Tuesday, 14 May 2013

EUROPA CUP FINAL- BENFICA: A 'voyeur's' lenses

EUROPA CUP FINAL- BENFICA: A 'voyeur's' lenses

Manager: Jorge Jesus

He will attempt to outwit Chelsea's Rafael Benítez as Portugal's most glamorous club strive to win their first European prize for 51 years. ( they've lost five European Cup finals since their last triumph in 1962)

Jesus divides opinion ( no pun intended)

He is prickly and eccentric. You never know what you'll get with him-mercurial or mundane in team selection. Losing key players annually ( eg Di Maria, David Luiz, Javi Martinez, Coentrao) - a way of life at Benfica ( and other top clubs)-has not helped

How his team plays:

"They've got a lot of flair and pace, very progressive full-backs and varied attacking options. Benfica are difficult to contain and a real threat on the counter-attack."

Key players:

Nemanja Matic, Oscar Cardozo, Nicolas Gaitan, Ezequiel Garay


The twin demands of pursuing European and domestic glory appear to be stretching Jesus's personnel to their limit, as their once apparently unassailable lead at the top of the Primeira Liga has, almost imperceptibly, dwindled away and they now stand second, one point behind Porto with one game remaining.

Put simply, they've run out of steam and winning the league is not in their hands anymore!


Lifting the curse of Bela Guttmann ( the Hungarian Jew Manager who left acrimoniously after leading the Lisbon side to two successive European Cup triumphs in 1961 and 1962) Guttmann's parting shot: "Benfica will never taste European glory again"

Chelsea fans will hope that the Guttmann curse continues for another year, at least!!



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