"Rui Vitória is still our coach"

SL Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira confirmed that coach Rui Vitoria will not be sacked until the end of the season if nothing extraordinary happens. Vieira said he has not invited Jorge Jesus. And left many messages to club officials and players.

"Rui Vitória is still our coach". This is how Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira opened the press conference to explain Rui Vitoria's position in the club.

"I will not deny that we have discussed his continuity... The media is not to blame. Vitória is committed to our strategy, which has already launched several young players. Some people are not happy about his work, because the results have not been brilliant. But it is important for the project that Rui Vitoria continues. "We can still win all the trophies in Portugal," said Luís Filipe Vieira, adding that he made the decision alone at night in Seixal.

Vieira admitted that yesterday, following the Champions League debacle, there was talk about Vitoria's sacking, and "everything pointed to termination." But "during the night" he decided not to sack the Benfica coach. He will remain at least until the end of the season, "if nothing unexpected happens."

In a press conference with several messages to other club officials, Vieira was clear about who's in charge: "I was elected to make decisions, and that's what I did," he said, adding that yesterday's meetings with the Board had decided otherwise. Rui Vitoria was informed early in the morning that he would not be sacked, and therefore declined a sumptuous offer from a Middle Eastern club where he would earn, as Plataforma reported, about 6 million dollars a year.

"It's not just Rui Vitória who is to blame, everybody is responsible. If I were to change things, a lot of people would have to leave," he said, adding that he has already spoken with the club's football structure. "Things are perfectly clear now. Players must play with the Benfica spirit, not extremely slow."

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