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The return of David Luíz - 08 November 2007

David Luíz returned to normal training in today's morning session. The Brazilian integrated with the squad and took part in a mini-game against the junior players.

The defender had been out for two months when he fractured a toe during training and is now fully recovered from his injury. Although José Camacho can recall the player, David Luíz may not feature in the squad list against Boavista due to lack of match fitness.

Nélson and Petit are the only unavailable players for the manager at the moment, but both have been steadily gaining rhythm and should be participating in training soon. The players who made an appearance against Celtic were limited to gym work.

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Post Match Views: Celtic 1 - 0 Benfica - 07 November 2007

After Benfica's dissapointing loss in Glasgow, Camacho thought the team played with the correct attitude and could have come out with another result.

"Defeats are always there in competitions. We had the intention to win, worked hard and lost, but we had the chances to win. I didn't feel any pressure coming from the home crowd. It's very difficult to win here, but Benfica silenced the public many times. We will play with the same character and attitude in the next Champions League match."

Rui Costa believes the team may have produced one of the best Champions League games since his arrival.

"Celtic have their own way of playing, which involves the aerial route and use a lot of strength, but today I think Benfica were a great team and maybe it was our best game in the Champions League. We created numerous opportunities to score but without doing so we payed the price. It's a heavy defeat for us, in the Champions League it costs to lose."

The Brazilian left-back Léo feels the result did not translate the team's work rate at Celtic Park.

"It wasn't a fair result for what we did. We knew the grade of difficulty we would have in this stadium but we worked and created many chances, only for the opposition to score a lucky goal. After that they explored the counter attack whilst we were looking for the equalizer. From today's game we can take the positives like dedication and honouring Benfica above everything else. We still have games to dispute and we will try to secure victories."

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Report: Celtic FC 1 - 0 SL Benfica - 07 November 2007

Benfica left Scotland with nothing to show despite a good effort by the Lisbon side. Chances came by and the best ones fell to the Paraguayan striker who failed to find the net. Celtic scored just before the half-time whistle getting a deflection of Luisão to trait Quim the wrong way. - Click here to watch match video highlights

Benfica looked to get off the mark early on with an organized attack and passed the ball well. The visitors relied on the wings to try and break the Celtic defense and create opportunities. The first chances came Benfica's way and they could have easily gone ahead if it wasn't for Artur Boruc steering them far from the net.

With Benfica keeping the home crowd rather quiet for forty odd minutes, Celtic's goal couldn't have come at a worse time. The ball was deflected off the Benfica captain Luisão as McGeady cut inside from the left and shot from outside the area. Benfica had suffered just before the half-time whistle which changed Camacho's team talk in a split second.

In the second half Cardozo had a golden chance to equalize but his effort wasn't cleanly taken with his head and it whistled past the right post. Celtic were holding firm to deny the visitors any more clear opportunities on goal and Benfica couldn't find a reply.

Five minutes from full-time Binya decided to make a cynical tackle on Brown which earned him a straight red from the Swedish referee. The difficult job turned to a mammoth climb with very little time on the clock left to take something back to Lisbon. And it was surely over when the home crowd celebrated a mirror score of the last encounter at the Luz.

Benfica plunge to bottom of Group D with only 3 points as qualification seems to be slipping away. AC Milan lead the group with a three-nil win over Shakhtar Donetsk. Check the Champions League for full table statistics.

Date: 6th November 2007 19:45 GMT
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland
Referee: Martin Hannson (SWE)
Assistant Referees: Stefan Wittberg (SWE), Kenneth Petersson (SWE) and Martin Ingvarsson (SWE)
Attendance: 52,000

CELTIC - Boruc, Naylor, Caldwell, Brown (Sno 88'), Vennegoor (Donati 67'), Hartley, Jarosik (Killen 67'), McDonald, Kennedy, McManus and McGeady.

BENFICAQuim; Luís Filipe, Edcarlos, Luisão and Léo; Binya and Katsouranis; Maxi Pereira (Di María 60') Rodríguez, Rui Costa (Bergessio 76') and Cardozo (Nuno Gomes 76').

Goals: 0-1 McGeady (45')
Disciplinary action: Yellow to Maxi Pereira (41'). Red card to Binya (84')

Highlights: Celtic 1 - 0 Benfica

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Camacho urges team to play with character - 05 November 2007

Camacho was present at the usual press meeting before the adaption process at Celtic Park. The Spanish manager made aware of the difficulties they will face and has urged his team to play with strength and character.

