S.L. Benfica

Sport Lisboa e Benfica ComC MHIH OM (Portuguese pronunciation: [sɨˈpɔɾ liʒˈboɐ i βɐ̃jˈfikɐ]), commonly known as Benfica, is a professional football club based in Lisbon, Portugal, that competes in the Primeira Liga, the top flight of Portuguese football, where they are the current champions and the most successful team in terms of overall titles.

Full nameSport Lisboa e Benfica
Nickname(s)As Águias (The Eagles)
Os Encarnados (The Reds)
O Glorioso (The Glorious One)
Founded28 February 1904 (1904-02-28)
as Sport Lisboa
GroundEstádio da Luz
Lisbon, Portugal
PresidentLuís Filipe Vieira
Head coachBruno Lage
LeaguePrimeira Liga
2018–19Primeira Liga, 1st of 18 (champions)
WebsiteClub website

Founded on 28 February 1904 as Sport Lisboa, Benfica is one of the "Big Three" clubs in Portugal that have never been relegated from Primeira Liga, along with rivals Sporting CP and FC Porto. Benfica are nicknamed As Águias (The Eagles), for the symbol atop the club's crest, and Os Encarnados (The Reds), for the shirt colour. Since 2003, their home ground has been the Estádio da Luz, which replaced the larger, original one, built in 1954. Benfica is the most supported Portuguese club and the European club with the highest percentage of supporters in its own country, having over 230,000 members and an estimated 14 million supporters worldwide.[2][3][4] The club's anthem, "Ser Benfiquista", refers to Benfica supporters, who are called benfiquistas. "E pluribus unum" is the club motto; Águia Vitória, the mascot. Benfica is honoured with three Portuguese Orders: those of Christ (Commander), of Prince Henry (Honorary Member) and of Merit (Officer).

With 83 major trophies won – 84 including the Latin Cup – Benfica is the most decorated club in Portugal.[5][6] They have won 80 domestic trophies: a record 37 Primeira Liga titles, a record 26 Taça de Portugal, a record 7 Taça da Liga, 8 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira and 3 Campeonato de Portugal. Internationally, they won back-to-back European Cups in 1961 and 1962 – a unique feat in Portuguese football – and 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. Benfica's ten European finals are a domestic record and ranked seventh all-time among UEFA clubs in 2014.[7] Moreover, Benfica hold the European record for the most consecutive wins in domestic league and the record for the longest unbeaten run in Primeira Liga, where they became the first undefeated champions, in 1972–73.

Benfica was ranked 12th in FIFA Club of the Century[8] and 9th in the IFFHS Top 200 European clubs of the 20th century.[9] Currently, Benfica is ranked 7th in the UEFA all-time club ranking,[10] 20th in the UEFA club coefficient rankings,[11] and has the second most participations in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League (39).[10] In this tournament, they hold the overall record for the biggest aggregate win, achieved in 1965–66.


Foundation and first titles

On 28 February 1904, the Catataus group 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 called Sport Lisboa, composed of Portuguese players only.[12][13] 24 people attended the meeting,[note 1] including Cosme Damião, who would be the club's most important leader in the first decades. In that meeting, José Rosa Rodrigues was appointed club president, along with Daniel Brito as secretary and Manuel Gourlade as treasurer. The founders decided that the club's colours would be red and white and that the crest would be composed of an eagle, the motto "E pluribus unum" and a football.[14][15][16] Sport Lisboa played their first match ever on 1 January 1905, scoring their first goal.[17] Despite important victories, the club suffered from poor operating conditions, namely the football dirt field Terras do Desembargador.[18] As a result, eight players moved to Sporting CP in 1907, starting the rivalry between the two clubs.[16][19]

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,[18] the main directors and the club's house. Both clubs determined that the foundation date should coincide with Sport Lisboa's because 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 stabilise operations, which later increased the success of the merger.[16]

