Benfica crowned 2014/15 Champions of Portugal

Benfica crowned 2014/15 Champions of Portugal

Draws for Benfica at Vitória Guimarães and Porto at Belenenses resulted in Benfica clinching the 2014/15 Portuguese championship with one game to spare this afternoon. 

Benfica missed a succession of early chances and had to settle for a goalless draw, but Porto could not take advantage as a late Tiago Caeiro equaliser for Belenenses cancelled out the mandatory Jackson Martínez goal for the Dragons, on the stroke of half time. 

Benfica win back-to-back titles for the first time since way back in 1984. 

As soon as the final whistle was blown at the Dom Afonso Henriques stadium in Guimarães, huge celebrations began all over Portugal, with the epicentre at the Marquês de Pombal statue in central Lisbon, where the Benfica team would arrive around one o'clock in the morning to join the impromptu party alongside an estimated 200,000 people. 


Reactions to Benfica's title triumph


Benfica coach Jorge Jesus:

"The players deserve it. We've worked for 11 months for this. It may not be a squad with so much quality as in previous years, but it's very united, an authentic family, and in certain games that made the difference. It was fundamental to win this title. Benfica hadn't won consecutive championships for over 30 years and it was a goal we had set from pre-season. 

"I'm not bothered about criticism from others, who try to devalue our team. Benfica deserves this title because of our quality of football. We are the team that scored the most goals, we have a dynamism and a playing style that is unique in our league. 

"We beat a great team, FC Porto, who have great players and one of the best strikers in Europe. We won because we were a more united and a more experienced team. 

"There were two key games. The draw against Porto at the Luz, where we knew if we didn't lose they would have little chance of catching us, and the draw at the Alvalade, because at the time if Sporting won they could have joined the title race. We cancelled out one opponent, then the other." 


FC Porto coach Julen Lopetegui:

"The play that led to the Belenenses goal was absurd. Congratulations to those who contributed to Benfica becoming champions."


Benfica captain Luisão:

"Benfica worked very hard throughout the season. We had to listen to a lot of words trying to take away merit from what we were doing. But while others were talking we just focused on our job. This was fundamental for winning the title. 

"A lot of things have changed since I came to this club [in 2003/2004], and now it has a marvellous structure. The mentality has changed too. We are now reaping the fruits because at the start it wasn't easy."


Benfica striker Lima: 

"It is more than deserved and this title more difficult than last season. By winning a second successive championship, we will go down in the history at the club."


Benfica midfielder Pizzi:

"I always dreamed of winning the championship, and it's even better alongside these fantastic fans. It's the high point of my career. We were superior from the first moment. The secret was the togetherness of the whole squad. Now it's time to celebrate."


Benfica left-back Eliseu:

"Jesus played a very important role in winning the title, he is the main reason we are celebrating now. Not even in my dreams could I imagine a year like this, I still can't believe it. Lopetegui would do well to congratulate Benfica but I don't believe this will happen." 


Benfica centre-back Jardel:

"In other seasons I didn't play much but this one the boss put his trust in me. I contributed to the title, and that goal at the Alvalade was important. What made the difference was the togetherness and I can't neglect to pay tribute to our captain, Luisão, who is an out-of-this-world person."


Benfica goalkeeper Júlio César:

"I'm so happy and very emotional. I want to thank the president, my team-mates and the coaching staff for making it possible for me to be part of this incredible family. It's indescribable. Only playing here can you understand the magnitude of Benfica." 


Benfica midfielder Nico Gaitán: 

"It's beautiful repeating what we did last season. Important players left and others came in. We helped those who arrived and now we're all really happy. The party at the Marquês is amazing. I've had experience of it before, and those who haven't have been warned..."


Benfica striker Jonas:

"This is what you work for in football, to be champions. It's marvellous. We led the table from early on and fortunately we've been crowned winners! We are champions because we are a united group and work hard every day. That should be emphasised." 


Related: 10 reasons why Benfica won the league