2008-09 Benfica Home Shirt Size Large
Era: 2008-09 (Used for the 2008-09 Primeira Liga season and the 2009 Taca da Liga Final)
CONDITION: VERY GOOD
This article come in very good condition with the material showing excellent stead, while the embroidery is also in fine tact. Regrettably however, the sponsor decals are starting to show significant wear, preventing the shirt from being described as excellent.
Pit to Pit Measurement: 22 inches
Shirt Length: 30 inches
Made in Adidas’ ‘ClimeCool’ mould that they introduced ahead of the 2008-09 season, these shirts were notorious for being baggy, and I would conclude that this shirt would also fit who wears a size XL shirt today.
For the first time since the 1999/00 European shirt, Adidas would include as black as part of Benfica’s home shirt as the usual red with white trimmings fixture was shelved for a season. After two seasons of a conventional collar, a hoop neck would return for the 2008/09 home shirt and after the asymmetrical Adidas placement in the previous season’s jersey, the embroidery was repositioned back back to the centre of the shirt and TMN & MEO would become the main shirt sponsors! This strip would be synonymous with the sole season tenures of coach Qique Sanchez Flores and Jose Anotonio Reyes, meanwhile, this was also the last shirt of the club’s worn by long serving stalwart Kostas Katsouranis.
A disappointing 2007/08 season would see many changes take place at the Estadio da Luz ahead of the new campaign, with Qique Sanchez Flores becoming the new head coach. Club legend Rui Costa retired at the conclusion of the previous season, while the likes of: Armando Petit, Hans-Jorg Butt, Nuno Assis, Nelson and Leo also departed the club as part of the overhaul. Fans were rightfully optimistic ahead of the new season given that: Ruben Amorim, Pablo Aimar, Sidnei, Jose Antonio Reyes, Javier Balboa and David Suazo were all drafted in!
The new regime would get off to a disappointing 1-1 draw away against Rio Ave, before battling to another 1-1 draw Porto in the first big derby of the season on August 30th. European duty would call next as Benfica would need to navigate the challenge of Napoli in order to get into the UEFA Cup Group Stages. Napoli would win a thrilling first leg 3-2 at the San Paolo with the 2nd Leg to come on October 2nd. 4 days later, Flores would secure his first win as Benfica manager, when his team defeated Pacos de Ferreira 4-3 in another thrilling encounter. 5 days later, Benfica would defeat Sporting 2-0 in the first Derby de Lisboa to continue their unbeaten start to the league season.
The ante was raised on October 2nd when they defeated Napoli 2-0 to reach the Group Stage’s of the UEFA Cup; their opponents in Group B would be: Metalist Kharkiv, Galatasaray, Hertha Berlin and Olympiacos. After drawing 1-1 with Leixoes, Benfica would edge past Penafiel on penalties to reach the Fifth Round of the Taca de Portugal, before the European campaign resumed with a 1-1 draw with Hertha.
November began with a 2-0 defeat at home against Galatasaray in what was the foreshadow of a disastrous group stage, however, on the domestic stage, Benfica were scintillating as they collected maximum points for the month following wins over: Vitoria de Guimaraes, Estrela de Amadora and Academica, meanwhile, the’d also reach the next round of the Taca de Portugal after defeating Desportivo de Aves 3-0 on November 10th. The result of this fine body of work would place them in 2nd in the table, just a point behind the surprise leaders Leixoes.
A 1-0 defeat at home to Metalist on December 10th finally put an end to a painful UEFA Cup stint that yielded just 1 point in 4 games and then 3 days later, they would be disposed out of the Portuguese Cup by Leixoes on penalties. Still, December did yield a 6-0 win away against Martimo, and they would go into 2009 at the top of the Primeira Liga and still undefeated.
It wasn’t a happy New Year as their 12 match unbeaten record finally came to end when Trofense defeated them 2-0 on January 4th, they would rebound with a 1-0 win over Braga, and deliver a superb showing in the Taca da Liga; winning all 3 cup matches to book a place in the semi-final against Vitoria de Guimares on February 4th. The month of January would end with a 1-0 win over Rio Ave, however, Porto would now have the initiative at the summit of the division by a single point at the half way point of the season.
A critical February began with reaching the final of the League Cup when they defeated Guimaraes 2-1. They would fail in their bid to return to the top of the league though as they played out another 1-1 draw with Porto on February 8th.In their Taca da Liga Final dress rehearsal against Sporting; ‘The Lions’ would exact revenge for their September defeat, and inflict a 3-2 victory of their own on February 21st at the Estadio Alvalade to further dent Benfica’s title challenge. Still, a 2-1 win over Leixoes in their next game, reduced the arrears back to just 2 points as 10 games remained of the league season.
A first defeat at home in the league since April 2008 would come on March 14th at the hands of Vitoria de Guimaraes, and more worryingly, Sporting now usurped them in 2nd place. This would set the tone for their Taca da Liga Finale 7 days later, and with nothing to separate the sides after extra time, Benfica would prevail 3-2 on penalties to become the League Cup champions for the first time and inflict Sporting’s second successive penalty shootout heartbreak in the final of the competition!
There was now 8 games left to mount an unlikely title challenge and that would begin with a 2-1 win over Estrela de Amadora on April 5th, however, a defeat to Nacional on May 2nd ended the title bid, and then the 2-2 draw with Trofense meant that 2nd place was no longer a possibility either. 3rd would be secured however, as they defeated 4th place Braga 3-1 in the penultimate game of the season, before ending the season with a 3-1 win over Belenenses in what would be Qique Sanchez Flores’ final game in charge.
The notable players that season were:
Nuno Gomes, David Suazo, Jose Antonio Reyes, Oscar Cardozo, Mantorras, Javier Balboa, Angel Di Maria, Mantorras, Giles Binya, Pablo Aimar, Kostas Katsouranis, Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Carlos Martins, Ruben Amorim, Maxi Pereira, Luisao, Felipe Bastos, Miguel Vitor, Sidnei, Jorge Ribeiro, David Luiz, Anderson, Leo, Quim, Jose Moreira
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