64. Champions of Bi…

I know what you’re thinking:

“Where did I leave my car keys?”

I can’t help you with that right now.

You are also probably thinking that this, my first football blog in months, will be about the seismic events which have taken place in FIFA over the past week or so.

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But that blog will be coming soon.

For now, I want to tell you about what happened on Sunday, May 10th 2015.

“You’re going out to celebrate a 0-0 tie?!” my Canadian friend asked me in disbelief after Benfica struggled to a dire 0-0 draw away to Guimarães.

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I know that draws, and scoreless ones even more so, are the bane of most of my North American sports-loving friends, but there was a special reason for celebrating this particular one.

Because when you draw, but your closest rival also draws, giving you the league title, for the second year in a row, with millions of fans across the country and the world biting their nails as the minutes tick by until the edges of their fingers bleed the same colour as their team’s shirt, then yes.

Yes, you celebrate that.

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And she joined me and two other friends to celebrate with around 499,996 other Benfica fans as the traditional evening gathering took place around the Marquês de Pombal roundabout, closing the main dual carriageway of downtown Lisbon for the evening.

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Benfica have now won their 34th league title, (and, almost as importantly, rivals Porto didn’t win, thanks to a late equaliser from Benfica’s neighbours Belenenses against them in that penultimate round of matches).Two weeks later, they won the League Cup, again for the second year in a row.

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I sure chose the right team to support when I arrived in Lisbon 18 months ago…

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