However, problems with the club's rented field (Campo da Feiteira) remained. Benfica moved to their first football grass field, Campo de Sete Rios, in 1913. Four years later, after refusing an increase in rent, they relocated to Campo de Benfica. Finally, in 1925, they moved to their own stadium, the Estádio das Amoreiras, playing there fifteen years before moving to the Estádio do Campo Grande in 1940.[18] The Portuguese league began in 1934, and after finishing third in its first edition, Benfica won the next three championships in a row (1935–36, '36–37, '37–38) – the club's first tri, achieved by Lippo Hertzka.[20] Throughout the 1940s, Benfica would win three more Primeira Liga (1941–42, '42–43, '44–45) and four Taça de Portugal (1940, '43, '44, '49), with coach János Biri achieving the first double for the club in 1943.[21]

Golden years and fading

Benfica's first international success happened in 1950, when they won the Latin Cup (the only Portuguese club to do so),[22] defeating Bordeaux with a golden goal from Julinho at the Estádio Nacional in Lisbon,[23][24] with Ted Smith as coach.[25] It was the first major international trophy won by a Portuguese club.[26][27] They reached another final of the competition in 1957 but lost to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.[24] With the election of president Joaquim Ferreira Bogalho in 1952 and the arrival of coach Otto Glória in 1954,[25] Benfica became more modernised and professional[28] and moved into the original Estádio da Luz, with an initial seating capacity of 40,000; expanded to 70,000 in 1960.[18][29][30] During the 1950s, Benfica won three Primeira Liga (1949–50, '54–55, '56–57)[note 2] and six Taça de Portugal (1951, '52, '53, '55, '57, '59).

Led by coach Béla Guttmann, who had been signed by Maurício Vieira de Brito,[25][33] Benfica became back-to-back European Champions by winning the European Cup against Barcelona in 1961 (3–2)[34] and Real Madrid in 1962 (5–3).[35][36][37] Consequently, Benfica played in the Intercontinental Cup, where they were runners-up to Peñarol in 1961 and to Santos in 1962.[38][39] Later on, Benfica reached three more European Cup finals, losing them to Milan in 1963,[40] to Inter in 1965, and to Manchester United in 1968.[16] Therefore, for their European performance, Benfica were ranked first in European football in 1965, '66 and '69,[41][42][43] and were presented with the France Football European Team of the Year award in 1968.[44] In the 1960s, Benfica won eight Primeira Liga (1959–60, '60–61, '62–63, '63–64, '64–65, '66–67, '67–68, '68–69), three Taça de Portugal (1962, '64, '69) and two European Cups (1960–61, '61–62). Many of these successes were achieved with Eusébio – the only player to win the Ballon d'Or for a Portuguese club[45][46] Coluna, José Águas, José Augusto, Simões, Torres, and others, who formed the 1963–64 team that set a club record of 103 goals in 26 league matches.[47]

During the 1970s, with president Borges Coutinho, Benfica continued dominating Portuguese football, as they won six Primeira Liga titles (1970–71, '71–72, '72–73, '74–75, '75–76, '76–77) and two Taça de Portugal (1970, '72). In 1971–72, Benfica reached the semi-finals of the European Cup, where they were eliminated by Ajax of Johan Cruyff. Led by Jimmy Hagan the following season, Benfica became the first club in Portugal to win the league without defeat,[47] winning 28 matches – 23 consecutively – out of 30, and drawing 2. They scored 101 goals, and Eusébio was later crowned Europe's top scorer, again, this time with 40 goals. This decade was also marked by Benfica's admission of foreign players into the team, becoming the last Portuguese club to do so, in 1979.[13][16]

