Sport Lisboa e Benfica, commonly known as Benfica, is a professional football club based in Lisbon, Portugal. Founded on 28 February 1904, Benfica is one of the "Big Three" clubs in Portugal that have never been relegated from Primeira Liga. Benfica are nicknamed As Águias (The Eagles), for the symbol atop the club's crest. Benfica is the most supported Portuguese club and the European club with the highest percentage of supporters in its own country.
Benfica has a well-known youth academy that has produced some of the most talented football players in Europe. The academy, known as Seixal, has a long history of developing young players and has consistently produced top-level talent. Many of these players have gone on to play for Benfica’s first team or other clubs in Portugal and abroad. The academy has been recognized for its success and was even awarded the Best Academy in the World by the Globe Soccer Awards in 2015 and 2019 and more recently as the Youth Team of the Year in 2022.
Over the years, Benfica’s academy has produced some of the most talented players in football. Some of the most notable players to have come through the academy include Bernardo Silva, Renato Sanches, João Félix, and Rúben Dias. Bernardo Silva, who is now a star for Manchester City and the Portuguese national team, played for Benfica’s academy from 2002 to 2013. Renato Sanches, who won the European Championship with Portugal in 2016, joined Benfica’s academy at the age of 9 and played for the first team before being sold to Bayern Munich. João Félix, who is now one of the most exciting young players in the world, joined Benfica’s academy in 2015 and played for the first team before being sold to Atlético Madrid. Rúben Dias, who was recently named the Premier League’s Player of the Season, joined Benfica’s academy in 2008 and played for the first team before being sold to Manchester City.