Luis Martins Debuts for Benfica

In last night’s Champions League match between Benfica and Basel, Portuguese youngster debuted for Benfica. 2011 has been a stellar year for the left-back. After helping Portugal reach the final of the U-20 World Cup, Benfica coach Jorge Jesus announced that Martins would stay with the first team along with fellow countrymen Nelson Oliveira, Mika, and Ruben Pinto. Many tipped Mika and Nelson Oliveira for playing time this season, after their stellar performances at the U-20 World Cup. Everyone was surprised, however, when Jorge Jesus named Martins in the team’s Champions League squad ahead of experienced (and World Cup and Euro-winning) Joan Capdevila. Since then, Luis Martins has found himself on the bench for two Liga Zon Sagres matches. For the Champions League match last night, Benfica’s first-choice left-back, Emerson, was suspended, and Luis Martins got the nod to make not only his Benfica debut, but also his Champions League debut, all in one night. Luis performed admirable enough, especially when you consider that he is still only 19 years of age. The defender has been dubbed the new Fabio Coentrao, due to his dribbling style and quickness, and many are looking forward to him fulfilling this comparison.

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