Vlachodimos and Samaris celebrate Benfica title triumph
Benfica clinched their 37th Portuguese championship on Saturday, with Odisseas Vlachodimos and Andreas Samaris both playing important roles in the title-winning season.
Hosting Santa Clara on the final matchday of the campaign, Benfica were overwhelming favourites to clinch the title, and the Eagles duly obliged with a comfortable 4:1 triumph in Lisbon. In the first half, Haris Seferovic, Joao Felix and Rafa Silva all found the net, with Greek midfielder Andreas Samaris contributing with an assist for the opening goal.
Seferovic grabbed his second in the 56th minute, and despite Cesar Martins getting Santa Clara on the scoreboard moments later, Benfica weren’t to be denied. Benfica finish the Portuguese Primeira Liga in first position with 87 points from 34 games, with nearest challengers FC Porto two points behind in second spot.
This is Benfica’s 37th national title in their history.
Talented 25-year-old goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos, who transferred from Panathinaikos last summer, played every match of the league season for Benfica, conceding 30 goals and recording 15 clean sheets. This is his first career trophy at senior level after winning the 2017 UEFA U21 European Championship with Germany.
It was a mixed season for Samaris. Initially, the 29-year-old was left out in the cold by then head coach Rui Vitoria, but ever since Bruno Lage became manager in January, his fortunes have dramatically changed for the better. Under the leadership of Lage, Samaris has become an important figure in the centre of midfield, making 19 appearances in the league while scoring two goals and dishing out three assists. This is the fourth time when Samaris has become a Portuguese champion with Benfica, having previously won the championship in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Samaris was given a standing ovation by the Estadio da Luz when being substituted in the 79th minute of the victory against Santa Clara.
Benfica captured a picture of the two Greeks celebrating together:
Former Benfica midfielder Kostas Katsouranis congratulated his ex-employers with their triumph: