Goalkeeper Júlio César, currently sidelined with a ruptured adductor tendon, was interviewed by BTV before Monday night’s game against Tondela. Asked to provide an update on his contract negotiations, the Brazilian shot-stopper explained that the deal is almost done.

“All that’s left is to sign it! A frank relationship exists with the president, like that of a father and son. The renewal is practically sealed… all that’s left is to sign it, and the only reason that hasn’t happened yet is because the president has a lot of things on his hands.” 

The Brazilian international admitted that his injury had been a huge psychological blow, but that he is now on the road to recovery: “It is true that I’m already missing playing. (But) I’m very optimistic, after an initial week of despondency. In the most recent exam, the oedema was no longer visible, and I hope to return earlier than expected.”

César confirmed that he is content at the Estádio da Luz, and that the squad is fully prepared to retain the Portuguese championship: “There are still 9 ‘cup finals’ to go, and the group is focused and know what they have to do. To be in this stadium is always wonderful! I’m very grateful for everything that Benfica have given me and done (for me) since I’ve worn this jersey. The fans are fantastic… the chemistry that exists between everyone is very positive.”

The former Inter Milan goalkeeper also revealed that he has been impressed by the performances of his deputy, 22-year old Ederson Moraes.

“I’m delighted with Ederson. At his age, to enter (at) the moment that he has entered - first against Sporting in the derby and afterwards against Zenit in Russia - he has given a good account of himself. He is not the goalkeeper of Brazil’s Olympic team for nothing! [3rd choice goalkeeper] Paulo Lopes has lots of experience, he knows football very well, and I’m certain that, if necessary, he will also give a good account of himself.”