Bruno Lage held his traditional pre-match press conference ahead of their home match Sunday night against Vitória Setúbal (20:00, BTV).
Lage talked about their next Liga opponent and the ongoing excitement over João Félix, which continues to captivate both fans and European scouts.
Benfica will await FC Porto’s match result later today at Portimonense (18:00, Sport TV, RTPi) to discover whether they will be chasing them to tie for first or have an opportunity to take over sole possession of first place if their rivals drop points.
There are six weeks left in the Liga NOS season.
Quotes & match day roster below.
GK: Svilar, Vlachodimos
D: Yuri, André Almeida, Rúben Dias, Ferro, Grimaldo
M: Zivkovic, Florentino, Samaris, Pizzi, Gedson Fernandes, Rafa, Cervi, Taarabt
A: Seferovic, Jonas, João Félix, Jota
About João Félix
“As I put a lot of pressure on my work, I also put a lot of pressure on João before the match, even to talk about his dynamics and positioning, which will be different. Before we started our conversation, I put pressure on him to have ten goals in the game.”
“This is João. He plays the match in a tranquil way and when he finishes he says to me, “Oh mister, I owe you 7 goals. This is João’s answer. I say let him be calm and enjoy himself at this time.”
“He needs to be allowed to grow, evolve and have a career Benfica style, which I believe will be for more years, then the Seleção, and then much later, on a bigger stage internationally to a level of his potential.”
“It’s a team with an excellent organization, which normally plays compact and does not suffer many goals. The 3 men up front are dangerous. They have achieved some good results away and that allows them to stay stronger in the battle to stay up. It is an organized team and when they face Benfica, they create huge difficulties. We have to be at our best to win the 3 points.”
“Our style is to prepare things and the players very well, to understand our opponent, and play the players that give us the best chance. The last three and a half months all the players have played and started at the beginning, so we are very satisfied with everyone’s productivity.”
“It’s a special game for me because, as you know, I’m from Setúbal, and it was in Vitoria that I started my career as an assistant manager of the juniors, so it’s special to play Vitoria.”
“We are very pleased with Samaris’ productivity, but also with Fejsa’s productivity, (Floren) Tino, and we are satisfied as well with Gabriel.”