Jesus hopes to resurrect Benfica as a force in continental football

BENFICA boss Jorge Jesus is confident he can end the Portuguese club’s miserable record in European finals and triumph against Chelsea in Amsterdam tonight.

The Eagles, one of the continent’s most fashionable clubs in the 1960s, have lost six consecutive European finals, with their last triumph coming in the Champions League final in 1962 where Eusebio inspired victory over Real Madrid, in a fixture also played in Amsterdam.

The 71-year-old former European Footballer of the Year has travelled with Benfica to Holland to help inspire them tonight and manager Jesus believes it’s his club’s time to regain their reputation as a European powerhouse.

“If we compare the performances of Chelsea and Benfica in Europe over the last few seasons it is normal to think that Chelsea are favourites, but a final is a final and we at Benfica have every possibility of becoming the winners tomorrow,” he said.

“Benfica created a name for themselves in the 1960s and have recovered the lost prestige over the last few years. That’s what the president of the club and the club itself are working towards – an improved reputation of the club in Europe.”

FINAL FACTS

Chelsea and Benfica have played in 12 European finals between them with varying degrees of success. The Blues have won three trophies, including last season’s Champions League, while the Eagles have two successes.

Chelsea
■ 2012: Champions League – Won
■ 2008: Champions League – Lost
■ 1998: Cup Winners’ Cup – W
■ 1971: Cup Winners’ Cup – W

Benfica
■ 1990: Champions League – L
■ 1988: Champions League – L
■ 1983: Uefa Cup – L
■ 1968: Champions League – L
■ 1965: Champions League – L
■ 1963: Champions League – L
■ 1962: Champions League – W
■ 1961: Champions League – W