Besides discussing Benfica’s youth policy, Luís Filipe Vieira covered a number of controversial topics in his candid interview with TVI on Wednesday night. The Benfica President was quizzed about various players and coaches, both past and present, and he did not dodge a question. Read on for a selection of his most memorable quotes.


“I have a relationship with Luisão that I don't have with anyone else. He is my friend. There would never be a "go away" from me. There is, however, career progression. Luisão will always be our captain, whether he plays or not… it was unthinkable that someone could say that we wanted to run Luisão (out of the club). There are so many lies every day in football. Luisão is not finished, and he will prove this to everybody. The choices are up to him and the coach, but he is the leader of Benfica, of that there is no doubt whatsoever.”


“I've already heard Benfiquistas complain about Markovic having said that in Portugal he would only play for Benfica. (But) there are very few players who do so nowadays. It is normal. He was not able to succeed in England, he already knew Portugal, knew the coach of Sporting, (and) decided to play there. No-one can take this amiss. He was only at Benfica for one year.”


“Taarabt? Rui [Vitória] and I saw the player and the fault is both of ours. There was a player (available) that, in technical terms, is remarkable. (But) he arrived here six kilograms overweight! Now he is the correct weight, (but) after the interview he gave [to France Football], he will not wear the Benfica jersey again!”


“Jorge Jesus worked with me for six years. I have nothing to criticise him for until the day that he left, which was by his own choice. He is an excellent professional, he is in Benfica’s history, nobody can take that away… he won three championships and could have won even more. But this is a closed chapter for me. He left with the “Bicampeanato”? Yes, but two years before, nobody wanted him. If we hadn’t given him a hand back then, then who knows where he would be today!”

“For the project that Benfica has, I have no doubts whatsoever that I could not plan for the long- or medium-term [with Jesus]. This is no criticism, but everyone knows Jorge Jesus’ way of working.”


“The words of Talisca [claiming he had been forced out of the club]? In a year from now, he will (need to) return and explain to people. Because it is a lie! He wanted to make more money, it is not worth making up stories!”


“We have two “flops” and it is not worth running from this: Ola John and [Filip] Djuričić. Rui Costa – the poor thing – believed in Djuričić so much that he gave him the number 10 shirt, which is his to give away. Are they players without quality? No, they have quality, it is only that they didn’t acclimatise or something of this sort. (But) we will solve this problem, because the players will be leaving Seixal.”


“Benfica becoming champions owed much to his goals. Reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions [League] as well. I’m convinced that this year he will justify all of this investment. I believe that he will be the one of the most feared forwards this year. This is my opinion, although in football, nothing is a given. People tell me that I have a great instinct, but sometimes I can fool myself. My feeling is that he will be the most expensive transfer in Portuguese football.”


“Re-sign João Cancelo and Bernardo Silva? We have no chance of that! I have few doubts that Cancelo will be world class in his position. Bernardo Silva... it is not worth talking about him!”


“Zivković not going to (play in the) Champions [League group stage]? He hasn’t played for six months… people cannot forget this.”


“What happened with Rafa Silva was very simple. The “Big Three” wanted the player. The decisive (factor) in this was Rafa, but if he had chosen Sporting, I would not have been upset, because I did the best that I could. I’ve also lost players to FC Porto (before).”


"Ruben Amorim will be loaned out. I know the relationship that I have with him, and I know the reasons that he had to go abroad.”