Rui Vitória spoke after the triumph over Moreirense (1-0) that closed this edition of the Liga NOS. For the coach of Benfica there is no time to lose: after the well-deserved holidays, we must return at full throttle in 2018/19.
“We make big reflections when we win, but I also do even bigger ones when that does not happen. We are aware of many aspects that were done right and others that were not. We are already preparing all to improve the aspects in which we were not so good. This is the life of the clubs. We won for four years, we did not win this one. We did not finish the season as we began: winning the Super Cup, but it seems no one remembers that anymore. We have been working the future for some time and there are mistakes that will not be made. We want to regain what was ours until this year. Today is May 13th and I want to a message in this symbolic day for all: to prepare in a determined way and with a huge ambition to start the next season well because the holidays also are also good. The season was wearing. Great desire to begin the new season and start the season winning”, he assured.
Benfica did not finish the season with the Fifth League title in a row, but the 2nd place allows the Club to put its hand on the Champions League's millions. The Eagles will play the 3rd Qualifying round and, if they go through, the UEFA Champions League play-off.
“It is fundamental to focus ourselves on the objectives that appear during the season We had some setbacks throughout the season, but the team always had the ability to get back on its feet. Between December and January, no one would put us in the position we are now. We did an amazing journey and we put ourselves back in the title race. The players were amazing. We deserved this position. A tough season has come to an end”, he considered.
“In fact, it was not the main goal. When we enter, we enter to win. Not being possible to reach that goal, there was a compensation for what we did, which was praiseworthy for all of us that work daily. It put us in contention for the Champions League, which is the place of Benfica”, he added.
The coach of Benfica also praised the numbers reached by the Eagles this season and that were similar to the two previous seasons.
“The points bagged throughout a season are unequivocal. There is no point talking about the justice of ones and others. The championship is finished. We made more than 80 points, we scored 80 goals. For the third season in a row, we made more than 80 points and that is revealing of the work we are doing. We finished second which was our fight in the round”, he said.
“The championship is over, FC Porto finished in the 1st place. When you win a championship, as we won the previous ones, it was clear and they were very difficult championships that were won… The championship has been won, it is over and each one has its own merit”, he completed.
Jonas finished the season with 34 goals scored in the Liga NOS, figures that were not reached by a Benfica player since Eusébio in 1973.
“They are numbers that reflect the quality of a player and of the team that contributed so much for Jonas to reach that huge goal mark. I am very happy when a player who plays for our team is awarded in this way, just as there is a set of players behind who allow that to happen”, he said.
Text: Marco Rebelo
Pics: João Paulo Trindade / SL Benfica