SL Benfica – Team Report

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average, don’t follow up

Odysseas Vlachodimos

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Player profile:

  • Nationality: Greece
  • Age: 25
  • Date of birth: 26 April 1994
  • Current club: SL Benfica
  • Career: VFB Stuttgart, Panathinaikos & SL Benfica
  • Position: goalkeeper
  • Secondary Position: none
  • Preferred foot: right

The 25-year-old goalkeeper from Greece stands out with his reflexes and shot stopping ability. He is athletic which helps him to move when he is wrong footed. However, his distribution needs to be improved as he always goes for the easy option. Also, he is quite error-prone through the air as he struggles to catch the ball when a cross is played.

Rating: A2

He has showed some amazing saves to save Benfica from losing points, but his insecurity through the air hold him back to play at a higher level for now.

Tomás Tavares

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Player profile:

  • Nationality: Portugal, Cape Verde
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 7 March 2001
  • Current club: SL Benfica
  • Career: Benfica youth
  • Position: right-back
  • Secondary Position: left-back
  • Preferred foot: right

Tomás Tavares is a very promising right-back that has been playing for (the youth of) Benfica since he 2010. The 19-year-old Portuguese is quite complete for his age, but he still needs to work on some small things. In defense, Tomás Tavares reads the game very well and he likes to intercept passes by anticipating well. Standing 1.87 meters tall, he is pretty decent in aerial duels as well. He positions himself quite well and looks disciplined in the matches I watched. Also, he likes to tackle his opponent and this is one of his main qualities. He still struggles in the 1-on-1 duels with some opponents, especially with fast and agile wingers like Wenderson Galeno (SC Braga).

In attack, the youth international of Portugal can contribute more and better. Nevertheless, he has showed decent athleticism and dynamism in his playing style, looking for smart options to play out the pressure. Example given, he likes to play one-two’s with the midfield to play out the pressure.

Rating: A2

Tomás Tavares is one of the biggest prospects in Portugal at the right-back position and he will most-likely become a regular starter for Benfica next season. In the future, he will play in a top 5 league for sure.

Rúben Dias

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Player profile:

  • Nationality: Portugal
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 14 May 1997
  • Current club: SL Benfica
  • Career: Benfica youth
  • Position: central defender
  • Secondary Position: none
  • Preferred foot: right

The 22-year-old central defender already has played 17 matches for the Portuguese national team and he has been linked with a move to one of the top 5 leagues for quite a while now. Rúben Dias is a physical imposing centre-back that is very good in the 1-on-1 duels. He hardly gets dribbled past and has proved to be a very reliable defender in the first half of the season. In the second half of the season, he played less well. Still, Rúben Dias coaches his teammates often, feels comfortable on the ball, is able to play a pass that breaks lines and he is a very mature defender in general. Also, he has good positional awareness as he is able to see that he needs to take up another position when that player is out of position.

Rating: A1

Rúben Dias probably should’ve been at a bigger club already, and he definitely needs to move to a bigger club this summer.

Ferro

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Player profile:

  • Nationality: Portugal
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 26 March 1997
  • Current club: SL Benfica
  • Career: Benfica youth, Casa Pia youth, Benfica youth
  • Position: central defender
  • Secondary Position: none
  • Preferred foot: right

Ferro is a Portuguese centre-back who is yet to make his debut for the national team of Portugal. He has been a regular starter for Benfica since last season. As well as Rúben Dias, Ferro is very comfortable on the ball and he likes to play passes that break lines. In the first half of the season, Benfica only conceded three goals in the Liga NOS and this was not only because of the presence of Rúben Dias. However, in the second half the form of Benfica declined and Ferro turned out to be very error-prone. Rumours are that Ferro has not completed a single training session in the second half of the season and that he was not fully fit to play 90 minutes every single week. In the first half of the season, Ferro anticipated well to intercept passes, he was strong in the 1-on-1 duels, he won most defensive duels, he was impressive in aerial duels and he positioned himself very well as well.

Rating: A2

Overall, Ferro has proved that he can be a reliable defender for a very long period. However, due to fitness troubles he has been much weaker in the second half of the season. Ferro needs to stay at Benfica for a few more months to gain back his confidence, before he can make a move to the top 5 leagues.

Alejandro Grimaldo

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Player profile:

  • Nationality: Spain
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 20 September 1995
  • Current club: SL Benfica
  • Career: Valencia youth, Barcelona youth, Barcelona B
  • Position: left-back
  • Secondary Position: left-midfielder, left-winger & central midfielder
  • Preferred foot: left

The 24-year-old left-back is a creative defender who stands out in the attacking aspect of the position. He is very good going forward. Grimaldo can time his run very well to get into threatening positions, he has a good first touch and ball control and he has a very good kicking technique. In defence, he watches his surroundings often to make sure that the defensive structure keeps intact and he reads the game quite well. His intercepting and tackling is quite decent. However, he is very vulnerable in the 1-on-1 duels. For example, against Marcus Edwards he nearly lost every single duel.

Rating: A1

If played in the right role, he can become a regular starter for one of the European topclubs. His ideal role is playing in an attacking minded team where he needs to attack more than he needs to defend.

Carlos Vinícius

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Player profile:

  • Nationality: Brazil
  • Age: 25
  • Date of birth: 22 March 1995
  • Current club: SL Benfica
  • Career: Santos youth, Palmeiras B, Atlética Caldense, Grêmio Esportivo Anápolis, Real SC, Napoli, Rio Ave, AS Monaco, SL Benfica
  • Position: striker
  • Secondary Position: left-winger
  • Preferred foot: left

The Brazilian striker scored 15 goals and gave 7 assists in 22 matches in Liga NOS and has been one of the revelations in Portugal this season. He has only been a regular starter for Benfica since November and scored in nearly every match. The former Napoli player shows decent physique, as he is often able to hold-up play and keep the defenders away from the ball. He does not get the ball often, but when he does receive the pass, he either creates a chance for a teammate or he scores a goal. He is a deadly finisher and is able to pick out the right pass as well.

Rating: A1

After one season in Portugal, he is able to get his revanche for a rather disappointing spell in Italy and France. This time, he will succeed for sure.

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