quinta-feira, 10 de março de 2016

Quartos-de-final dos Campeões (UEFA)

O SL Benfica apurou-se, em mais uma jornada Gloriosa, pela 18ª vez para as oito melhores equipas da principal competição da UEFA. Este número apenas é superado por 3 clubes, curiosamente, aqueles que são vistos como os mais fortes da actualidade e vencedores das 3 últimas edições da competição:

33 Real Madrid CF
26* FC Bayern München
19* FC Barcelona
18 Manchester United FC
*Provavelmente ainda serão apurados para os quartos-de-final desta edição.

Dados da UEFA sobre as participações do SL Benfica entre os 8 melhores da Europa:

Season Competition Competition P W D L
2011/12 UEFA Champions League Quarter-finals 14 6 5 3
2005/06 UEFA Champions League Quarter-finals 10 4 3 3
1994/95 UEFA Champions League Quarter-finals 8 3 4 1
1991/92 European Champions Clubs' Cup Third round 10 4 4 2
1989/90 European Champions Clubs' Cup Final 9 7 0 2
1987/88 European Champions Clubs' Cup Final 8 4 3 1
1983/84 European Champions Clubs' Cup Quarter-finals 6 3 0 3
1977/78 European Champions Clubs' Cup Quarter-finals 6 2 2 2
1975/76 European Champions Clubs' Cup Quarter-finals 6 2 1 3
1971/72 European Champions Clubs' Cup Semi-finals 8 4 2 2
1968/69 European Champions Clubs' Cup Quarter-finals 5 2 1 2
1967/68 European Champions Clubs' Cup Final 9 4 3 2
1965/66 European Champions Clubs' Cup Quarter-finals 6 3 1 2
1964/65 European Champions Clubs' Cup Final 9 6 1 2
1962/63 European Champions Clubs' Cup Final 7 3 3 1
1961/62 European Champions Clubs' Cup Winner 7 4 1 2
1960/61 European Champions Clubs' Cup Winner 9 7 1 1

Nesta lista o SL Benfica encontra-se em 4º lugar, entre os cerca de 500 clubes que já participaram na competição. 131, já contando com o WfL Wolfsburg, apuraram-se pelo menos uma vez para a lista dos 8 melhores. 73 desses clubes já se apuraram pelo menos uma vez além dessa fase.
No entanto, ainda há quem a uma distância enorme do SL Benfica diga o seu nome apenas para que se fale do seu clube, querendo fazê-lo maior do que a realidade apresenta. 1 participação entre os 8 melhores da Europa vale ser um dos 47 clubes em 84º lugar desta lista. Lá vão conseguindo que se fale deles.

No total de todas as competições europeias o SL Benfica vai para os seus 30ºs quartos-de-final em 61 anos de competições da UEFA. 

Ranking da UEFA

Com esta vitória o SL Benfica deu mais um grande passo para manter o 6º lugar no ranking da UEFA, não é um benefício muito maior que os lugares abaixo, até cerca do 12º lugar, mas é um registo de assinalar.

O SL Benfica assegurou ainda para Portugal a presença de 3 equipas na UEFA Champions League 2017/18, tendo sido o principal responsável, ao longo dos últimos 5 anos, pelo ranking que garante este benefício. 

Houve uma altura em que o SL Benfica ficou em 6º e 4º na Liga nacional (2000/01 e 2001/02) e não se qualificou para as competições europeias, na altura foi gozado pelos rivais; hoje fazemos pontos que até ajudam aqueles que ficam em 3º na Liga Portuguesa a qualificar-se para a Liga dos Campeões. Depois de 2002 o 4º lugar valeu qualificações à vontade para a Europa, aqueles que por lá andaram várias vezes iam garantindo o seu lugarzito europeu.

UEFA Youth League

Também esta semana a equipa júnior do SL Benfica jogou pela 3ª vez consecutiva os quartos-de-final da UEFA Youth League, ou seja, todas as edições disputadas, tal como Chelsea FC. A equipa benfiquista foi eliminada pelo Real Madrid CF, depois de uma campanha brilhante na fase de grupos, onde assegurou a maior goleada de sempre da UYL, o maior número de golos marcados e a maior diferença de golos.

Estes valores da formação chegaram mais uma vez longe sem poder contar com jogadores como Lindelöf, Gonçalo Guedes e Renato Sanches, que felizmente já tiveram oportunidade de jogar num nível superior.

