Primeira Liga championship winning boss Jorge Jesus has shocked the football world by leaving Benfica and crossing the city to take charge of Lisbon rivals Sporting.
After winning back-to-back championship titles and the League Cup, it was assumed that Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira would reward the club’s most successful manager.
Ten trophies in six seasons plus runners-up in two UEFA Europa League campaigns is no mean feat. But it was not to be and inexplicably he was offered an inferior contract by the Eagles.
Jesus took flight and signed a lucrative €18 million three-year deal with the Lions.
The 60 year-old manager started his playing career at Sporting but made his Primeira Liga with SC Olhanense, whilst on loan from the Lisbon club, in 1974, making 29 appearances and scoring five goals.
In the 1983-84 season, he had 24 outings with SC Farense.
Sporting Lisbon will be looking for immediate success after raising the funds through Banco Espírito Santo Investimento and investors in Equatorial Guinea and the former Portuguese colony of Angola.
Although the Lions won the Cup of Portugal this season, their first trophy for seven years, the biz prize – the Primeira Liga title – has eluded them since 2002.
By CHRIS WRIGHT