Benfica today announced that Rui Vitória’s contract has been terminated. The 48-year-old coach had been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks following a string of poor performances. The 2-0 defeat against Portimonense yesterday proved the last straw.

An announcement on the Benfica website stated that “Benfica has reached agreement with the coach Rui Vitória to rescind his contract with immediate effect,” before going on to thank the tactician for his service. Benfica B coach Bruno Lage takes charge of the first team until a replacement is appointed. 

How the change will affect Benfica’s chances of lifting silverware this season remains to be seen. The Eagles are still in contention in four competitions and punters taking advantage of Betfred promo code 2019 to wager on glory for Benfica come May will be looking for a marked improvement in the coming weeks. 

Vitória was drafted in by Vieira in the summer of 2015 after the sensational switch of his predecessor Jorge Jesus to fierce city rivals Sporting. In three and a half years as Benfica manager Vitória won 2 championship titles, 1 Portuguese Cup, 1 League Cup and 2 Super Cups. 

He also oversaw the successful integration of a host of academy players into the senior team, such as Ederson, Nélson Semedo, Victor Lindelöf, Renato Sanches, Gonçalo Guedes (who subsequently earned the club huge transfer windfalls as they were quickly sold), Rúben Dias and Gedson Fernandes. 

Despite the success, Vitória never truly won over the Benfica faithful. Two disastrous Champions League campaigns and a perceived conservatism when setting up his team to face biggest local rivals Porto and Sporting only made matters worse with the fanbase.

At the end of November news broke that club president Luís Filipe Vieira had dismissed the manager soon after the 5-1 thrashing against Bayern Munich in Germany, only for Vitória to be given a stay of execution. In a bizarre press conference the following morning Vieira said: “I saw a light, and it came to me in the night that he should continue.”

Ever since then Vitória has been a dead man walking. Despite a 7-match winning run, the fans continued to vent their frustration at the tepid displays. A thrilling 6-2 thrashing of Braga at the Estádio da Luz before Christmas was an exception and suggested Vitória may yet turn things around, but a fortunate draw against Aves in the Taça da Liga, followed by defeat in the Algarve on Wednesday night spelled the end for Vitória.

Portuguese media have wasted no time in speculating about Vitória’s possible successor, with José Mourinho, Jorge Jesus, Leonardo Jardim and Paulo Fonseca among the names mentioned.

By Tom Kundert

 

Comments (5)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Rui Vitoria is Benfica's version of Vitor Pereira. A guy who is passionate and better than given credit for.

Both were given far inferior squads than their predecessors yet were able to overachieve. Rui V is a classy guy. Not the best coach in...

Rui Vitoria is Benfica's version of Vitor Pereira. A guy who is passionate and better than given credit for.

Both were given far inferior squads than their predecessors yet were able to overachieve. Rui V is a classy guy. Not the best coach in Portugal, but not bad as many suggest either. I wish him the best moving forward, from a Porto fan.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

This decision is best for the club and for moving forward. In my opinion this should have happened last summer already after the disaster of a season we had last year. Even if having an interim coach until the summer means this season will be a...

This decision is best for the club and for moving forward. In my opinion this should have happened last summer already after the disaster of a season we had last year. Even if having an interim coach until the summer means this season will be a "write off" in terms of success and trophies, than so be it....what's important is to rebuild for the future now. And in any case, even with Vitoria in charge this season it was already looking like turning out potentially worse than last season, when we at least fought for the title until the end. We are 7 points off top spot right now and 7 points is a big gap in the relatively uncompetitive Portuguese Liga.

Thanks to Vitoria for the titles he won for the club, and he is a classy and respectful individual who deserves respect and gratitude. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, a coach is there to deliver consistent good results and to get the team to play well. And since the beginning of last season, well over a year now, Vitoria was achieving neither of these. At a club as big as SLB, this simply can't continue for very long. I cringed at some of the limp performances we have displayed in the last year or so, and the other night against Portimonense it seemed like nothing had changed. One thing is not playing particularly well or attractively, yet still managing to secure the results (Atletico Madrid are an example of a team like this). But not playing attractive and dynamic football and also not getting the results either, is unacceptable at a huge club like this.

The fact is we never really played attractive football under Vitoria. A little perhaps in his first season, but that year it was also a case of some brilliant individual displays from quality players like Jonas, Renato, Pizzi, Semedo, Lindelof etc. In his second year, we were quite pragmatic but were still managing to get the job done, but it wasn't exactly champagne football. And there were still some awful displays like against Dortmund in the CL. It can also be argued that in the first two years, there was still the previous "Jorge Jesus work/momentum" factor. Really last season was the first time Vitoria started to really change things to his own style and image (including changing the formation we play) and the results were frankly catastrophic. Last season was an absolute disaster! 0 points in the Champions League (in a nothing special group it must be added) was pure humiliation. We were also out of both domestic cups before Christmas, and probably the only reason we fought for the Liga until the end was because it was all we had to play for from January onwards. Granted, due to his success in his first two seasons, he was given another chance this season. We started the season promisingly enough, but it just deteriorated. We were again in a nothing special CL group, and were already eliminated with still a match left to play. In the last couple of months, we have lost by two goals against Belenenses, Moreirense and Portimonense. Just not good enough, it has to be said!

Vitoria may not have had squads quite as strong as his predecessors, but he still had strong enough squads to be doing much better than the results we were getting. To me, Vitoria looks like the kind of coach who does well when everything is going well and when we start a match well (evident against Braga the other day). But when faced with a serious problem in a match, his limitations come to the fore. Even against a (with all due respect) limited team like Portimonense the other night, we went 2 goals down, and Vitoria seemed clueless and devoid of ideas to get back into the match. So look, most Benfica fans will thank him for the success he brought to the club and will wish him well for the future, but the vast majority of them will also agree this is for the best for the club, in terms of moving forward. Let's see what materialises now. There will no doubt be plenty of rumours as to his succesor. If the interim coach is given at least until the summer, then hopefully he can start stabilising the team, making improvements and start rebuilding for the future.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Rui Vitoria has always been mediocre. Same with Jorge Jesus.

The coach of Benfica doesn't matter all
That much, Vtorias biggest problem was that the power beyond the four lines of the football pitch has transferred back north again. LFV has said...

Rui Vitoria has always been mediocre. Same with Jorge Jesus.

The coach of Benfica doesn't matter all
That much, Vtorias biggest problem was that the power beyond the four lines of the football pitch has transferred back north again. LFV has said himself that the most
Important thing is power outside the field.

It also explains why conceicao is now the golden boy. Once conceicao leaves Porto he will be crap again and exposed for what he is- a hot head talking big because he knows daddy PDC and his Fruta da noite got his back.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Who out there is better? Who out there is still looking for a job? Mourinho?

I believe that the issue is a lack of talent. The entire league lacks it, Benfica more so than Porto at the moment.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Disagree strongly Danny, Porto and the league are not lacking in talent. Benfica does but that's because the President stopped investing in the players.

As far as the league, I think clubs like Braga and Guimaraes, and Sporting have talent on...

Disagree strongly Danny, Porto and the league are not lacking in talent. Benfica does but that's because the President stopped investing in the players.

As far as the league, I think clubs like Braga and Guimaraes, and Sporting have talent on their squad, without question.

Read More
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

      

QUOTE OF THE DAY

 “I was sent off and rightly so. I had to hug him [Jota], because he came back from injury and he’s worked very hard. Every time he’s on the football pitch he gives 100 per cent and I really appreciate it.”

Nuno Espírito Santo
(Wolves coach on his celebrations following Diogo Jota's winner against Leicester)

Partners