Here is a look at the list of best Benfica players of all time.
Their European Cup championship in 1961 finished the reign of Real Madrid in the competition. In five years, they reached the final four times and won the European Cup twice in 1961 and 1962. Even so, Benfica has been remembered for its loss in the finals of both the European Cup and the UEFA Cup since 1962.
Manager Bela Guttman requested a wage increase in the wake of winning the successive European Cups, yet the club declined. Guttman departed in frustration and reportedly cursed the club, stating that "Benfica will never be the European champion in a hundred years from now." Since then, Benfica has not captured a single title in Europe.
In the FIFA Club of the Century, Benfica was ranked 12th and in the IFFHS Top 200 European clubs of the 20th century, 9th. Benfica is presently ranked 8th in the UEFA all-time club list, 20th in the UEFA club coefficient standings, and has the second-highest number of participants in the European Cup and UCL with 39, a competition in which they hold the record for the greatest aggregate victory, accomplished in 1965-66.
Here is a look at the list of best Benfica players of all time.
For Standard Liege, Mechelen, and Benfica, Michel Preud'Homme played and captured the Cup Winner's Cup, the Belgian Cup in 1987, and the European Super Cup in 1988 with Mechelen. With Benfica, he was also a hero, received the moniker "Saint Michel" in Aguias. He had 58 appearances for the national team. In 1994, he went to the World Cup, where he was named the greatest keeper.
At Euro 1980 and 1984, he was also a part of the squad. Preud'homme was renowned primarily for his exceptional shot-stopping skills, rapid reflexes, stamina, courage, toughness, control, and his ability to come off his line to catch passes, as well as his ability to make stunning and crucial saves. A world-class, majestic, effective, and reliable goalkeeper, recognized as one of the best goalkeepers of all time.
In 1994, Preud'homme transferred to Benfica, turning into the first foreign keeper joining Benfica ever. He began his spell, versus Beira-Mar, on 21 August. Michel received his first title in the Portuguese league on 18 May 1996 when Benfica eliminated Lisbon rivals Sporting CP 3-1 in the final of Taca de Portugal.
Michel Preud’Homme is considered one of the best Benfica players of all time. He was called 'Saint Michel' by fans of Benfica for his excellent play and incredible saves. He enjoyed his last game, an off-season game over Bayern Munich, on 10 August 1999. He became Benfica's Head of Foreign Affairs until his retirement at the age of 40.
Manuel Bento is the 8-time Portuguese keeper of the Year. In 1984, he served Portugal at the European Championship, where Portugal almost pulled a shock over the ultimate semifinal opponent France. He participated in the 1986 World Cup as well. In all, he won 63 caps.
At club level, he appeared for Benfica for about 20 years, featuring in 630 games. In 1977, he was the Portuguese Footballer of the Year. Manuel Bento is regarded as one of the best Benfica players of all time.
In the glory years of the 1960s, Costa Pereira was the greatest goalkeeper for Benfica and Portugal. In 1961 and 1962, he won two successive European Cups with Benfica, and in 1963 and 1965, he missed two other finals. For the 1966 World Cup, Costa Pereira participated in the World Cup qualifying stages, however, was not picked for the finals. In all, he won 22 caps. All things considered, Costa Pereira is known as one of the best Benfica players of all time.
You Might Also Like: The Best Premier League Teams of All Time
The best right-back for Benfica's Golden Generation of the 1960s was Domiciano Cavem. The player is known as one of the best Benfica players of all time as well. He was able to play as a winger, midfielder, and right-back. In the 1960s, with Benfica, he earned 2 European Cups, netting a goal in 1962 final. During 1956-1965, he won 18 caps yet in 1966 he was dismissed for the World Cup Finals. His final cap took place in 1965.
Born in Algarve, Cavem was the child of Norberto Cavem, a soccer player and coach, who was trained by his father at a local team. in 1955 he first displayed his versatility by playing as a second striker, a center-forward, or a winger and then he joined S.L. Benfica from S.C. Covilha.
