Its name does not evoke much for people under 50.
Yet Fernando Chalana, who died on Wednesday at the age of 63, did leave his mark on Lusitanian football in the 1980s. This former attacking midfielder made himself known in France during Euro 1984 He had, in particular, been one of the main players in the memorable semi-final won after extra time by the Blues of Michel Platini at the Vélodrome de Marseille (3-2).
The peak of his club career was at Benfica where he won 6 league titles.
"Fernando Chalana, our
("little genius", in Portuguese), died this Wednesday, August 10," wrote the Lisbon club in a press release.
“It is a very sad day for the Benfiquista nation and for all football lovers.
is gone, one of the greatest and eternal symbols of the club.
I will make sure that the memory of Fernando Chalana is always present in all Benfiquistas”, reacted the president of Benfica, Rui Costa, in statements to BenficaTV.
"A part of my heart has remained Girondin"
Chalana had joined the Lisbon club at the age of 15, in 1974, and had become on March 7, 1976, at 17 years and 25 days, the youngest player in history to play in Portuguese D1.
In the wake of the European Championship organized in France, he had joined Bordeaux, then at the top of French football, for the astronomical sum, for the time, of 18 million francs.
But his three seasons with the Girondins were marked by repeated injuries, until his return to Benfica in 1987.
The Club learned with sadness of the death of Fernando Chalana.
The Football Club Girondins de Bordeaux sends its deepest condolences to his family and loved ones 💙🤍 pic.twitter.com/FX1IlgE0di
— FC Girondins de Bordeaux (@girondins) August 10, 2022
I was unlucky there and maybe I was not well looked after.
But a part of my heart remained Girondin.
This club had bet a lot on me.
I would have liked to be able to give him more, he explained in 2016 in an interview with L'Équipe.
I came back to Lescure
(the Chaban-Delmas stadium)
when Benfica faced Bordeaux in the Europa League in 2013. The welcome I received there touched me.
And I am often told about my shot on goal against Dnieper
A decisive shot on goal, scored with the right foot, he, the pure left-hander, in the quarter-finals of the Champions Clubs Cup in 1985.
The Portuguese international with the famous mustache and raven hair ended his career with two short stints at Belenenses (1990-1991) and Amadora (1991-1992).
He then retrained as a coach in his favorite club, mainly as an assistant or coach in the youth categories.