Football

Jorge Jesus has achieved all he can at Benfica

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There comes a point in any football manager's career when he has to leave the club he's at and move on. If Sir Alex Ferguson can hand over the reigns at Manchester United, there's no excuse for anyone to hang around longer than necessary.

Sometimes no matter how much you love a club, and how long you've been there, results dictate that it's time to move on. A sentiment echoed by many Arsenal fans every time points are dropped - though the FA Cup win may give Arsene Wenger a bit more time.

But the opposite can also be true. What happens when results are better than anyone could have expected and a club reaches it's limit?

When a club's potential has been realised, the bar raised, and expectations exceeded is it time for the manager to move on to pastures new?

A mutual parting enabling one man to reach the heights his former employees could only dream about.

In the red half of Lisbon there's a wiley old manager who must consider this option - step forward Jorge Jesus.

Short of overcoming an almost voodoo-like curse set by the late Bela Guttmann in 1962, Jesus has done all he can with the resources on hand to him at Benfica.

The only thing left to achieve is a European title, and while another man by the name of Jesus may have performed miracles, it seems there's not a football manager on earth who could turn Benfica into European champions.

Two consecutive Europa League final defeats mean the club have lost all of their eight European finals since Guttmann made his 100-year promise, and Jorge Jesus isn't the man to change that, especially when his top stars are consistently sold.

Since replacing Quique Sanchez Flores in 2009, Jesus has had to wave goodbye to a host of star players.

Angel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao left for Real Madrid while Ramires, David Luiz and, most recently, Nemanja Matic all moved to Chelsea.

Axel Witsel was shipped off to Russia around the same time Javi Garcia chose rainy Manchester and a move to the Eithad stadium, over sun-drenched life in Lisbon.

The departures look likely like to continue this summer. Rumours surrounding the future of Ezequiel Garay and Rodrigo have been non-stop while it seems only a matter of time before Europe's elite begin to target the likes of Lazar Markovic and Jan Oblak.

The biggest problem for Jesus is that although big money has been made from out-going transfers during his five year reign, little has been spent, with few world class players desperate to play in the Primeira Liga.

Despite losing his best players year after year, Jesus has continued to succeed. Since taking charge in 2009, his Benfica side have claimed two league titles, never finished outside the top two in the league, won the League Cup four times, the Portuguese Cup once, twice come agonisingly close to being crowned Europa League winners and last season became the first team to win a domestic treble in Portugal.

In 2013 a last minute winner from Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic ensured the curse stayed in tact, while this year a penalty shoot-out got the better of Benfica as Sevilla took the Euopea League title.

So now perhaps it's time for Jesus to walk away from Lisbon and on towards one of Europe's elite.

Both La Liga and the Premier League would be richer for having Jesus grace them with his presence.

A man who produces teams full of young and vibrant stars, playing attacking football and challenging for titles both domestically and in Europe must surely test himself in one of the world's best leagues.

By the time next season starts Jesus will be 60, and while his name sake may have risen again, the Benfica boss may only have once chance at managing at the top, so if Atletico Madrid were to lose Diego Simeone, if Arsenal finally say au revoir to Arsene Wenger or if Tottenham continue to sack managers for the sheer fun of it, Jorge Jesus should follow a number of his former players and move on to bigger and better things.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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