A tribute to Luisão on 500th Benfica appearance

Luisão's 14-year association with Benfica brought up another landmark against Dortmund, the Brazilian centre-back making his 500th appearance the day after his 36th birthday.

Luisão after setting up Kostas Mitroglou's winner
Luisão after setting up Kostas Mitroglou's winner ©AFP/Getty Images

Luisão has joined some illustrious company at Benfica, making his 500th Eagles appearance in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg against Borussia Dortmund.

The Brazilian centre-back, whose full name is Ânderson Luís da Silva, achieved the milestone the day after his 36th birthday. Luisão, who joined Benfica early in the 2003/04 campaign, is in the 14th season of a trophy-laden stay in Lisbon.

If a haul of five league championships, two Portuguese Cups, seven league cups and three Portuguese Super Cups was not proof enough of his influence, the veteran defender has also scored 45 goals in all competitions. The Dortmund match is his 64th UEFA Champions League outing in a Benfica shirt, embellished by six goals; he has also represented the club 58 times in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, scoring five.

In addition, he holds the club record for most European appearances, Dortmund's visit being his 122nd game for the Lisbon side. Perhaps Luisão's finest campaign was 2013/14, when his 49 matches yielded six goals, a domestic treble of league, cup and League Cup, and a trip to the UEFA Europa League final which Benfica lost to Sevilla on penalties.

Luisão has been at Benfica for 14 years
Luisão has been at Benfica for 14 years©Getty Images

The Dortmund fixture is also his 376th as Benfica's captain, and his quintuple century takes him up to fourth in terms of total Eagles appearances, behind former striker Tamagnini Nené (578 games), António Veloso (534) and Mário Coluna (528). Eusébio (447) is ninth on the all-time list.

Long known as a scorer of important goals, Luisão got the first-leg winner against Liverpool when Benfica eliminated the then holders in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League round of 16. He also struck twice in London as Benfica beat Tottenham in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League round of 16, while his late winner against Sporting in 2005 all but clinched the Liga crown. And, with the former Cruzeiro and Brazil man his usual steady presence this term, there could be even more to come.

Luisão's trophy haul

Benfica
Portuguese Liga x 5 (2005, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Portuguese Cup x 2 (2004, 2014),
Portuguese Super Cup x 3 (2005, 2014, 2016)
Portuguese League Cup x 7 (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Cruzeiro
Brazilian championship x 1 (2003)
Brazilian Cup x 2(2000, 2003)

Brazil
Copa América 2004
FIFA Confederations Cup 2005, 2009

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