S.L. Benfica

Full name Sport Lisboa e Benfica
Nickname(s) Águias (Eagles)
Encarnados (Reds)
Glorioso (Glorious)
Founded 28 February 1904 (1904-02-28)
as Sport Lisboa
Ground Estádio da Luz
Lisbon, Portugal
Capacity 64,642[1]
President Luís Filipe Vieira
Manager Rui Vitória
League Primeira Liga
2017–18 Primeira Liga, 2nd
Website Club website

Sport Lisboa e Benfica ComC MHIH OM (Portuguese pronunciation: [spɔɾ liʒˈboɐ i bɐ̃ȷ̃ˈfikɐ]), commonly known as Benfica, is a sports club based in Lisbon, Portugal. It is best known for the professional football team playing in the Primeira Liga, the top flight of the Portuguese football league system, where they are the most successful club in terms of titles won.

Founded on 28 February 1904 as Sport Lisboa, Benfica is one of the "Big Three" clubs in Portugal that have never been relegated from the Primeira Liga, along with rivals Sporting CP and FC Porto. The Benfica team is nicknamed Águias (Eagles), for the symbol atop the club's crest, and Encarnados (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, with an estimated 14 million supporters worldwide, and the European club with the highest percentage of supporters in its own country. By the end of 2016, Benfica had 184,264 paying members. The club's anthem, "Ser Benfiquista", refers to its supporters, who are called benfiquistas. Águia Vitória is the mascot. Benfica is honoured with three Portuguese Orders: those of Christ (Commander), of Prince Henry (Honorary Member) and of Merit (Officer).

With a total of 81 major trophies won – 82 including the Latin Cup – Benfica is the most decorated club in Portugal.[2][3] They have won 79 domestic trophies: a record 36 Primeira Liga titles, a record 26 Taça de Portugal, a record 7 Taça da Liga, 7 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.[4] 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 twelfth in FIFA Club of the Century[5] and ninth in IFFHS Top 200 European clubs of the 20th century.[6] Currently, Benfica is ranked 15th in the UEFA club coefficient rankings[7] and has the second most participations in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League.[8] In this tournament, they hold the overall record for the biggest aggregate win, achieved in 1965–66.


Inception and first titles (1904–50)

On 28 February 1904, members of Associação do Bem (a group of former students from the Real Casa Pia de Lisboa) 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.[9] 24 people attended the meeting, 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.[10][11][12] Sport Lisboa played their first match ever on 1 January 1905, scoring their first goal.[13] Despite important victories, the club suffered from poor operating conditions, namely the football dirt field Terras do Desembargador.[14] As a result, eight players moved to Sporting CP in 1907 and started the rivalry between the clubs.[15]

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,[14] 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.

However, problems with the club's rented field (the Campo da Feiteira) remained. Benfica moved to their first football grass field, the Campo de Sete Rios, in 1913. Four years later, after refusing an increase in rent, they relocated to the Campo de Benfica. Finally, in 1925, they moved to their own stadium, the Estádio das Amoreiras, playing there 15 years before moving to the Estádio do Campo Grande in 1940.[14] 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.[16] 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.[17]

Golden years and fading (1950–94)

Benfica's first international success happened in 1950 when they won the Latin Cup (the only Portuguese club to do so),[18] defeating Bordeaux with a golden goal from Julinho at the Estádio Nacional in Lisbon,[19][20] with Ted Smith as coach.[21] It was the first major international trophy won by a Portuguese club.[22][23] They reached another final of the competition in 1957 but lost to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.[20] With the election of president Joaquim Ferreira Bogalho in 1952 and the arrival of coach Otto Glória in 1954,[21] Benfica became more modernised and professional[24] and moved into the original Estádio da Luz, with an initial seating capacity of 40,000; expanded to 70,000 in 1960.[14][25][26] During the 1950s, Benfica won three Primeira Liga (1949–50, '54–55, '56–57 – they were champions in 1955 but were not invited to the inaugural European Cup) and six Taça de Portugal (1951, '52, '53, '55, '57, '59).

