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Keaton Parks: I want to win titles with Benfica before moving on


Someday, Keaton Parks expects to move on from Benfica. He’d like to someday play for one of the world’s elite clubs and he’d also like to one day ply his trade back home.

But, for now, the young American is setting lofty goals for his time with the Portuguese giant.

“I would like to play in Barcelona or Liverpool, but for now I only think about Benfica,” Parks said, according to the Record in Portugal. “I want to be a champion at Luz, I want to win a lot of titles here.

“For now, I want to stay in Europe for many years,” he added, “and I plan to play MLS when I finish my career.”

Parks made his debut for the club’s senior team back in December, and has since renewed his contract with the club. An attacking midfielder by trade, the club reportedly sees him developing into a Nemanja Matic-like No. 6 due to his passing ability and size in the midfield.

Throughout the past six months, Parks has yet to fully make the leap from Benfica B to the senior team as the Texas native has featured just three times for the main club while continuing to ply his trade with the B squad. However, Parks feels he has grown throughout the process as he heads towards next season, a campaign that is expected to start with him joining the club for preseason in the U.S.

“I grew up watching Julius Caesar in Brazil, playing for World Cups, and suddenly I’m training with him,” Parks told the Record. “At first I was embarrassed, but then it was over, he’s very nice and gives advice to the younger ones.

“I’m looking forward to scoring a goal at the Estádio da Luz,” he added. “I want to hear the 50,000 fans screaming my name when I get it.”

Benfica currently sits two points behind rivals Porto with four league matches remaining.


  1. LOL – he seems to be getting ahead of himself. He needs a seasoned veteran to give him some advice. This reminds me of the classic scene in Bull Durham when Crash Davis is telling the rookie with a big ego to be humble and he gives him some canned quotes to give to the media:

    “1) We gotta play ’em one day at a time. 2) I’m just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ballclub. 3) I just want to give it my best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out. — Crash Davis,

    Pulisic has generally followed the Crash Davis approach and hasn’t really talked about wanting to move on from his club.

    • What did Parks say?:
      – One day I’d like to play for Barca or for Liverpool
      – I plan to finish my career at MLS
      – in the meantime I want to be successful and win at Benfica

      I honestly don’t understand what is so bad with having aspirations and goals, yet realize you have to crawl before you can walk.

      • agree that it is good that he has those aspirations and goals, just feel that in general it is usually best to keep it quiet that you really want to play somewhere else other than with your current team. Players don’t seem to say these sort of things until they are on the way out. Most of Pulisics comments (at least the ones that I’ve seen) have been very low key when he is asked about the future. He generally states that he is loves playing for dortmund right now and just focusing on helping his team, and he avoids speaking about other teams. It can upset the fans a bit too.

    • I agree I’d prefer most players to brush “transfer” rumors aside and express that they are focused on the team that employs them. Parks does and doesn’t do that. He says some day he’d like to play for a team like Liverpool or Barca (probably teams he grew up watching and likely owns jerseys of those teams) and will likely end his career at MLS, but he also states that he wants to win hardware for Benfica first.

      Unless you are one of those top teams you have to assume that players plying their trade on your team are likely dreaming about playing for another team. As a fan of Chicago, I 100% accept that any player on the Fire would immediately jump ship to play for Liverpool, Barca, etc….

      Even players on top teams have dreams of playing for other top teams.

  2. There’s being confident and then there’s being delusional. Talking about playing for Barca when you’re not even off the Benfica B squad is delusional.

    • I think the kid has a chance. He plays the way Barca likes to play. I see him one day be the replacement of Sergio Busquets, with him, anything is possible.

      • A team like Barca has 16 year olds in their youth system who are probably more advanced than Parks. I doubt Pulisic will ever play for Barca; he’s more of a Real Madrid type IMHO. He’s probably the only American right now with a chance to play on a top European team and that’s because Dortmund is pretty darn good. The fact is, to make it on a super team like those or Manchester City, Bayern, etc., you pretty much have to be a real budding star by the time you are 19 or 20.

    • talk to any young professional and they would spout off how they would “like to play for *insert top team here* “.

      He doesn’t state that he will play for Barca or for Liverpool, simply states that he would LIKE to play for them one day. Let the kid dream, and in the meantime he wants to be successful at Benfica.

  3. “and I plan to play MLS when I finish my career.” lol

    Of course we all know that he’s just wasting his career in Europe when he could be here competing for important things such as the MLS Championship Cup For The Most Games Won Over The Last Two Months Trophy. Such a waste

  4. “and I plan to play MLS when I finish my career.”

    What the hell is wrong with him???? Hope it’s not an exact quote

    • He is pandering to MLS hating trolls. Maybe he is Rob ?!?!

      MLS is too big for him he is on a B team and about to play for Barca.

      • I said that backward obvioiusly. I mean come on MLS is too small for him, he is Barca material.

      • If he said “I plan to play in MLS towards the end of my career” or “I plan to play in MLS before I end my career” I would not have a bone to pick.

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