Benfica set sights on long-term success
© Getty Images

Benfica hope victory over Chelsea tonight will mark the start of an ambitious journey that will end with them lifting the UEFA Champions League trophy in their own stadium next season.

The odds are heavily stacked against Benfica beating Chelsea in tonight's UEFA Europa League final at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Eusebio's dazzling skills helped Benfica win back-to-back European Cups at the start of the 1960s, but the Portuguese side have not won a major competition on the continent since.

The sale of their prized assets - like Chelsea duo Ramires and David Luiz - has always meant Benfica have failed to transfer their domestic success to the European arena.

But considering that the Estadio da Luz will host next year's Champions League final, coach Jorge Jesus thinks president Luis Filipe Vieire may have a change of transfer policy that will be geared towards helping the club do everything they can to reach the Lisbon final.

"I know that the president of Benfica thinks about that, knowing that the next Champions League final will be in Portugal, in our home stadium," Jesus said.

"After what we've done over the last few years at an international level, we think we could be in that final in Lisbon."

Chelsea eliminated Benfica at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League last season - 12 months after the Portuguese club made the last four of the Europa League.

Living up to a glorious history
But Benfica have lost their six European finals and Jesus knows it is time his team lifted a major trophy to start reclaiming some of the prestige that Eusebio helped them achieve 50 years ago.

"Benfica is a club that throughout its history has had an excellent performance in Europe," said the Portuguese, who has won one league and three cups since taking charge of Benfica in 2009.

"It created a name for itself in the 1960s and 1970s that was there alongside Real Madrid and AC Milan.

"It hasn't been the same since, but Benfica have recovered some of its prestige over the last few years and we want to create that kind of international prestige again.

"We will be in a big European final and we did well in the Champions League last year and the Europa League the year before.

"We are working towards an improved image of the club in Europe and that will be helped tomorrow if we win because it also gives us the chance of playing in the European Super Cup."

Eusebio, who also helped Benfica win eight Portuguese league titles in the 1960s, will be a guest of honour at tonight's game in the city where his brace helped the club win one of the most memorable European Cup finals against Real Madrid in 1962.

Jesus' team go in to the match looking to bounce back from their first domestic defeat of the season last weekend.

The 2-1 defeat to Porto pushed Benfica into second position ahead of next weekend's final round of matches.

Benfica have played 53 games this season, compared to Chelsea's 67, but Jesus claims that does not give his team an advantage.

"No, (that's not an advantage)," the 58-year-old added. "Both teams have the same recovery time."