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Harry's praise for Portuguese giants

Posted on 2 August 2010  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp is quick to speak highly when asked about Tuesday night's opponents Benfica.

Harry Redknapp is quick to speak highly when asked about Tuesday night's opponents Benfica.

His squad arrived in Lisbon on Monday evening in preparation to face the Portuguese giants in the Eusebio Cup, and the manager is well aware of the test we face.

The world famous Estadio da Luz has played host to some of the game's great players and teams down the years, both in its original guise and in its current state-of-the-art splendour following its revamp for the European Championships held here in 2004.

And after they reclaimed their national title in style last season, Harry is full of admiration for the team we face in our penultimate game of pre-season.

He said: "Benfica are a great club with a fantastic tradition. I've been there to watch games before and there's always a fantastic atmosphere.

"They can really play as well so it will be an extremely difficult game, believe you me, it will be very interesting.

"Portuguese sides always play good football, like Sporting Lisbon and Porto, but Benfica are the best for me."

And Harry continues to wax lyrical when quizzed about the great former player we are in Lisbon to honour this week.

Eusebio is Benfica's all-time leading goalscorer having spent 15 years with the club between 1960 and 1975, helping them to an incredible 11 league titles and a European Cup.

He also famously led Portugal to the semi-finals of the 1966 World Cup in England, taking home the Golden Boot from that tournament.

Harry added: "He was a fantastic player wasn't he. He finished up playing in America at around the same time as me. What a great sportsman and great footballer.

"I remember him playing in the 1966 World Cup against England and Nobby Stiles doing a great man-to-man marking job on him during the semi-final.

"He has always been a fantastic ambassador for the game and I was lucky enough to see him out at the World Cup in South Africa recently at the Portugal-North Korea game."