Cavem eventually turned into a more defensive player from a midfielder to a fullback over his 14-year spell with Benfica. He netted 21 goals in the 1958-59 campaign, enabling them to lift the national championship and the domestic double. Cavem netted the fastest goal of all time in the tournament in the Portuguese Cup final of the year, against FC Porto, in the wake of just 15 seconds.
In 4 of 5 European Cup finals contested by Benfica in the 60s, Cavem was involved, winning the 1961 and 1962 tournaments and netting over Real Madrid. In 1969, at the age of 37, he retired officially.
Although studying in university, Artur began his football career with Academica de Coimbra. In 1971, he entered Benfica. In 6 campaigns with them, he captured 5 league championships and is named as one of the best Benfica players of all time. He transferred to opponent Sporting SP in 1977, where he secured another championship. Due to a severe injury in 1980, he decided to retire. From 1972 to 1979, he won 34 caps for Portugal.
Ruco played 234 matches and scored four goals in the Primeira Liga over 12 years, representing Academica, Benfica, and Sporting, winning 8 major trophies plus 5 national titles. He made his debut in 1972 for Portugal.
Portugal's cap record holder at one stage has been referred to as the "Beckenbauer of Portugal." and is regarded as one of the best Benfica players of all time. Since starting his career as eighteen years old, he appeared with Benfica between 1968 and 1975. He played for Portugal 64 games. He enabled Portugal to qualify for the 1984 Euro yet he undergone an injury. He never played in a major competition.
The center-back has played extensively in Ligue 1 and MLS yet his career is mostly associated with Benfica. For Portugal, he earned over 60 caps, becoming the footballer with the most appearances over many years. Since 1985, Coelho was employed as a coach of many national teams.
You Might Also Like: Most Goals Scored in a Single Football Match
Before entering Benfica in 1988 and turning into one of the best Benfica players of all time, Ricardo Gomes began his football career with Fluminense. In 1991, he will then signed with PSG.
He went to compete in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, where Brazil was famous for its counter-attacking. He was named as the skipper of the USA in 1994. At the last minute, though, he was wounded and did not play in the World Cup Finals.
Throughout his entire career, with Fluminense, Benfica, and PSG, Gomes served as a center back. Eventually, in both his nation and France, he went on to have a long coaching career.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Gomes starred for Brazil, playing at the 1990 World Cup and in two Copa America competitions.
In 1999, Luisao began his football at Juventus-SP. From 2003 to 2018, he spent a good portion of his playing career with Benfica where he played in 538 competitive games, setting the club record for the highest number of international games with 127, most winning major trophies with 20, and captaining most of the games with 414.
Luisao won 44 caps featuring for the nation in two World Cups and three Copa America competitions, netting three goals.
Joining Benfica in 2003, he underwent a difficult adjustment process, during which period he played far below his abilities and even contemplated returning to his native country. On 14 September, Anderson Luis da Silva netted in his first game in the league, an exciting 3-3 home draw over C.F. Os Belenenses.
After Benfica crushed tough opponents, FC Porto, 2-1 in the competition final, he finished his first campaign capturing the Taca de Portugal. Luisao was featured prominently in Benfica as a center back along with Ricardo Rocha in the 2004-05 campaign, featuring in 29 games and playing strongly in 11 years.
In a 2-1 away win over Estoril Praia, Luisao scored his first goal of the campaign, the equalizer of the game. Then, with a header over Lisbon opponents Sporting CP, he netted the only goal of the game.
For Benfica, the 2005–06 campaign ended with no trophy, with Luisao as an inevitable first choice once more. The club achieved the UCL quarter-finals of the campaign and Luisao played all of the games and seconds in the tournament.
He netted in his team's 1-0 home victory over Liverpool on 21 February 2006, who were defeated only 1 of 13 European games the prior campaign and 5 of 41 away matches. In the second leg 2-0 victory at Anfield, he additionally participated.
Luisao was appointed team skipper in several games during the 2006–07 campaign because of Nuno Gomes and Pett injuries. And once again, the team struggled to win any trophies. His agent said at that time "Luisao needs to leave the club," although he ultimately remained.
