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Discussion in 'Portugal' started by Frank Cunha, Oct 25, 2003.
Nuno Gomes with the first goal ever at the new Benfica stadium
11 m first half
Mello scored for Nacional Montevideu
Nacional Montevideu a three time Intercontinental champion
Benfica inaugurated tonight
The new Luz stadium, which can seat 65,000 and cost 120 million euros (142 million dlrs), will be inaugurated tonight. The venue will host the final of the Euro 2004 European soccer championships to be held in Portugal in 2004.
early in the first half, second goal of the game for Nuno Gomes assisted by Feher
Mello was red card for two yellow's
its a rain night in Portugal
Roger hit the post
Benfica-2-Nacional of Montevideu-1
Portugal opens new 65,000-seat stadium for Euro 2004
October 26, 2003
AFP - Oct 25, 8:38 pm EDT
LISBON (AFP) - Portuguese club Benfica unveiled their new state-of-the-art, 65,000-seat stadium which will host the final of next summer's Euro 2004 finals.
"I want to congratulate Benfica and all those who made this great project possible," Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso told the crowd at the stadium, which was packed to capacity despite driving rain, before the start of a 45-minute light and fireworks festival to mark the occasion.
Benfica, the club with the biggest fan base in Portugal, faced Uruguayan team Nacional in a friendly at the end of the light show.
Former Benfica star Eusebio performed the opening kick-off for the match as thousands of fans, many wearing red club scarves, applauded.
Dubbed the "new cathedral to football", the stadium - Portugal's largest - took two years to build and cost of 160 million euros (189 million dollars).
More than a quarter of the cost of the stadium was swallowed by the construction of the roof, which is made of a lightweight transparent building material, policarbonate, that lets in natural light.
Other features include two large screens on either end of the pitch and a 1,000 square metre (10,760 square foot) locker room for the players.
Benfica won the European Cup twice in the 1960s but has not won a title since 1994.
Under Jose Antonio Camacho, who coached Spain in last year's World Cup, Benfica now lie six in the premier league however many fans and players hope the new venue will help revive the dwindling fortunes of the club.
"With the new stadium I think a new cycle will open for everyone," Benfica captain Helder Cristovao told daily newspaper Correio da Manha.
The stadium is one of ten which Portugal is building or renovating at a cost of some 800 million euros in order to host the tournament, which will take place from June 12 to July 4.
Up to three million people are expected to visit because of the championships, the biggest international sports event ever held in Portugal.