Jorge Jesus is no longer Benfica coach. After several days of speculation about his future in the wake of interest from Flamengo to reappoint him and the 3-0 defeat to Porto in the Portuguese Cup, the 67-year-old manager has parted ways with the Lisbon club – two days before the Eagles play Porto again in a crucial Primeira Liga clash.

An apparent player revolt yesterday after an altercation between club captain Pizzi and Jesus seems to have precipitated the decision, with some reports in the Portuguese media saying JJ resigned and others claiming he was sacked. 

Shortly after Benfica officially confirmed the news, in a highly unusual move, club president Rui Costa and Jorge Jesus made a brief joint declaration in the press conference room at Benfica’s Seixal training complex to confirm the termination of their working relationship.

“This was not the outcome we wanted, obviously,” said Costa. “We worked hard to achieve our goals, but with the same honesty we have always had when we are together, we reached the conclusion that this [separation] is the best for both parties.”

In turn, a visibly emotional Jesus said: “I embraced this project with all my heart. I always wanted to be part of the solution, and never a problem for Benfica.” 

With no questions taken from the journalists in attendance, the announcement ended with the two embracing. 

Nélson Veríssimo, who had been Benfica’s B-team coach until today, has been appointed as head coach of the senior team until the end of the season.

by Tom Kundert 

 

Comments (27)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

What a terrible piece of news to wake up to in the morning. Yes, I’m a Benfica fan through and through, but this comes as to a huge surprise. All of this over an ‘altercation’ with Pizzi?! (Someone who isn’t even a FACTOR in the starting XI?).

I...

What a terrible piece of news to wake up to in the morning. Yes, I’m a Benfica fan through and through, but this comes as to a huge surprise. All of this over an ‘altercation’ with Pizzi?! (Someone who isn’t even a FACTOR in the starting XI?).

I may be rambling some ideas here; Benfica was in first place not too long ago. His detractors will probably go on an on about how he’s not as good of a coach as he was before. Last year was a COVID year, and it was tough to gain any momentum.

Second, I absolutely hate the squad ‘culture’ at the moment. The same ‘troublemakers’ (and I use that term loosely) are still there: Grimaldo, Pizzi, Rafa, Andre Almeida - who ALL should’ve been sold, are now with their third coach.

Lastly, there is nobody else who can develop players to a higher level like Jesus. The whole ‘youth movement’ idea is such a farce. I would rather have experienced players, over youth academy graduates

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John
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First, it takes a special coach to piss off an entire team to the point that the players refuse to even practice with him .
As far as the team environment , that is created by this coach. He came in and demanded the players he has now.
I...

First, it takes a special coach to piss off an entire team to the point that the players refuse to even practice with him .
As far as the team environment , that is created by this coach. He came in and demanded the players he has now.
I generally do not agree with changing coaches in the middle of the season but in this case, he has completely lost the team. JJ is old school coach. We need younger coach with modern coaching techniques .

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Midatlantic
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Mid, how do we know it’s true? Some outlets are saying three players walked off, while others are saying the whole team?

I have never viewed Pizzi as captain material, he has regressed completely since last season.

John
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Dear John,

Men of your unique vision and wisdom are difficult to come by. How is it more people fail to recognize the greatness of Jesus?

Jorge Jesus had many amazing firsts as Benfica manager:

1. First to create a new mathematical number;...

Dear John,

Men of your unique vision and wisdom are difficult to come by. How is it more people fail to recognize the greatness of Jesus?

Jorge Jesus had many amazing firsts as Benfica manager:

1. First to create a new mathematical number; oichencho ocho (he's the new Pythagoras)

2. First to be hailed as the new prophet of Sporting and then failing to win anything at all after 3 seasons in charge despite the club spending more than ever on transfers

3. First manager to drop to his knees and pray after Kelvin 92'

4. First manager to be elected "Best Flock of Seagulls Hairstyle circa 1987"

5. First manager to say he never liked Pizza, but in fact, meant he doesn't like Pizzi

6. First manager to win the "Hans Heinrich Maneuver Choke Champion" for his incredible choking performance of 2013: chokes against Porto to lose the Liga, chokes against Chelsea to lose the Europa League, chokes against Guimaraes to lose the Taca de Portugal.

