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Eusebio Biography




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NameEusebio (Forward)
Born On25th January, 1942
Played ForClubs: Sporting de Lourenco Marques, Benfica, Boston Minutemen, Monterrey, Toronto Metros- Croatia, Beira- Mar, Las Vegas Quicksilvers, Uniao de Tomar, New Jersey Americans
TeamPortugal National Football Team
World Cup PlayedPlayed 1966 World Cup

KICKOFF :  Don't take me wrong if I say 'Black Panther' was a renowned football player in Portugal. Yes, we are talking about Eusebioda Silva Ferreira, the man who scored 9 goals in the 1966 World Football Cup and was also the top goal scorer of the mega tournament. The living legend has been regarded as one of the best footballers of all time and the 9th best footballer of the 20th century by International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). He has won several titles for his country in his spectacular soccer career.

HIS-STORY : 
Eusebio was born on 25th January, 1942 in the Mafalala neighborhood of Lourenco Marques in Mozambique. His parents were Laurindo Antonia da Silva Ferreira, a white Angolan railroad worker and Elisa Anissabeni, a black Mozambican woman. Brought up in a poor society, Eusebio started polishing his skills at a very early age when he used to skip school classes for playing football barefooted. The ball was made up of socks and newspapers. When he was eight years old his father died from Tetanus and his mother, Elisa took the responsibility of parental care of Eusebio.

The young boy started playing for a local amateur team called as The Brazilians. With his friends he struggled very hard to get enlisted in his favorite team GrupoDesportivo de Lourenco de Marques but in vain. Later on he got a chance to prove his mettle in the club Sporting Clube de Lourenco Marques. He says when he was 15 years old he was spotted by a former goalkeeper of Juventus Football Club of Italy who wanted to hire him. The club proposed but his mother was against the proposal. He then joined Benfica from his local club and started another phase of his career. There, the Benfica football club discovered his potential due to the efforts of former Brazilian football player Jose Carlos Bauer, who spotted him in his club Lourenco Marques in 1960.

Bauer recommended Eusebio first to his former club Sao Paulo but was unsuccessful in his attempt. Later on he talked to former coach Bela Guttmann for Eusebio. The extraordinary capability of Eusebio to run 100m in 11 seconds and his possessing the largest circumference around his quadriceps which was ever seen in any footballer was his major strength. Both Sporting Clube de Lourenco Marques and Sporting Clube de Lourenco Portugal disputed the legality of the transfer. Eusebio says he used to "play in Sporting's feeder club in Mozambique and Benfica wanted to hire him while Sporting Clube de Portugal wanted to take him as a junior player just for experience without any monetary reward. Benfica went a step ahead and talked to his mother for hiring him for three years with €1000, but his brother demanded double the amount. Benfica paid the amount and signed the contract."

SCORE BOARD : 
Known by the nickname Black Panther, Black Pearl and The King (O Rei) in Portugal, Eusebio scored a total of 733 goals in 745 matches in its career. Out of his 22 years of football career, he played 15 years for Benfica. He was known for his lightning fast acceleration, athleticism and accurate right-footed shot which made him one of the most outstanding strikers of his era.With his finest techniques, he helped his team to finish at third place in the 1966 World Football Cup. Playing for Benfica, he also won the European Cup title (1961-62) and finished runners-up three times (1962-63, 1964-65 and 1967-68). Besides this, he was also the top scorer in the same tournament in 1965, 1966 and 1968. He has also won 11 titles in Portuguese Championship from 1961-75 and five Portuguese Cup title from 1962-1972.

He has won Ballon d'Or award in 1965 and runner-up twice in 1962 and 1966. His name often appears amongst best players of all time lists and polls conducted by critics and fans. Pele, the Brazilian legendary footballer, named Eusebio in his list of 125 best living footballers of the world in 2004. He was also selected as the "Golden Player" of Portugal by the Portuguese Football Federation as their most outstanding footballer in the last five decades. Besides, he also won the Bola de Prata award seven times which is a national record up until today and was the first ever footballer to win the European Golden Boot award in 1968 and again in 1973. He has been bestowed with several special awards in his lifetime like World Soccer's Selection of the 100 Greatest Footballers of All Time, FIFA 100 and UEFA President's Award etc. He was also being honored as 'Africa's greatest footballer.

EXTRA TIME : 
Eusebio passed away on 5th January 2014, leaving behind his wife Flora and two children. Despite being retired from the game of soccer, Eusebio is still associated with the Portuguese national football team as a technical committee member. He is unquestionably the biggest star in Portuguese football history, which is affirmed by his statue outside Benfica's Estadio da Luz. Benfica honors the living legend every year with the Eusebio Cup, an annual pre-season match between the Portuguese club and any other highly regarded international opponent.

TIE BREAKER : 
Eusebios is undoubtedly the greatest player to have played for Portugal. He is still an inspiration for many.
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Last Updated : January 10, 2014

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