No ranking de sempre da competição o SL Benfica apenas surge atrás do Chelsea FC, isto mostra o bom trabalho que tem sido feito na Academia. 

clube P J V E D GM GS DG Pt
Chelsea 3 23 20 1 2 73 16 57 61
Benfica 3 26 17 6 3 70 26 44 57
Barcelona 3 25 15 7 3 55 23 32 52
Real Madrid 3 25 16 3 6 63 30 33 51
Atlético Madrid 3 22 14 3 5 58 31 27 45
Manchester City 3 23 13 5 5 53 22 31 44
Anderlecht 3 21 11 5 5 45 28 17 38
PSG 3 22 10 7 5 42 29 13 37
Ajax 3 18 11 3 4 41 27 14 36
Arsenal 3 22 10 4 8 41 30 11 34
Falta o jogo Chelsea FC - AFC Ajax dos quartos-de-final.

O prémio de Melhor Academia do Ano nos Globe Soccer Awards e estes resultados vêm mostrar que ser o melhor na formação - ou em qualquer outra coisa - não é imutável, é um trabalho que tem de ser construído constantemente. Não é por uma reportagem da BBC dizer que se é a 2ª ou a 3ª melhor academia da Europa que isso faz com que um clube tenha a melhor formação eternamente. Neste momento a melhor formação é a nossa, mas muito tem ainda de ser trabalhado, porque nós não vivemos de distinções efémeras.

segunda-feira, 29 de fevereiro de 2016

O melhor "Cosme Damião"

Hoje foi dia de entrega dos Galardões Cosme Damião, o prémio máximo de prestígio benfiquista. De entre todos destaco a categoria Homenagem, entregue aos "Magriços" que em 1966 tão bem representaram Portugal no Mundial de futebol. Não foi um prémio apenas para benfiquistas, mas para todos. Num momento em que outros tanto tentam desencadear ódio, o SL Benfica destacou a amizade.
Eis as mensagens de alguns dos agraciados com este prémio de Homenagem, entregue pelo presidente Luís Filipe Vieira:
“É um momento especial que também vem de um Clube especial. Gesto de gratidão que revela e sustenta os princípios e valores que se aprende neste Clube. Não só aos jogadores do Benfica, mas aos Jogadores de Portugal. Gesto de grandeza que só percebe é cabe aos inteligentes, humildes e é exatamente onde nós nos revemos, no Sport Lisboa e Benfica”, António Simões
“Luís Filipe Vieira, o presidente, não se esquece de homenagear os jogadores do Benfica. É um orgulho receber um prémio de um Clube que é o principal rival do Sporting. Muito obrigado ao Benfica”, José Carlos
“Parabéns ao Benfica pelos 112 anos. Estou muito sensibilizado por esta homenagem”, Hilário
“As rivalidades só existiam dentro de campo! Eramos amigos, havia uma convivência, uma consideração pelos clubes. Representamos todos aqueles que já não estão connosco! Seremos sempre só nosso Clube, os outros são nossos adversários nunca nossos inimigos”,
José Augusto

sábado, 27 de fevereiro de 2016

Clubismo extremo - uma experiência para estrangeiro ver

Tenho um amigo francês que mora em Lisboa e gosta muito de desporto e como tal gosta de ir ver jogos importantes do SL Benfica. Foi a vários jogos da UEFA Champions League, entre eles um com o FC Barcelona em que no meio do ambiente hostil criado pelo público ao adversário, ficou surpreendido e agradado com a forma como o público soube abstrair-se desse ambiente e aplaudir o Puyol quando este saiu lesionado, colocando o homem acima do jogo.

Comecei a levá-lo a jogos de outras modalidades. Um dos primeiros foi o jogo de hóquei em patins contra o Sporting CP na primeira jornada após nos termos sagrado campeões europeus no Dragão Caixa, foi um belíssimo jogo e ele ficou muito bem impressionado com o desporto que desconhecia e considerou muito técnico (muito mais que o hóquei em linha que chegou a jogar). Neste momento quer que o leve a todos os desportos do SL Benfica, gosta da experiência, e quer levar o afilhado a jogos das modalidades do SL Benfica.

Continua a não ser Benfiquista, é apenas do seu Stade Rennais e do Manchester United FC, apenas gosta de ir ver os jogos do SL Benfica.

Não é segredo para ninguém que acompanhe o desporto em Portugal (para não ir mais longe), que o desporto, especialmente quando ligado a clubismo/bairrismo, transforma as pessoas - faz sair o Mr Hyde que existe dentro da maioria das pessoas. Quando se trata de um dérbi o sentimento é maior, a transformação acompanha a emoção.

