Posts Tagged ‘Estadio Da Luz’

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Benfica have continued to address their need at left-back by signing Brazilian Bruno Cortez to a one-year loan deal. The deal includes an option to sign the 26-year old to a permanent deal at the end of the campaign.

Cortez was unveiled to the public at the Estádio da Luz on Friday. He told Benfica TV that he hopes his first year in Europe could earn him a return to the Brazilian national team ahead of the World Cup in 2014.

“To return will depend on what I am able to do with Benfica. I am on a glorious club, with the help of my teammates I know I could return to the national team,” He said.

“My expectations are high and I am happy to be here. I hope to stay with Benfica forever,” Cortez said about his move to Portugal.

Cortez, who also goes by the Portuguese version of his name Cortês, received one cap with Brazil in 2011 but none since. He has played with Brazilian giants São Paulo since January 2012 after arriving from Botafogo.

The move comes days after Benfica signed Portuguese international Sílvio on loan from La Liga club Atlético Madrid. Benfica have lacked a quality left-back since Fábio Coentrão left for Real Madrid two years ago.

This past season, manager Jorge Jesus played Lorenzo Melgarejo, a converted winger at left-back to mixed results. Towards the end of the season, Jesus moved André Almeida into the position from the right side.

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Benfica presented Stefan Mitrović to the media on Tuesday in an official news conference at the Estádio da Luz. The 23-year-old Serbian has signed a new five-year contract with the Portuguese club.

Mitrović will come at a transfer fee of €1,2million, according to the Portuguese football website O Jogo. He is expected to join Benfica’s B squad immediately, with the possibility of contending for a starting position in the near future.

He spent last season with Belgian club K.V. Kortrijk, where he scored three goals in 28 matches in all competitions for the club.

Mitrović spoke about the growing number of Serbian players at Benfica and how that influenced his decision to join the Lisbon club. “I was glad to see so many Serbian players join Benfica because I think they will bring a new energy to the club. I hope we can win trophies together next season.”

“It is a big step forward in my career and I am very proud to represent Benfica next season,” Mitrović added.

“I am going to give everything to Benfica. On the field I will give it all. I hope to play in many matches and contribute towards winning many titles.”

Related Posts: TRANSFER WINDOW: Serbian Central Defender Stefan Mitrović Will Join Benfica Next Season

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

An early goal by Hélder Postiga gave Portugal an important 1-0 win over Russia at the Estádio da Luz on Friday. The win means that the Seleção temporarily move into first place in Group F ahead of Russia. Although, Fabio Capello’s Russian side have played two fewer matches at this point.

Manager Paulo Bento fielded a squad that was missing Real Madrid defender Pepe who was suspended for the match. Zenit St.Petersburg’s Luis Neto lined up alongside Bruno Alves at the centre of defense and was very impressive. Also, Wolfsburg’s Vieirinha was a surprise starter in place of Nani.

After several mediocre displays in recent matches, Portugal began the match playing with great purpose and never really took their foot off the pedal. In the 8th minute of play, Cristiano Ronaldo made a dangerous run and was brought down about 35 yards away from goal earning a free kick.

Miguel Veloso delivered a dangerous ball into the box which Hélder Postiga deflected into the net. It was the start that Paulo Bento and the legion of Portuguese fans were desperately looking for. The Seleção did not ease the pressure creating several good scoring chances before the end of the half.

Fabio Capello’s Russia side looked noticeably disjointed, struggling to maintain possession and rarely troubling Rui Patricio throughout most of the match. Cristiano Ronaldo had the best opportunities for Portugal but was unable to score despite some good shots on goal. João Moutinho was behind most of Portugal’s threats.

Portugal manager Paulo Bento spoke about the squad’s performance to journalists after the match.

“We played a very balanced game and maintained a good amount of pressure over our opponents. We started the match well, and had our moments of quality which resulted in us gaining an advantage. We did have problems clearing the ball out of dangerous areas on occasion but we were able to play an intelligent game and reached our objective by winning,” Bento told media.

“The motivation you get by representing the Seleção should be enough. We had a terrific attitude throughout the 90 minutes and a good mentality in comparison to the match against Israel. It is important to continue to work hard because we have not achieved anything.”

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Steve Gardner

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Steve Gardner

Benfica defeated Sporting Lisbon 2-0 on goals by Eduardo Salvio and Lima to take another major step towards winning the domestic title this season. Jorge Jesus’ club overcame a resurgent Sporting side to remain four points ahead of rivals FC Porto in the Liga ZON-Sagras.

Benfica fielded a regular first-choice squad with Oscar Cardozo and Lima in the striker roles in front of a sell-out crowd at the Estádio da Luz. Jesualdo Ferreira’s Sporting side were hoping to build on some positive performances but they were without the services of right-back Cédric Soares.

Ferreira continued to put his faith in youth by placing Tiago Ilori, Andre Martins, Bruma and Eric Dier in the starting line-up. Ilori was solid in central defence, while the three-man midfield of Rinaudo, Martins and Dier gave Benfica trouble all night.

Sporting began the match well, with early chances by Bruma and Wolfswinkel. Benfica struggled to find their rhythm, as Sporting consistently looked dangerous going forward.