"When Celtic plays at home it's always different, they will want to have 6 points by the end, but so will we. They play with strength and great power, that is why it will be a game for men. We will have to put our foot down and work as hard as them. Everything will depend on the rhythm we play at when we have the ball."

Benfica will be playing their 6th game in 17 days tomorrow, but Camacho is satisfied with the current condition of the squad.

"We will play to win and we will do our best for it. The team is OK even though we play every 3 days. We are winning games and scoring at the last minutes, this shows our physical and mental strength."

Nuno Gomes, who was sitting alongside Camacho at the conference, played 30 minutes at Paços de Ferreira and is ready to help the team face Celtic, stating that only a win matters, although a draw would leave things wide open.

"At this moment I feel prepared for whatever is to come. the could be on the bench, in the starting XI, or maybe I won't even get to play. I'm just another player here to help the team."

Benfica need one more goal to become the seventh team to score 500 in European matches. The first was on 19 September 1957, scored by Francisco Palmeiro.

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A win is fundamental for Rui costa - 04 November 2007

The Benfica commitee departed this afternoon to Glasgow, Scotland, to face Celtic on Tuesday for the Champions League Matchday 4 and Rui Costa took some time out to answer the press before boarding.

"We know Celtic because we played them before and the atmosphere we will be facing. And we know that it will be a very complicated game, but we will have to try for a victory."

"The match may not be decisive, but it will be pivotal. Because of the position we find ourselves in we have to win and can't even think about a draw."

Benfica and Celtic are three points behind both AC Milan and Shakhtar, who play each other in Ukraine at 19:45 GMT too.

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19 Selected for crunch match at Celtic - 04 November 2007

José Antonio Camacho named his squad for the upcoming Champions League fixture at Celtic in Glasgow. Léo is doubtful following injury but will travel with the team however the Spaniard also called Miguelito who joins an otherwise identical squad to the one that scraped a late victory against Paços de Ferreira in the previous Liga fixture.

Benfica realistically need to win in Glasgow to keep qualification for the second round in their own hands after a disappointing start to the campaign. Oscár Cardozo netter a late winner in Lisbon 2 weeks ago to keep the "Encarnados" hopes of qualification alive despite a stern effort from the Scottish champions, however, Benfica will recognise that going away to Celtic park is never easy as AC Milan found out when they went down 2-1 in Glasgow earlier in the season.

Squad list in full:

Goalies: Butt and Quim

Defenders: Luís Filipe, Zoro, Luisão, Edcarlos, Léo and Miguelito

Midfielders: Binya, Katsouranis, Maxi Pereira, Cristian Rodriguez, Rui Costa and Nuno Assis

Forwards: Nuno Gomes, Adu, Bergessio, Di Maria and Cardozo

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Post Match Views: P. Ferreira 1 - 2 Benfica - 04 November 2007

Camacho stated the importance of winning the game and closing the gap on Porto.

"It's an important victory because it establishes our second place. If FC Porto lose points, better for us, but winning our games is the important. We knew Paços de Ferreira would press on us and keep a high tempo, for that we had to work harder so we wouldn't have problems."

Enthusiastic with the win at the Estádio da Mata Real and Porto slipping against Belenenses, Cardozo showed desire to catch the leaders.

"We are going to work hard to try and close the gap. This is how the manager wants me to play and I am getting better game by game. The important is playing as a team and winning our games."

Rui Costa played a vital role for the win and gain proximity to the leaders. The «maestro» made his Paços debut as over a decade ago in Benfica he was left in the bench.

"It's always crucial to win, even more when we just got eliminated from a competition and Porto losing 2 points. If we don't recover any points when that happens it all becomes more difficult. We gave a good response to carry our confidence into the next game."

"I had never played in Paços de Ferreira. I was in the bench many years ago but wasn´t called to play. It's a hard place to win, it looks small with little space. We eased the difficulty by scoring first, but made it harder on ourselves after conceding."

"We fight till the end, it's already a habit of this team to believe until the last second."

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Report: Paços de Ferreira 1 - 2 SL Benfica - 03 November 2007

A scrappy affair at Paços de Ferreira saw Benfica take all three points at the closing stage. There would have been a repeat of last season if it wasn't for the crossbar saving the visitors in the dying seconds. - Click here to watch match video highlights

Benfica kicked off the match from left to right wearing their usual red and white kit. The visitors started well putting pressure knowing that a win would take them closer to the Liga leaders. Within 7 minutes Benfica already had 3 corners to justify their possession, and were building patiently to take the lead.

