Portugal and Benfica legend Eusébio da Silva Ferreira has died this Sunday at the age of 71.
Eusébio’s health condition had started deteriorating in June 2012, after suffering a stroke in Poland. He had received medical assistance twice at the Hospital da Luz after that occasion but never made a full recovery.
Eusébio was born the 25th of January 1942 in Mozambique and started playing professional football in 1959, in Maxaquene. He moved to Lisbon in 1960 and spent the following 15 years of his carreer wearing the red jersey of Benfica, where he won one European Cup (1961/62), 11 national Leagues and five Portuguese Cups.
In 1975, Eusébio crossed the Atlantic to play in the Major League Soccer (formerly known as North American Soccer League). There, he won the last trophy of his carreer, playing for the Toronto Blizzard, in 1976.
Eusébio played 64 times for the Portuguese national team and scored 41 goals, nine of which during the 1966 World Cup. One of his most emblematic matches took place on the 23rd of July that year, when the “Black Panther” scored four goals and helped Portugal turn from 0-3 to a 5-3 win against North Korea.
Eusébio’s remains will be transferred to Benfica’s stadium during the day for a final tribute from the football community.