Num momento em que o desporto nacional fervilha (com ligação directa à subida ao poder de pessoas irresponsáveis num certo clube), deixo-vos um relato do Alex sobre o jogo a que fomos assistir da Final do Campeonato de Futsal de 2012/2013. Na altura tinha-lhe pedido que escrevesse para o blogue sobre as suas experiências com o SL Benfica, foi este o relato que me deixou, e que só agora publico.

"It was a very hot day in June 2013 and I remember being absolutely exhausted from the night before but all this tiredness was about to go away.

Indeed, I was on my way to have my first futsal experience and it wasn’t just any game, it was the final of the Portuguese league and local derby between Benfica and Sporting.

I wasn’t expecting much but I was very curious to see the level and style of play of indoor 5-a-side football. On our way the pavilhão, I realised that there was of few riot police vans which I thought was rather strange for such a small event but I was soon about to find out why.

As we walked in the atmosphere was quite cheerful and the arena (capacity of around 1,000) was about half empty. Then all of a sudden, we started to hear people chanting and it was getting louder and louder … that is when the away fans arrived.

My level of Portuguese is pretty low but it was not hard to see that they were not singing love songs to their Benfica counterparts. The craziest thing for me was when they started to light up flares inside the arena!!

As the game started, my eyes caught the eyes of a Sporting fan standing in the crowd about 20 – 30 yards away. The guy was on form to say the least and made a throat cutting gesture at me before showing me his longest finger… Nice J! Absolutely baffled I could not help myself and had to send him a lovely kiss! The guy was definitely not expected that and did not really want to do, it was quite funny.

Unlike 11-a-side, Sporting is a much stronger side and you could see it a little on the pitch. The style of play is very different to football as I know it and I could help but noticing that very single player controls the ball with the sole of their foot which I thought was rather strange but watching more of the game I realised that it is the best way to keep the ball close to you as the game is incredibly fast.
At half time, a Benfica fan went down to the bottom of the stand right next to all the Sporting fans desperately waiting for one of them to look at him so he could give him a bit of abuse but unfortunately for him, no one was interested.

Sporting went on winning … and therefore were the league champions. Paulo and I stay to look at the celebrations. The Sporting fans were cheering and the Benfica fan were pretty pissed off, I even saw the daughter of Alfredo’s owner giving the away fans the finger! I could not believe it, she seems so nice and calm when working in the restaurant.

I was taking pictures of the Sporting players and fans celebrating when (Paulo told me afterwards) Benfica fans started wondering who the hell I was. At one point a Benfica fan had decided to use the fire hose to splash the away fans with water. As I thought this was pretty funny, I started filming it but Benfica fans did not like this at all, they believed I was a Sporting fan and would use this video to disclose the guy’s identity to the police. They tried to snatch my phone, but quickly let go when they realised I was foreign and deleted the video. I have to say I do love Lisbon, because if this had happened in Paris for example I am almost certain I would have ended on the floor with my mobile stolen!!

On our way out things were getting pretty heated and a couple of fans definitely lost it, they were throwing barricades at the police who had to use tear gas in the end. I wanted to stay to see what was going to happen when the away fans would go out but Paulo, who was wearing a Benfica top, told me it was probably a better idea to go.

We went for a drink in Alto dos Moinhos when the whole crew of Benfica fans (including the one who tried to snatch my mobile) arrived and sat on the terrace to have few beers. I could not understand much of what was being said but they were apparently basically boasting about had just happened and wating for the fans to come out!

Overall, it was a brilliant experience and all the more surprising when you think that Lisbon is such a peaceful city. I guess some people become different person when they go to the stadium."

Acrescento que a caminho de casa no táxi, porque o ambiente não parecia muito seguro na zona do metro, ainda tive que tirei a camisola do SL Benfica porque alguns carros com sportinguistas passaram por nós e, apesar de os ignorar, estavam a provocar e a procurar resposta.

quinta-feira, 4 de fevereiro de 2016

Entrevista a Football Leaks

O jornal desportivo alemão 11 Freund conseguiu chegar à fala com os responsáveis do Football Leaks que têm tornado públicas as negociatas do futebol europeu, nomeadamente as que incluem intermediários e passes de jogadores repartidos, os famosos TPO. A entrevista foi feita por mail e está dividida em três partes. A terceira é impressionante! Parece que a transparência é um problema para a Doyen e para o Sporting CP.

Fica aqui o link para a entrevista original e abaixo a cópia da mesma


Parte 1 »We’ve got more than 500 GB of documents«

Who is behind »Football leaks«?

We prefer not to go in to such details. Our project is shaking everything from top to bottom, so as you can guess we are creating a lot of enemies, powerful people within the business. And for them transparency in football is a problem.