Led by coach Béla Guttmann,[21] Benfica were one of two teams, along with Barcelona, to break Real Madrid's dominance in the European Cup by winning two consecutive trophies: the first one against Barcelona in 1961 (3–2)[27] and the second one against Real Madrid in 1962 (5–3).[28][29] Later on, Benfica reached another three European Cup finals but lost them to Milan in 1963, to Inter in 1965, and to Manchester United in 1968.[12] The 1960s were Benfica's best period, in which they 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 their successes in that decade were achieved with Eusébio – the only player to win the Ballon d'Or for a Portuguese club[30][31] 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.[32] Benfica were ranked first in European football in 1965, '66 and '69.[33][34][35] Moreover, they were presented with the France Football European Team of the Year award in 1968.[36]

During the 1970s, with president Borges Coutinho, Benfica faded slightly from the European scene but remained the main force in 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 attracted Europe-wide attention once again when they reached the semi-finals of the European Cup, where they were eliminated by Ajax of Johan Cruyff. In the following season, led by Jimmy Hagan, Benfica became the first club in Portugal to win the league without defeat,[32] 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 the fact that Benfica started to admit foreign players in the team, becoming the last Portuguese club to do so, in 1979.[9][12]

In the 1980s, Benfica continued to thrive domestically.[37] 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.[12] 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.[38][39] One 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 made a significant investment in order to win another European Cup, reaching two European Cup finals in 1988 and '90, won by PSV Eindhoven and Milan, respectively.[12] 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 (1994–)

Financial trouble in the early 1980s[40] and a large investment on players throughout that decade started to deteriorate the club's finances under Jorge de Brito's presidency.[41][42] The rampant spending and a questionable signing policy (over 100 players during Manuel Damásio's term)[43] further aggravated the problem.[44][45] Soon after, Benfica entered in default during João Vale e Azevedo's presidency.[46][47] In 2001, with president Manuel Vilarinho, club members approved the construction of the new Estádio da Luz,[48] which would eventually cost €162 million, €25 million more than the planned.[49] The period from 1994 to 2003 was arguably the most difficult in the club's history. During that time, Benfica had a total of eleven managers,[21] won a single Taça de Portugal, suffered their biggest defeat in European competitions, 7–0 to Celta de Vigo,[50] had their lowest league finish ever, a sixth place, and were absent from European competition for two years.[12]

In the 2003–04 season, with president Luís Filipe Vieira, Benfica put an end to their silverware drought by winning the Taça de Portugal against José Mourinho's Porto.[51] They dedicated the trophy to Miklós Fehér, who had died in January 2004.[52] In the following year, Benfica won the league title, eleven years after the previous one,[53] and the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira.[54] After that and until 2009, when Benfica won its first Taça da Liga (thus becoming the first club to win all major domestic 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 in the decisive group stage encounter and overcoming then European champions Liverpool on 3–0 aggregate.[55][56]

For the 2009–10 season, Jorge Jesus was appointed as manager,[57] a position he held until 2015. During that six-season span, Benfica won 10 domestic trophies, including an unprecedented treble in Portuguese football (league, cup and league cup) in 2014,[58] as well as the club's first back-to-back league titles since 1984.[59][60] At European level, Benfica moved from 23rd[61] to 6th place[62] in UEFA's team ranking as a result of their performance in international competition: they reached their first European semi-final in seventeen years at the 2010–11 Europa League,[63] repeated the 2005–06 Champions League quarter-finals in the 2011–12 campaign[64] and were runners-up in Europa League for two consecutive seasons (2012–13 and '13–14).[65][66][67]

Manager Rui Vitória joined Benfica in 2015[68] and continued the club's success by winning their third consecutive league title[69][70] and the Taça da Liga.[71][72] In the following campaign, Benfica went on winning the Primeira Liga title for a fourth straight season – the club's first tetra[73] – the Taça de Portugal[74] and the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira,[75][76] in another treble achievement.[77] Internationally, Benfica reached, for the first time, the Champions League knockout phase for a second season in a row.[78] Nevertheless, in 2017–18, the club's debt-related disinvestment[79] gave Benfica a domestic Super Cup,[80] the worst Portuguese campaign in the Champions League,[81] including a 5–0 away loss to Basel,[82] and a second-place league finish.

