Benfica look to the future ahead of Europa League final

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Ahead of the Europa League Final against Chelsea, Jorge Jesus is hopeful his Benfica team can once again become a major European force.

The Lisbon club haven't won a major European trophy since Eusebio inspired them to European Cup glory in 1962.

Jesus knows victory tonight (Wednesday), against the side who knocked them out of last year's Champions League quarter-finals, could create a platform for them to build upon, and resurrect their status in European football.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the final, Jesus said: "Benfica is a club who have had an excellent performance throughout its history.

"It created a name like Reak Madrid and Milan, and in the 1960s and 1970s these were the teams in most finals.

"It hasn't been the same in the last few years. We were in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last year, we've been in the semi-finals of the Europa League, so we've been recovering our international prestige. That's what the president of Benfica and the club are working towards, improving the image of the club in Europe."

The Portuguese team will have to bounce back from their first league defeat of the season last weekend.

A last minute Porto goal condemned them to a 2-1 defeat and dropped them down to second place in the Primeira Liga with just one game to go.

The final also presents the opportunity for several players to face off against their former club.

Chelsea pair David Luiz and Ramires were both signed from Benfica, while Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic moved to Portugal as part of the deal that saw Luiz arrive at Stamford Bridge.


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