paris Trophy:
- - Winners (1): 1979

- FC Schalke 04 Trophy:
- - Winners (1): 1980

- Toronto Tournament:
- - Winners (4): 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987

- Lisboa Trophy:
- - Winners (3): 1984, 1986, 1987

- Lisboa International Trophy:
- - Winners (2): 1983, 1985

- Maputo Tournament:
- - Winners (1): 1986

- Teresa Herrera Trophy:
- - Winners (1): 1987

- Vigo Trophy:
- - Winners (1): 1990

- Mohammed bin Rashid International Football Championship:
- - Winners (1): Mohammed bin Rashid International Football Championship 2007

- Guadiana Trophy:
- - Winners (5): 2002, Guadiana Trophy 2007, Guadiana Trophy 2009, Guadiana Trophy 2010,2011

- Cidade de Guimarães Trophy:
- - Winners (3): 2008, 2009, 2010

- Amsterdam Tournament:
- - Winners (1): Amsterdam Tournament 2009

- Eusébio Cup:
- - Winners (2): Eusébio Cup, 2011

- Pedro Pauleta Trophy:
- - Winners (1): Pedro Pauleta Trophy

- CNE Cup:
- - Winners (1): 2009

- Albufeira Summer Cup:
- - Winners (1): 2010

Award winners

Ballon d'Or
The following players have won the Ballon d'Or while playing for Benfica:
- Eusébio – Ballon d'Or 1965

European Golden Boot
The following players have won the European Golden Shoe while playing for Benfica:
- Eusébio (43 goals)  – 1968 (First winner)
- Eusébio (40 goals)  – 1973

FIFA World Cup Golden Boot
The following players have won the FIFA World Cup awards Golden Boot while playing for Benfica:
- Eusébio (9 goals)  – 1966 FIFA World Cup

Best European Goalkeeper
The following players have won the Best European Goalkeeper while playing for Benfica:
- Michel Preud'homme – 1994

UEFA European Football Championship
The following players have won the UEFA European Football Championship while playing for Benfica:
- Takis Fyssas – UEFA Euro 2004

Copa América
The following players have won the Copa América while playing for Benfica:
- Aldair – 1989 Copa América
- Ricardo Gomes – 1989 Copa América
- Valdo Filho – 1989 Copa América
- Luisão – 2004 Copa América
- Maxi Pereira – 2011 Copa América

FIFA Confederations Cup
The following players have won the FIFA Confederations Cup while playing for Benfica:
- Luisão – 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
- Leonardo Lourenço Bastos – 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup

Summer Olympics Football Tournament
The following players have won the Football at the Summer Olympics while playing for Benfica:
- Ángel di María – Football at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men's tournament


Retired numbers

29 – Miklós Fehér, honour of respect due to death on field while playing.
As of the 2004–05 season, president Luis Felipe Veira said no player will wear the number 29 shirt in Benfica, since the club decided to retire the shirt out of respect for Miklos Feher due to his tragic death.

Reserve players

Out on loan

Benfica Juniors

Notable former players

Officially recognized

This is a list of footballers, including the years in which they were part of the squad, who have been recognized as prime and best performers in their positions playing for Benfica, according to their official website:

- Michel Preud'homme (1994–1999)
- Alberto da Costa Pereira (1954–1967)
- Manuel Bento (1972–1992)

Left fullbacks
- Gustavo Teixeira (1932–1939)
- Ângelo Gaspar Martins (1952–1965)
- Fernando Cruz (1959–1969)

Right fullbacks
- Manuel Francisco Serra (1956–1962)
- Mário João (1957–1962)
- António Veloso (1980–1995)

Central defenders
- Carlos Mozer (1987–1989; 1992–1995)
- Ricardo Gomes (1988–1991; 1995–1996)
- Félix Assunção Antunes (1946–1954)
- Germano de Figueiredo (1960–1966)
- Raúl Machado (1962–1969)
- Humberto Coelho (1968–1975; 1977–1984)

Left midfielders
- Domiciano Cavém (1955–1969)
- Fernando Chalana (1976–84; 1987–1990)
- Rogério Lantres de Carvalho (1942–1954)

Right midfielders
- Francisco Palmeiro (1953–1961)
- António Simões (1961–1975)
- José Augusto de Almeida (1959–1969)
- Tamagnini Nené (1968–1986)

Central midfielders
- Valdo Filho (1988–1991; 1995–1997)
- Francisco Alves Albino (1932–1945)
- Francisco Ferreira (Portuguese footballer) (1938–1952)
- Mário Coluna (1954–1970)
- João Resende Alves (1978–1979; 1980–83)
- Rui Costa (1990–1994; 2006-2008)

- Vítor Silva (1927–1936)
- Guilherme Espírito Santo (1936–1950)
- José Águas (1950–1963)
- Joaquim Santana Silva Guimarães (1954–1968)
- José Augusto Torres (1959–1971)
- Eusébio (1960–1975)
- João Vieira Pinto (1992–2000)


