For over a century, Benfica has been a prominent name in Portuguese football. Alongside Porto and Sporting Lisbon, they are part of the big three teams in Portugal. Interestingly, there is a hidden meaning behind their club badge that many people may not have noticed.
Benfica has never been relegated and has had their current crest since 1908. The club is nicknamed The Eagles because of the symbol that sits at the top of their crest. However, before they were known as Benfica, they were called Sport Lisboa and played their first match in 1905.
In 1908, Benfica acquired Grupo Sport Benfica and changed their name to Sport Lisboa e Benfica as a result of the merger. It was during this time that they added something to their crest that has nothing to do with football. In the background of the crest is a bike wheel, which was added because cycling represented the most important sport of Grupo Sport Benfica. The wheel has remained part of the Benfica crest ever since.
Despite having a non-football-related symbol on their crest, Benfica is the most successful club in Portugal, having won a total of 85 trophies in their history. They were the first Portuguese club to achieve the domestic treble in 2014 and have won the Portuguese league a record 38 times.
Recently, The Eagles wrapped up their first Portuguese title in four years with a 3-0 win over Santa Clara. Roger Schmidt’s men only suffered four defeats in all competitions, with three of those coming in April.
Overall, Benfica’s history and success in Portuguese football are impressive, and their unique club badge adds an interesting layer to their story.