Benfica and Portugal, forever linked to PSG.
And the duel between Benfica and the champions of France this Wednesday (9 p.m.), in Lisbon, during the third day of C1, is an opportunity to dive into it.
No less than 15 Portuguese players have worn the colors of the club from the French capital, from the pioneer Fernando Cruz in the club's first season (1970-71) to four players from the current squad, including the legendary Pedro Miguel Pauleta.
After making the heyday of the Girondins, the Aigles des Açores established himself as one of the best players in the history of the club, one of the most endearing too, scoring 109 goals in 211 matches between 2003 and 2008 Enough to overtake Dominique Rocheteau (100 goals in Paris) and establish himself, at the time, as the top scorer of the
history of Paris Saint Germain.
Since then, he has been dispossessed of this title by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (156 goals), himself overtaken by Edinson Cavani (200).
It's a special club for me and I'm always attentive to what's going on there
,” Pauleta said recently in an interview with
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Obviously, all the Portuguese players passed by the PSG did not leave such a trace in its history, far from it, like the flops Hugo Leal (2001-04) and Daniel Kenedy (1996-97), presented as high hopes when they arrived but who never confirmed.
Filipe Teixeira (2002-03), Agostino (2002) or Helder (2004-05) did not make an impression either.
If he only played 13 small matches with Paris-SG (1 goal), Gonçalo Guedes will have at least filled the coffers: his transfer to 40 M€ in Valence, in 2018, a year and a half after his arrival, represents a record.
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On the bench, only one Lusitanian coach, but not just any coach: Artur Jorge, 1994 French champion after a first stint of three seasons (1991-94).
His return to the banks of the Seine (1998-99) was less conclusive... Obviously, the current PSG football advisor is of Portuguese nationality, Luis Campos, like his compatriot Antero Henrique, former sports director of the club and of back in the organization chart since this summer.
Nuno Mendes and Vitinha, express adaptation
Legend, enigma, good deal: to see which category Danilo Pereira, Nuno Mendes, Vitinha and Renato Sanches will belong to when leaving the banks of the Seine.
A good soldier, the first named is not the greatest technician in the history of football, but he has been able to make himself useful in the eyes of his successive coaches since his arrival from Porto in 2020. It is especially in defense that this… midfielder is used.
On loan from Sporting in 2021, Mendes was quick to establish himself as an indisputable holder.
He could be the best left-back in football in the future
," swears Pauleta, who is not the only one to think so.
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Poached from Porto this summer for €40 million, “Viti” also quickly established himself in the Parisian 11th.
The perfect counterpart to Marco Verratti in the middle.
We were all impressed because he adapted very quickly to our game. He is a very intelligent player, very athletic, who perfectly complements the players we already had and brings what we sometimes lacked.
As for Renato, the only one of the four Portuguese from the current PSG who wore the colors of Benfica, he was even trained there before going to Bayern, we know him for having seen him evolve in Lille since 2019. The question, c It is above all whether he will manage to stay away from the infirmary.
He has just spent three weeks there and has already found his place there, he who was injured on Saturday against Nice (2-1)... He is out for this Wednesday.
Benfica, first supplier of PSG
Only two nationalities are better represented in the history of the club, Brazil (34) far ahead and Argentina (17).
And it is moreover a Portuguese club which appears as the first supplier of Paris Saint-Germain.
At least at European level.
As strange as it may seem given the rivalry between the two teams, it is OM who have sold the most players to Paris (16).
Outside the borders of France, it is Benfica (8), ahead of Barça, AC Milan (6), Inter, Porto and Sevilla (5).
Former Portuguese coach Humberto Coelho is one of them (1975-77), like several of his compatriots (Fernando Cruz, Joao Alves, Kenedy, Helder, Guedes) but also two club legends, two Brazilians from the start of the
, the silky point guard Valdo and the rough defender Ricardo.
Members of the French champion team in 1994, they spent four years at the club before returning... to Benfica in 1995.
In the direction of departures, it is almost the same.
At European level, only Newcastle, Juventus and West Ham (6) have PSG sold more players than Benfica (5).
The latest, a certain Julian Draxler, on loan to the Lisbon club for the current season and who will face his former partners this Wednesday (9 p.m.), he who joined Paris-SG in January 2017 and … who has been lost there over the years.
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A number of movements between the two clubs, therefore, not counting players like Angel Di Maria, who wore both shirts without being transferred directly from one club to another.
"Fideo" went through Benfica between 2007 and 2010 before playing in Paris between 2015 and 2022, rising to the rank of the club's best passer (112), just that.
Last but not least, it was at the Estadio da Luz that PSG passed the obstacles Atalanta and Leipzig before colliding with Bayern during the "Final 8" of C1, in 2020. Charge to Kylian Mbappé and company to leave of Lisbon on a better note this time, at the end of this match of the third day of "Champions".
Benfica in the European Cup, not only good memories for PSG
PSG have faced Benfica six times in their history, including two eliminations in C3 (2007 and 2011) and two matches in the group stages of the 2013-14 Champions League (3-0, 1-2) for a record of two wins, one draw and three losses, all at the Estadio da Luz (3-1 in 2007, 2-1 in 2011 and 2-1 in 2013).
Against Portuguese clubs in general, the Parisians have a record of six wins, three draws and five defeats (Porto, Braga, Boavista).