Former Benfica player Fernando Challana passed away on Wednesday. The “little genius”, as he became known, was 63 years old and Benfica confirmed his death, in communication Posted in Website officially.
Born in Barreiro, Chalana first lined up for “The Eagles” in March 1976, days after turning 17. “Up until that date, no one in the Portuguese first division had played so young,” Benfica wrote.
He was also one of the symbols of “Incarnation” for many years. Fast, technically advanced and almost unstoppable one-on-one, he was completely unfit and instrumental in Benfica’s successes in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Despite the great international projection of the “Eagles” at the time, it was the 1984 European Championships in France that gave them an even greater dimension abroad. And on this podium he so interested Bordeaux that the French club signed him.
This transfer allowed Benfica to make an important contribution to completing the work of the previous third ring of the Estadio da Luz, but removed the national football icon from Lisbon and Portugal. He competed in France between 1984 and 1987, but his success at Bordeaux was hampered by consecutive injuries and additional sporting problems.
He would return to Portugal and Benfica, before moving to Belenenses and ending his career with Estrella da Amadora in 1992 at the age of 33, almost without ever showing a glimpse of real football.
Nicknamed “Chalanix”, attached to the world of comics and in particular Asterix, he made 27 appearances for the national team (with two goals) between 1976 and 1988. After hanging up his boots, he kept in touch with the world of Benfica.
As a coach, he’s had a much shorter and more discreet career, with a short stint at Al Sharqiah and some matches with Benfica’s first team, in transitions and in a temporary role. But where it felt like a fish in the water was in the field. His unusual left-footed passenger car raids will be remembered.