SL Benfica (leader of the league, with one point ahead) and FC Porto play on Sunday, at Estádio da Luz, for the Matchweek 30 of Liga NOS. This will be the 84th visit of the dragons to the eagles' field.
In what concerns to Liga I, the previous 83 clashes resulted in 42 victories for Benfica, 15 for FC Porto and 26 draws. Now, we bring back to you some of the most memorable football “clássicos”.
It was on March 24, 1935 that Benfica and FC Porto played for the first time for Liga, in Lisbon, at the old “Campo das Amoreiras”. The match, of the Matchweek 10, with only five matches left in the Championship, was taking an extremely motivated FC Porto to Lisboa, coming from five victories in a row, which gave them the top of the table. Thousands of supporters and a full stadium, in a match that ended with a 3-0 victory for Benfica. Gaspar Pinto (32’), Rogério de Sousa (43’) and Vítor Silva (75’) scored the goals.
The 12-2 is, until now, a result that, even those who did not watch the “clássico”, do not forget. On February 7, 1943 (Matchweek 5) the current leader of the Championship, Benfica, was devastating and stopped the opponent’s table approach, reaching the halftime winning by 4-0 (Alfredo Valadas, 5’ and 31’, Joaquim Teixeira, 38’, and Manuel da Costa, 44’ p). Nevertheless, the best was yet to come and Julinho, with four goals on the second half, was highlighted as the hero of the match.
The first time Eusébio scored against FC Porto was on April 22, 1962, on the eves of the Amsterdam final. The 2nd leg of the Portuguese Cup’s Last 16 was played at Luz and Benfica seemed already to be turning on the engines for the European Champions final against Real Madrid. The triumph came naturally, while Eusébio scored at 38’ and assisted António Simões twice, for a 3-1 result.
Two years later, Eusébio scored twice for the first time in “clássicos". It was December 13, 1964, for the Matchweek 9 of I Liga, and Eusébio da Silva Ferreira (27’ and 51’) was sharing the goals with José Augusto (12’ and 40’), for a 4-0 result.
January 12, 2014. The day that “11 Eusébios” stepped on the grass of Estádio da Luz. The Matchweek 15 of the competition became even more important, after Eusébio’s death, a few days before. Benfica wanted to pay tribute to him in the best way and the team embodied that desire, with the players entered the field with his name on the back. With a tremendous performance, the reds scored the first one at 13’, with a powerful shot by Rodrigo and the second one at 53’, with a header by Ezequiel Garay. At the end, the reds continued on the top of the table, with 36 points, and won the title which dictated the beginning of the path towards the Tetra (four straight league titles).
Now, with just a few days before the “clássico”, it is already a certainty that Estádio da Luz will be sold out, with more than 60 thousand supporters waiting to host the dragons in a clash of high temperature, as both teams strongly seek to keep (Benfica) or to reach (Porto) the top of the table in Liga NOS, when there are only five matches left to play until the end.
Text: Filipa Fernandes Garcia
Pics: Archive / SL Benfica