S.L. Benfica

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"Benfica" redirects here. For other uses, see Benfica (disambiguation).
This article is about the football team. For other uses, see S.L. Benfica (disambiguation).
Full name Sport Lisboa e Benfica
Nickname(s) Águias (Eagles)
Encarnados (Reds)
Glorioso (Glorious)
Short name SLB
Founded 28 February 1904
(114 years ago)
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
Active departments of
Sport Lisboa e Benfica
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Football Futsal Basketball
Roller hockey pictogram.svg Handball pictogram.svg Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Roller hockey Handball Volleyball
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Rugby union Athletics Swimming
Table tennis pictogram.svg Cue sports pictogram.svg Canoeing (slalom) pictogram.svg
Table tennis Billiards Canoeing

Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Portuguese pronunciation: [spɔɾ liʒˈboɐ i bɐ̃ȷ̃ˈfikɐ]), commonly known as Benfica, is a sports club based in Lisbon, Portugal. It is best known for its professional football team that competes in the Primeira Liga, the top flight of Portuguese football. Currently, Benfica are back-to-back Portuguese champions.

Founded in 1904 by a group of people led by Cosme Damião, Benfica is one of the "Big Three" clubs in Portugal that have never been relegated from the Primeira Liga – the other two are rivals FC Porto and Sporting CP.[1] They are nicknamed Águias (Eagles) for the symbol atop the club crest, and Encarnados (Reds) for the shirt colour. Since 2003, their home ground has been the Estádio da Luz, which replaced the original one. Benfica is the most supported Portuguese club and the European club with the biggest percentage of supporters in its own country, having more than 156,000 paying members. The official anthem, "Ser Benfiquista", refers to the club supporters who are called Benfiquistas. Benfica is honoured in three Portuguese Orders: those of Christ, of Merit and of Prince Henry.

Benfica is the most successful Portuguese club in terms of domestic titles (73) and overall titles (75) – 76 including the Latin Cup –,[2][3] and the only one to have won all national 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 (one treble), 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 '62, at the European Cup in 1963, '65, '68, '88 and '90, and at the UEFA Cup/Europa League in 1983, 2013 and '14. They have reached ten European finals, which ranks seventh all-time among UEFA clubs and is a Portuguese record.[4]

In 2000, Benfica was ranked twelfth in the FIFA Club of the Century award.[5] In 2009, it was ranked ninth in "Europe's Club of the Century" by IFFHS.[6] As of 2016, Benfica is ranked sixth in the UEFA club rankings,[7] which is the best position of a Portuguese club. Benfica have the second most participations in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League (35), after Real Madrid.[8]


Early years (1904–1950)

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. Their goal was to form 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 18-year-old co-founder and future soul of the club, Cosme Damião. In this meeting, José Rosa Rodrigues was appointed as club president, along with Daniel Brito as secretary and Manuel Gourlade as treasurer. It was defined that the club's colours would be red for bravery and white for peace. The founders also decided 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.[9][10][11] On 1 January 1905, Benfica played their first match ever, winning 1–0 against Campo de Ourique. Despite important victories in the first few years, the club suffered because of poor operating conditions, namely the football dirt field Terras do Desembargador.[12] 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 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 shirt colours, the eagle symbol and the motto. For Grupo Sport Benfica they maintained the field Campo da Feiteira,[12] 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 because of 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 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 because of a high rent. In 1925, they moved to their own stadium, Estádio das Amoreiras,[12] 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.[12] Throughout the 1940s, Benfica won three Primeira Liga (1941–42, 1942–43, 1944–45) and four Taça de Portugal (1940, '43, '44, '49). János Biri achieved the first double for the club in 1943.

International success (1950–1970)

Eusébio won the Ballon d'Or in 1965

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[13] at the Estádio Nacional in Lisbon,[14] with Ted Smith as coach.[15] They reached another final of the competition in 1957 but lost to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.[14] With Joaquim Ferreira Bogalho elected as president in 1952 and the arrival of coach Otto Glória in 1954,[15] Benfica became more modernised and professional, and moved in to the original Estádio da Luz with an initial seating capacity of 40,000; expanded to 70,000 in 1960.[12][16][17]

During the 1950s, Benfica won three Primeira Liga (1949–50, 1954–55, 1956–57 – they were champions in 1955 but Sporting 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 its team to enter the 1960s as one of the best in European football.