In the 1980s, Benfica continued to thrive domestically.[48] With Lajos Baróti in 1980–81, Benfica became the first club to win all Portuguese trophies in one season: Supertaça de Portugal, Primeira Liga and Taça de Portugal. Later, under the guidance of Sven-Göran Eriksson, they won two consecutive Primeira Liga (1982–83, '83–84), one Taça de Portugal (1983) and reached the final of the UEFA Cup in 1983, lost to Anderlecht.[16] Following improvements to the Estádio da Luz, Benfica opened the stadium's third tier in 1985, transforming it into the largest stadium in Europe and third largest in the world.[49][50] A season later, after they had won the domestic cup in 1986, Benfica clinched the double of Primeira Liga and Taça de Portugal. Then, from 1988 to 1994, Benfica reached the European Cup finals of 1988 and 1990, won by PSV Eindhoven and Milan respectively.[16] Moreover, during the same period, Benfica won three Primeira Liga (1988–89, '90–91, '93–94) and one Taça de Portugal (1993).

Drought and return to titles

Financial trouble in the early 1980s[51] and a large investment on players throughout that decade started to deteriorate the club's finances under Jorge de Brito's presidency.[52][53] The rampant spending and a questionable signing policy (over 100 players during Manuel Damásio's term)[54] further aggravated the problem.[55][56] Soon after, with president João Vale e Azevedo, Benfica were in huge debt and sometimes unable to pay taxes and player salaries.[57][58][59] After the election of Manuel Vilarinho in 2000, club members approved the construction of the new Estádio da Luz,[60] which would eventually cost €162 million.[61] From 1994 to 2003, Benfica had eleven coaches,[25] won the 1995–96 Taça de Portugal, suffered their biggest defeat in European competitions, 7–0 to Celta de Vigo in 1999,[62] had their lowest league finish ever, a sixth place in 2000–01, and were absent from European competition for two years,[16] from 2001–02 to 2002–03.

In 2003–04, with president Luís Filipe Vieira, Benfica put an end to their silverware drought by winning the Taça de Portugal against José Mourinho's Porto.[63] They dedicated the trophy to Miklós Fehér, who had died in January 2004.[64] The following year, Benfica won their first league title since 1994[65] and the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira.[66] After that and until 2009, when Benfica won their first Taça da Liga (thus becoming the first club to win all major Portuguese competitions), they did not win any trophies and finished fourth in the 2007–08 league. In Europe, Benfica had three consecutive appearances in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, with their best result being a quarter-final stage in 2005–06 after beating Manchester United and overcoming then European champions Liverpool on 3–0 aggregate.[67][68]

For 2009–10, Jorge Jesus was appointed coach,[69] a position he held until 2015. During that six-season span, Benfica won 10 domestic trophies,[70] including an unprecedented treble in Portuguese football (league, cup and league cup) in 2013–14[71] and the club's first back-to-back league titles since 1984.[72][73] At European level, Benfica were ranked sixth in the UEFA team ranking in 2015[74] after they reached their first UEFA semi-final in 17 years at the 2010–11 Europa League,[75] reached the Champions League quarter-finals in the 2011–12 campaign[76] and finished runners-up in Europa League for two consecutive seasons, 2012–13 and '13–14.[77][78][79]

Later managed by Rui Vitória for three and a half seasons, Benfica won a fourth Primeira Liga title in a row – their first ever tetra[80] – one Taça de Portugal,[6] one Taça da Liga[81] and two successive Super Cup trophies;[82] the latter in 2017 after they reachieved a 36-year-old treble.[83] Internationally, a year after they had consecutively reached the Champions League knockout phase for the first time in their history,[84] Benfica suffered their biggest loss in the competition, 5–0 to Basel, and went on setting the worst Portuguese group stage campaign.[85] Following negative results during 2018–19,[85] coach Bruno Lage took charge mid-season and led Benfica to their 37th champions title while achieving the league's all-time best second round.[86][87][88] Benfica then started the current season with a 5–0 thrashing of Sporting CP in the Super Cup.[89]

