Luis Filipe Vieira speaks about finances, selling players, the Benfica academy and more
Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira has been speaking to Benfiquistas in the United States.
Vieira discussed a range of topics, such as the strong Portuguese communities in America that have helped make Benfica a global brand, and how North America is a priority for Benfica, who are looking to open football schools on the continent gradually over the coming years.
The Benfica president also spoke about Benfica’s current state of affairs, stating that Benfica are “experiencing one of the happiest moments in its history.”
“We have recovered the hegemony of Portuguese football, in which the most recent reconquest led to the fifth league title in the last six years.”
Financially, Vieira also discussed how healthy a position Benfica were currently in. “At a financial level, we have practically made our bank debts residual, and we have progressively been reducing our liabilities.”
On Benfica’s academy, Vieira went on to say: “When I had the vision that investing in Seixal should be the top priority, I remember many who criticised this and said it was impossible to match that with victories.”
“Well, today, not only is this the base of our team, but our teams have more and more players that are made in Seixal, as our best business identity is without doubt the excellence of our youth training.”
Also speaking about his young players, Vieira cited the recent departure of Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid for 120 million euros: “The quality of our players and the track record of sales, such as Joao Felix’s recent record sale - which was entirely impossible to avoid, such was the demand and the offer from several clubs to pay his release clause - are clear signs of prestige.”
He then came to the prospect of selling more of his younger players, and reiterated what he had said previously: “I want to be very clear. As I have said before, we now have the financial resources to do absolutely everything to keep our young talents.”
“It is the only way that we can make a qualitative leap and aim for a European conquest in the coming years, given the difference in budgets for the clubs of the five richest leagues in Europe.”
“The goals are clear; reclaim the title and fight for the conquest of all events that our club enters. The levels of ambition and demand are increasing.”