Reports say you are a group from Portugal. Is that correct?
Yes, we are from Portugal.





When was your organization »founded«?


We decided to start all this back in September 2015, and our main goal at the time was to expose all the lies and controversies within Portuguese clubs. Last summer’s transfer market was the most intense ever in Portugal, there were some shocking transfers, for example Jorge Jesus move from Benfica to Sporting, controversy and many unanswered questions, mostly involving Sporting Lisbon. We decided to help the people understand what really happened so we focused on unmasking that. And fortunately we were able to go even further thanks to our sources. 



Some sites compared you to the likes of Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers. What do you think of it and what are your aims?


All we want is transparency in the sport we all love. Some clubs have no respect for the fans, everything is a taboo; the players wages, transfer contracts, secret clauses, intermediates, etc. The clubs hide everything. In our opinion NBA is a good example of transparency, there are no secrets. Everyone knows how much a specific player or coach earns, and they themselves do not hide it. That’s what football needs.



Contracts and agreements between two parties are not intended to be shared for the public – whether it is in football or elsewhere.
If everyone would think like that there would be no Wikileaks, Luxleaks, Offshore leaks, etc. Everyone would still live in a lie… Football is losing a lot of credibility, the total lack of transparency and the huge amount of undisclosed fees are disrespectful for the fans, so someone had to do something. Fortunately by putting these files online we are finally making an impact across the world, and people are starting to discuss more about those topics. We all want the same. A more transparent a credible sport.


It seems that Third-Party-Ownership is your main topic. If so, how come?


In our opinion there is huge lack of information surrounding those Investment funds. Their existence inside football raises important issues in terms of potential conflicts of interests and match fixing. And of course there’s the risk of money laundering and other criminal activities. Those funds only have a financial interest, which clearly leads to contractual instability between football clubs and players.



Is there any proof for money laundering yet?


We don’t want to accuse anyone without enough evidence, but, for example, Doyen’s structure seems prone to money laundering.



You gained popularity for the first time when you published contracts of Doyen and Twente. Is it an emblematic case of TPO-rule violation?
 Yes, that’s an emblematic case. It shows the damaging interferences of TPO in football clubs policy together with a criminal mismanagement and an irresponsible president. What Doyen Sports do is totally criminal and harmful for the clubs. If you analyze all their Economic Rights Participation Agreement (ERPA), not only with Twente, but with several clubs, you will see they take advantage of cash-strapped clubs and impose unfair terms on the clubs. That’s what we can call ‘loan sharking’. Nevertheless those agreements probably breach the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players article 18bis. Most of the clubs involved in those agreements can be in deep trouble and possibly face a FIFA sanction.



In one document it is said that Twente had to compensate 50 percent of the refused offer for a player whose transfer rights shares lay in the hands of Doyen. But how would Doyen find out about a certain offer and it`s details for a player?


Because usually Doyen is the one searching for offers, and when they present it to the club, they have no other choice than to sell the player. Doyen’s contracts usually contain aggressive clausules, similar to loansharking.



So investors could have actually put clubs under pressure to sell the players?


Unfortunately that’s common, and happens behind the curtain. Investors place the players in certain clubs with the promise that in 1 or 2 years they can move them again to bigger clubs. That’s profitable for the investment funds and their fellow agents.



The selling of transfer rights to private investors often is an „open secret“ in football. How does this openness correspond with the prohibition of exactly that action in international football regulations?


In Europe Third Party Investment deals are still happening behind the curtain but nowadays disguised as »Scouting Agreements« and »Intermediary Agreements«. There’s still a lot of money circulating behind the curtain, and not even FIFA has the slight idea of what’s going on. The growing influence of player agents, and the use of offshore corporations continues to be very problematic.



Could you tell us how much Doyen has earned from its engagement and share investments in transfer rights during the past five years?


More than 70 million euros, according to their internal documents.

Parte 2 »The start of a new era in football«

Why did you decide to publish documents and information on a blog and not provide information to the media?

Portuguese media usually ignore incriminating informations regarding specific football clubs. The lobby is too big, and even the Portuguese Football Federation and the Portuguese League are accessary to TPO deals, similar to the ones involving Twente in the Netherlands.
 Creating a website was the best solution, a huge amount of people found out about it, and social networks did the rest.



In publishing documents one could say you violated the bank secrecy. How you would justify these publications?

From the past four years Doyen Sports was surrounded by mystery, they rarely talked to the press and they never showed any sign of transparency. No one knew nothing about their TPO deals, the secret clauses and mostly importantly no one knew who was the real investor. As everybody can see Doyen is a clear offshore structure using trustees to hide the ultimate beneficial owners.
 Publishing Bank Statements is just another way to help FIFA in their compliance activities and the Malta Financial Services Authority in their investigation against Doyen’s irregular activities.



