Sport Lisboa e Benfica's squad is already on American soil to participate in the International Champions Cup. The squad under Bruno Lage landed at the San Jose Airport, in Califórnia, and several dozen fans were waiting for them.
Half an hour later, the bus that transports the team, driven by João Flores, arrived at the hotel where the players and the remaining staff will stay in. The bus is all painted red, with the Club symbol and the slogan for the tour through the United States: “We Are Benfica”.
On arrival at the hotel, coach Bruno Lage was the first to leave the bus, followed by Pietra and the rest of the coaching team, and by Rui Costa, administrator of Benfica SAD; among the players, Ferro was the first of the 27 players named for the International Champions Cup to be sighted outside the bus.
João Flores, the Portuguese who drives Benfica in California
The Official Website and BTV spoke with João Flores, Benfica's driver in California, and who is a Club fan.
“It's a great pride to be here, to be able to drive and meet the players. The Portuguese community is very happy to see Benfica here in the United States”, he admitted.
“There is a great expectation from the Portuguese community”
One of the great mobilizers of the Benfica fans is José Mendes, the president of Casa do Benfica in San Jose.
“There is a great expectation from the Portuguese Community and we are here to welcome Benfica in style. The Benfiquistas will go to the stadium, we're counting on a strong presence of our supporters. We have been working in that sense”, stressed José Mendes to BTV and to the Official Site.
Text: Marco Rebelo
Photos: João Paulo Trindade and Tânia Paulo / SL Benfica