Jan Vertonghen is a new signing of the professional football team of Sport Lisboa e Benfica. The 33-year-old central defender, a Belgium international, penned a contract with the Club until 2023. He is the new number 5.
After six years representing Ajax (The Netherlands) and another eight at Tottenham (England), the seasoned footballer, who is the most capped player with the Belgium national team (118 caps), now embraces a new challenge in the "Glorioso"...
What made you sign for Benfica?
I like stability and continuity. That's what Benfica offered me, and it was very important to my choice. I felt they believed in me a lot, that was the most important thing. I hope to correspond, playing well, and winning trophies. Ajax and Tottenham are clubs of the people, and Benfica is a club of the people. It has national and European ambitions. That was important to me because I want to win national and European trophies. Benfica has the same ambition as me.
Benfica and Ajax are clubs with great European history. Are they clubs that can have a say in the current Champions League landscape?
I think so. Looking at Benfica's current squad, we can see it's a great team. One of the goals of this emblem is to continue participating in the Champions League, and I hope we can achieve those goals.
Johan Cruyff played an important role in the rise of your career at Ajax. He was champion and captain of the Dutch club. Now do you dream of winning the national title playing for Sport Lisboa e Benfica?
I came to Benfica to win trophies and help the Club achieve its goals. Being National Champion is undoubtedly one of the goals I want to achieve here.
What did you already know about Benfica?
I knew the history and the ambition to achieve titles. The European ambition is enormous and I want to contribute to that. Before being contacted by the club, I already knew many things.
Text: Diogo Nascimento
Photos: Tânia Paulo, Isabel Cutileiro and João Paulo Trindade / SL Benfica