Current coaching staff

Former coaches

- Manuel Goularde: 1904–1908
- Cosme Damião: 1908–1926
- Ribeiro dos Reis: 1926–1929
- Arthur John: 1929–1931
- Ribeiro dos Reis: 1931–1934
- Vítor Gonçalves: 1934–1935
- Lipót Hertzka: 1935–1939
- János Biri: 1939–1947
- Lipót Hertzka: 1947–1948
- Edward "Ted" Smith: 1948–1952
- Alberto Zozaya: 1952–1953
- José Valdivieso: 1954
- Otto Glória: 1954–1959
- Béla Guttmann: 1959–1962
- Fernando Riera: 1962–1963
- Lajos Czeizler: 1963–1964
- Elek Schwartz: 1964–1965
- Béla Guttmann: 1965–1966

- Fernando Riera: 1966–1967
- Fernando Cabrita: 1967–1968
- Otto Glória: 1968–1970
- Jimmy Hagan: 1970–1973
- Fernando Cabrita: 1973–1974
- Milorad Pavić (footballer): 1974–1975
- Mário Wilson: 1975–1976
- John Mortimore (footballer): 1976–1979
- Mário Wilson: 1979–1980
- Lajos Baróti: 1980–1982
- Sven-Göran Eriksson: 1982–1984
- Pál Csernai: 1984–1985
- John Mortimore (footballer): 1985–1987
- Ebbe Skovdahl: 1987
- Antonio José Conceição Oliveira: 1987–1989
- Sven-Göran Eriksson: 1989–1992
- Tomislav Ivić: 1992
- Antonio José Conceição Oliveira: 1992–1994

- Artur Jorge Braga Melo Teixeira: 1994–1995
- Mário Wilson: 1995–1996
- Paulo Autuori: 1996–1997
- Manuel José: 1997
- Mário Wilson: 1997
- Graeme Souness: 1997–1999
- Jupp Heynckes: 1999–2000
- José Mourinho: 2000
- Antonio José Conceição Oliveira: 2000–2002
- Jesualdo Ferreira: 2002
- José Antonio Camacho: 2002–2004
- Giovanni Trapattoni: 2004–2005
- Ronald Koeman: 2005–2006
- Fernando Santos (Portuguese footballer): 2006–2007
- José Antonio Camacho: 2007–2008
- Fernando Chalana: 2008
- Quique Sanchez Flores: 2008–2009
- Jorge Jesus: 2009–Present

Other sports


The archery section has won the Portuguese National Championship 9 times and the Portuguese Cup 1 time. In addition to these national titles, they have won the Tornoi Européen de Nîmes FITA once. It is one of the most successful Portuguese archery clubs.


Athletics is a sport with a great tradition in Benfica's history. Nowadays, Olympic champion and national recordist Nelson Évora in triple jump is among Benfica's athletics biggest names. By the number of regional, national and international titles, it is the most successful sport of the club.


Benfica is a top club in Portugal. One of its most memorable moments was when Benfica's basketball team won a European Cup clash against Italian giants Virtus Bologna, beating the Italians 102–90, in 4 December 1993 at Pavilhão da Luz in Lisbon. However, due to Portugal's popularity in football (soccer), basketball is not nearly as popular with the population as football (soccer). Just as in football (soccer), Benfica has a major rivalry with F.C. Porto's basketball team and it usually leads to arguments between the fans and players. In his basketball history, Benfica has won 20 Portuguese championships, 18 Portuguese cups, 5 League Cups and 7 Portuguese Supercups and are currently one of the best teams in the league.

Beach soccer

In recent years, the club started to develop a team capable of winning major titles, in part due to the growth the sport has witnessed in Portugal and world-wide.


Benfica has a long and rich tradition on Billiards. The new board of the section was elected in April 2007.


The Boxing section was reintroduced in 2008 and won the national championship 40 years after its last championship.

The 72,5 kg kickboxing-world champion, Bruno Carvalho, is one of Benfica's athletes.


Cycling was the second modality established within the club, and along with football, is one of only two sports referenced in the club logo. The sport was in activity from 1906 to 1941, 1947 to 1978, 1999 to 2000, and once again from 2007 to 2008. Benfica last won the Volta a Portugal in 1999, with Spanish cyclist David Plaza capturing the leader's yellow jersey. Historically, the club has had great national successes in cycling.


Benfica has a professional futsal team since 2002. In 5 years, the club won 4 Portuguese championships, 4 Portuguese cups, 4 Portuguese Supercups and 1 UEFA cup. Benfica also reached the final of the UEFA Cup in the 2003/04 season. In 2007 season, Benfica was national champion and also won the Portuguese cup. In the Women's section, Benfica was also the national champion.