In the next campaign, in January 2008, in a game against Vitoria de Setubal, Luisao was included in a dispute with Kostas Katsouranis. The disagreement emerged after the mistaken pass by Katsouranis, which pressured the Brazilian to make a foul. Luisao blamed Katsouranis after earning a yellow card for the foul, Kostas reacted in a similar way.
Before teammates divided them, both of them were on the verge of bursting into violence. They were immediately replaced and the club imposed bans. Luisao again suffered some injuries and poor play throughout the campaign and furthermore discussed speculation about another potential transfer from Benfica yet he stayed and turned into one of the greatest Benfica players of all time.
In the 59th minute of the UEFA Cup game against Napoli in a 2-3 loss, Luisao netted in his first appearance in the European tournament of the campaign. He experienced his finest performance as a player in the next season, playing in 45 competitive games and scored six goals as Benfica lifted the title and regained its dominance in Taca da Liga, making the last 8 in the UEFA Europa League as well.
Luisao scored a brace on 13 March 2014, while playing in his 117th game in European tournaments, to enable Benfica to secure a 3-1 away victory over Spurs in Europa League. In the next campaign, after featuring in an 0-4 victory at Maritimo in the Primeira Liga, Luisao matched Eusebio with a total of 440 recorded Benfica outings.
At the Estadio da Luz, on 25 September 2018, Luisao announced his retirement from professional soccer.
You Might Also Like: Top facts you need to know about Manuel Neuer
In 1980, Carlos Mozer began his soccer career with Flamengo, winning the Copa Libertadores in 1981. Mozer appeared to play for Benfica in two separate terms whereas playing for Marseille somewhere between.
Carlos Mozer is considered one of the greatest Benfica players of all time. He managed to play in the 1990-1991 European Cup Final with Marseille. At the conclusion of his playing, he played in Japan. At the international level, between 1983 and 1994, he won 32 caps. He lost the 1986 World Cup Finals, yet was a member of the Brazil squad in 1990.
Germano is undoubtedly one of the best defensive players in Portugal's history. During the 1960s, he was the skipper of both Portugal and Benfica. He appeared for Benfica for most of his football career, playing in 131 competitive matches and winning 8 major championships, including 2 European Cups.
Germano is widely known as one of the best Benfica players ever. As the skipper, he proceeded to play in the World Cup finals in 1966, however, he did not play well enough and resigned his captaincy. In UEFA's 50 Best Footballers of the Last 50 Years, he was placed 53rd.
You Might Also Like: Top facts you need to know about Thomas Muller
Alvaro Magalhaes played a record of 224 matches in the Primeira Liga and netted 6 goals over eleven years, primarily with Benfica where he enjoyed 9 campaigns, winning 10 major championships.
Alvaro is famous as one of the best Benfica players ever. At the international level, between 1981 and 1988, he capped 20 times. For the 1984 European Championship in France, where Portugal reached the semifinal, he was Portugal's starting left-back. He participated in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico as well.
After representing Portugal at the 1986 World Cup and Euro 1984, he started his managerial career in 1994.
Malmo, Benfica, Arsenal, Fiorentina, Valencia, and Sunderland signed Stefan Schwarz throughout his 16-year career. He played for Benfica between 1991 to 1994 where he is regarded as one of the best Benfica footballers of all time.
He was Sweden's 1999 Player of the Year. For Sweden, he won 69 caps. He was a member of the Swedish World Cup squad, which in 1994 ended up 3rd. He additionally participated in the World Cup in 1990 and the 1992 European Championship. He netted 6 times for the Swedish national team and 7 goals for Benfica.
You Might Also Like: Best Players to Break Through in 2020
For Sweden, Jonas Thern won 75 caps. He was captain of the Swedish side, which finished third in the 1994 World Cup. He participated in the World Cup Finals of 1990 and in the 1992 European Championship hosted by his native country.
Between 1989 to 1992 he played 100 games for Benfica, scored 10 goals, and is considered one of the best Benfica footballers of all time. The player played for Malmo, Zurich FC, Benfica, Roma, Napoli, and Rangers. He supplemented Stefan Schwarz in the midfield at Benfica, the player who additionally played in Sweden's national team. Between 1987 to 1997 he netted six goals for Sweden.