7. First manager to link himself to high profile clubs such as AC Milan, Real Madrid and Napoli, only to find out these clubs never heard of him.

I wish more people had the true insider football knowledge such as you, John. You are a man of culture. I salute you.

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Chris
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Oh please, he won multiple titles for Benfica and won a handful in Brazil. Leave your ignorance at the door.

John
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

He won the same ratty tin cup that Abel won twice with a much lesser squad, so that tells you how hard a challenge that is.

As for JJ, he did nothing before Benfica, and nothing after it.

I'm a Porto fan, but even I credit his success to...

He won the same ratty tin cup that Abel won twice with a much lesser squad, so that tells you how hard a challenge that is.

As for JJ, he did nothing before Benfica, and nothing after it.

I'm a Porto fan, but even I credit his success to Benfica and not the other way around.

He's a hype job, who only won when he had the best players at his disposal, pure and simple.

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Chris
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Chris that was very funny. Thanks for the laugh. Now him and Fernando Santos can hang out and compare notes on how to mess up a good team.

John Senos
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Thank you John, I try to be funny because I have never understood the praise JJ recieved for being a mediocre manager.

The guy has managed in Portugal for 29 years and got 3 trophies, all with Benfica all with players like Gaitan, Aimar, Enzo...

Thank you John, I try to be funny because I have never understood the praise JJ recieved for being a mediocre manager.

The guy has managed in Portugal for 29 years and got 3 trophies, all with Benfica all with players like Gaitan, Aimar, Enzo Perez, Matic, David Luiz, Siqueira, Oblak, Salvio, Rodrigo, Gaitan, Garay, Andre Gomes, Jonas, Fabio Coentrao, Julio Cesar, Javi Garcia, di Maria and Saviola.

He almost always had better players than Porto and Sporting (except 2011), and still went 50-50 against some of the poorest Porto teams of the last 20 years.

I just don't get it.

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Chris
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Great point Chris. And let's not talk about how JJ handled academy kids? Wait the idea was to sell all the academy kids.

Rodrigues Antonio
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I’m a Wolves fan from London and just hope you don’t come after Bruno Lage again. I believe he’s a far better coach than people credit him with being and if Fosun and Jorge Mendes back him in the market he will guide us into the Europa League as...

I’m a Wolves fan from London and just hope you don’t come after Bruno Lage again. I believe he’s a far better coach than people credit him with being and if Fosun and Jorge Mendes back him in the market he will guide us into the Europa League as Nuno Espírito Santo did. Nuno was a good coach, Bruno is better IMO!

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Mike Calvert
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I also like Bruno and thought it was a mistake letting him go with out the opportunity to coach better players through acquisitions , something they did for JJ. Don’t worry though, Bruno is safe. Rui will do one of two things. Let the interim...

I also like Bruno and thought it was a mistake letting him go with out the opportunity to coach better players through acquisitions , something they did for JJ. Don’t worry though, Bruno is safe. Rui will do one of two things. Let the interim coach finish this season and see how well team performs under him or will go big splash like Pirlo or Villas

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Midatlantic
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Villas Boas would not likely go to Benfica. The Ginger Judas is a Portista thru and thru and said he would never manage Benfica.

Pirlo would be amazing. As a Porto fan, I can't think of a better pick for Benfica. Aside from probably getting...

Villas Boas would not likely go to Benfica. The Ginger Judas is a Portista thru and thru and said he would never manage Benfica.

Pirlo would be amazing. As a Porto fan, I can't think of a better pick for Benfica. Aside from probably getting them relegated, Pirlo would be amazing in post game press conferences yelling in Italian and refusing to learn Portuguese.

A more realistic solution would be to go after managers who are available and willing to coach in Lisbon, such as Paulo Fonseca or Vitor Pereira, either of whom would be a good choice for Benfica.