Men's Futsal National trophies:

- Campeão Nacional (National Championship): 2002/03 ; 2004/05 ; 2006/07; 2007/08; 2008/09
- Taça Nacional (National Cup) winner: 2002/03 ; 2004/05 ; 2006/07 ; 2008/2009
- Supertaça (Supercup): 2002/03 ; 2005/06 ; 2006/07; 2008/2009
- UEFA Futsal Cup: 2009/10 (winner), 2004/05 (runner up)
- Taça das Taças (Winner's Cup): 2006/07 (runner up)


The Men's national Handball honours of Benfica include 7 championships,3 cups, 3 supercups and 1 league cup. The club gave up of the sport between 1997 and 2004. Until the 1992/93 season, the club's variant of seven achieved the 100th trophy mark. 30 of them were conquered by seniors teams. In the 2007 season, Benfica ended a period of sixteen seasons without any national title after conquering the league cup for men's seniors, on 28 January 2007. Benfica won the national championship in the 2008 season, after 18 years without achieving that status.


Benfica is one of Portugal's biggest Golf clubs. It organizes around 20 tournaments each year.


The club has a gymnastics department, with the following activities:
Aerobics, Acrobatic, Aerominis, Ballet, Ballroom dance, Boxing, Dance, Gymnastics of maintenance, Hapkido, Haidong Gumdo, Hip Hop, Kempo, Kickboxing, Krav Maga, Muay-Thai, "Os Madrugadores", PlayGym, Rhythmic gymnastics, Silhouettes, Taekwondo, Trampoline, Yoga, Youth Gymnastics.

Every year, the club organises the sarau (event) Gimnáguia, known as one of the biggest and most important gymnastics event in Portugal, with the participation of several clubs. The event celebrated in 2007 its twenty-fifth anniversary.


The European champion in the women's under-52 kg category, Telma Monteiro, has joined Benfica. The section was fully established on January 21, 2008, when the club inaugurated their first ever Tatami mat.


Benfica has achieved a big importance in Portuguese Paintball in the last years, the S.L. Benfica Paintball team, created in 2008
won the National Portuguese Gold (Top Portuguese Division) Paintball Championship 3 times in a row; 2008, 2009 and 2010, the Portuguese Cup in 2008.
At international level also won the SPL Millennium European Paintball Series in 2009 and 3 SPL Millennium European Paintball Series
Challenges; the World Cup of Toulouse in 2008, the European Masters Cup of Bitburg in 2008 and the Campaign Cup of London in 2009.
Hugo Domingues of S.L. Benfica Paintball team is one of the best world Paintballers.
In 2010 the S.L. Benfica Paintball team participate in the top Millennium European Paintball Series Competition, the CPL (Champions Profissional Paintball League).

Rink hockey

Benfica has practiced this sport without interruption for longer than any other club in the world. The team are currently playing in the Primeira Divisão (First Division). The club has won many domestic competitions (20 Portuguese championships, 13 Portuguese Cups and 6 Portuguese Supercups), European competitions (2 CERS Cup, 1 Continental cup) and one international competition (Nations Cup). The club's rink hockey team is considered one of the best in Portugal and rivalizes at national level with F.C. Porto and Óquei Clube de Barcelos rink hockey teams, in Europe they are also a title disputing team although they have only won the second most important cup twice, CERS Cup.

Rugby union

Benfica have won many Portuguese championships in rugby, with Académica de Coimbra - rugby union, Centro Desportivo Universitário do Porto and C.F. Os Belenenses (rugby) being other powerful competitors. Benfica have also won the Iberian Cup. Benfica is the oldest Portuguese club with a rugby section. In the 2008 season, the men's senior team ended in the 4th position in the national championship, while the women's section was the national champion for the second consecutive year.

Sport fishing

The recreational fishing section has had its best season in 2008, with Benfica being 2nd in the Portuguese championship.

The Casa do Benfica no Porto (House of SL Benfica in Porto) won the FIPS-MER World Championship Shore Angling Clubs in 2006 and a Silver Medal in 2010.


S.L. Benfica's swimming department is among the best in Portugal. Benfica's swimmer Alexandre Yokochi is considered the best Portuguese swimmer of all-time for achieving remarkable results at international level. In the 1980s, Benfica achieved relevant results, both in national and international levels. In 2007, the club won several medals in different competitions, at youth and seniors levels. Benfica has a men's and women's department.


The world champion Vanessa Fernandes in women's triathlon is currently the most notable athlete of this department.

Table tennis

The club has a table tennis department, with a men's and women's section. Benfica dominated this sport at the national level for a long period of time, with several titles won.


Benfica has achieved a certain importance in Portuguese volleyball in the last years after investing in hiring a winning team. The club won 3 Portuguese championships (the last one in 2004/05) and 10 Portuguese cups.

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