S.L. Benfica

Founded in 1904 by a group of people led by Cosme Damião, Benfica is one of the “Big Three” clubs in Portugal that have never been relegated from the Primeira Liga – the other two are rivals FC Porto and Sporting CP. The team is nicknamed Águias (Eagles) for the symbol atop the club’s crest, and Encarnados (Reds) for the shirt colour. Since 2003, their home ground has been the Estádio da Luz, which replaced the original one. Benfica is the most supported Portuguese club, with an estimated fan base of 14 million supporters worldwide, and the European club with the highest percentage of supporters in its own country. By August 2015, it had 156,916 paying members. The club’s official anthem, “Ser Benfiquista”, refers to its supporters who are called Benfiquistas. Benfica is honoured in three Portuguese Orders: those of Christ, of Merit and of Prince Henry.

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