Crest and shirt

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor[90]
1977–1984 Adidas[91][92]
1984–1987 Shell
1987–1990 FNAC
1990–1992 Hummel[92][93]
1992–1994 Casino Estoril
1994–1996 Olympic[93] Parmalat
1996–1997 Telecel
1997–2000 Adidas[94]
2000–2001 Netc
2001–2005 Telecel/Vodafone
2005–2009 PT/TMN
2012–2015 MEO
2015– Emirates

Benfica's crest is composed of an eagle, as a symbol of independence, authority and nobility, positioned atop a 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; everything superimposed on a bicycle wheel representing one of the club's first sports, cycling.[15][95]

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.[96]

Since the 2008–09 season, Benfica's football team have displayed three stars above the club's crest, with each star representing 10 league titles won by them. In 2010–11 and 2011–12, however, they displayed commemorative crests with one and two stars respectively, the former in the 50-year celebration of their first European Cup and the latter to celebrate their second consecutive European Cup. The club's other sports do not show any star above the crest.[97][98]

José da Cruz Viegas was the man responsible for the selection of Benfica's kit in 1904. Red and white colours were chosen for being the ones that stood out better to players' eyes. One year after its foundation, the club opted for red shirts with white collars, openings and cuffs, combined with white shorts and black socks.[99] Benfica's white alternative kit was officially used for the first time in 1944–45, when Salgueiros, who also wore red, were promoted to the first division.[100]

Benfica have always worn red shirts; for that reason, in Portugal, Benfica and their supporters (benfiquistas) were nicknamed Vermelhos (Reds). This changed in 1936 with the start of the Spanish Civil War: the Portuguese Estado Novo's Censorship Commission censored the word "vermelhos" because the Popular Front communists in Spain were also known by that name. From then on, Benfica became known as Encarnados – word similar to "reds", but with a different connotation.[101][102]


During the club's first decades, Benfica played mostly on rented fields. Their first own stadium was the Estádio das Amoreiras, built and opened in 1925, where they played until 1940. A year later, they moved to the Estádio do Campo Grande, a rented municipal stadium, before relocating to their second home ground thirteen years later.[18][30]

From 1954 to 2003, Benfica played at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, the largest stadium in Europe and third largest in the world in terms of capacity – 120,000 – from 1985 to 1987.[49][50] It was demolished in 2003, and the new Estádio da Luz was built that year, with a construction cost of €162 million, roughly €25 million more than the planned cost.[61]

Like its predecessor, the Estádio da Luz is officially named Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica. A UEFA category four stadium,[103][104] it hosted several matches of the UEFA Euro 2004, including the final, and was the venue for the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final.[105] Built with a seating capacity of 65,647,[106][107] the stadium currently has 64,642 seats.[1]

A panorama of Benfica's home ground, Estádio da Luz, on 30 July 2009

Training centre

Benfica's training ground and youth academy, Benfica Futebol Campus, is located in Seixal, Lisbon Region. It was built in 2005 and opened on 22 September 2006.[108] In 2015, Benfica received the award for Best Academy of the year at the Globe Soccer Awards.[109]


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.[110] They call the club O Glorioso (The Glorious One),[2][13] hence the chant "Glorioso SLB". In some countries, since 1952, Benfica has had supporters' clubs known as Casas do Benfica (Benfica houses), places for cultural, social, and sport interaction among benfiquistas.[111][112] Each club house is entitled to 50 votes in the club's elections.[113] In recent years, benfiquistas have celebrated league titles with the team at the Marquis of Pombal Square in Lisbon.[114][115]

Benfica is the most popular club in Portugal[116] and has always been seen as the working-class club of Portugal.[117] According to a study published in 2006 by professors Luís Reto and Jorge de Sá, with the stamp of approval by Instituto Nacional de Estatística and Secretaria de Estado das Comunidades, Benfica has approximately 14 million supporters worldwide: over 5.5 million in Europe (4.7 in Portugal); over 6 million in Mozambique (3.8) and Angola (2.7); over 1 million in the United States and Canada; and the remainder in Brazil, Venezuela, the Caribbean, Indochina, China, Australia and India.[2][3][4] According to a study performed for UEFA in 2012, Benfica is the European club with the highest share of football supporters in its own country (47%).[116]

