05 September 2022, 15h45
Benfica will face Maccabi Haifa for the first time. What do you know about this opponent?
If you look at their record, they became champions of Israel last season and won against the champions of Greece, Cyprus, and Serbia. They have already shown they are a team full of qualities, especially in the attack. They have very dangerous players, good finishers, very physical, and, therefore, deserve to play in the Champions League. Last season, I played against an Israeli team, and I know that they play with a lot of f emotion and determination in European competitions. Tomorrow [Tuesday] we must be well-prepared.
Do you feel that it is essential for Benfica to win the two games against Maccabi Haifa, given that you have PSG and Juventus as opponents in the group?
I don't see it like that, honestly. All the teams deserve to be in the Champions League, they are top teams, and we must pay attention to every game. This is the best club competition in the world, and we must go step by step. There are only six games in this group stage, a difficult stage. There are two teams that will not advance to the next stage. Our group is difficult, and, for us, it will be smart to think about tomorrow's [Tuesday's] match and not look ahead. We must have a very positive performance to win and come out with the three points.
"All the teams deserve to be in the Champions League, they are top teams and we must pay attention to every game"
Last season, Benfica reach the quarterfinals. Do you think you can, at least, achieve the same goal, given the team you have at your disposal?
Reaching the quarterfinals is an excellent performance. They did well last season. For us, the most important thing is not to think about it, but rather, game by game. Our first step is tomorrow's match [Tuesday] and we have to win it. Of course, our goal is to get to the knockout stage, because there are four teams in the group, and two teams advance. We want to be one of those two teams, but it is not time to talk about final goals.
You said in an interview with "Kicker" that Draxler is an important player. Do you think he is ready to make his debut against Maccabi Haifa?
Draxler is a top player. He is not at his best level, nor could he be, because he has been weeks without training with the PSG team. When this is the case, it is difficult to reach the ideal physical and football condition. He is now at Benfica, and he is fine, but he needs a few weeks to understand his teammates and regain confidence. He is a seasoned player, a national team player. He is part of the squad and is ready to play. Not in the starting XI, but a few minutes.
"Our first step is tomorrow's match [Tuesday] and we have to win it. Of course, our goal is to get to the knockout stage"
League Cup: record attendance for Estádio da Luz in the group stage
The Benfica-Penafiel match (2-0), from gameweek 2 of group C, welcomed 43 263 spectators, a record attendance in the group stage of the League Cup at Estádio da Luz and the second best record ever in the competition's matches at the Cathedral. The biggest crowd was in 2010/11, in the semifinal against Sporting, where there were more than 49 thousand spectators in the stands.
The images of the Benfica-Penafiel match
Benfica hosted and beat Penafiel by 2-0 At Estádio da Luz, on matchday 2 of group C of the League Cup. Gilberto and Neres scored the goals. See the 50 best photos from this important triumph.
Benfica-Penafiel: match highlights (2-0)
Benfica-Penafiel, game of matchday 2 of group C of the League Cup, at Estádio da Luz. The reds won by 2-0, with the goals being scored by Gilberto and Neres.
SL Benfica-FC Penafiel: 57' goal from Neres (2-0)
2-0. GOAL! BENFICA! NERES! Musa breaks away with the ball between four defenders, but it is Rafa who takes the shot. Caio Secco saves, but Neres is the quickest to attack the ball to make the rebound and shoot with his left foot to the back of the net.
SL Benfica-FC Penafiel: 55' goal from Gilberto (1-0)
1-0. GOAL! BENFICA! GILBERTO! Grimaldo moves forward with the ball on the left, breaks through, enters the box, gains a few more meters, but can't get the shot. The ball goes to Musa, who shoots but Caio Secco saves. On the rebound, Gilberto shoots with his right foot in the box and scores!
Training the Benfica way in Japan
Benfica continues to nurture talent around the world. The Club takes the brand, the training methodology, and the experience that has been so successful internationally to various places on the planet, transmitting its values to young people who love football and want to succeed in the sport. Tokyo and Osaka, in Japan, are no exceptions, with the existence of Camp Benfica, which has dozens of athletes, who are under the tutelage of coaches Mário Patrício and Davide Gomes.