Rui Vitoria hopes Luisao celebrates his 500th Benfica appearance and 36th birthday with a goal and victory over Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.
Captain Luisao, who turned 36 on Monday, will reach the milestone in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie at the Estadio da Luz.
The centre-back has won 14 major domestic titles since joining Benfica from Cruzeiro in 2003, and Vitoria lauded his impact in Lisbon.
Vitoria believes it is unlikely another player will match the feat with many of the club’s top performers plucked away by Europe’s elite – Renato Sanches and Nicolas Gaitan being recent examples.
“Hardly any player will play 500 games for Benfica again. There will not be someone who does it this way,” Vitoria told a pre-match news conference.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 13, 2017
“If they are very good, someone can easily come with a bag of money and take them.
“Luisao has performed fantastically over these 14 years, he is a source of pride and I am glad every time he makes a quality play.
“It would be great to win the match, and for him to score.”
Dortmund will be without the injured Mario Gotze, but Vitoria acknowledged the attacking threat Dortmund will pose with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus still available.
However, the Benfica coach is keen for his team to impose themselves and nullify the opposition.
“We will face a strong team, whose main characteristic is a fantastic attacking power. Alongside this, they change their system frequently and very easily,” he said.
“This creates a lot of unpredictability for other teams but we have to try to control their dynamics, but never forgetting our ambitious and clinical way.”
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