Sport Lisboa e Benfica and the San Francisco 49ers signed, on Tuesday, at the museum located at Levi's Stadium, a partnership aimed at the exchange of technical, technological and business knowledge.
Taking advantage of the eagles' football team on American soil to participate in the International Champions Cup, the ceremony took place with the presence – and speech–of two legends of both emblems: Luisão, a former footballer, for Benfica and Keena Turner for the San Francisco 49ers.
After thanking for the way he was received by the football club, the former eagle center-back spoke of a "memorable day".
“Today [Tuesday] is a memorable day. Benfica and the 49ers strengthen relationships through a partnership that will cover several areas ranging from historical heritage to innovation. Both emblems share greatness based on a rich history of sporting achievements. Both clubs have a common demand, professionalism and a continuous search for innovation”, he began by pointing out.
“In terms of historical heritage, both clubs have known how to respect its history, having created museums that host it in a grandiose fashion. It is therefore with great joy that we register the entry of the 49ers into ISMA [International Sports Museums Association], being the first American club to be part of that entity. We hope it will inspire other clubs in the United States of America in a wide variety of sports”, wished Luisão.
The former number 4 jersey highlighted the fact that the American market is fundamental for the international expansion of the Benfica brand and for the sharing of the Club's knowledge with emblems of this country.
“We want to learn from the best practices of each institution, at a sporting, technical or technological level. The United States is a strategic market for Sport Lisboa e Benfica. In addition to the huge fan base we have in California and the East Coast, Benfica may add value especially through the know-how it has in academy football, sustained in its Academy, recognized as one of the best in the world.
Keena Turner spoke on behalf of San Francisco 49ers. The football club legend thanked Luisão for his kind words and valued the Brazilian's career at Benfica.
“You did an amazing career at Benfica. Congratulations. We are very grateful for your presence and commitment to this partnership. We are excited and eager to see what can result from this relationship. This partnership is a way for us to maintain our commitment to our family, who are the fans, to innovation and to education”, he claimed.
ISMA is made up of museums and sports clubs with an international dimension, which have a vast heritage collection, and which believe that its preservation represents an act of protection and definition of the identity of each member.
The following clubs and institutions are already part of ISMA: Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Portugal); Museo del Deporte Santafecino, Club Atlético River Plate and Club Atlético Boca Juniors (Argentina); Museu do Futebol, Clube de Regatas do Flamengo and Sport Club Internacional (Brazil); Museo del Grande Torino e della Leggenda Granata and Museo Fiorentina (Italy); FC Bayern München e Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany); Arsenal Football Club (England); Real Madrid CF (Spain); San Francisco 49ers (United States of America).
Text: Marco Rebelo
Photos: João Paulo Trindade / SL Benfica