For both Portugal and Benfica, Mario Coluna is among the best players of all time. He played a significant portion of his career with Benfica, playing in 525 competitive matches over 16 campaigns and netting 127 goals.
Monstro Sagrado was his nickname! With his favorite club, he won 19 major trophies, namely ten national championships. In 1961 and 1962, he captured two European Cups with Benfica. In the 1966 World Cup, he was the skipper of Portugal. He was considered to be the best footballing friend and companion of Eusebio.
At the 1966 World Cup, Coluna played for Portugal and totally he won 57 caps. He was known as one of his generation's greatest midfielders, and he was regarded as one of the best players in Benfica history.
You Might Also Like: Best African Football Players of All Time
Paulo Sousa has won two consecutive championships in the Champions League with two different teams. He achieved his first with Juventus in 1995, and subsequently his second with BVB in 1996, where he defeated his former club. He was a part of the Golden Generation of Portugal that won the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1989.
He capped 52 times and played in the 1996 Euro and 2002 World Cup Finals. Sousa was an agile, tactically smart, and flexible player, while he was not famous for his pace, the player was powerful both defensively and offensively, because of his awareness and game intelligence.
The player was commonly known as a tough-tackling defensive midfielder, yet he also had outstanding vision and power and was frequently deployed throughout his career as a playmaker due to his precise passes, flexibility, and power to manage the rhythm of the game.
Sousa was also respected for his teamwork, in addition to his expertise and creative capabilities. Sousa has been named as one of the best players in Benfica history. He additionally played for Sporting after beginning his career at Benfica, where he recorded 117 games and three goals in 5 seasons.
The player was a part of the golden generation of Portugal. he played at the 2002 World Cup and two European Championships.
Simao soon turned into a fan-favorite, rapidly taking the role of skipper. He always concluded as their best goalscorer during his six-year tenure, particularly in the 2002-03 campaign as he netted a Primeira Liga and a career-best 18 goals.
In the next season, in a 2-1 win against FC Porto in the final of the Taca de Portugal, he netted Benfica's second goal, breaking the club's eight-year title drought record.
He appeared in all the games and minutes, scoring 15 goals as the team lifted the national title after an 11-year delay in 2004-05, . In a 1-2 defeat to Vitoria de Setubal, they also achieved the domestic cup final, with Simao converting an early penalty.
The player also played in all games in the UEFA Cup competition, scoring 4 goals including a brace against Dukla Banska Bystrica in a 3-0 away victory.
Simao was aimed by Liverpool in a bid supposedly worth £12 million in the 2005 summer transfer window, although talks allegedly stalled over Benfica's price request rise. In 2005–06, he maintained his outstanding form, assisting his team in the UEFA Champions League season, where they made it to the quarter-finals.
Simao played 8 out of 10 potential games in the competition, including the 1-2 defeat over Red Devils in the group stage. In the knockout rounds, he helped his side to astonish Liverpool, launching an incredible shot into the goal of Pepe Reina, as the Portuguese won 2-0.
You Might Also Like: Top Facts You Need to Know About Wayne Rooney
So many teams also showed an interest in Simao the following season, yet he opted to remain at the Estadio da Luz. Simao Sabrosa began his career in Sporting, however, he made a name for himself with Benfica, where he turned into the skipper.
Simao played in the 2006 and 2010 World Cup Finals for Portugal, where he was a key figure in 2010. He played in Euro 2008 as well. Throughout the years between 1998 to 2010, he capped 85 times. Simao is regarded as one of the best footballers in the history of Benfica.
He additionally spent many years in Spain, especially with Atletico Madrid, after playing in his country for two of the three greatest teams, Benfica and Sporting. He recorded 225 games and scored 87 goals over 9 campaigns in Primeira Liga, plus 219 appearances in the La Liga and 26 goals.
Considered as one of the greatest midfielders in football history and one of the greatest players in Portugal in the modern era, Costa generally played as an AMF and was especially famous for his exceptional skills and willingness to score goals.
He was voted as one of the 125 best living football players in 2004 by Pele in the FIFA 100 and is famous as one of the best footballers in the history of Benfica.
