As a former SL Benfica player, Nuno Gomes knows how important European success is to the Portuguese club. The Eagles have not lifted a major continental trophy since 1962, but hopes are high that the long wait will end in Turin.
"We are very excited," Nuno Gomes told UEFA.com. "We were there [at the UEFA Europa League final] last year and lost, so it is good for us to achieve two finals in two years. I hope this time we can bring the cup back to Lisbon. That would make the 'Benfiquistas' very happy and we will do our best to achieve it."
Benfica have hit 14 goals in the competition since transferring from the UEFA Champions League, and Nuno Gomes, as a former striker, is impressed with the attacking options the club has at its disposal. "Rodrigo is doing well and we have Lima and [Óscar] Cardozo," said the 37-year-old. "They are scoring a lot and helping the team in other moments of the game. They are proving they are very good players and I hope they can help us in the final."
Crowned Portuguese champions last month, Jorge Jesus's side have responded with intent after the heartbreaking finale to last term which saw them fall short in their pursuit of three trophies. Twelve months on from defeat in the UEFA Europa League final to Chelsea FC, continued faith in coach Jesus has paid off.
"We practice 'happy football'," explains Nuno Gomes, now a director at Benfica, having spent much of his playing career at the club. "We have an offensive game with offensive play. We like to have the ball to create as many chances as we can. They are very organised and Jorge Jesus is a very methodical coach. The players go on to the field knowing what they are doing. This team is proving they deserve to win things."
Regardless of whether Benfica account for Sevilla FC, Nuno Gomes knows this is a great time for the city of Lisbon as it prepares to host the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid CF and Club Atlético de Madrid later this month.
"Lisbon will be, at least on that day, the centre of the world," the 79-times capped Portuguese international said. "Thousands of people will pay attention to what happens inside and outside the stadium. They will get to know the city better and, hopefully, return later on holiday with more time to enjoy a very beautiful city."
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