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Chris
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No, you are correct. Villas would be a huge long shot for sure. Then again JJ left Benfica for Sporting. Sometimes it’s show me the money . I just used Villas and Pirlo as examples of “headline” coaches the Rui may want to put his stamp on the team

Midatlantic
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It's show me the money for sure, but I think Rui can make some smart moves of he's patient.

VP, Fonseca and even tempt Leo Jardim with the gig. Or, if you want a long term guy, scoop Bruno Pinheiro from Estoril.

Younger manager who has been...

It's show me the money for sure, but I think Rui can make some smart moves of he's patient.

VP, Fonseca and even tempt Leo Jardim with the gig. Or, if you want a long term guy, scoop Bruno Pinheiro from Estoril.

Younger manager who has been doing brilliant work with Estoril.

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Chris
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Oh! BTW I love Benfica too. I think we (Wolves) should sign Ferro and Luis. They did very well under Bruno’s tutelage at SLB

Mike Calvert
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It's weird that the professionalism is gone nowadays. A manager needs to be a soft and friendly fatherly figure. If he's eccentric the players have conflicts with him and sometimes even try to sabotage him.

Samuel
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Coaches unfortunately nowadays have to be a ‘kind-hearted’ individuals instead of hard-asses.

Look, I’m in my late 20’s, and I’ve played on sports teams that did better with high-intensity coaches vs soft kind hearted ones.

John
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I really don't get the timing of this dismissal (and it seems sure that a dismissal is exactly what it was)...2 days before a huge match away to Porto, that we frankly can't afford to lose if we want to realistically challenge for the league...

I really don't get the timing of this dismissal (and it seems sure that a dismissal is exactly what it was)...2 days before a huge match away to Porto, that we frankly can't afford to lose if we want to realistically challenge for the league title?? As I said in my post the other day, Jorge Jesus' future at the club was riding on this upcoming match. Given the disappointments of the last season and a half, in particular in performances and results in the bigger matches against stronger opposition, a good result against Porto this week always seemed like JJ's last chance. But I just don't see how the club thought sacking him just BEFORE the match was the best decision!!!

By all accounts, the club are going to give Nelson Verissimo the rest of the season in charge of the main team. I could be proven wrong, but I see this as simply more of a complete lack of ambition that we've seen from the club in recent years. What are they hoping, that Verissimo does a Bruno Lage and takes over a team in dissaray and proceed to triumphantly lead us to the league title straight from the B team? I could be proven wrong, but I don't really see the same lighting striking twice in 3 years. Or if not that, then perhaps the club is simply just looking to start building for next season already? That would simply be unacceptable before January has even started, and with us currently only 4 points off the top of the table. If Rui Costa made the decision to sack JJ, then he should have had a real successor lined up, and not put all this immense pressure now onto an inexperienced young coach with only any experience in the Portuguese second division.

I want an experienced foreign coach to take over preferably now, or at least in the long run, and hopefully change our direction and mentality...we badly need more of a winning mentality at the club. I'm fed up of only seeing local Portuguese coaches at the club for well over a decade now. Let's face it, recent years haven't been the best era for Portuguese coaches. Look who we still have in charge of the Selecao! Look how insignificant the most famous and revered Portuguese coach of all, Mourinho, has become lately. There are no Portuguese coaches right now who I would consider among the very best in the world, there just aren't any. Some possibilities people are mentioning here and elsewhere, don't interest me at all to take over at SLB: Villas Boas (couldn't hack it at Marseille!), Vitor Pereira (couldn't hack it at Fenerbahce!), Paulo Fonseca (couldn't hack it at Roma...nor at Porto for that matter!). No, frankly I don't think any of these would be much of an upgrade on JJ. I say it's time to finally get a foreign coach again, someone with experience and with new ideas and a different (i.e. winning) mentality to bring a new direction to the club.

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Andre/UK
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Andre, I'm not sure about you, but I was never a fan of Bruno Lage coming in. I feel like the ulterior motive of that move was to quickly profit from B-team fringe players. Look how 'good' players like Ferro, F. Luis, Jota became all promoted...

