On June 17, 1992, a few days after the start of the 89th Portuguese football season for Sport Lisboa e Benfica, the Aveiro House of Benfica was founded. A mythical year, marked by the conquest of the Portuguese Cup, the replacement of the team’s coach Sven-Göran Eriksson for the Croatian Tomislav Ivic who was later replaced by Toni, along with the arrival of team reinforcements such as Mozer, Mostovoi and the legendary Abel Xavier, Hélder, João Pinto and Paulo Futre, the latter halfway through the championship.
Legend says that Aveiro’s Benfica supporters appreciate the game in a good friendly neighbourhood spirit, with tables filled with food and drinks and a full house. To prove it, the Aveiro House of Benfica was born by the hand of Engineer Joaquim Arnaldo da Silva Mendonça, in the Delta building of the Lourenço Peixinho Avenue with the number 29 and the motto “The House for All Friends of Benfica”.
In just a few months, Manuel Morais’s pioneering leadership amassed a list of 100 members, reaching 200 in 1996, when Orlando Silva was elected, coinciding with the move to a larger space, still on the Lourenço Peixinho Avenue. The first space had reduced areas, with only a simple mini-bar and snooker table, while the second, much more ample, added a ticket office, a merchandising booth and some tables to play cards or domino, every day, starting at 8 PM. In 2000, Alexandre Sá was elected, being followed by Jacinto da Silva in 2007 and in 2011, the facilities changed to its current premises at Alberto Soares Machado Street, in the former Quindim Cafe, and Benfica’s House has been under the direction of Cláudia Rodrigues since March 2017, current President of the Administrative Commission.
Cláudia Rodrigues, a Benfica supporter since birth and club associate nº 271 put her hands to work and restored a proper order to the house, with the noble mission of “better serving the friends of Benfica”. A feat carried out with the collaboration of Mane Azevedo, a die-hard Benfica supporter, who joined the cause on the event of the House’s 25th anniversary. Together, in a few months they managed to reopen the ticket office and the Benfica store, re-introduce old services and restore overall members’trust. The Benfica Board itself, recognised these changes in the form of an invitation by Benfica President Luís Filipe Vieira to watch the Benfica-Braga match in Benfica’s Stadium of Light’s presidential cabinet.
On the walls of the New House of Benfica in Aveiro, Albergaria’s José Bastos and São João da Madeira’s António Veloso stand apart, immortal figures in the history of Sport Lisboa e Benfica. For three decades, the Aveiro House of Benfica also had its glories. First in 1993, the year it received the National Fishing Championship Cup, followed in 1996 by the National Badminton Championship. Finally, in 2016, the Women’s Futsal team became the Third Division District Champion, to which was added the 10th place in the Sueca Card Game World Championship.
The house welcomes its members and friends with bar service, tables, terrace, ticket office and a Benfica store. The environment is friendly and people gather around to listen to the stories told by the elders, many of them two digits club associates, as is the case of Mr. António Lucena, founding partner nº29, who tells us about the hot summer of 93 and the magic of João Pinto in the 6-3 victory against Sporting Lisbon. These are members who animate and delight everyone with the passion they transmit when describing the glories, often heard on the radio, as is the case of former President Jacinto Silva who, besides having watched the inauguration of two stadiums and contributed to the construction of the new one, in Huambo he received the news and reports of the glorious Benfica through the CR6-RA Radio Angola Club.
This is a simple, true and authentic place. A refuge crossing glory with passion, where friendship reigns, under the aegis of the eagle’s flight.