In the 2016–17 season, Benfica had an average home attendance of 55,952 in the Portuguese league, the current record at the Estádio da Luz. It was the highest average of the competition and 9th highest among other European clubs.[118][119] The highest home attendance record was also broken – 64,519 spectators saw Benfica's 5–0 win over Vitória de Guimarães in the season's last match at Da Luz.[120]


Along with Benfica houses, filiations, and delegations, the members of Benfica, who are called sócios, elect the club president for a four-year term (three years until 2010)[113][121] by voting in each candidate list, thus forming the highest governing body of the club. They also participate in general assemblies, submit proposals, take part in discussions, and so forth. They can be elected to governing bodies, to be designated for positions or functions at the club, etc.[15] In 2003 the club switched to electronic voting,[122] and since 2010 only people with 25 years of continuous membership as an adult – that is, effective members aged at least 43 – can candidate to the presidency of Benfica.[121][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 having 246,401 members;[127] however, after a scheduled renumbering by the club in August that year, the number decreased to 156,916.[128] As of 30 June 2019, Benfica have 233,228 members.[129]


Benfica has rivalries with Sporting CP and FC Porto, with whom it forms the "Big Three": Portugal's most decorated clubs. None of them have been relegated from the Portuguese league since its establishment in 1934.[130][131]

As Lisbon-based clubs, Benfica and Sporting have shared a rivalry for over a century; it all started in 1907, when eight prominent Benfica players defected to Sporting.[117] Followed in Europe, Africa and the Americas, any match between both teams is known as dérbi de Lisboa ("Lisbon derby"), dérbi eterno ("eternal derby"), dérbi da Segunda Circular, or dérbi dos dérbis ("derby of the derbies").[132] It is the most important football derby in Portugal.[117]

The rivalry between Benfica and FC Porto, which started with a friendly match on 28 April 1912, comes about as Lisbon and Porto are the largest Portuguese cities, respectively. Benfica and Porto are the two most decorated clubs in Portuguese football, with the former historically being the most decorated team overall.[48] Any match between the two sides is called O Clássico (The Classic).[133]


In 2008, Benfica launched its own sports-oriented television network, Benfica TV (BTV for short), the first channel by a Portuguese club,[134] and has operated it since.[135][136] Its premium channel broadcasts Benfica's live matches at home in the Primeira Liga, Benfica B home matches in the LigaPro,[137] under-19 team home matches, and the club's other sports matches, including youth categories.[138] Until 2016, it broadcast three seasons of the English Premier League,[139] and one season of the Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1.[140]

Moreover, the club publishes the weekly newspaper O Benfica every Friday since 28 November 1942. It contains information about everything in the club in the form of news and articles (mostly the former). By 2005, it had a circulation of close to 10,000.[141][142] Benfica also publishes the quarterly magazine Mística since 6 December 2007. Free of charge for Benfica members,[143] it comprises interviews with players and personnel of the club, reports about the club's history and recent events, news, opinion pieces, overviews of the club's sports, with football being its main focus, and a section dedicated to club members.[144] Issue 33 had a circulation of 115,602 in mainland Portugal.[145] O Benfica Ilustrado was the club's former magazine; it was launched in September 1957 as an alternative/complement to the news density of O Benfica.[146]


The Museu Benfica – Cosme Damião, located near the stadium, was inaugurated on 26 July 2013 and opened to the public on 29 July.[147] Named after Cosme Dasmião, one of the club's founders, it was considered the Best Portuguese Museum of 2014 by the Portuguese Association of Museology.[148][149]


On 10 February 2000, under the presidency of João Vale e Azevedo, Benfica created Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol, SAD (a public limited sports company)[150] with an initial equity of €75 million.[59][151][152] There were five major reasons for creating an autonomous entity to manage the Benfica team: participation in professional football competitions at domestic and international level; development of football players; exploitation 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.[153]

