Estadio da Luz, officially known as the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica and very often referred to as the Stadium of Light, is a football stadium located in Lisbon (Portugal), home ground of one of the founding members of the Portuguese Liga, club Benfica Lisbon.
The arena has a capacity of 65,647 seats, which makes it the largest stadium in Portugal, in front of rivals FC Porto’s Estadio do Dragao (50,476). The original stadium (which was opened back in 1954) was demolished at the beginning of 2002 and in 2003 the construction of the new Estadio da Luz was completed. In October more then 65,000 fans came to the inauguration of the stadium, that took place with a friendly match between Benfica and Uruguayuan side Nacional Montevideo. Benfica’s supporters referee to the arena as A Cathedral (“The Cathedral”). In the first season played on Estadio da Luz, Benfica managed to win the Cup of Portugal and it was the moment of a new beginning for “The Eagles” as in recent years they had been clearly dominated by rivals FC Porto.
Estadio da Luz played a major role during the 2004 UEFA European Football Championship, which Portugal organized. The hosts managed to reach the final where they met the Greece national football team: the match was played on the Estadio da Luz, with Portugal being the huge favorites in front of their own fans. But it was Greece who came away with the glory, Angelos Charisteas scoring the only goal of the final.
Estadio da Luz is a modern, highly advanced technological stadium with an innovative design that focuses on light and transparency, giving a symbolic significance to the arena’s name (which means “The Stadium of Light” in Portuguese). The emblem of Benfica lays on top of the entrance to the arena, defining the look of the most impressive football stadium in Portugal.