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Stadium

Name: Estádio da Luz (Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica)
Inauguration: 25 October 2003
First match: Benfica-Nacional Montevideo 2-1
Capacity: 65,647seats
Address: Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica - Av. General Norton de Matos - 1500-313 Lisboa
Architect: Damon Lavelle


Construction: Click here to view the construction timeline
Old Stadiums: Click here to see Benfica's previous stadiums
360º Interactive View: Click here to see Benfica's stadium in 360 (c) Antonio Cabral


The famous old Estadio Da Luz may have seen the likes of Eusebio and Rui Costa in its day. It may have seen championship after championship during the glory days of the 50's and 60's, but as the famous old ground began to fall into disrepair, so it seemed did the hopes of the Benfica team that played within. Without a trophy in years, financial problems and some dismal performances at home and in Europe became the story of the 1990's. Benfica desperately needed to stop the rot!

In 2000, Portugal was selected as the host of the 2004 European Championships, and as Portugal’s biggest club, Benfica were an obvious choice to be one of the sides to whose stadium would host the event. There was talk of redeveloping the stadium but finally the decision was made to dismantle the "Catedral" and start from scratch. In October 2003, the stadium opened to a sell-out crowd as Benfica took on Nacional Montevideo of Uruguay in an exhibition match. Benfica had finally moved into the 21st century and into a home befitting the club’s history and prestige.

Immediately, Benfica's aspirations seemed revived. In its first season, Benfica went on to conquer the Taça de Portugal (The cup of Portugal). The Encarnados' first trophy in 8 years came after beating an impressive FC Porto side 2-1. Porto were managed by a certain Jose Mourinho. Simao was the hero in Extra Time as Benfica battled back from a goal down to claim the Taça. In the stadium’s second season, the team recaptured the title of Champions of Portugal after 11 long years. The new stadium was the venue for an historic 1-0 victory over eternal rivals Sporting before a 1-1 draw away at Boavista sealed the championship. Following the final whistle, thousands of fans packed into the stadium to celebrate the campeonato. Benfica had returned!

The all-new Estadio Da Luz is a structure that can go down as one of the finest modern sports facilities in Europe with a UEFA rating of five stars. After its opening on the 25th of October 2003, it went on to host the final of Euro 2004 as well as hosting some of the other tournament highlights. Most notably for the host nation, a penalty shoot-out win over England in the quarter finals.

Architect Damon Lavelle designed the stadium to focus on light and transparency, offering an incentive to name the stadium "Estadio da Luz" (meaning “Stadium of Light” in Portuguese), as the original stadium was named after the neighbourhood the old ground was built on. The polycarbonate roof of the stadium allows the suns rays to penetrate it, lighting the stadium. The roof, which is supported by the beams of four steel arches, seems to float on the underlying tribunes. The arches measure 43 metres in height and help to define the look of the stadium having been shaped to be similar to the wavy profile of the 3 tiers of the stadium.

On March 20th 2012, UEFA announced that Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica will host the 2013/14 Champions League final.

Famous Results

2004 - Superliga - S.L. Benfica 1-0 Sporting C.P.
A late goal, attributed to Luisão despite Sporting's goalkeeper apparently fumbling the ball into his own net, handed Benfica a win that ensured they would go into the final match day with their fate in their own hands.

2005 - UEFA Champions League - S.L. Benfica 2-1 Manchester United
Benfica went into the final match of the UEFA Champions League group stages needing a win against group favourites Manchester United. Benfica had never previously beaten the Reds of Manchester, not even during the days of Eusebio. Benfica's chances of reaching the latter stages of the Champions League for the first time in its modern format seemed limited after Paul Scholes gave Man Utd a 6th minute lead. But goals from Geovanni and a deflected shot from Beto saw Benfica come back to claim a famous victory.

2006 - UEFA Champions League - S.L. Benfica 1-0 Liverpool
After being drawn against reigning European Champions, Liverpool, no one expected Benfica to pose much threat. Central defender, Luisao, sprung a surprise when he headed in a winner 6 minutes from time to see Benfica win 1-0. Benfica won the return leg 2-0 to claim a famous aggregate victory.

2006 - Superliga - S.L. Benfica 1-0 F.C. Porto
After ending their 14 year wait for a victory away at Porto, Benfica needed to beat their eternal rivals once again to maintain their challenge for the Campeonato. Laurent Robert scored his first league goal for Benfica with a long range, bending free kick. Benfica hung on to claim a famous double.

Pictures

Aerial view of Estadio da Luz Stadium completed with sponsor logos - 1
Stadium completed with sponsor logos - 2 Outside the stadium, from Colombo
'PT' stand Stadium model inside Luz
Overlooking stadium from commentary box Stadium before seats were painted
Opening match of new stadium Benfica eagle, taken from Coca-Cola stand
Stadium entrance and the famous eagle statue Stadium maintenance before receiving Anderlecht (CL Qualifiers 04/05)




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