Statements by Rui Costa, president of Benfica, in his participation, recorded on video, at the Thinking Football Summit
The president of Benfica, Rui Costa, reiterated this Thursday the need for the club to invest in training, highlighting the preponderance of players such as João Neves, António Silva and Florentino, and makes clear the desire to expand the facilities in Seixal.
“Benfica Campus has given players to the first team every year. Last year, there were eleven players from the youth team to be used in Benfica’s first team. This year, we are going the same way and the objective is that this value is always greater than five. (…) I can put 20 players to make up the number, but they have been predominant”, he noted, during his participation recorded on video at the Thinking Football Summit.
With women’s football also integrated into the training facilities, the manager did not show displeasure with the club’s infrastructure, but, at a time when Estádio da Luz was also the subject of refurbishment, he did not abdicate from showing his ambition to provide better conditions for athletes.
“The training center is large and of great quality, but, given the work we want to do and the work we have also done in women’s football, it always seems short. So, despite everything we have, it’s always in our want to have something else and it is in our mind to expand Seixal, giving better conditions to everyone who is there”, he said.
With the sale of Gonçalo Ramos, one of Seixal’s “sons”, to Paris Saint-Germain still on the agenda, Rui Costa was once again unhappy with the striker’s departure, but aware that it was a necessary sale.
“How do you manage the departure of a starter from the team? With displeasure, because we live in a country like Portugal, where the supporters have to understand that they cannot live without selling. What we sought with that sale was to protect the The rest of the group. There was an explicit desire from Gonçalo Ramos, not because Gonçalo Ramos didn’t think Benfica was the best club in the world, but because he couldn’t pay the wages that are practiced in other countries of the world. The wage difference for that that you can have in France is abysmal”, he explained.
Despite the great source of revenue that was the transfer of the Portuguese international, as well as the departure of so many other names from the “incarnate” school, Rui Costa ensures that the main function of the youth teams will always be to contribute in terms of sports to the main team, although he does not deny the importance and need for the national champion to make significant financial inflows.
“The main objective is effectively to bring players to the first team and aim at the sporting plan. Then, in line with Gonçalo Ramos, I will not hide that it is a huge source of income that Benfica has. But the great stage of Benfica’s formation is to contribute to the main team”, he underlined.
Rui Costa also addressed the renewal of João Neves, “Joãozinho”, as he likes to call the midfielder, considering it “one of the easiest contracts” he got in office, due to the will of the club and the player, who “didn’t even want to know the values, but only that he would continue to be a Benfica player”.