Sport Lisboa e Benfica’s trip to the United States of America went far beyond the International Champions Cup, a tournament in which the team won the three matches it played. Just like the squad, the Reconquest trophy went on tour through the Casas do Benfica and... the Brand scored points in a premium market like the American one.
Between July 15 and 28 there was a lot of Benfica in the United States and… from coast to coast. From Lisbon, the team settled in California where they showed themselves to the Portuguese community in the state. Between the open training session at Stanford and the match against Chivas at the Levi´s Stadium, there was still time for a partnership with the San Francisco 49ers.
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With Luisão as ambassador, the Club promoted and strengthened the Marca Benfica in a market as competitive and important as the American. Still in California, Rui Costa and Luisão attended a baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets.
Another coast, the same Mystique
Under the motto “Thank you, California, hello New York”, the football team traveled to the East coast, more precisely to New Jersey. The next match in the International Champions Cup was against Fiorentina.
More than 10,000 Benfiquistas showed up at the Red Bull Arena and turned this stadium into a mini Estádio da Luz, with relentless and noisy support during the 90 minutes.
But before, a special moment. The adidas store on 5th Avenue welcomed several players of the squad coached by Bruno Lage to interact with the fans.
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While the Club was calling the shots on the pitch, the Marca Benfica arrived at NBA . The Brooklyn Nets opened the doors of the training center to the red delegation and welcomed Luisão, former eagles' centre-back.
In New York, the trophy had no rest. It was present at Sport Newark e Benfica, one of the Club's oldest and most important branches, and went a little further south, to Philadelphia, to visit the Casa do Benfica.
Boston closed dream tour
Before the match against AC Milan, that closed the team's participation in the International Champions Cup, the President Luís Filipe Vieira inaugurated the New Image of the Casa do Benfica in New Bedford in front of 400 people.
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In two weeks, the tour showed 3 matches, 3 victories, 7 Casas do Benfica, 1 partnership, 2 charm offensives and more than 9000 kilometers traveled.
Text: Marco Rebelo
Photos: João Paulo Trindade / SL Benfica