It was payed off when Rui Costa crossed an inch perfect ball in the box, and Cristian Rodriguez was there to meet it. The Uruguayan rose above the rest and placed his header high into the right hand corner for his second of the Liga BWIN.

The visitors were feeling confident and thinking positively, but switched off when the home side won a corner and Tiago Valente popped one into the back of the net to equalize. Paços de Ferreira were motivated to take it further and counter attacked from a Benfica corner with purpose. Maxi Pereira couldn't get the ball and Paços got a shot on goal fortunately wide, but he was still booked for attempting to hold up play. Quim was then called to make a wonderful save from a dipping shot to get it away for a corner, and a nervy end of the half ended with a side netting effort from Nuno Assis.

Benfica came out early before the second half kicked off and looked to change the wave around. That was not to be as Paços de Ferreira were still fired up looking for their second.

Nuno Gomes was the first substitute to make an appearance right before the hour, but the now recovered Portuguese striker failed to make any sort of impact. Camacho then opted to bring on fresh legs and throttle the pace upfront by introducing Di María for Nuno Assis and Freddy Adu for an absent minded Cardozo.

With five minutes to go it was make or break time for Benfica. Léo was adjudged to have been fouled and Katsouranis made no mistake from a Rui Costa free kick as the ball fumbled inside the area and ricocheted off the keeper's gloves. The Greek pounced on the ball like there was no tomorrow and turned Benfica's fortunes around to the delight of the away fans.

Paços were not giving up and had the last say as a header thumped the crossbar and hearts skipped a beat in injury time.

Benfica are now established in second position, six away from leaders Porto, with a third consecutive 2-1 scoreline in favour for the Lisbon side.

Date: 3rd November 2007 19:45 GMT
Venue: Estádio da Mata Real, Paços de Ferreira
Referee: Bruno Paixão (Setúbal)
Assistant Referees: Paulo Ramos, António Godinho e Artur Soares Dias
Attendance: 4,500

P. FERREIRA - Peçanha; Mangualde (Ferreira 65'), Tiago Valente, Rovérsio and Chico Silva; Dedé, Pedrinha and Filipe Anunciação (Wesley 88'); Ricardinho, Renato Queirós (Furtado 73') and Cristiano

BENFICAQuim; Luís Filipe, Luisão, Katsouranis and Léo; Maxi Pereira (Nuno Gomes 58'), Binya, Nuno Assis (Di María 71'), Rui Costa and Cristian Rodriguez; Cardozo (Freddy Adu 82')

Goals: 0-1 Cristian Rodriguez (21'), 1-1 Tiago Valente (29'), 1-2 Katsouranis (86')
Disciplinary action: Yellow to Renato Queirós (27'), Rovérsio (31'), Luisão (31'), Maxi Pereira (33'), Filipe Anunciação (81'), Nuno Gomes (81'), Dedé (82'), Rovérsio (91'). Red card to Rovérsio (91')

Highlights: P. Ferreira 1 - 2 Benfica

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Camacho wants Liga concentration - 02 November 2007

José Antonio Camacho spoke to the press this Friday to give his views about the upcoming match against Paços de Ferreira. The manager left it clear that the players are fully concentrated in the Liga and will only think about Celtic when the time is right.

Benfica last won Paços de Ferreira in Mata Real during the 2004 season when Camacho was having his first spell at the club.

"The primary objective is the Liga, and then the Champions League. If we want to defend ourselves in Europe we have to do it in the domestic league first. We know that it will be a difficult game because they will press us like Celtic did. If we can maintain the ball it will be easier and we will have less difficulties."

Camacho received a boost this week with Nuno Gomes returning from injury but the Portuguese striker is assumed not to start.

"It's one thing training with the group for 2 or 3 days, and it's another to play 90 minutes. That cannot happen yet."

The Spanish manager was also questioned about the players that were rumoured to be interested by Benfica - Soldado and Júlio Baptista - and just said that they will probably stay in Real Madrid.

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Romeu Ribeiro scores for u-19 - 02 November 2007

The Portuguese under 19 side commenced their first mini tournament for the Euro qualifications against Andorra in Trofa.

Romeu Ribeiro was the star player by scoring the only goal in the 73rd minute for Portugal to win the game 0-1, which was assisted by his Benfica colleague. The young Benfica player took advantage of a parried shot from Miguel Vítor and made no mistake by shooting low into the net.

Portugal sit at the top of Group 1 alongside Belarus with 3 points. Andorra and Republic of Ireland complete the group with zero points.

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- More News -
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