Led by coach Béla Guttmann,[15] Benfica were one of two teams, along with Barcelona, to break Real Madrid's dominance in the European Champion Clubs' Cup by winning two consecutive European Cup, the first against Barcelona in 1961 (3–2) at the Wankdorf Stadium[18] and the second one against Real Madrid in 1962 (5–3) at the Olympic Stadium.[19] Later on, Benfica reached another three European Cup finals but lost them to Milan in 1963 (2–1) at the Wembley Stadium, to Inter Milan 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 the Ballon d'Or for a Portuguese club[20]Coluna, José Águas, José Augusto, Simões, Torres and other notable players, who formed the team of 1963–64 that set a club record of 103 goals in 26 league matches.[21] During their golden decade, Benfica was ranked first in European football three times.

Dominance and decline (1970–1994)

File:Shéu Han.jpg
Shéu spent his entire player career with Benfica, winning 17 major titles

During the 1970s, Benfica 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 consecutive 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 season, 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 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, they won two consecutive Primeira Liga (1982–83, 1983–84) and one Taça de Portugal (1983), achieving their eighth double. Additionally, they reached the final of the UEFA Cup in 1983 but lost on aggregate 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 the Iberian Cup III.

Following the completion of improvements to the stadium, Benfica opened the third tier of the Estádio da Luz, transforming it into the biggest stadium in Europe and third largest in the world, with a 120,000 seating capacity[17] (up to 135,000 when spectators stood 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 Eindhoven (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 coach Toni, they only conceded 15 goals in 38 league matches, a club record.[21]

Crisis and recovery (1994–2009)

File:Benfica Campeão 2005 2.jpg
Benfica fans celebrating their 31st league title (2005)

Financial trouble dating back to the 1980s when Benfica completed the third tier (Terceiro Anel) of the Estádio da Luz,[22][23] along with large investments on players, started to deteriorate the club's finances.[24][25] The rampant spending and a questionable signing policy, which allowed for squads composed of well over 30 players, further aggravated the problem.[26][27] Consequently, the period from 1994 through 2003 was the worst in its 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,[28] 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,[29] which further damaged the finances and credibility of the club.[30] From 1994 to 2003, eleven managers shared the seat including Mário Wilson, thrice.[15] It was also during this period, in 2001, that Benfica signed Simão for €12 million,[31] and decided to build the new Estádio da Luz, which would eventually cost €162 million, €25 million more than the planned.[32]

In the 2003–04 season, with president Luís Filipe Vieira, who succeeded Manuel Vilarinho,[33] and coach José Antonio Camacho, who had joined in 2002,[15] Benfica won their 24th Taça de Portugal defeating José Mourinho's Porto in the final (2–1).[34] They ended an eight-year silverware drought and dedicated the trophy to Miklós Fehér, who had died in January 2004.[35] In 2004–05, with Giovanni Trapattoni as coach,[36] Benfica won their 31st league title, ending an eleven-year title drought.[37] Later on, the president, the coach and the first-team squad travelled to Hungary to deliver the Portuguese championship gold medal to Fehér's parents.[38] In 2005–06, Benfica won their fourth Supertaça against Vitória de Setúbal (1–0).[39] In Europe, Benfica reached the quarter-finals of UEFA Champions League by beating Manchester United 2–1 in the decisive group stage encounter[40] and overcoming the then European champions Liverpool 3–0 on aggregate in the round of 16.[41] However, Benfica lost in the quarter-finals to Barcelona by an aggregate of 2–0, both goals coming during the second leg at Camp Nou.[42] In 2006–07, Benfica found themselves again facing Manchester United in a decisive Champions League group match in which the winners would advance. However, this time the Red Devils prevailed, gaining revenge in a 3–1 win.[43] In 2007–08, Camacho returned to Benfica on a two-year contract, following the sacking of Fernando Santos after one match in the Primeira Liga (a tie at promoted Leixões),[44] at a time when Benfica were 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,[45] but then exited the competition at the group stage and were put into the UEFA Cup, where they lost to Getafe, twice.[46] Camacho resigned in March 2008.[47] Afterwards, with Fernando Chalana as an interim manager,[48] they finished fourth in the league and were placed into the UEFA Cup. In 2008–09, Quique Sánchez Flores was appointed as coach,[49] who won the club's first Taça da Liga, defeating Sporting. In the Primeira Liga they finished third and got a place in the UEFA Europa League. In June 2009, Flores and his staff resigned after agreeing to a friendly contractual termination.[50]