Benfica SAD entered the PSI-20 on 21 May 2007[154] with an initial stock value of €5 on 15,000,001 shares. Later in June that year, Joe Berardo launched a partial takeover bid for Benfica SAD (60%) for €3.50 a share,[155][156][157] which was unsuccessful. Following the general assembly of 23 December 2009, the SAD increased its €75 million equity to €115 million by absorbing Benfica Estádio, SA,[158] to come out of technical insolvency.[159]

On 31 July 2014, the SAD completed the acquisition of Benfica Stars Fund by spending roughly €28.9 million for 85%, thus purchasing the remaining economic rights of nine players.[160][161] Later in April, Benfica and Adidas renewed their previous ten-season contract of 2003 until 2021, for around €4.5 million per year.[94] In May 2015, Emirates airline signed a three-year sponsorship deal worth up to €30 million to become Benfica's main jersey sponsor.[162][163] Then in December, Benfica sold the TV rights of their first-team home matches as well as Benfica TV's broadcasting and distribution rights to NOS in a three-year deal, receiving €40 million per season, with the option to extend the contract to a maximum of ten seasons, totalling €400 million.[164][165] Days later, Luís Filipe Vieira stated that the money from the latter contract would be used to lower Benfica's debt.[166]

By June 2017, Benfica had earned €617 million from player transfers since the 2010–11 season, more than any other club in the world.[167] In September 2018, Benfica SAD reported a profit of €20.6 million (a decrease of 53.7%) and a revenue of €206.2 million (a decrease of 18.7%). Moreover, they reported a record equity of €86.8 million: assets of €485.1 million (a decrease of 4.1%) and liabilities of €398.3 million (a decrease of €40.1 million).[168] It was the first time since 2010–11 that the debt was below €400 million.[169] In January 2019, Benfica remained the only Portuguese club ever to appear in the Deloitte Football Money League, being ranked as the world's 30th highest commercial revenue generating football club in 2017–18, with a revenue of €150.7 million.[170] In May 2019, Benfica was ranked by Brand Finance as the 40th most valuable football brand.[171]


First-team squad

As of 17 September 2019[172]

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

No. Position Player
1 GK Mile Svilar
2 DF Germán Conti
3 DF Álex Grimaldo
5 MF Ljubomir Fejsa
6 DF Rúben Dias
7 MF Caio
8 MF Gabriel
9 FW Raúl de Tomás
11 MF Franco Cervi
14 FW Haris Seferović
17 MF Andrija Živković
19 MF Chiquinho
21 MF Pizzi
22 MF Andreas Samaris
23 DF Tyronne Ebuehi
No. Position Player
27 MF Rafa Silva
33 DF Jardel (captain)
34 DF André Almeida (vice-captain)
49 MF Adel Taarabt
61 MF Florentino Luís
71 DF Nuno Tavares
72 GK Ivan Zlobin
73 FW Jota
83 MF Gedson Fernandes
84 DF Tomás Tavares
92 MF David Tavares
95 FW Carlos Vinícius
97 DF Ferro
99 GK Odisseas Vlachodimos

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
12 GK Bruno Varela (at Ajax until 30 June 2020)[173]
16 MF Alfa Semedo (at Nottingham Forest until 30 June 2020)[174]
20 MF Filip Krovinović (at West Bromwich Albion until 30 June 2020)[175]
25 DF Cristian Lema (at Newell's Old Boys until 30 June 2020)[176]
26 FW Jhonder Cádiz (at Dijon until 30 June 2020)[177]
No. Position Player
GK Igor Rodrigues (at Chaves until 30 June 2020)[178]
DF Pedro Pereira (at Bristol City until 30 June 2020)[179]
MF Óscar Benítez (at Atlético San Luis)[180]
FW Facundo Ferreyra (at Espanyol until 30 June 2020)[181]

