11 January 2021, 16h17
In a month of January packed with games, how do you foresee this match against CF Estrela?
We have one month where, in a few weeks, we will play every two days. This is the reality and we have to adapt to it. Tomorrow [Tuesday] will be a different competition, the Portuguese Cup. This is usually a trophy where all the teams aim to reach the final. Even the underdogs dream of reaching the final. That is the case of CF Estrela, who already won a Portuguese Cup. CF Estrela already eliminated a top-flight team, Farense. This is a warning for us. I know the opponent well. I watch them play many times. It will be a fierce, competitive match, but Benfica has arguments to continue in this competition.
What does it mean to you to face CF Estrela? Did you expect to be here, 20 years later, with this journey as a coach?
I didn't imagine, but we always believe in our work! Twenty years after being here talking about this… I will say that I have conquered things I didn't expect to conquer, but I also thought I had conquered other things I haven't yet conquered.
The next Liga NOS match [next Friday, January 15, at Estádio do Dragão], against FC Porto, will condition this match?
Of course, playing every two or three days always conditions the choices from match to match, but this does not mean that the choices are made according to the opponent. Tomorrow's match [Tuesday] starts a cycle where there are many matches, so we will change some players from the last match against Tondela, I have no doubt about it.
After the match against Tondela for the Liga NOS, Otamendi mentioned that the team must switch to a winning mentality. How do you interpret these words?
The mindset of the big teams, which is the case of Benfica, is a champion mindset. Here there are many matches, pressure and the demand is to always win. There must be a champion mindset, and this mindset is only acquired by winning titles.
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Catarina Amado debuts as starter in the national team
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João Gonçalves pens a youth development contract
[ Vídeo ] The midfielder is a 100 % "Made in Benfica" player, and has been representing the Club for seven seasons.
We are counting on you!
Message of gratitude and confidence addressed by President Luís Filipe Vieira to historic captain Valter Neves.