More than 50.000 people gather every two weeks in Estádio da Luz to watch Benfica play. The stadium is praised for its beauty and hosted two important finals. This week Estádio da Luz is our Stadium of the Week.
Every home game, the eagle of Benfica flies to the center of the packed stadium as a signal that the match is about to start. The fans of the Portuguese club welcome their mascot with applause. They are also called “the eagles”, after the symbol of their club. They are faithfully present every week to shout their club to victory. With smoke bombs, flags and song, they create an almost South American football atmosphere.
‘The most beautiful stadium in Europe’
Benfica is the most popular club in Portugal and has the highest average number of spectators every year. Every week there are about 53,000 people in the stands of the stadium, which is located in the district of the same name, Benfica.
In the design of Estádio da Luz, the sunlight falls through the open roof like a spotlight on the field. The roofs, which give the stadium a special shape, seem to float above the stands. A nice building, according to the readers of the French newspaper L’Équipe. In 2014, they voted the home of Benfica as the most beautiful stadium in Europe.
Statue of “The pearl of Mozambique”
In front of the stadium stands a statue of club legend Eusébio. The attacker was the leader of the Benfica that won the European Cup twice in a row in the 1960s and 70s. Born in the Portuguese colony of Mozambique, Eusébio became European top scorer twice and was voted European Footballer of the Year in 1965. In total, he scored 343 goals for Benfica in 373 games. After his death, his body was laid out in Estádio da Luz so that supporters could say goodbye to the biggest player ever to play for their club.
Stage of finals
In Eusébio’s time, Benfica was still playing in the old Estádio da Luz, which was on the same location and was demolished to build the new stadium, opened in 2002. Two years later it was used for the final of the European Championship, in which Greece beat host country Portugal. In 2014, Estádio da Luz was again the stage of an important match: the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. The former team won 4-1 after extra time.
Enough football in Lisbon
Lisbon is a real football city with three top-level clubs, of which Benfica is the most successful with 37 league titles. Then comes Sporting Lisbon, which plays in Estádio José Alvalade, less than three kilometers from Benfica. The third club is Belenenses. The stadium of that club lays the highest and offers a beautiful view of the city and the Tagus River through the open back.
Enough football to experience during a football trip to Lisbon. In the stadium of Benfica you can walk around the field during a tour and also see the eagle. It stands on a pole behind the goal, ready to fly over the field again in the next game.
Do you want to experience the Portuguese football atmosphere at Benfica? When the season has started again, we will take care of your ultimate football trip.