But it would be the home side that would break through. Benfica’s Oscar Cardozo delivered a cross-field pass to Nicolas Gaitán on the left side, who then quickly crossed it to an on-coming Eduardo Salvio for the opening goal of the match.

Sporting responded well but were unable to tie the match before half-time despite being the better side in the opening frame. In the second half, Sporting continued to press for an equalizer. In the 75th minute, Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan, in a brilliant display of skill alluded two defenders, before passing it to Salvio who delivered a brilliant volley to Lima for the second goal of the match.

The match was not without controversy, as is usually the case when Portugal’s Big Three play one another. Ricky van Wolfswinkel was brought down by Ezequiel Garay in the box midway through the first half when the score was still 0-0. Replays show that Garay did make contact with Wolfswinkel, who still managed a shot on goal.

Sporting manager Jesualdo Ferreira, as well as several players complained after the match about the officiating of Joao Capelo. “I am not saying that the official influenced the result, but in my opinion they were not impartial,” Ferreira said after the match.

“It is not easy for a manager to say that his club was better than the one that was victorious, but this is truly what happened. Benfica is a better club, they have more experience, they are higher in the standings than Sporting, but today we were better,” Ferreira said.

“We controled the most dangerous supply lines of Benfica, we took control of the match, we pressed high up the pitch and we caused the defence problems with our quick attacking. At the minimum, I think we were penalized by the result.”

“With only two shots, they created two dangerous opportunities and capitalized on them. In those situations, we were not good enough and they won as a result.”

On one final note, Sporting’s Eric Dier left the match in the second half with an injury. After being evaluated on Monday, it was determined that he suffered a contusion of the left rib cage instead of a fracture. Dier will receive treatment and be out indefinitely.

Benfica will go into the second-leg of their Europa League match-up against Newcastle United with a two-goal lead on aggregate. Jorge’s Jesus’ club managed a 3-1 victory over Newcastle on Thursday night in Lisbon, which means they will go into next Thursday’s match at St. James’ Park with a comfortable lead.

Benfica were without winger Eduardo Salvio who missed the match with a knee injury. Promising midfielder André Gomes made a surprise start in the left side of midfield for the Águias. Oscar Cardozo played upfront, with Rodrigo and Nicolas Gaitan on the wings.

Despite the final score line, it was Newcastle that started the match with greater energy. They were rewarded when Moussa Sissoko crossed the ball into the box to Papiss Cissé who struck it into the wide-open goal. The English side continued to press after going one up.

But in the 25th minute, Oscar Cardozo struck a hard shot from distance which Newcastle Tim Krul stopped but was unable to hold on to. Rodrigo quickly grabbed the rebound and scored. This was the break that Benfica needed.

In the second half, Lima took advantage of a defensive mistake by Newcastle Davide Santon to put Benfica ahead. Soon after, Newcastle’s Steven Taylor handled the ball in the box and Benfica were given a penalty.

Oscar Cardozo scored on the initial attempt but it was waved off due to obstruction in the box. His second attempt was successful and Benfica had a comfortable lead with just under 20 minutes to play in normal time. Benfica held on to a deserving win.

“We are in the quarter finals and every club here is playing at a high level. Newcastle started well and they took advantage of a mistake by us, but we responded well and we deserved the win,” Rodrigo told Sic television.

“Nothing is decided. We still have to play one more match that will decide everything. We have a good advantage but we need to play like its 0-0 and win again. We will maintain a winning spirit, regardless of the result of the game.”

Benfica earned a well-deserved 2-1 victory against Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen at the Estádio da Luz on Thursday night. The win means that the Portuguese side advance 3-1 on aggregate and will face French side Bordeaux on March 6th in the next round of the Europa League.

After a scoreless first half where Leverkusen created the majority of chances, Jorge Jesus’ club emerged a better club in the second half. In the 60th minute, they were rewarded when Dutch winger Ola John dribbled into the box and struck the ball over Bernd Leno for the opening goal.

The German side, though looking increasingly frustrated did not quit. In the 75th minute, Leverkusen forward Andre Schürrle struck a well-timed volley past Artur. Two minutes later however, substitute Lima received a long-range pass from Artur deep into Leverkusen territory which he crossed to Nemanja Matić for the deciding goal.

Jorge Jesus spoke to SIC television after his club’s victory and was quick to praise his club’s effort. “We played against a good team, who plays in the best league in the world. Germany has three clubs in the Champions League, Bayern Munique, Dortmund and Schalke. Leverkusen is at their level. In order to eliminate them, we had to play very well both games. We are happy but we have more to do,” he said.

Jesus added the club needed to remain focused on their next opponents which is Paços de Ferreira who have surprised everyone this season and remain third in the domestic league. He added that the match against Bordeaux will be a “duelo duro” or golden duel.

The news was not all positive for Benfica on this night. Nemanja Matic picked up another yellow card in the closing minutes of the match and will miss the next first leg against Bordeaux. Carlos Martins also left this match with an undisclosed injury in the second half.

In other Europa League action on Thursday, Andre Villas-Boas eliminated Olympique Lyonnais advancing 3-2 on aggregate. Despite losing 3-1 to Liverpool at Anfield, Zenit St.Petersburg hung on to advance on away goals. Former Porto player Hulk scored the only goal for the Russian side, while Portuguese internationals Danny and Luis Neto both started the match.