Saturday 13th of March. On this day, one hundred years ago, in Fatima, three little sheep herders were baffled to see a vision of the Virgin Mary, which gave them predictions about the future of our world. After the first two were revealed and confirmed, Fatima’s 3rd secret was all about the Red Sea and how it would gain power. It was thought to be about Russia and communism, but 100 years later it seems that the Red Sea might just be Benfica achieving history.
After Pope Francis comes to Fatima, a lot of those faithful that went to see him will travel back to Lisbon and Estadio da Luz with a simple conviction on their mind: this is the year we get a Tetra (slang for four titles in a row in Portuguese).
It was not an easy ride, but Benfica have clearly been the best team, the most consistent throughout the Liga Nos campaign this season, and now they are in a great position to confirm the status of the strongest team in Portugal.
Confirming the title should be a formality, though Saturday’s match is not the ideal one to be completely sure Rui Vitoria’s men will celebrate straight after. This is due to their opponents being Vit. Guimaraes (VSC), the team playing the most attractive football in the country, with Pedro Martins confirming his status of a strong manager. And also a side with a loyal fanbase, something unseen in Portugal besides the three ‘Big Ones’. This is the preview for the final of the Portuguese Cup and VSC will surely want to boast about how they stopped Benfica from celebrating not once, but twice.
Porto and Sporting will face this round with not much to be played for. They both know where they are going to end in the league, and just have to try and finish things off with a couple of wins, for the problems that this season has brought do not want to be relived. Both teams ended up disappointed and allowed Benfica to lead since round five, and so the outcome of the 2016/17 season could, realistically, only be one.
Benfica and Rui Vitoria are going to achieve something unique for the club, and so this weekend will, most likely, see a huge sea of red invading the whole of Portugal. And we will have confirmation that even Virgin Mary just had to talk about football, even if it was with those three sheep herders in a remote location in the country.