Rui Costa was one of the guests to participate in "Benfica Day", an initiative carried out by Sport TV. The administrator of Benfica SAD took stock of the preseason and focus the attention on round 1 of the Liga NOS, where Benfica hosts Paços de Ferreira, on Saturday (August 10), at 9:30 pm.
The title defense
"For us it will be the defense of a title, as we know, it's harder to defend a title than to win it. We are the target to defeat because we have been champions and we must be ready to accept that challenge and responsibility, always with the same goal which is to win one more championship."
Preview to Paços de Ferreira
"Paços de Ferreira returned to the Top Flight, it comes with great heart, which is natural in this kind of situation very, it's a team that is used to being in the top tier and will want to make a more relaxed championship than it did in the last year it played in the Portuguese top flight. It will start the championship with the natural enthusiasm of those who return to the 1st division and those who present themselves in the stadium of a big team and we have to be prepared for that."
"I would say it was an excellent preseason, things went very well in the United States and went very well not only because of the results or because we won the International Champions Cup, but above all because of the work that has been done and the way in which this group has shown itself to be cohesive, united and ready for the challenges that lie ahead. We finished the preseason winning the Super Cup, it was the first trophy of the season and we prepared ourselves for that, we prepared ourselves to win it and now the season is going to be a long one and we can't just hold on to the fact that the preseason was very good and that the Super Cup game went very well, so we can judge that the season is going to be easier than the other seasons."
Having our feet firmly on the ground
"In the Super Cup we achieved an excellent result, to start the season winning a competition against one of our rivals. We are aware of our strengths, but we must also be aware of the respect we must have for our rivals, because only by doing so can we continue to be as successful as we have been in recent years."
The transfer market
"The market will remain open until August 31 and what we announced a long time ago is that we want an extremely competitive squad, the players know that and I speak as a former football player, it's stimulating to have a very competitive squad and even though we're very pleased with all the players we have in the squad, the market will be open until August 31 and there might be departures and arrivals."
Full stadium for the opening match
"The stadium will be full this time and it will always be full because our fans follow us everywhere, whether at Estádio da Luz, or away, we are aware that we will always have the stadiums filled with the presence of our fans."
"I hope it's a very competitive championship, with very good football and that we talk about football and admire the players."
Text: Diogo Nascimento
Photos: Archive / SL Benfica