Today we mourn the loss of Portuguese footballing legend Eusebio (pictured above with Pele) . Eusebio da Silva Ferreira, born in Mozambique, Africa while it was till under Portuguese control, was not just known as both Benfica’s and Portugal’s greatest player, but as a very humble man, as demonstrated by his fair play and humility on and off the pitch.
Eusebio tallied 733 goal in 745 (a record 638 of them coming in 613 league matches for Benfica) professional matches throughout his amazing career. His 15 year career with Benfica was littered with many successes (and nicknames, such as the black panther, the black pearl, and o Rei) in the Primeira Liga, notching 11 league titles, one Ballon d’Or (he also finished as runner up two other times), a record 7 Bola de Prata awards (the award for the top scorer in the Primeira Liga), 1 European Cup title, 3 Taca de Portugal, and was the first to win the European Golden Boot award in 1968 (he also won in 1973). On the national side, he helped the 1966 Portuguese national side place 3rd in the World Cup, losing to England in the semi final match. Eusebio won the bronze ball award for netting 9 goals throughout the tournament, including an astounding four against North Korea.
There is no doubt in mind that he is one of the greatest men to ever set foot on a football pitch. He is regarded as one of the first world class African-born strikers. O Rei will be sorely missed amongst the footballing nation.
For further reading on the wonder that was Eusebio, please take a look at the following wonderfully written piece by ESPN’s Andy Brassell: