Benfica and Fenerbahçe meet again in UEFA Champions League qualifying; Nené talks over their 1975/76 European Cup first round tie.
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Benfica and Fenerbahçe are set to meet again in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. The Turkish club have won both of their home meetings with the Eagles 1-0, but have lost by heavier margins in their previous encounters in Lisbon, most recently bowing out in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League semi-finals.
In the first round of the 1975/76 European Cup, Benfica inflicted a record 7-0 UEFA competition defeat on Fenerbahçe. Former Portuguese international Nené, who holds the record number of appearances for Benfica with 802, was one of two hat-trick scorers that night on 17 September 1975, along with Rui Jordão. He looked back with UEFA.com.
UEFA.com: What do you remember about the 7-0 win?
Nené: They had a coach that was a great Brazilian star, Didi, a FIFA World Cup winner in 1958 and 1962. As the match approached he made some bombastic statements, saying that they would come to the Estádio da Luz and win. Of course, at that time we knew how powerful Benfica were and maybe those words also served as a bit of encouragement for us.
UEFA.com: You lost the return leg 1-0; was that a surprise?
Nené: With the 7-0 win from the first match, of course we weren't expecting to lose, but the defeat was fair. No doubt that the Turkish fans are among the more passionate when it comes to supporting their team. We were shocked and it was hard to digest that defeat. Our concentration in Turkey might not have been the best.
UEFA.com: That 1975/76 season marked a change for Benfica and for you as well.
Nené: Yes, the 60s were times of luxury for Benfica as we won everything in Portugal and we did well in Europe as well. But times were changing as Eusébio, António Simões, Jaime Graça and Artur Jorge all left the club. We started with a new coach and new players, and even I wasn't a striker at that time, I used to play as a right-winger. When coach Mário Wilson arrived he tried me as a second striker with Jordão. His decision proved to be correct as I became what Benfica needed.