Sport Lisboa e Benfica were first established in 1904 and have since emerged as one of Portugal's big three clubs, alongside Sporting and Porto. The club is the most popular in the country and, indeed, Benfica are one of the most widely supported teams on the planet. The team currently holds the Guinness World Record for having the most paid-up members of any professional football team. The Benfica supporters also own and run the club.
Benfica's golden era came in the 1960s, during the legendary Portuguese forward Eusébio's time at the club. Over the course of the decade, Benfica won eight league titles and three domestic cups. In 1961, the club defeated Barcelona to claim their first European Cup and in 1962 they repeated the accomplishment, this time defeating Real Madrid in the final. Benfica reached a further three European Cup finals during the 1960s.
In terms of domestic success, Benfica are Portugal's most successful club, with a record thirty-two Primeira Liga victories. In addition, they have won the Taça de Portugal twenty-four times, more than any other team. In the 1972–73 season, Benfica became the first Portuguese team to go through an enture league season without losing. This feat was then repeated in 1977–78. The team have reached a total of eight European Cup finals, with their most recent final coming in 1990; a defeat to AC Milan.
Eusébio is by far the best-known player to have played for Benfica and is considered a legend of world football. Other notable players to have played for the club include João Pinto and Rui Costa.
Benfica play their home matches at the Estádio da Luz, which is known as the Cathedral by the team's supporters. The stadium first opened in 2003 and is able to hold up to 65,647 spectators for the team's matches.