lisbon: benfica – the match run down

Posted on March 18, 2006



by o mundo de claudia

As any Benfica supporter might testify, going to a Benfica match is more of a religious ritual than anything else.
Dress code: red.

Any match should start or end with a visit to the trailers outside the stadium. You have a choice between a variety of sandwiches which will increase your cholesterol to a probable-death-by-heart-attack level:

– “bifanas” – greasy pork meat sandwiches
– “entremeadas” – greasy pork meat sandwiches; can be identified by the stripe of pure fat in the middle of the rest of the meat;
– “coiratos” – greasy pork skin sandwiches; these are pure fat.

A tip: the trailer with the lowest standards of hygiene always has the best sandwiches


Entering the stadium, it is mandatory to praise its magnificence and mock the rival team’s yellow and green bowl. Ridiculous.



An eagle (the team’s symbol) flies from the top rows to a podium in the middle of the field. As it gets to the podium there is a collective burst of joy.



On the big screen, each player is announced. The opponent’s team is basically ignored unless they are big rivals in which case they are booed. The team of referees are heavily booed and cursed at by both sides. They *always* rob us.


The Benfica hymn is played as the teams enter the pitch. It is mandatory to sing along. The hymn has been published on this same blog under happier circumstances.


The match starts.

You bond with complete strangers.

Otherwise good mannered people insult the referee’s mother.

If Benfica fails to win, you insult the player’s mothers. They are obviously not worthy of playing for the greatest team in the world.



You run into your cousin (who is a 1,90m tall married man by now but who will always be your baby cousin) who, after a brainwashing afternoon with my father 28 years ago, uttered his first word: “ben fi ca”. Oh wait. That only happens to me.