Early Doors

Benfica boss Jesus loses head during Spurs match

Early Doors

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It’s difficult to be diplomatic when talking about Jorge Jesus as a man.

‘Prickly’ is probably the most suitable term we could use to describe the Portuguese.

Jesus does not share his historical namesake’s patience; he is a bit of a hothead, and has a moody streak that Portuguese fans are well aware of.

He also is unlikely to be on Tim Sherwood’s Christmas card list after a provocative, disrespectful and entirely unnecessary three-fingered gesture after his Benfica side made it 3-1 in their Europa League last-16 first leg at White Hart Lane:

Benfica taught Spurs a thing or two about European football, but Jesus needs to learn a thing or two about manners.

Say what you like about Sherwood but he is a young, honest coach in his first senior management job.

Benfica – and Jesus – have won plenty of titles, and were beaten finalists in the same competition last year.

Jesus should know better and, presuming his gesture was made in the heat of the moment, should have apologised to Sherwood instead of continuing with a verbal tirade.

Indeed, Jesus’ own staff remonstrated with their boss after the incident, and he responded by shoving and bawling at them.

In Jesus' defence, he does like an unorthodox celebration. Just look at his celebration following Benfica’s first goal:


There was no love lost at the final whistle as both men pointedly ignored each other. Needless to say there was no handshake.

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Jesus has form for misbehaving – he was incredibly lucky to escape prison after this incident earlier in the season.

Following the 1-0 win at Vitoria Guimaeres in September he took exception to the matchday police’s treatment of a pitch invader, who was wrestled to the ground after running on to celebrate following the tough away victory.

Jesus initially tried to take hold of the fan himself, but as police insisted on somewhat roughly restraining the supporter, the 59-year-old completely lost his cool, pushing and shoving officers until he too was led away.

The former Braga boss, who had only managed smaller Portuguese clubs until his mid-50s, remained defiant.

"The fans came on the pitch and secutiry tried to block one of them and I wanted them to leave him alone as he only wanted to look for a (player’s) jersey," Jesus said afterwards.

In the end, he got away with a one-month ban and a fine.

He’s unlikely to be censured for his latest bout of ungentlemanly conduct, but expect Spurs to be fired up for the second leg in Lisbon.

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