Crest and shirt

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor[83]
1977–1984 Adidas[84][85]
1984–1987 Shell
1987–1990 FNAC
1990–1992 Hummel[85][86]
1992–1994 Casino Estoril
1994–1996 Olympic[86] Parmalat
1996–1997 Telecel
1997–2000 Adidas[87]
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 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; everything superimposed on a bicycle wheel (representing one of the first sports in the club, cycling).[11][88]

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.[89]

Benfica have used commemorative crests since 2010 by adding stars over the crest. They started by adding one star in celebration of their first European Cup, and in 2011, they added two stars to commemorate their second one. A year later, they started using three stars, with each star representing 10 league titles won by the club.[90][91]

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 the 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.[92] 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.[93]

Benfica have always worn red shirts. For this reason, in Portugal, Benfica and its 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 as vermelhos. From then on, Benfica became known as encarnados (similar to "reds" but with a different connotation).[94][95]


During the club's first decades, Benfica played mostly in rented grounds. Their first own stadium was the Estádio das Amoreiras, built and opened in 1925. There they played until 1940. A year later, they moved to the Estádio do Campo Grande, a rented municipal stadium, before relocating to their own second ground, thirteen years later.[14][26]

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 between 1985 and 1987, with a 120,000 seating capacity.[38][39] It was demolished in 2003 and the new Estádio da Luz was built in that year, with a total cost of €118.7 million.[96]

Like its predecessor, the Estádio da Luz is officially named Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica. A UEFA category four stadium,[97][98] it hosted several matches of the UEFA Euro 2004, including the final, and was the venue for the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final.[99] Built with a full seating capacity of 65,647,[100][101] 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 centre and youth academy, named Caixa Futebol Campus, is located in Seixal, Lisbon Region. It was built in 2005 and opened on 22 September 2006.[102] In 2015, Benfica received the award for Best Academy of the year at the Globe Soccer Awards.[103]


The Museu Benfica – Cosme Damião, located near the stadium, was inaugurated on 26 July 2013 and opened to the public on 29 July.[104] It was considered the Best Portuguese Museum of 2014 by the Portuguese Association of Museology.[105]


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.[106] They call the club o Glorioso (the Glorious One),[9][107] hence the popular chant "Glorioso SLB". In some countries, since 1952, Benfica has had supporters' clubs known as Casas do Benfica (Benfica Houses), which are places where benfiquistas gather.[108][109] In recent years, benfiquistas have celebrated league titles with the team at the Marquis of Pombal Square in Lisbon.[110][111]

Benfica is the most popular club in Portugal[112] and has always been seen as the working-class club of Portugal.[113] According to a study done by professors Luís Reto and Jorge de Sá, with the stamp of approval by Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE) 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 rest being located in Brazil, Venezuela, Caribbean, Indochina, China, Australia and India.[107][114][115] According to a study performed for UEFA in 2012, Benfica is the European club with the highest percentage of supporters in its own country (47%).[112]

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.[116][117] 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.[118]


The members of Benfica, who are called sócios, democratically elect the club president for a four-year term (three years until 2010)[119] by voting in each candidate list, 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.[11] In 2003 the club switched to electronic voting,[120] and since 2010 only members with 25 years of uninterrupted filiation as an adult (43 years of age) can candidate to the presidency of Benfica.[119]

On 9 November 2006, Benfica set the Guinness World Record for "the most widely supported football club", with 160,398 paid-up members.[121] 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.[122][123] On 31 March 2015, Benfica reported to have 246,401 members;[124] however, after a scheduled renumbering by the club in August 2015, the number decreased to 156,916.[125] In April 2017, Benfica reported they had a total of 184,264 members by 31 December 2016.[126]


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.[127][128]

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.[113] 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, dérbi dos dérbis ("derby of the derbies")[129] – the most important football derby in Portugal.[113]

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 currently the two most decorated clubs in Portuguese football, with the former historically being the most decorated team overall.[37] Any match between the two sides is called O Clássico ("The Classic").[130]


In 2008, Benfica launched its own sports-oriented television network, Benfica TV (BTV for short), the first channel by a Portuguese club,[131] and has operated it ever since.[132][133] Its premium channel broadcasts Benfica's live matches at home in the Primeira Liga, home matches from Benfica B in the LigaPro,[134] from the under-19 team and below, as well as matches from other sports of the club, including youth categories.[135] Until 2016, it broadcast three seasons of the English Premier League,[136] and one season of the Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1.[137]

