It was precisely 29 years ago that Shéu Han made his last game for Benfica, the club that welcomed him when he was a U-19 player and where he made all his professional career. He hung up his boots on May 21, 1989, but he did not say goodbye to the place he called home his entire life.
In all, there are 48 years representing Benfica, 19 of those as a player. He arrives at Luz in 1970 and never left. Today he is a member of the coaching staff and he is part of a limited group of player who only represented one club throughout all their footballing career.
On the day he hung up his boots, May 21, 1989, he bade farewell to the football pitches as a true champion. With the captain's armband on his left arm, and the attention on the audience that was applauding him in the stands of the old Estádio da Luz – with 80 thousand spectators –, Shéu Han kept the serene look and recognized for so many years of successes and joys.
On the day of his farewell, Benfica – at the time under Toni, who would be replaced by Eriksson – was celebrating the title against Boavista, with a draw (2-2) with two goals from Vata (4’ and 86’), who won the Silver Ball. Shéu played until the half-time when he was replaced by Mariano. He said goodbye to the football pitches, but never to Benfica.
He remained, to this day, present in all the Red's matches almost without being noticed. Indeed, discretion is one of his most visible characteristics, but few forget the ways he has been celebrating with the players year after year.
Despite having made his debut in the first team in 1972, Shéu only established himself in the starting lineup in 1975/76 with Mário Wilson at the helm, keep that spot until 1988/89, in his last season as a player, when he was invited the take a new position at Luz.
In that 19-year career as a professional player, he won 9 National Championships, 6 Portuguese Cups, 2 Super Cups, and the presence on 62 matches of the European competitions complete a rich curriculum, that also include 24 caps for the National Team. With an eagle on his chest, he played 513 matches and scored 46 goals.
Text: Filipa Fernandes Garcia
Pics: Archive / SL Benfica