Portugal club’s award-winning academy will spread its methodology in the United States


Lisbon, January 6th 2023 – Portuguese giants SL Benfica have agreed to a Technical Partnership with Futbol Club Sudamerica, based in Atlanta, Georgia. The two-time European Cup Champions have a world-renowned academy and are now going to implement their training methodology in the United States, aiming to help develop and capture talent in the country.


Benfica has won the prize for Best Academy in the World three times at the prestigious Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai after producing several superstars, including Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva, João Félix, João Cancelo, Renato Sanches, who are all shining at some of the planet’s top clubs.


FC Sudamerica is one of the fastest growing clubs in the state of Georgia, a project with roots in South American and European soccer by its founders, coaches Richard Ortega and Rudi Pires. The club was founded in 2019 and today has 25 soccer and futsal teams combined for boys and girls. FC Sudamerica’s mission is to develop young talent through an international methodology, prepare players to reach the professional level, and open higher education pathways through soccer scholarships in college.


Benfica’s International Expansion Chief Executive Bernardo Faria de Carvalho said, “The United States is a very important strategic market for us, due to its size and the club’s connection to the various Portuguese communities in the country. We believe there is huge potential to identify and develop talented young players in the US and we are looking forward to collaborating with FC Sudamerica in this project. The timing is perfect for us with the next world cup taking place in North and Central America in 2026”.


FC Sudamerica co-founder Rudi Pires said, “Soccer development in the USA is moving in the right direction and we strongly believe that we can add value to it by partnering with Benfica, a club that has a rich history and a proven track record when it comes to developing talent. Partnering with this European giant will undoubtedly enhance our curriculum and development pathways”.


Richard Ortega, FC Sudamerica co-founder, added “Our development strategy originates from the game of futsal which the club pioneered in the southeast of the United States. Benfica’s proven methodology and overall technical offerings will allow players to explore incredible opportunities through soccer and futsal. FC Sudamerica and Benfica share important core values and this technical partnership will allow players to achieve their goals”.


SL Benfica is Portugal’s top club, boasting a total of 37 National titles and 2 European Cups. It has participated in the UEFA Champions League a total of 42 times, only behind Real Madrid. The club has around 300 thousand members and is estimated to have more than six million fans worldwide.