Pacos Ferreira vs Benfica takes place on Thursday at 8:15pm (UK time).
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Pacos Ferreira, meanwhile, are unfortunately continuing their downward spiral since a fifth-placed finish in 2020/21 and currently sit bottom of the Primeira Liga table, already 12 points from safety having only recently recorded their first win of the season.
Benfica’s last double winners
We’re only halfway through the Primeira Liga season but Benfica are looking in a decent position to winning the league title for the first time since 2018/19, the last season of a dominating period which saw the club win five championships in six years. But it’s the penultimate title win of that run that is particularly interesting, as it brought a league and cup double.
The 2016/17 Benfica side won the Primeira Liga by six points, with 25 wins and just two defeats from their 34 matches, sitting comfortably clear of Porto and rivals Sporting CP. The double was confirmed by a 2-1 win over Vitoria in the Taca de Portugal final, but who were the frankly iconic players which started the victory? We’ve taken a look at them below, as well as the substitutes used and a couple of standout names from the rest of the squad, and where they are now.
- Ederson: The 2-1 cup final win over Vitoria was Ederson’s final game for Benfica as he would then join Man City for £35m. Playing 266 times for the Citizens, Ederson has helped the club win four Premier League titles, four League Cups and the FA Cup.
- Nelson Semedo: Another player to leave Benfica just after their double win, Semedo made his move to Barcelona and would play 124 times for the club without truly impressing as the Dani Alves replacement. After three years, Semedo left for Wolves where he remains, but again isn’t exactly lighting it up in the Premier League.
- Victor Lindelof: A third player from this Benfica squad to move to the Premier League, Lindelof’s departure for Man Utd was sealed in the summer for £31m. Five-and-a-half years on, Lindelof has played 209 times for Man Utd but he now finds himself on the periphery following the signings of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.
- Luisao: An absolute legend of the club, Luisao joined Benfica in 2003 and stayed until his retirement in 2018. In his final season, Luisao played 24 times for Benfica as they finished second in the Primeira Liga, with the 2016/17 Taca de Portugal his last trophy.
- Alejandro Grimaldo: It feels as though Grimaldo has been linked with 100 moves away from Benfica over the past few years, but he remains at the club. The Spanish left-back, who joined from Barcelona in 2016, has played 281 matches for Benfica will be looking to add another Double to his trophy cabinet.
- Eduardo Salvio: The Argentine spent two more seasons with Benfica after their win over Vitoria, in which he scored, ending his spell with another league title and 266 appearances. He left in 2019 for Boca Juniors back in his native Argentina, winning five trophies, before moving to UNAM Pumas last summer.
- Pizzi: For a while it looked as though Pizzi might never leave Benfica, but he fell out of favour in recent years after following a loan to Istanbul Basaksehir, he left permanently in the summer. Pizzi now represents Al-Wahda FC in the UAE Pro League, but will always be considered a modern Benfica legend.
- Ljubomir Fejsa: Fejsa was a mainstay of the Benfica midfield for quite some time and racked up 169 appearances for the club, helping them to win five league titles. But injury issues meant his playing time started to decrease and in 2020 he left on loan to Alaves and then permanently for Al-Ahli. Fejsa is now back at Partizan Belgrade in his native Serbia.
- Franco Cervi: The league and cup double was secured in Cervi’s first season at Benfica and he stayed at the club for five seasons, winning another league title in 2018/19. Cervi left for Celta Vigo in 2021, where he remains.
- Jonas: An icon of this Benfica side, Jonas scored 137 goals in 183 games for the club after joining from Valencia in 2014 and retired at the club in 2019.
- Raul Jimenez: The other scorer in the final, Jimenez’s performances eventually led to Wolves securing his signature in 2018, first on loan and then on a permanent basis. The Mexican became an instant hero at Wolves and still is, even though he has been struggling in front of goal and suffering due to injury.
- Filipe Augusto: One of the substitutes in the final, Augusto joined Benfica in January 2017 from Rio Ave and spent two years in Lisbon before returning. He is currently without a club, last representing Saudi Arabian side Damac FC.
- Andreas Samaris: Samaris played 196 times for Benfica across his seven-year stay and won four league titles in total. He left the club in 2021, later joining Fortuna Sittard before returning to the Primeira Liga with Rio Ave this season.
- Rafa Silva: Rafa has become one of the faces of Benfica having joined the club from Braga for the 2016/17 campaign. The Portuguese attacker has played 254 times for Benfica across all competitions, scoring 69 times having featured across the front line.
- Julio Cesar: Yes, that is the Julio Cesar. The Brazilian legend joined Benfica in 2014 and would leave the club a few months after the 2016/17 cup final. He later returned to his native Brazil for half a season with Flamengo before retiring.
- Kostas Mitroglou: He didn’t feature in the final, but Mitroglou was the 2016/17 Taca de Portugal’s top scorer, netting nine goals. Having joined from Fulham in 2015, Mitroglu moved to Marseille just after the final, but only played 50 times for the club – spending loan spells at Galatasaray and PSV. He returned to his native Greece in January 2021 with Aris but now represents lower-tier German side SpVgg Rheurdt-Schaephuysen.
- Andre Carrillo: After winning the double, Carrillo moved to Watford on loan for a season but struggled in English football. Another loan spell with Al-Hilal followed in 2018/19, with the move later made permanent, and Carrillo remains in Saudi Arabia.
- Andre Almeida: Another player still at Benfica, Almeida is yet to feature this season and will likely leave the club in the summer. But he’ll leave with over 300 appearances made and 12 trophies won.
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Scoreline prediction: Pacos Ferreira 0-2 Benfica
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