Why don't you just contact Fifa then? Why did you choose a platform?

As everyone knows FIFA was affected by a huge scandal, so at that time we were not sure if sending documents to the FIFA would really make a difference. A platform surely was the best solution in our opinion, but of course we can directly collaborate with FIFA if they ask to.




You were accused of hacking information and documents. What do you make of that?


Doyen made the accusations. The same people that lied and deceived the Dutch Football Federation, and the same people that said the secret TPO document was false. That says it all about Doyen Sports and their modus-operandi.



So did you hack information and documents?



Surely not, and we can give you an example. Doyen Sports accused us of perpetrating a cyber attack, and in a statement (available on their website) they said that on October 4, 2015, they filled a criminal participation to the police regarding that matter.
 But this past weeks we published documents about Doyen dating of November and December. So how could that be a cyberattack?!



The key question is how do you get to your information. The president of Sporting said you acted on behalf of arch rivals Benfica. Could you deny having bonds to officials of other clubs or pursuing an agenda of a club/party with these publications?



Yes, we have no agenda. We are just fighting for the sake of the sport, but we can’t change anything on our own. Fortunately the Bale’s leak took us to a wider audience and now a lot more people has got the chance to read all the controversial documents involving clubs and investments funds.



Are there any bonds to officials of other clubs?

No, we are totally independent.



You published agreements between Tottenham and Real that showed that Bale was the most expensive player. Can you tell us how your work has changed after the impact of the Bale revelations?


First of all our mailbox is a mess at this moment. We’ve been receiving hundreds of emails, and that’s surely a good thing. We are finally making an impact across the world and we hope that’s the start of a new era of transparency in football.



The leak concerning Mesut Özil was as startling as the Bale one. But what was the reason for you to publish it? Because there were no revelation concerning investors as far as I know.


We don’t only publish contracts revealing links to investors, we also want to expose secret clauses and undisclosed fees.



Parte 3 »They want to silence us«

Have Fifa, national football associations or the clubs connected to the publications tried to get in contact with you or even threaten you?
On the contrary, FIFA welcomes all those revelations. And we were happy to hear that FIFA TMS General Manager Mark Goddard checks our website, and uses the information for their compliance activities. We only had problems with Sporting Lisbon and Doyen Sports, looks like transparency was problematic for them…



It is said that the both of them are trying to sue you. Did police or lawyers approach you?



We don’t trust the Portuguese authorities, in fact we know things in Portugal always run in a very dirty way when there is a lot of money involved. Doyen’s influence is very powerful, and we know in fact the investigation proceedings have been compromised.





How do you know?

Our sources found that evidence, and we know about secret meetings, between members of the Portuguese Police and that agency, in Lisbon. Rogério Bravo, a Portuguese Police Chief Inspector is a very good friend of Nélio Lucas (Doyen’s CEO) and he was pressuring the Attorney General's Office to share all the details about the investigation. In fact Doyen is only using the police investigation to get to us, and they hired a private intelligence agency (Marclay Associates) to do the dirty job.



What does »dirty job« mean?


It means they are on the field searching everywhere as they want to stop this at any cause. The Big Bosses in Turkey and Kazakhstan are really angry, and they want to silence us as fast as possible, so people can understand we are facing huge risks. 



Now it becomes complicated. Why Turkey and Kazakhstan? Who do you mean?
The bosses of the Doyen Group - the Arif family, one of the richest families in Turkey, with ties to Donald Trump and the Turkish President.
According to some reports Tevfik Arif was once arrested on a yacht in 2010 by Turkish police investigating a prostitution ring.




The Daily Mirror reported that you were blackmailing Doyen's Nelio Lucas via mail. It says you demanded money for holding back documents.We never contacted Nélio Lucas. And don’t you think that is strange that only Doyen Sports claims they were victims of blackmailing?!

 That all sounds like a really desperate attempt to discredit Football Leaks.

The report says you used the name Artem Louzov in mails. Is that true?
No. But we recognize that name. We’ve received some strange emails from someone called Artem Lobuzov in early December. He said and I can quote »You are very good. I want to buy your information you have on sports - how much do you want?« »I can offer around 650k Euros«. We obviously refused such an offer.



Did you ever delete documents and if so, why?
Of course not, in fact we’ve got now more than 500 GB of documents. We have thousands of documents, and we are still reviewing the information. 




So you plan to publish more documents in the nearer future?


You can expect many new revelations, about transfers and investment funds.