Andre, I'm not sure about you, but I was never a fan of Bruno Lage coming in. I feel like the ulterior motive of that move was to quickly profit from B-team fringe players. Look how 'good' players like Ferro, F. Luis, Jota became all promoted from the younger squad.

While I enjoy the business side of football, too many European clubs have copied the success of Portuguese teams by poaching South American talent. I didn't mind the 'Brazilians or Columbian players' infiltrating teams, but their success allowed teams to gain a massive profit to invest into the club.

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John
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Andre, I like your thoughts of bringing in an experienced foreign coach. Sometimes you need to change the dynamics, Recycling old coach from the Portuguese league like Boas, Fonseca, ....is just a waste of time. Need to bring in a new...

Andre, I like your thoughts of bringing in an experienced foreign coach. Sometimes you need to change the dynamics, Recycling old coach from the Portuguese league like Boas, Fonseca, ....is just a waste of time. Need to bring in a new perspective.

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John Senos
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Ok, first of all, I am far from a Villas Boas defender because I still consider him the Ginger Judas, but to say he couldn't cut it at Marseille is nonsense.

He got them to 2nd in Ligue 1 with a so-so squad, in a time of PSG dominance. The...

Ok, first of all, I am far from a Villas Boas defender because I still consider him the Ginger Judas, but to say he couldn't cut it at Marseille is nonsense.

He got them to 2nd in Ligue 1 with a so-so squad, in a time of PSG dominance. The following season, the club not only failed to invest in players, they actually cut funding. The fans protested his leaving and turned on the board because they wanted him to stay. So, you're incorrect there. Aside from that, he would never manage Benfica anyways, so it's more an issue of him not wanting Benfica than the other way around.

Regarding these allegedly amazing foreign managers in Portugal, I'm sorry, I just don't see it. In the last 30 years, there have been exactly 3 foreign managers who each won 1 League title apiece: Bobby Robson at Porto, Lazlo Boloni at Sporting and Trappatoni at Benfica.

So that's 3 for foreign managers and 27 to Portuguese managers. By the way, that's not for lack of giving foreign managers a chance, in that same time, we have seen; Co Adriaanse, Ronald Koeman, Quique Flores, Victor Fernandez, Jose Antonio Camacho, Jupp Heycknes, Graeme Souness, Luigi del Neri, Lopetegui, Marcel Keizer and more.

I'm not sold on "foreign manager means better manager". And I had to watch my club create FC Puerto for Lopetegui and seen him fail massively. I personally think you're characterization of Portuguese managers as inferior is unfair considering there are a bunch of them employed all across Europe.

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Chris
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@Chris....if you're such a big fan of his, then you can gladly take AVB for your club, deal? Lol! Let me be clear, not a single Benfica fan would want him as our new coach. That's a guarantee! AVB has had one strong year as a coach so far, that...

@Chris....if you're such a big fan of his, then you can gladly take AVB for your club, deal? Lol! Let me be clear, not a single Benfica fan would want him as our new coach. That's a guarantee! AVB has had one strong year as a coach so far, that season at Porto, but he has been pretty mediocre ever since. Done nothing of any note whatsoever. Second in the French league, wow big deal! Marseille should never be anything less than second in France, as they are the biggest and most successful French club. Yes PSG are dominant now simply because of cash, cash, cash...but let's not forget Lille won the French league last season, so it's not 100% Paris domination.

I reiterate, the best part of the last decade or so has not been the greatest phase for Portuguese coaches. We used to have a stronger selection of coaches in the past, no doubt about it. Right now there are no Portuguese coaches who really stand out as among the very best in the world. And after 12 years of only seeing local Portuguese coaches at my club, I would like to see a change and the fresh direction that a foreign coach could bring to the club

In any case, whoever the new coach is, what all Benfica fans want to see him utilising properly is our academy and B team talent. We have one of the very best talent producing academies in the world and it needs to be used properly by the A team. That was my biggest beef with Jorge Jesus actually, his baffling refusal to use our immense youth talent....preferring hapless players like Taraabt and Andre Almeida over much better and younger players from the Academy. This will be the good thing about Verissimo as an interim coach, he is surely going to utilize our academy talent...and hopefully whoever takes over from him full time will continue to utilize it. I look at Ajax as a perfect example of a club that fully utilizes it's amazing academy talent and reaps the rewards, even in European play, and that's exactly what my club should be doing!