Former players

Retired numbers

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

On 27 January 2004, Benfica retired the squad number 29 in memory of Miklós Fehér, who had died while playing for them two days earlier.[64][182]


Coaching staff

Position Name
Head coach Bruno Lage
Assistant coaches Nélson Veríssimo
Alexandre Silva
Minervino Pietra
Marco Pedroso
Goalkeeping coach Fernando Ferreira
Video analyst Jhony Conceição

Last updated: 11 February 2019
Source: [183]


Position Name
President Luís Filipe Vieira
Vice-presidents Domingos Almeida Lima
José Eduardo Moniz
Nuno Gaioso
João Varandas Fernandes
João Costa Quinta
Fernando Tavares
General assembly president Luís Nazaré
Supervisory president Nuno Afonso Henriques

Last updated: 28 October 2016
Source: [184]

Records and statistics


Nené is the Benfica player with most official appearances (575).[185] Eusébio is the club's all-time top goalscorer,[186] with 473 goals in 440 competitive matches.[187] He is also Benfica's top scorer in UEFA club competitions, with 56 goals.[62] Luisão is the player with most trophies won (20), the captain with most matches and has the most appearances in European matches.[62][188]

Cosme Damião is the longest-serving coach (18 consecutive years).[189] Otto Glória is the coach with the most league titles won (4).[190] Jorge Jesus is the coach with most trophies won (10: 3 leagues, 1 cup, 5 league cups, 1 super cup).[191] Rui Vitória is the coach with the highest percentage of wins in the domestic league with a minimum 34 matches played (85.29%).[192]


Benfica became the first team in Portuguese league history to complete two seasons without defeat, namely the 1972–73 and 1977–78[193] seasons. In the former, as unbeaten champions, 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.[194] In the 2015–16 campaign, Benfica amassed 88 points in 34 matches and set the points record since the league is contested by 18 teams.[195][196] Benfica's record of lowest number of goals conceded in the Primeira Liga was achieved in 1988–89 with coach Toni: 15 goals in 38 matches.[47]

Furthermore, Benfica hold the European record for the most consecutive wins in domestic league (29), between 1971–72 and 1972–73,[197] and the domestic record for the longest unbeaten run in the league (56 matches), from 24 October 1976 to 1 September 1978.[198][199] In addition, Benfica hold Europe's longest unbeaten run in all competitions since the advent of European competition: 48 matches from December 1963 to 14 February 1965. A record that ranks third overall.[200]

In the 1965–66 European Cup, Benfica scored 18 goals against Stade Dudelange and achieved the highest goal margin on aggregate in European Cup[201] and their biggest win in UEFA competitions.[62] In the UEFA Europa League, Benfica was the first club to reach two finals consecutively, the latter without defeat.[202] As of the 2019–20 season, Benfica have 39 appearances in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League and 20 participations in the UEFA Cup/Europa League. Additionally, they have appearances in now-defunct competitions: 7 in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and 2 in Intercontinental Cup.[62] By October 2017, Benfica were the 5th highest-scoring team in UEFA competition history, with 655 goals in 405 matches (1.62 per match).[203]

Recent seasons

Benfica's season-by-season performance over the last ten completed seasons:

Season PosPldWDLGFGAPtsTop league scorerGoalsTop overall scorerGoalsTPTLSTUCLUELRnkReferences
2009–101st302442782076Óscar Cardozo26Óscar Cardozo38R32WQF17th[204][205][206][207]
2010–112nd302037613163Óscar Cardozo12Óscar Cardozo23SFWRUGSSF17th[208][209][210][211]
2011–122nd302163662769Óscar Cardozo20Óscar Cardozo28R16WQF14th[212][213][214][215]
2012–132nd302451772077Lima20Óscar Cardozo33RUSFGSRU9th[216][217][218][219]
2015–161st342914882288Jonas32Jonas36R32 WRUQF6th[227][228][229][230]
2016–171st342572721882Kostas Mitroglou16Kostas Mitroglou27WSFWR169th[231][232][233][234]
2018–191st3428331033187Haris Seferović23Haris Seferović27SFSFGSQF21st[239][240][241][242]

