As SL Benfica prepare to host FC Porto in a potential title decider, we recall a famous 2004 Clássico, José Mourinho's era, and ask what happened to the victorious Eagles?
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It is Portugal's Clássico on Sunday as SL Benfica and FC Porto go head-to-head in a match that could decide the destination of the 2014/15 Portuguese Liga title. The rivalry runs deep, but perhaps one of their greatest recent tussles came in 2004 when Porto's bid for a second successive clean sweep of Portugal's silverware was ended in the Portuguese Cup final.
Underdogs Benfica, coached by José Antonio Camacho, upset the odds as goals from Simão Sabrosa and Takis Fyssas earned a 2-1 extra-time triumph. We find out where a few of the heroes of that day are now. As for Porto, the disappointment did not last long – ten days later José Mourinho's side won the UEFA Champions League.
1. Nuno Gomes
A forward renowned for his aerial ability, Gomes had rejoined Benfica the previous season from relegated ACF Fiorentina, and this was his first trophy in five campaigns at the club. He remained there until 2010/11, winning the Liga twice and amassing 166 goals in 399 games for the Lisbon giants. He also managed 29 from 79 outings for Portugal, helping his country reach the UEFA EURO 2004 final. He had short spells with SC Braga and Blackburn Rovers FC before retiring in 2013. Now 38, he was a television pundit before being made a director of Benfica.
2. Zlatko Zahovič
A virtuoso midfielder with great technique, Zahovič accumulated silverware wherever he went and is still Slovenia's highest goalscorer. He arrived in Portugal in 1993, spending three seasons with Vitória SC before moving to Porto and aiding them to three straight championships. He had stints at Olympiacos FC and Valencia CF before returning to the country – this time with Benfica. He hung up his boots after another title, in 2004/05, and since 2007 has been director of football at NK Maribor. His son Luka, 19, is a forward at the club.
3. João Pereira
A short, versatile right-back, the Benfica academy product ended his first term as a senior player with this cup final win, but did not always see eye-to-eye with the Eagles management and left two years later. He headed to Gil Vicente FC, then impressed enough at SC Braga to prompt Benfica's neighbours Sporting Clube de Portugal to come calling in 2009. Capped 40 times by Portugal, he was at Valencia CF until January, when the 31-year-old switched to Hannover 96 in the Bundesliga.
4. Armando Sá
This was speedy full-back Armando's last match for Benfica, bringing the curtain down on a three-season sojourn. The Mozambique international's career path took him to Villarreal CF, RCD Espanyol – lifting the 2005/06 Copa del Rey – and Leeds United AFC before diverting along a less-travelled road to Iran for three years; there he played, initially at least, under father-in-law Augusto Inácio, a Porto player from the 1980s. Sá now coaches youth players and works as a scout.
5. Pedro Mantorras
'The next Eusébio'. The Angolan international's explosive style made him a firm favourite among Benfica fans, and a likeness to Portugal's greatest player was frequently drawn. It was not to be, though. On the radar of Europe's richest clubs, Mantorras sustained a career-threatening knee injury in 2002, weeks before his 20th birthday, and did not play again for two and a half years. The cup success seemed an apt tribute both to him and to Miklós Fehér, who had died playing for Benfica five months earlier. Mantorras returned but was never the same player and retired in 2011. Now an ambassador at the club.
6. Fernando Aguiar
Nicknamed 'Robocop', Aguiar was an uncompromising defensive midfielder who famously took no prisoners. Born in Portugal but raised in Canada, whom he represented at international level, he plied his trade in his country of birth from 1994. However, 2003/04 was his sole season at Benfica. Aguiar hung up his boots in 2009, only to strap them on again in 2013/14 when he played a solitary term with lower-league outfit Pedrouços AC. He was 41 by the time it was all over.
Capped once by Brazil, Geovanni had become an integral part of the Benfica side having arrived from FC Barcelona on the eve of the 2003/04 campaign. A right-winger who could also operate as a striker, he was instrumental in the Eagles' Liga triumph the next season but departed in 2006. Interludes in England with Manchester City FC and Hull City AFC, as well as Brazil and the United States, followed before he called it a day in 2013, aged 33.
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