Moreover, the club publishes the weekly newspaper O Benfica each 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.[138][139] Benfica also publishes the quarterly magazine Mística since 6 December 2007. Free of charge for Benfica members,[140] it comprises interviews with players and personnel of the club, reports about the club's history and recent events, news, opinion pieces, overviews of different sports of the club, with football being its main focus, and a section dedicated to club members.[141] Issue 33 had a circulation of 115,602 in mainland Portugal.[142] 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.[143]


Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol, SAD (a public limited company)[144] was created by João Vale e Azevedo on 10 February 2000 with an initial equity of €75 million.[145][146] 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.[147]

Benfica SAD entered the PSI-20 on 21 May 2007[148] 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,[149][150][151] which was unsuccessful. Following the general assembly of 23 December 2009, the SAD increased the €75 million equity to €115 million by absorbing Benfica Estádio, SA (then owner of the Estádio da Luz),[152] resulting in balance sheet insolvency.

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.[153][154] Later in April, Benfica and Adidas renewed their previous ten-season contract of 2003 until 2021, for around €4.5 million per year.[87] In May 2015, Emirates airline signed a three-year sponsorship deal worth up to €30 million in order to become Benfica's main jersey sponsor.[155][156] Then in December, Benfica sold their first-team TV rights as well as the distribution and broadcasting 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.[157][158] Days later, Luís Filipe Vieira stated that the money from the latter contract would be used to lower Benfica's debt.[159]

In September 2017, Benfica SAD reported record profits of around €44.5 million and a record total revenue of €253 million. Moreover, they reported a total equity of €67.8 million: total assets of €506.1 million, an increase of 6.2%, and total liabilities of €438.3 million, a decrease of 3.7%.[160] By June 2017, Benfica had earned €617 million from player transfers since the 2010–11 season, more than any other club in the world.[161] Later in January 2018, Benfica was ranked by Deloitte as the thirtieth highest revenue generating football club, with a revenue of €157.6 million.[162] Back in June 2016, Benfica had been ranked by Brand Finance as the 47th most valuable football brand, valued at €86 million.[163]


First-team squad

As of 27 August 2018[164][165]

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
4 DF Luisão (captain)
5 MF Ljubomir Fejsa
6 DF Rúben Dias
7 DF Sébastien Corchia (on loan from Sevilla)
8 MF Gabriel
10 FW Jonas
11 MF Franco Cervi
12 GK Bruno Varela
14 FW Haris Seferović
15 DF Yuri Ribeiro
16 MF Alfa Semedo
17 MF Andrija Živković
No. Position Player
18 MF Eduardo Salvio
19 FW Facundo Ferreyra
20 MF Filip Krovinović
21 MF Pizzi
22 MF Andreas Samaris
23 DF Tyronne Ebuehi
25 DF Cristian Lema
27 MF Rafa Silva
30 FW Nicolás Castillo
33 DF Jardel (vice-captain)
34 DF André Almeida
79 MF João Félix
83 MF Gedson Fernandes
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
9 FW Raúl Jiménez (at Wolverhampton Wanderers until 30 June 2019)
28 DF Lisandro López (at Genoa until 30 June 2019)
DF Pedro Pereira (at Genoa until 30 June 2019)
MF André Carrillo (at Al-Hilal until 30 June 2019)
MF Filipe Augusto (at Alanyaspor until 30 June 2019)
No. Position Player
MF Oscar Benítez (at Argentinos Juniors until 30 June 2019)
MF Salvador Agra (at Cádiz until 30 June 2019)
MF Talisca (at Guangzhou Evergrande until 31 December 2018)
FW Cristian Arango (at Tondela until 30 June 2019)

Other contracted players

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

No. Position Player
47 MF Erdal Rakip
48 DF Matheus Leal
No. Position Player
49 MF Adel Taarabt

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.[52][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 Luís Esteves

Last updated: June 2018


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


Records and statistics


Nené is the Benfica player with most official appearances (575).[169] Eusébio is the club's all-time top goalscorer,[170] with 473 goals in 440 competitive matches.[171] He is also Benfica's top scorer in UEFA club competitions, with 56 goals.[50] Luisão is the player with most trophies won (20), the captain with most matches and has the most appearances in European matches.[50][172]

