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The elections in Benfica are already moving: Luis Felipe Vieira is looking for an alternative to Rui Costa – Benfica

The elections in Benfica are already moving: Luis Felipe Vieira is looking for an alternative to Rui Costa – Benfica

The curtain has come down on a turbulent tournament for Benfica, in a season marked from the start by challenges faced by Roger Schmidt and Rui Costa. While the coach's continuity is being discussed publicly, there is already some movement behind the scenes with a view to elections in October 2025, when the term of the current governing bodies expires.

From the beginning, Luis Felipe Vieira stands out, who resigned from his position in July 2021 after being accused of the “red card” operation, which even led to his arrest.

Record knows that Rui Costa's predecessor, the longest-serving president, between 2003 and 2021, sought to find an alternative to the current administration. When, in 2020, he announced his candidacy for his sixth and, according to him, final term in office – which was abruptly interrupted by that court case – the 74-year-old businessman went so far as to say that Rui Costa would be his successor. The former player then made his debut as vice-president in Vieira's roster. The tear is obvious.

Another way

Mauro Xavier also emerges as a candidate. With a degree in international relations, the director intends to enter the arena. He planned to lead the project in 2029, but everything indicates that it will happen in 2025. The record knows that he has been planning this nomination for a long time.

A well-known face among Benfica fans due to his presence on CMTV and his weekly column in our newspaper, Xavier has stood out for his stances in defense of the club, but also for his criticism of Schmidt. “A painful end to the season without any improvements. We have a lot of work ahead of us and very important decisions. We are starting to miss seeing Benfica take the field,” he wrote in Spanish League 2023/24 with a draw (1-1) in Rio Ave.

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He previously took a position when Benfica was eliminated from the Portuguese Cup with Sporting. He pointed out on the same social network that “the best team in the first division leaves this season without national titles,” stressing: “Assume the coach’s departure at the end of the season and start again.”

Other names taken into consideration include Vieira's two former vice presidents, surgeon João Varandas Fernandez and director Nuno Gayoso Ribeiro. Benfica's future is already being discussed.

The mobilization of the “Greater Good” has been requested.

With more than a year to go before the end of the term, several figures have called for the mobilization of Benfica Bim Mayor (BBM), a think tank founded by former Vice President João Braz Frade. This movement brought together Benfica fans from different backgrounds, including technical directors, and came to develop a strategic programme. It was declared extinct after the elections held in October 2021 and some of its members are now part of the governing bodies, as a result of the closeness between the candidacy of the BBM and Rui Costa. As the election approaches, this group cannot be excluded, even if it is to support a nomination.

Benfica Service is ready for the elections this year

The “Servir o Benfica” movement is preparing to hold early elections, if they are held virtually this year. This group appeared in 2020, but eventually joined Noronha Lopez's candidacy. A year later, Francisco Benítez, running against Rui Costa, ran for president. In the next elections, they will present their own list or support their candidacy. What is certain is that “Servir o Benfica” calls for change. “It is necessary (…) to start working now towards a serious alternative with conditions to gain the confidence of members in 2025,” spokesman Thiago Godinho wrote on the “Glorioso 1904” page.

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Preparation

34 Bosses have had Benfica in their history, including Rui Costa. It was Luis Felipe Vieira who held this position the longest. He was elected on October 31, 2003 and left on July 15, 2021.

4 Years are the duration of states. They had been for three years, but with the 2010 legal change, voted on in the General Assembly of about 100 members, they became four. The proposal to revise the statute stipulates the identification of three in a row.

40 One thousand and 85 members voted in 2021, setting a record number of participation, with Rui Costa and Francisco Benitez nominated. The previous maximum was 38.102, set in 2020, when partners chose between Luis Felipe Vieira, Noronha Lopez and Rui Gomez da Silva.