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November 15, 2006
Portugal celebrates as Benfica smashes world record

By Jorge Ribeiro, AIPS Treasurer

The Portuguese sports press is rejoicing at Benfica FC’s entrance into the Guiness World Record as the largest football club in the world.

The Portuguese giants set a new Guinness world record for the football club with the most paid up members, surpassing the previous record set by Manchester United.

The former European champion and home of extraordinary players such as Eusebio had as of November 9 160,398 paid members compared to 152,000 members for previous record holders Manchester United.

Following on are Bayern Munchen (144.800), Barcelona (130.000), FC Porto (110.000), Arsenal (100.000), Sporting of Lisbon (90.000) and Ajax (80.000). Olympiakos and Real Madrid complete the world “top 10”.

The club, founded in 1904, aims to have 300,000 members. Its future plans include the creation of a private television channel. The club is now awaiting the official go-ahead to realise its dream of being able to transmit all of Benfica’s games.

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