Recent years (2009–present)

Benfiquistas celebrating their 32nd league title (2010)

In the 2009–10 season, Benfica signed Jorge Jesus as coach.[51] In March 2010, Benfica beat Porto 3–0 in the Taça da Liga final and won their second consecutive league cup trophy.[52] In Europe, Benfica were 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.[53][54] In May 2010, Benfica won their final league match, against Rio Ave, and became champions of the 2009–10 Primeira Liga,[55] conquering their 32nd league title and securing a direct entry into the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League. Óscar Cardozo finished as top scorer of the Primeira Liga with 26 goals.[56] In 2010–11, after finishing third in the group stage of UEFA Champions League, Benfica moved to the Europa League and progressed to their first European semi-final in eighteen years, seeing off PSV.[57][58] Nevertheless, they were eliminated on away goals after an aggregate score of 2–2 against Braga.[59] In April 2011, Benfica won the Taça da Liga final against Paços de Ferreira, clinching their third consecutive title in the competition.[60] Then, they finished second in the Primeira Liga. In 2011–12, Benfica reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League, being eliminated by Chelsea;[61] won their fourth consecutive Taça da Liga,[62] and were second in the Primeira Liga, qualifying directly to the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League. Cardozo was the top scorer of the Primeira Liga with 20 goals.[63] In 2012–13, after coming third in the Champions League group stage, they reached the Europa League final eliminating Fenerbahçe,[64] but lost 2–1 to 2012 European champions Chelsea.[65] It was the ninth European final overall for Benfica, their first since the 1990 European Cup final.[66] Domestically, Benfica were second in the Primeira Liga by one point, despite leading before the penultimate day.[67] They reached the semi-finals of the Taça da Liga but lost on penalty shoot-out against Braga.[68] Furthermore, they reached the final of the Taça de Portugal but lost (1–2) against Vitória de Guimarães.[69][70]

The 2013–14 season was one of the best in their history as Benfica won their 33rd league title;[71][72] won their fifth Taça da Liga, without conceding a goal (record);[73][74] reached the Europa League final for a second consecutive time,[75] without defeat (record),[76] losing it on penalties to Sevilla;[77][78] and won their 25th Taça de Portugal, achieving their tenth double[79] and an unprecedented treble in Portuguese football.[80] They completed the season unbeaten at home in all five competitions,[81] and had the best defence of all European leagues with 18 goals conceded.[82] 2014 was also marked by the deaths of club legends Eusébio and Coluna.[83][84] Benfica started the 2014–15 season by winning the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira,[85][86] 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.[87] On 17 May 2015, Benfica won their 34th league title, clinching their first back-to-back titles since 1984.[88][89] On 29 May, Benfica won their sixth Taça da Liga (record), defeating Marítimo 2–1, and became the Portuguese club with most titles won (75).[90] In June 2015, Benfica signed Rui Vitória as coach.[91] They started the current season by losing the domestic Super Cup to Sporting.[92]

Crest and shirt

Benfica 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 club's initials, "SLB", over a football ball; everything superimposed on a bicycle wheel – representing one of the first sports in the club, cycling.[10][93] Benfica have always worn red shirts, for this reason, they are nicknamed Encarnados.

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 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 size of the wheel.[94] 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.[95][96]

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 distinct shirt sponsors since 1984.[97][98][99]

Their first kit manufacturer was Adidas, from 1977 to 1990 (thirteen seasons), and their 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), followed by Casino Estoril (two seasons). In 1990 the kit manufacturer changed to Hummel, and lasted four seasons. In 1994 both the kit manufacturer and shirt sponsor changed; the former was Olympic until 1997 (three seasons) and the latter was Parmalat until 1996 (two seasons). In 1997 Adidas started manufacturing the kit again. One year before, Telecel became the new sponsor until 2000 (four seasons). In the 2000–01 season, the sponsor was Netc (netcetera). In 2001–02, the 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, the sponsor changed to TMN, also for three seasons. In 2012, MEO became the shirt sponsor until 2015.[100]

On 19 April 2014, it was announced that Benfica and Adidas had renewed the previous ten-season contract of 2003 until 2021.[101] On 19 May 2015, Emirates signed a three-year shirt sponsorship deal worth up to €30 million to become Benfica's main jersey sponsor until 2018.[102][103]


For the training centre and youth academy, see Futebol Campus.