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Andre/UK
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It annoys me when people don't read or pay attention to what I say or write. I specifically said that I was far from a defender or fan of AVB.

I find him to be a hypocrite who talked about Porto being his dream job but he left with the first...

It annoys me when people don't read or pay attention to what I say or write. I specifically said that I was far from a defender or fan of AVB.

I find him to be a hypocrite who talked about Porto being his dream job but he left with the first chance he got.

And there's no question his time at Chelsea and Tottenham were disasters. But that doesn't mean he's done nothing since. He went to Zenit and won the Russian league and had decent European runs with them.

Marseille isn't easily the biggest team in France or even in French history as you claim. They are tied with St Etienne in number of titles, but the last time they were 'big' was the early 90's.

Since then, Monaco, Lyon and PSG have been the dominant French teams, so coming in 2nd place to a PSG stacked with talent is indeed a big accomplishment considering Payet was the biggest name at the club.

As for Benfica fans never accepting AVB....really?? You guys welcomed the biggest traitor in history in Jorge Jesus back with open arms and he did much worse than AVB. I think in light of that, AVB would also be welcome but he would never go there.

As for your opinion of Portuguese managers,.I firmly disagree. Sure, Mourinho isn't what he used to be, but we have some excellent managers all across Europe, Brazil, the Middle East and east Asia, so it seems the proof is in the pudding. If they were so bad, they wouldn't be at an all time high demand as they currently are.

If you want a foreign coach because you think that's what will fix things, I say be my guest, I will enjoy Benfica sliding backwards as Porto and Sporting continue to be the two clear best teams. The real issue is not a foreign manager, it's that your President brought back a hype job and spent $100 million for him to acquire players, when he wouldn't give Bruno Lage a pot to p*ss in and Lage still managed to win a league title.

Imagine what Lage could've done with $100 million in investment. The guy has been doing really well in the EPL so far, after a few rocky games. Luckily for you guys, Rui Costa seems to be more pragmatic and not blinded by the JJ hype train and decided to.pull the plug. Maybe not the best timing, but there's still a chance a rejuvenated Benfica take points or even beat Porto tomorrow. You never know. As a Portista, I certainly would not take them lightly.

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Chris
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Oh, and I forgot to mention, I am 100% in agreement with you on Jesus's inability to utilize academy players. I mean a guy who squandered Cancelo, Bernardo Silva, Semedo among others is really a moron.

Chris
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Marco Silva is currently coaching Fulham to 2nd place in the championship, 1 pt back of first place with 51 goals for, 10 more goals than the other closest club. He is who Benfica should hire. Professional, calm, youth oriented coach who is well...

Marco Silva is currently coaching Fulham to 2nd place in the championship, 1 pt back of first place with 51 goals for, 10 more goals than the other closest club. He is who Benfica should hire. Professional, calm, youth oriented coach who is well respected and well liked.

He took Estoril to Europa, Sporting, Olympiakos, Hull, Watford, Everton now Fulham.

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Val
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It would be amazing if the FPF got the hint and replaced Santos before the upcoming March disaster in the making.

joe
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Sadly Joe, there is a greater chance of Pep Fraudiola managing Maritimo than there is of the FPF doing what should have been done after the Euros and firing Santos.

Chris
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“I tried to take advantage of every minute the mister gave me. It wasn’t the result we wanted, we always want to win, but we played a great team with some of the best players in the world and a draw ended up a positive outcome.”

Ricardo Horta
(Portugal’s goalscoring substitute after 1-1 draw against Spain in Seville in the Nations League) 

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