Isaías, the "Pé-Canhão" from the 80's and 90's, celebrates 54 years. He etched his name in Benfica's history, from were he took memories for life.
Isaías Marques Soares, or simply Isaías. That was is war name in the Portuguese pitches. A threat to every goalkeeper, with is powerful shots that, invariably, would turn into stunners.
One years in Vila do Conde, playing for Rio Ave, was enough to make the leap to Boavista – where he played for two seasons (1988/89 and 1989/90). Two top-level seasons at Bessa earned him a transfer to Estádio da Luz.
"It happened naturally, for the matches I had made with Boavista, where I had shone quality. That was the main reason for may transfer to Benfica. I played at Bessa and scored a goal in a match we won 1-0 and, in that moment, the agreement between both boards was virtually closed.", told the former player in an interview with the Official Site .
"The week before, the president of Boavista had told me that the big clubs were interest in hiring. Today, I think that in that moment they already had an agreement with Benfica. The important players Benfica had – Ricardo Gomes, Mozer, Valdo... – also helped me to make a decision. The administrations came to a agreement and I went to sign the contract ", he remembered.
The player who was also known as the prophet was a bet of the then Befica coach, Sven-Goren Eriksson, and the midfielder quickly proved he had the quality to win a place in the reds' starting XI.
"I was arriving in Portugal, I didn't know much. I didn't know how to distinguish the clubs, the shirts. I was the ugly ducking that was arriving in a beautiful island. I started to understand, through the Press and and the contact with the players– specially the foreign–, and the mysticism was contagious. It appeared very quickly", he described.
"I knew that, if I want the be a starter at Benfica, I would have to work hard. Just focus on the work. And that was what I did", he said.
Talking about Isaías everyone remember the powerful strikes that earned him the nickname "Pé-Canhão"(Cannon foot).
"Although we won only two national titles and a Portuguese Cup in those five years, it was wonderful. I managed to reach a level within Benfica that is the privilege of a few. I came from Cabo Frio, a city that nobody knew and I quickly conquered part of Benfica...Winning games was already wonderful, winning titles was even better. The first title in the first year was something amazing ", he highlighted .
He player for the eagles for five years, between 1990/91 and 1994/95. In that period, he made 178 matches and scored 71 goals, some of which were truly remarkable and crucial for the titles won in 1990/91 and 1993/94.
"In my second home I left a good legacy and a wonderful history", he assures.
The "Pé-Canhão" has for the Estádio da Luz – scored 36 goals in the old venue – the affection of someone who lived there some of the most remarkable moments of his career. Despite the affection and the nostalgia with which he recalls the old Cathedral, where he played and scored in front of 120 thousand spectators, Isaías appreciates the modernity and confort of the new stadium.
"The felling of playing with 120 thousand people in the stands is, obviously, bigger than to play with 65 thousand. Estádio da Luz is the more beautiful ii Portugal and, in this new one, people are closer to the players, but it is never the same playing in front of twice has many fans", he confessed.
The fourth consecutive title, in the Liga NOS, is the main Benfica objective in the season...
"We have to keep working, keep believing in the gaffer and show on the pitch the quality that the players of Benfica have. We will get the title. The important thing is not to lose points at home. I think Benfica is on the right track ", he stated.
For that, Jonas has been contributing a lot...
"The player of Benfica that is constantly the standout figure is Jonas. I hope he continues to score goals because he is a player with a lot of quality and he makes the difference ", he said.
On his birthday, Isaías assumes that "to get presents is always good, whether it affection, a hug, everything that comes from the hearth".
"I think that 80 percent of the Benfica supporters remember Isaías and have a special affection ", he said.
"What I can say to the Benfiquistas is to keep believing that Benfica will win the title. Of course, it takes a lot of work. When you work, you win. Benfica has the potential and the structure", he concluded.
Text: Filipa Fernandes Garcia
Pics: Archive/ SL Benfica