Europe,  Lisbon,  Portugal,  TDM,  Travel Journal

Lisbon (Portugal) #2: Attend a Benfica game at the Stadium of Luz

When I arrive in Lisbon, I have the firm intention to continue my soccer world tour. Lisbon is indeed a stronghold of Portuguese soccer with two mythical clubs: Benfica and Sporting.

I confess that I don’t know much about Portuguese soccer, but these two names breathe soccer.

Benfica is the club of the mythical Eusebio (473 goals in 440 games!). Benfica evokes, for the supporter of Marseilles that I am, the semi-final of the league of champions 1990 with the goal of the hand of Vata which will eliminate OM.

As for Sporting, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo ‘s training club (which I was lucky enough to see playing in Turin)

On Wednesday afternoon, I start checking the internet to see if there are any matches in the next few days. I discover then that there is a match… the same evening… a semi-final first leg of the Portuguese cup… between Benfica and Sporting, a derby!

Neither one nor two, I check that there are still seats (there are a few left) and I buy my ticket for 20 €. The match takes place at the Stade de Luz at 8:45 pm.

Tickets can be easily purchased on the official Benfica website. It isn’t necessary to print the tickets. I installed the application to have the tickets in the right format on my phone, very practical.

If you prefer, it is possible to buy tickets in the official stores in town.

The Stade de Luz is easily accessible by subway, it takes me only 20 minutes from our Airbnb.

The original Luz stadium was built in 1954. It was demolished and rebuilt in 2003 for Euro 2004 (Portugal will lose in the final against Greece).

The stadium is in any case magnificent! In front of the stadium you can admire a statue of the legend Eusebio.

The ticket office is open, so it would have been possible to buy a ticket on the spot.

I easily find the door to my grandstand and am surprised to find that there is no… no search! It’s different from Argentina, France, Spain, Turkey or Italy where I attended my last games.

When I bought on the internet, I had to enter my ID number but nobody asked me to show it.

Entering the stadium, I have more difficulty finding my place, the ground marking is non-existent. I finally find it, I’m at the top of the stadium. Having bought my tickets at the last moment, I had no choice and I can consider myself lucky that there are still places available. In any case, the stadium configuration is such that there is excellent visibility for all the spectators, it’s great.

The stadium isn’t full but well filled. The Benfica anthem resounds, taken up in the heart of all the fans. It is at this moment that an eagle (symbol of the club) appears out of nowhere, flying over the stands before landing on the colors of the club in the central circle. I did not know this tradition, it is really the most beautiful effect!

The game begins and we feel very quickly that Benfica will dominate its opponent of the evening. It plays well, it’s technically very clean, one-two, doubles, passes in the spaces, really beautiful soccer.

The Sporting is largely dominated and will crack at the 16th minute with a goal from Pires which concludes a super counter attack.

The atmosphere is good but not incredible, I have the impression that there is no structured kop and leaders to launch the songs. As a result, the songs can be thrown from just about anywhere. We gain in spontaneity but it lacks cohesion and power.

Sporting is definitively overtaken and Benfica doubles the stakes, Llori’s own goal.

At 2 – 0, the atmosphere went up a notch and it was finally with a super free kick from Fernandes that Sporting reduced the score to 82nd. Unhoped for Sporting, who kept all their chances for the return match.

Game Summary

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