W = Winners; RU = Runners-up; SF = Semi-finals; QF = Quarter-finals; R16 = Round of 16; R32 = Round of 32; GS = Group stage; 3R = Third round; 5R = Fifth round


Benfica have won a record 37 Primeira Liga,[243] a record 26 Taça de Portugal (and 4 consecutively),[244] a record 7 Taça da Liga[81][245] (and 4 consecutively), 8 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira[246] and 3 Campeonato de Portugal (and 2 consecutively)[244] – totalling 81 domestic trophies – and 2 European Cups (consecutively won) – totalling 83 trophies, or 84 including the Latin Cup. Therefore, in terms of overall trophies, Benfica is the most decorated club in Portuguese football.[5][247][248][note 3]

In 2014, Benfica achieved the first ever treble of Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal and Taça da Liga.[250][251] As of the 2018–19 season, Benfica is the only club to have won the Primeira Liga and Taça da Liga double, moreover, four times. Benfica is also the only club in Portugal to have successfully defended every major domestic title (Campeonato de Portugal, Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal, Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira and Taça da Liga). In addition, Benfica are the only Portuguese team to have become back-to-back European champions.

Domestic competitions

Winners (37) – record: 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, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2018–19
Winners (26) – 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, 2013–14, 2016–17
Winners (7) – record: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16
Winners (8): 1980, 1985, 1989, 2005, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019
Winners (3): 1929–30, 1930–31, 1934–35

European competitions

Winners (2): 1960–61, 1961–62

Other competitions

Winners (1): 1950


11 – record: 1942–43, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1963–64, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1986–87, 2013–14, 2016–17
4 – record: 2009–10, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16
1 – shared record: 2013–14
1: 1960–61


1 – record: 2013–14
  • Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal and Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira
2 – record: 1980–81, 2016–17

Portuguese Orders

See also


  1. Club founders: Abílio Meireles, Amadeu Rocha, António Rosa Rodrigues, António Severino, Cândido Rosa Rodrigues, Carlos França, Cosme Damião, Daniel Brito, Eduardo Corga, Francisco Calisto, Francisco dos Reis Gonçalves, João Gomes, João Goulão, Joaquim Almeida, Joaquim Ribeiro, Jorge Augusto Sousa, Jorge da Costa Afra, José Linhares, José Rosa Rodrigues, Manuel Gourlade, Manuel França, Raul Empis, Henrique Teixeira, Virgílio Cunha
  2. Benfica were Portuguese champions in 1955 but were not invited to the inaugural European Cup by its organisers.[31][32]
  3. The Latin Cup, a forerunner of the European Cup,[249] is not recognised by FIFA.[27]


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Further reading

  • Oliveira, Mário Fernando de; Silva, Carlos Rebelo da (1954). História do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (1904–1954) [History of Sport Lisboa e Benfica (1904–1954)] (in Portuguese). Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Perdigão, Carlos (2004). Sport Lisboa e Benfica: 100 gloriosos anos [Sport Lisboa e Benfica: 100 glorious years] (in Portuguese). Matosinhos, Portugal: QuidNovi. ISBN 989-554-099-X.
  • Pereira, Luís Miguel (November 2009). Bíblia do Benfica [Benfica Bible] (in Portuguese) (7th ed.). Carcavelos, Portugal: Prime Books. ISBN 978-989-655-005-9.
  • Tovar, Rui Miguel (2014). Almanaque do Benfica (1904–2014) [Benfica Almanac (1904–2014)] (in Portuguese) (2nd ed.). Alfragide, Portugal: Lua de Papel. ISBN 978-989-23-2764-8.
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