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.[12][17] 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, with a construction cost of almost €119 million.[104] Since then, Benfica have played at the Estádio da Luz (officially named Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica), located in Lisbon, Portugal.

A UEFA category four stadium,[105][106] 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.[107] The stadium has a full seating capacity of 65,647;[108][109] 64,642 in Primeira Liga matches.[110]

A panorama of the Estádio da Luz in 2009


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.[111] It was considered the Best Portuguese Museum of 2014 by APOM.[112]



The supporters of Benfica are known as Benfiquistas. They sing the club's anthem at the start of every home match and sometimes during the match.[113] They call the club o Glorioso (the Glorious One)[114] hence the popular chant "Glorioso SLB". In some countries, Benfica has supporters' clubs known as Casas do Benfica (Benfica Houses), which are places where Benfiquistas gather.[115] Benfica is also supported by the Diabos Vermelhos and the No Name Name Boys, the two biggest supporters' groups of the club.

Benfica is the most popular club in Portugal, with an estimated 5.8 million supporters[116] (historically 6 million),[11] for a total of approximately 14 million supporters worldwide.[114][117][118] It has always been seen as the working-class club of Portugal.[119] According to a study performed for UEFA in 2012, Benfica is the European club with the biggest percentage of supporters in its own country (47%).[120] In the 2014–15 season, Benfica had the highest average attendance in the Portuguese league (48,520).[121]


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, 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.[10] Benfica started to have elections before Portugal's transition to democracy.[122] In 2003 they switched to electronic voting.[123]

On 9 November 2006, Benfica set the Guinness World Record for "the most widely supported football club" with 160,398 paid-up members.[124] In 2014, according to a study by Movimento por um Futebol Melhor, Benfica had 270,000 members and was the biggest club in the world in membership terms.[125][126] On 31 March 2015, Benfica reported to have 246,401 members.[127] In August 2015, after a scheduled renumbering by the club, the number decreased to 156,916.[128]


Main articles: Derby de Lisboa and O Clássico

The Derby de Lisboa is the most important football derby in Portugal,[119] and is played between the Lisbon-based teams of Benfica and Sporting, for over a century. It is followed in Europe, Africa and the Americas.[129]

The rivalry between Benfica and FC Porto comes about as Lisbon and Porto are the largest Portuguese cities respectively, although Benfica also has a bigger fan base than Porto in the north of the country. They are the two most successful clubs in Portugal.[118] Any match between them is called O Clássico ("The Classic").


Main articles: Benfica TV, O Benfica and Mística

Benfica TV is a sports-oriented television network launched in 2008 and operated by Benfica since, that includes two premium channels. BTV1 broadcasts Benfica's live matches at home in the Primeira Liga, home matches from Benfica B and Farense in the Segunda Liga, from the under-19 team and below, as well as matches from other sports of the club, including youth categories. BTV2 broadcasts live matches of the Premier League, Serie A and Ligue 1. It also airs the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Moreover, the club publishes the weekly newspaper O Benfica since 1942 and the quarterly magazine Mística since 2007.


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)[130] was created by João Vale e Azevedo on 10 February 2000 with an initial equity of €75 million.[131][132] There were five major reasons for creating an autonomous entity to manage the professional football team:[133]

  • 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[134] 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,[135][136] which was unsuccessful. On 23 December 2009, after a vote of its members, Benfica SAD increased 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.[137] 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.)[138] 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,[139] even after the transfer of David Luiz to Chelsea.[140] In 2011–12, SAD posted losses of €11.7 million,[141] after earning €20 million from the UEFA Champions League,[142] €30 million for Fábio Coentrão,[143] and €8.6 million for Roberto.[144] 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.[145] 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.[146][147] 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.[148]

Benfica is ranked as the twenty-sixth richest football club, with an annual revenue of €126 million,[149] and the fortieth most valuable football brand, valued at €85 million.[150] The club was praised for its transfer policy between 2007 and 2014.[151]

