Benfica has reached an agreement in principle with Rui Vitória to coach the team for the next 3 years. Following Jorge Jesus’ departure to capital rivals Sporting, Luis Filipe Vieira has entertained the suspense for a week before officially releasing the statement this Thursday:
“Sport Lisboa e Benfica - Football, SAD, in compliance with article 248 of the Portuguese Securities Market Code, announces that it has reached agreement in principle with the coach Rui Vitória to carry out a sports employment contract, taking effect in the next three seasons”
Who is Rui Vitória?
Although his career as a player was rather discreet (he played for third and fourth division teams and retired at the age of 33), his achievements in the manager role are probably what turned him into an option of choice for LFV. Indeed, after coaching his team Vilafranquense, he moved to his club of heart Benfica to manage the B team from 2004 to 2006.
From 2006 to 2010, he helped promote CD Fátima to the second division and was subsequently targeted by Paços de Ferreira to help their ambition of being among the top 10 teams in Portugal. Which he did brilliantly as the club finished their 2010-2011 season in the seventh position and runners up of the League Cup.
In August 2011, he joined Vitória de Guimarães (considered as the country’s fourth biggest club) and maintained fantastic results as well as leading them to win the Portuguese Cup in 2012-2013 against… Benfica.
Simply by looking at his CV, one can see that progression is an integral part of Rui Vitória’s career. He will face many challenges in a club such as Benfica where the expectation is to win every game of the Portuguese competitions and progressing as far as possible in Europe. His predecessor has also raised the bar high with 10 trophies in 6 years and he will undoubtedly be the point of focus of many supporters who were perhaps expecting a more experienced coach.