Bruno Lage's managerial record at Benfica is truly incredible
One cannot overstate the truly phenomenal job Bruno Lage has done at Benfica in such a short space of time.
After Rui Vitoria had his contract with the club terminated by mutual consent, Benfica decided to keep things internal, promoting Lage from manager of the Benfica B team to manager of the senior side.
The 42-year old may not have the biggest name, although some in England may recognise the Portuguese coach, who served as Carlos Carvalhal's assistant manager while at both Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea.
This job, therefore, is the first time he has ever been head coach of a senior team - but you'd never have guessed it.
The tactical awareness, the man-management, the trust in youth that he has shown is everything Benfica fans have been looking for in a Benfica manager, able to adapt his game plan depending on the opponent while also maintaining fresh, attack-minded football in the process.
Suggestions that we're getting carried away are justifiable - after all, it has only been 10 games. But of those matches, Benfica have won 9 and are on a 6-game winning streak in the league - and because of it, Lage is already becoming something of a hero in the eyes of Benfica fans.
In those 10 games, they have scored a scarcely believable 32 goals, a clear indication of the attacking brand of football Lage is introducing to the football club, while he also led Benfica to an astonishing 10-0 victory over Nacional - the biggest victory seen in Portugal's top flight for 55 years.
It wasn't just a one-off either. His Benfica side also scored 4 goals against rivals Sporting - at Sporting - as well as a further 5 goals in their match with Boavista. It really has been a stunning 2 months.
To show just how much confidence this Benfica side have under Lage, they earned their first ever victory in Turkey last Thursday, beating Galatasaray 2-1 away in the Europa League.
His faith in youth has also been rewarded. Not only is he getting the best out of 19-year old João Felix, who has a stunning 7 goals and 3 assists in 13 league games, but Lage is also promoting more and more academy players to the senior team.
To add to Ruben Dias (21), Gedson Fernandes (20) and João Felix (19), who were all part of the senior side under Rui Vitoria, Florentino Luis (19), João Filipe (19), Ferro (21) and Yuri Ribeiro (22) have all been promoted to the senior team under Bruno Lage, showing the incredible faith he has in youth. And it's paying off.
Indeed, in the clash with Galatasaray, Benfica started no fewer than 6 academy products, their entire team having an average age of 22.9 - of all the 40 teams to play in UEFA competition last week, Benfica's was the youngest. And they won 2-1. In Turkey. For the first time ever.
Benfica look a team reborn under Lage - and long may it continue.