| 5.8°C Dublin

Euro jinx won't stop us – Jesus

Benfica manager Jorge Jesus will not let the hoodoo of a 51-year European trophy drought distract his players from beating Chelsea to Europa League glory.

Jesus (pictured) is reminded on a daily basis of the European Cup triumphs of 1961 and 1962 especially considering that, despite reaching six continental finals since, the Portuguese giants have come up short.

Jesus said: "I know Benfica's great moment in sporting history was in the 1960s. I was born in 1954, but I know the history of the club because I have read about it and it is illustrated in photos at the training ground. Winning the Europa League would be a very important moment in the club's history, and for the players and staff.

"Getting to the final is a great achievement in itself but coming away victorious would be even greater."

The 58-year-old coach is relishing the opportunity to tackle last year's Champions League winners, who boast a pair of Benfica graduates, in Amsterdam tonight.

"It's our pleasure to face Chelsea, to share a final with opponents that were once my players," he added.

"They have David Luiz and Ramires, but I'm not forgetting about Paulo Ferreira and Hilario."

Argentinian midfielder Nicolas Gaitan, who has appeared in all eight of Benfica's Europa League matches, is eager to help the current crop of Eagles make history.

He said: "I know it has been a long time since Benfica reached a European final. I know that they are a team with a lot of victories in the past. Now we have a chance to achieve that as well.

"It doesn't matter if you win two games here or three games there, it's all about how you play and what happens on the day. You have to do well on that day and nothing else."


Privacy