Cosme Damião is the longest-serving coach (18 consecutive years).[173] Otto Glória is the coach with the most league titles won (4).[174] Jorge Jesus is the coach with most trophies won (10: 3 leagues, 1 cup, 5 league cups, 1 super cup).[175] Rui Vitória is the coach with the highest percentage of wins in the domestic league with a minimum 34 matches played (85.29%).[176]


Benfica became the first team in Portuguese league history to complete two seasons without defeat, namely the 1972–73 and 1977–78[177] 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.[178] 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.[70][179] Benfica's record of lowest number of goals conceded in the Primeira Liga was achieved in 1988–89 with manager Toni: 15 goals in 38 matches.[32]

Furthermore, Benfica hold the European record for the most consecutive wins in domestic league (29), between 1971–72 and 1972–73,[180] as well as the domestic record for the longest unbeaten run in the league (56 matches), from 24 October 1976 to 1 September 1978.[181][182] 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. This record ranks third overall.[183]

In the 1965–66 European Cup, Benfica scored 18 goals against Stade Dudelange and achieved the highest goal margin on aggregate in European Cup[184] and their biggest win in UEFA competitions.[50] In the UEFA Europa League, Benfica was the first club to reach two finals consecutively, the latter without defeat.[185] As of the 2017–18 season, Benfica have 37 appearances in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League and 19 appearances in the UEFA Cup/Europa League. Additionally, they have appearances in now-defunct competitions: 7 in UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and 2 in the Intercontinental Cup.[50]

Recent seasons

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

Season Pos Pld W D L GF GA Pts Top league scorer Goals Top overall scorer Goals TP TL ST UCL UEL Rnk Refs
2008–09 3rd 30 17 8 5 54 32 59 Óscar Cardozo 17 Óscar Cardozo 17 R16 W GS 23rd [186][187][188][61]
2009–10 1st 30 24 4 2 78 20 76 Óscar Cardozo 26 Óscar Cardozo 38 R32 W QF 17th [189][190][191][192]
2010–11 2nd 30 20 3 7 61 31 63 Óscar Cardozo 12 Óscar Cardozo 23 SF W RU GS SF 17th [193][194][195][196]
2011–12 2nd 30 21 6 3 66 27 69 Óscar Cardozo 20 Óscar Cardozo 28 R16 W QF 14th [197][198][199][200]
2012–13 2nd 30 24 5 1 77 20 77 Lima 20 Óscar Cardozo 33 RU SF GS RU 9th [201][202][203][204]
2013–14 1st 30 23 5 2 58 18 74 Lima 14 Lima 21 W W GS RU 5th [205][206][207][208]
2014–15 1st 34 27 4 3 86 16 85 Jonas 20 Jonas 31 R16 W W GS 6th [209][210][211][62]
2015–16 1st 34 29 1 4 88 22 88 Jonas 32 Jonas 36 R32 W RU QF 6th [212][213][214][215]
2016–17 1st 34 25 7 2 72 18 82 Konstantinos Mitroglou 16 Konstantinos Mitroglou 27 W SF W R16 9th [216][217][218][219]
2017–18 2nd 34 25 6 3 80 22 81 Jonas 34 Jonas 37 5R 3R W GS 15th [220][221][222][223]

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


Benfica have won a record 36 Primeira Liga,[224] a record 26 Taça de Portugal (and 4 consecutively),[225] a record 7 Taça da Liga (and 4 consecutively), 7 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira and 3 Campeonato de Portugal (and 2 consecutively)[225] – totalling 79 domestic trophies – and 2 European Cups (consecutively won) – totalling 81 trophies, or 82 including the Latin Cup. Therefore, in terms of overall trophies, Benfica is the most decorated club in Portuguese football.[3][75][76] (The Latin Cup, a forerunner of the European Cup,[226] is excluded from the trophy count by FIFA,[23] although its official website did include it.)[227]

In 2014, Benfica achieved the first ever treble of Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal and Taça da Liga.[228][229] As of the 2017–18 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 (36) – 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
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 (7): 1980, 1985, 1989, 2005, 2014, 2016, 2017
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 – 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


See also


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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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