Benfica a rising force in Europe, says Rui Costa

The former Portuguese international says the Agulias are a force to be reckon with and their ambition is to reach the Europa League final at Amsterdam ArenA.
Benfica director of football Rui Costa says the Eagles are a rising force in Europe after soaring to reach their second Europa League semifinal in three years and he targets more success on the horizon.

The Portuguese club knocked out Newcastle in the quarterfinals 4-2 on aggregate and has been drawn against the 18-time Turkish league winner Fenerbahce in the semifinals. The former Fiorentina and Milan midfielder knows it will not be an easy task but remains confident ahead of the clash.

"It's the second semifinal in three years. Benfica is rising and improving," Rui Costa told reporters. "We are happy to be here but we want to go further. The goal is to reach the final.

"The most important thing was to be in the draw. Either opponent is of high quality, Fenerbahce eliminated Lazio. We want to continue our journey, with the ambition to reach the final and represent Portugal in a European final. It will not be easy, but we are optimistic."

The first leg will be played in Turkey on 25 April before the fate of the two clubs will be decided on 2 May at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon. The winner will face either Chelsea or FC Basel in the final in Amsterdam

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