Costa spent most of his football with Benfica dubbed 'The Maestro' and 'El Musagete'. In AC Milan. He lifted numerous titles through his 17-year career, one Primeira Liga championship, one Taca de Portugal, one Serie A trophy, three Coppa Italia titles, one UEFA Champions League, and one UEFA Super Cup.
He capped 94 times and scored 26 goals for Portugal and played in three UEFA European Championships and one FIFA World Cup.
You Might Also Like: Football Players with Most Red Cards in the World
Antonio Simoes was a member of the brilliant 1960s Benfica team. He made a name for himself as a teenager. In 1962, he was the youngest footballer to ever capture the European Cup.
Before going on to transfer to NASL, he won ten league trophies with his favorite club, where he is known as one of the all-time greatest Benfica players. For Portugal, he won 46 caps.
In 1966, he was included in the team to play in the World Cup Finals, where he netted in the classic game against Brazil. He remained with Benfica for 14 campaigns, playing 449 matches and netting 72 goals.
During the late 1970s, Fernando Chalana was Benfica's superstar. He's the club's youngest goalscorer of all time. At the European Championships in 1984, he made a name for himself, particularly during the dramatic semi-final game over France. In that game, he provided two assists.
He signed with Bordeaux in France after that competition, however, his future was constrained by injuries. In 1987, he went back to Benfica, yet he never restored his best form.
Widely known in Portuguese football as one of the best young players ever, Chalana had great ball control and dribbling ability. He is also regarded as is one of the all-time greatest Benfica players.
You Might Also Like: The Top 14 Fastest Goals in International Football
In the 1960s, Jose Augusto was a member of Benfica and the Golden Generation of Portugal. He was a winger who played with Eusebio, Mario Coluna, and lots of other legends. With Barreirense, he began his career.
He played most of his tenure with Benfica, winning two trophies in the European Cup and making three other finals in the 1960s. There, he won 13 trophies. somewhere in the range of 1958 to 1968, he capped 45 times. He was a member of the 1966 World Cup Finals squad.
He played in 369 games for Benfica and netted 174 goals, winning 13 major trophies, namely eight championships in the Primeira Liga and two European Cups. All things considered, Jose is considered one of the best Benfica footballers of all time. Gabriel Hanot called him the "Portuguese Garrincha."
Before transferring to Benfica in 1966, Jaime Graca began his football with Vitoria FC. With Benfica, he captured 7 league championships. At the European Cup in 1968, he netted the equalizer against Man UTD.
At the international level, he won 36 caps for Portugal. At the World Cup in 1966, he played every single minute. Jaime Garca is regarded as one of the best Benfica players ever.
He joined Benfica in the summer of 1966, in the wake of netting a record 28 goals in his last 2 years with Vitoria. In Benfica, he played 229 games and scored 29 goals in all major tournaments.
You Might Also Like: The Top 50 Best Dribblers of All Time
When he was a teen, the player was given the moniker Gomes following Fernando Gomes, and in the 1990s and 2000s, he was among the most successful strikers in the world.
Nuno Gomes regularly netted goals and was also capable of being a link-up player, providing lots of assists during his tenure, Gomes played 12 seasons as a Benfica member playing in 398 matches and scored 166 goals where he is considered as one of the greatest Benfica players of all time.
In 2 World Cups and 3 European Championships, Gomes was a member of Portugal national team, finishing second at the 2004 Euro and third at the 2000 Euro. He won 79 caps for Portugal and scored 29 goals.
Eusebio is undoubtedly the greatest Portuguese footballer ever. He was regarded, alongside Pele, to be the greatest player in the world during the 1960s. At the 1966 World Cup, he enabled Portugal to achieve third place, becoming the tournament's leading goalscorer with 9 goals and winning the Bronze Ball trophy.
Eusebio is known as one of the best Benfica players of all time as well. In 1965, he received the Ballon d'Or for European footballer of the year. In his 22 year career, he played 15 seasons for Benfica where In 1961, he captured the European Cup.
When playing for Benfica, he earned a variety of individual accomplishments and prizes. In addition to winning Ballon d'Or in 1965, he finished twice as a runner-up and was the first Golden Boot Award recipient in 1968, as the top scorer in Europe.