Records and statistics

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


Statue of Benfica'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 (575). Luisão has the most appearances in European matches and is the captain with most matches.[152] Cosme Damião is the longest-serving coach (18 years). Otto Glória is the coach with the most league titles won (4).[153] Jorge Jesus is the coach with most titles (10).[154]


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.[155]

Benfica holds the European record for the most consecutive wins in domestic league (29), between 1971–72 and 1972–73,[156] as well as the record for the longest unbeaten run in domestic league (56), from 24 October 1976 to 1 September 1978.[157][158]

In the 1965–66 European Cup, Benfica scored 18 goals against Stade Dudelange and achieved the highest goal margin on aggregate in European football[159] and their biggest win in UEFA competitions.[28] In the UEFA Europa League, Benfica was the first club to reach two finals consecutively, the latter without defeat, which is a record.[76]

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


As of 2016, 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).[90][110] In 2014, Benfica achieved a historic treble of Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal and Taça da Liga.[160][161] They also won the Supertaça,[85][86] 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 competitions

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 competitions

Winners (2): 1960–61, 1961–62

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)



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

First-team squad

As of 13 January 2016[164]

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

No. Position Player
1 Brazil GK Ederson
2 Argentina DF Lisandro López
3 Spain DF Álex Grimaldo
4 Brazil DF Luisão (captain)
5 Serbia MF Ljubomir Fejsa
7 Greece MF Andreas Samaris
8 Netherlands MF Bilal Ould-Chikh
9 Mexico FW Raúl Jiménez
10 Argentina MF Nicolás Gaitán (vice-captain)
11 Greece FW Konstantinos Mitroglou (on loan from Fulham)
12 Brazil GK Júlio César
13 Portugal GK Paulo Lopes
14 Sweden DF Victor Lindelöf
17 Brazil FW Jonas
18 Argentina MF Eduardo Salvio
19 Portugal DF Eliseu
20 Portugal FW Gonçalo Guedes
No. Position Player
21 Portugal MF Pizzi
22 Serbia MF Filip Đuričić
23 Morocco MF Adel Taarabt
26 Serbia FW Ivan Šaponjić
28 Portugal DF Sílvio (on loan from Atlético Madrid)
30 Brazil MF Talisca
31 Brazil MF Victor Andrade
33 Brazil DF Jardel (third captain)
34 Portugal MF André Almeida
38 Portugal FW Nuno Santos
39 Morocco MF Mehdi Carcela-González
40 Portugal MF João Teixeira
50 Portugal DF Nélson Semedo
85 Portugal MF Renato Sanches
Brazil DF Luís Felipe
Portugal DF Steven Vitória
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
6 Portugal MF Rúben Amorim (at Al-Wakrah until 30 June 2016)
15 Netherlands MF Ola John (at Reading until 30 June 2016)
16 Portugal FW Nélson Oliveira (at Nottingham Forest until 30 June 2016)
24 Italy MF Bryan Cristante (at Palermo until 30 June 2016)
25 Uruguay FW Jonathan Rodríguez (at Deportivo La Coruña until 30 June 2016)
26 Portugal MF Raphael Guzzo (at Tondela until 30 June 2016)
27 Germany MF Hany Mukhtar (at Red Bull Salzburg until 30 June 2016)
32 Portugal FW Bebé (at Rayo Vallecano until 30 June 2016)
37 Brazil DF César (at Flamengo until 30 June 2016)
83 Portugal FW Rui Fonte (at Braga until 30 June 2016)
No. Position Player
Brazil DF Marçal (at Gaziantepspor until 30 June 2016)
Brazil DF Sidnei (at Deportivo La Coruña until 30 June 2016)
Portugal MF Daniel Candeias (at Metz until 30 June 2016)
Brazil MF Diego Lopes (at Kayserispor until 30 June 2016)
Argentina MF Luis Fariña (at Rayo Vallecano until 30 June 2016)
Portugal MF Pelé (at Paços de Ferreira until 30 June 2016)
Paraguay MF Jorge Rojas (at Cerro Porteño until 30 June 2016)
Brazil FW Derley (at Kayserispor until 30 June 2016)
Venezuela FW Jhon Murillo (at Tondela until 30 June 2016)

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 retired the squad number 29 in memory of Miklós Fehér, who died while playing for Benfica on 25 January 2004.[35][165][166]


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: [167]


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: [168]

See also


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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