Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Portuguese pronunciation: [spɔɾ liʒˈboɐ i bɐ̃ȷ̃ˈfikɐ]), commonly known as Benfica, is a Portuguese sports club based in Lisbon, Portugal. It is best known for the professional football team playing in the Primeira Liga, the top flight of Portuguese football. Benfica are the current Portuguese champions, having won three consecutive league titles.
Founded in 1904 by a group of people led by Cosme Damião, Benfica is one of the "Big Three" clubs in Portugal that have never been relegated from the Primeira Liga – the other two are rivals FC Porto and Sporting CP. The team is nicknamed Águias (Eagles) for the symbol atop the club's crest, and Encarnados (Reds) for the shirt colour. Since 2003, their home ground has been the Estádio da Luz, which replaced the original one. Benfica is the most supported Portuguese club, with an estimated fan base of 14 million supporters worldwide, and the European club with the highest percentage of supporters in its own country. By August 2015, it had 156,916 paying members. The club's official anthem, "Ser Benfiquista", refers to its supporters who are called Benfiquistas. Benfica is honoured in three Portuguese Orders: those of Christ, of Merit and of Prince Henry.
Benfica is the most successful Portuguese club in terms of both domestic (76) and overall titles (78) – 79 including the Latin Cup – and is the only one to have won all national competitions. They have won a record 35 Primeira Liga titles, a record 25 Taça de Portugal (10 doubles), a record 7 Taça da Liga (one treble), 6 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira and 3 Campeonato de Portugal. Internationally, Benfica won two consecutive European Cup titles, in 1961 and 1962, a unique feat in Portuguese football. In addition, they were runners-up at the Intercontinental Cup in 1961 and '62, at the European Cup in 1963, '65, '68, '88 and '90, and at the UEFA Cup/Europa League in 1983, 2013 and '14. They have reached ten European finals, which ranks seventh all-time among UEFA clubs and is a domestic record. Furthermore, they hold the European record for the most consecutive wins in domestic league (29) and the longest unbeaten run in the Portuguese league (56 matches). In the 1972–73 campaign, Benfica became the first undefeated Portuguese champions.
In 2000, Benfica was ranked twelfth in the FIFA Club of the Century award, and in 2009 was ranked ninth in "Europe's Club of the Century" by IFFHS. Currently, Benfica is ranked eighth in the UEFA club coefficient rankings – the best position of a Portuguese club – and has the second most participations in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League (36), after Real Madrid. Benfica's all-time top goalscorer is Eusébio, who won one Ballon d'Or and two European Golden Boots while at the club.Close