Where are you from, where do you live, and what is your occupation?
I was born in Torres Vedras, Portugal, and my family lived in the neighbouring town of Vimeiro. I was raised in Ontario, Canada, and I still live here. I'm currently a stay-at-home mommy, which means I get to watch all the games. Be jealous!
When and why did you become a Benfiquista?
I was born one, haha! I was raised a Benfiquista. My close family are Benfica fans, and as we've grown up, some have married other fans: green, blue and other colours too. My hubby's cousin is a Sporting fan and was joking that she bleeds green. I told her that I bleed red, as is intended, and that she should go to hospital to check for an infection! My son is a Sócio and we are planning to visit the Luz and sign up my daughter too. Big Benfiquistas make little Benfiquistas!
Who are your favourite Benfica players, past and present?
My uncles and my grandfather made sure that I knew about Eusébio. He will forever have the hearts of all Benfiquistas, I believe. I have a soft spot for the number 21 jersey, so I love Nuno Gomes, and yes, now Pizzi too. I also love David Luiz and Pablo Aimar. I miss Renato Sanches. I love watching "Mete-um-golo"... I mean Mitroglou! If the player makes the jersey proud, I respect them.
Have you visited the Estádio da Luz or seen any Benfica games live?
I have been to the Luz twice with my hubby @MdotSLB, and we have also been able to attend two games in Toronto. My favourite part of the Toronto games was when David Luiz hoisted the trophy for us fans to celebrate with them.
What was your favourite moment as a Benfiquista?
I loved it when our entire team wore Eusébio jerseys [against Porto in 2014]. That game was so emotionally charged and once that first goal happened, I felt relief. I love watching our team hoist trophies as it validates all of the hard work, and discredits the bullshit we put up with. I also loved that first walk I took with my hubby to the Luz for the game we saw. It ended as a tie versus Trofense, and “Quique" Sánchez Flores was white-flagged, whistled at, and the fans chanted for him to go back to Spain! But I loved the moment of stepping into the stadium, seeing the pitch and being enveloped in this raw energy which continued to grow as the stadium filled up. It is a surreal feeling to be a part of this fanbase, which feels much more like a family than just a fanbase.
What was your worst moment?
My heart broke for our gents when we had those two back-to-back defeats in the 2012/13 season, in the final minutes of both games: one to Porto and the other to Chelsea.
For you, what makes Benfica special or unique?
Players inevitably move on or retire, coaches move on, but this club remains a force. The fans definitely fuel that and I feel that some of the players are moved by that. Like I mentioned earlier, it feels like a family, a community rather than just a fanbase. We all seem to be fanatics, not just casual fans. It brings out our passion and we are a red wave, “O Inferno”.
If you could change one thing about the club, team or fans, what would it be?
My previous career was in banking, so I would definitely fix the finances! I place an order once a year from the Benfica Store, and it's normally a huge order because the darned shipping is so expensive. I would try to change that too, in a perfect world. Perhaps I would check up on our medical team, as it seems that sometimes our guys are too fragile. Otherwise, my changes would relate to our Liga and referees! Consistency would be a top priority.
Do you support any other teams besides Benfica?
I have a soft spot for Sport Clube União Torreense, from Torres Vedras, but besides that I'm a big hater!
What are your hobbies apart from watching the Eagles?
I like reading, crochet, watching movies with my family, watching the Benfica Podcast, and eating Portuguese food. Rissóis de camarão and Sumol Maracujá for the win!
You can follow Cintia on Twitter.