Benfica's striker icon Jonas retires from football


After Arjan Robben decided to finish his career, another veteran decided to call it quits. Jonas maybe didn't have quite the career the Dutchman had, but he was equally loved by the fans of the clubs he played for, and especially Benfica. As he showed it's not too late to become a legend of the club in your thirties.

Jonas Goncalves Oliveira was born in 1984 in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo and started his professional career in his homeland in 2005. His first team being now little-known Guarani, but after a scintillating season in which he scored 12 goals in 25 Serie B games, a transfer to Brazilian giant Santos followed.

A knee injury stopped Jonas from showing his undeniable goalscoring talent at Santos and after a year he transferred to Gremio where the real show began. Following a first-year loan to Portuguesa in Serie B, raking in 40 goals in 74 first league appearances for the club. But not all was good from the start, as following a terrible game in 2009, he was dubbed as "the worst forward of the world" by a Spanish magazine Mundo Deportivo.

That moniker didn't stop Valencia from buying the striker for a low fee of a €1,250,000. For three and a half seasons Jonas was a first-team member of the Bats, finishing his career in Valencia with 51 goals in 157 appearances across all competitions.

Benfica, known as the masters of sale, made one of the best signings in recent history by snatching Jonas who was without a contract. The Brazilian absolutely flourished in the Portuguese Superleague.

In 183 games for the Portuguese giants, spread over five seasons, the veteran forward scored 137 goals and recorded 40 assists! The Brazilian was awarded the Primeira Liga Player of the Year award twice consecutively in 2015 and 2016. He was also the top scorer of the league in seasons 2015/2016 and 2017/2018!

Truly a story of persistence and class that had to sprout out even though it took its time.

Benfica plays a friendly against Anderlecht tomorrow and the club has invited all fans to come to the Luz an hour earlier to say goodbye to Jonas and for the presentation of new players. The €20,000,000 signing from Real Madrid Raul de Tomas will then surely understand he has big shoes to fill.


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