January transfer window summary

January transfer window verdict by Chris Santos

The transfer window is a curious thing for a Benfica fan. You can never fully predict what you get, no matter who you are or how much money you have. But these days it's come to mean one thing for certain. One, or possibly more, of our best players will be leaving. Take a look at the players who have been and gone in the era of Jorge Jesus and you have one hell of a team. If we weren't forced to sell, we could be challenging the big boys in the Champions League. Sadly, that is the stuff of dreams for now.

Benfica to face Vitória de Setúbal in League Cup semi

Benfica's League Cup semi-final is now confirmed and will play Liga opponents V. Setúbal.

The Setúbal side won Boavista 3-0 to pip Sporting to the semis.

The match will be played on 11th February at 19:45 GMT, while the other semi-final between Marítimo and FC Porto will bizarrely be played on 2nd April... another Portuguese Football League touch.

Derby antics commence

This matchweek is the much anticipated Lisbon derby with Benfica travelling a couple of kilometres to Alvalade where they will play Sporting CP.

It would not be a derby without a heated build up between two and Sporting fans began by embarrassing themselves when they disfigured wall murals that celebrated Benfica's glorious history.

In Campolide, Sporting fans forgot how to spell their own name...

Júlio César vows to come back stronger

Benfica's first choice keeper suffered a leg injury during the win against Boavista on Saturday 31st January.

Júlio César has expressed his desire to return stronger in an injury that will see him sidelined at least until March.

"I'm with my colleague João Silveira en route to Seixal for more treatment. Hope to come back stronger than before! Focused and determined."

The ex-Inter Milan shot stopper joined Benfica this summer after stints in QPR and Toronto FC. Júlio is Brazil's former number one keeper and has lifted the Champions League with the Italian club.

Benfica's costliest transfer mistakes?

Chris Santos looks at Benfica's biggest transfer mistakes in recent histoty. Photo (left to right) Freddy Adu, Emerson, Kikin Fonseca and Bruno Cortez

There are certainly enough recent examples of bewildering transfer activity at our beloved club to write an article, probably enough to fill a small book. The Pesaresi's, the Luis Filipe's (x2), the Keirrison, Paulo Almeida, the Filipe Menezes’, the Jara’s.. et al. But who could we consider the most costly? Well here's my wooden spoon awards for Benfica's worst transfer mistakes.

Jonathan Rodríguez and Elbio Álvarez finally arrive

Benfica's latest signings, which had been confirmed by the club as imminent arrivals, finally signed and are now available to train with the team.

Both Rodriguez (forward) and Álvarez (midfielder) arrived together from Uruguayan side Peñarol. The manager commented that the players must show their potential to earn a first team spot.

"In relation to the new players, one has already trained with us. They are young players and have come to add quality to the side."

Jesus previews Boavista encounter

Benfica will host Boavista this Saturday at the Estádio da Luz at 17:00 local time.

Jorge Jesus previewed this difficult match where former Benfica midfielder Petit is the manager of the Porto based club.

"Boavista return to our stadium 7 years later. We will face an opponent that has been improving consistently with a manager that has a beautiful history with Benfica."

Youngsters line-up for bright future

Point of View by Chris Santos. Above, Gonçalo Guedes in the UEFA Youth League final against Barcelona

Benfica in the era of Jorge Jesus have become a conveyor belt for taking the raw unfinished players and moulding them into the finished article ready to move onto one of Europe’s elite clubs for big money.

Referee to decide ticket price

Benfica has opted for a bizarre marketing campaign where the referee will indirectly decide the price of a ticket for an upcoming Benfica match at the Luz.

The game in question is Benfica x Boavista this Saturday 31st January, where the amount of injury time given will equate to the price of a ticket in Euros for the following home game when Benfica receive Setúbal.

The conditions are that it only applies to members who are between 13 and 25 years of age and will be limited to the first 24 hours, solely for the 3rd tier on the Coca Cola stand.

Title objectives remain on target

Point of View by Chris Santos

Benfica had the luxury of lifting all domestic silverware last season and after the summer's inevitable exodus of players going to the big leagues for the big money it was always going to be tricky to match that performance.

Indeed, early exits from Europe and the Portuguese Cup mean last seasons heroics already seem so long ago. Nonetheless, even in spite of Monday nights disappointing 1-0 reverse against FC Porto sympathisers Paços de Ferreira, the Liga has been a happier story so far.