Benfica Displays Confidence Ahead Of Chelsea Europa League Clash
Allowing several journalists into their Seixal training camp to watch and grant a few interviews can be seen as mind games ahead of the crucial clash.
One of the interviews was with Coach Jorge Jesus who says his main concern is the weekend’s decisive championship clash against fierce rivals Porto and not the Europa League final which will take place in Amsterdam next Wednesday.
“Our priority in terms of objectives is the championship,” he said. “We have been saying this since the first day we started this journey.”
It will be the first European final in 23 years for the Lisbon club, who lost to AC Milan in the European Cup showpiece in 1990, and they have not won a European trophy since the second of their successive European Cups in 1962.
“We are very confident,” said Jesus.
“It’s a step for Benfica to reach their first European final for 23 years. The results we have got so far have taken us to this final. As always we have a lot of respect for Chelsea, but we very confident that we can win it.”
Influential Serbian international Nemanja Matic is ready to show Chelsea what they lost in next week’s Europa League final after he failed to impress in London and was shuttled to Benfica as part of David Luiz’s big-money signing for Chelsea in 2011.
“To tell the truth I don’t have any special feeling because for me that game is like every game in the Portuguese league or in the cup,” said Matic, who played two matches in two years at Stamford Bridge.
“Of course, it’s a final, we play against a good team and me and all the team will be at our best to win.”
This season Matic has earned the nickname “Spider”, because of his long and thin legs, coupled with his agility across the pitch.
He seemed pleased when asked what he thought about the moniker.
“I didn’t know that. Spider!? It is funny,” said the usually serious Serb said with a grin.