One of the biggest football legends of all-time, Eusebio (full name Eusébio da Silva Ferreira), nicknamed the Black Panther, known for his time with Benfica and Portugal, has passed away at the age of 71, according to reports from Portugal.
The striker was born in 1942 in Mozambique which was known as Portuguese East Africa back then. After starring for CD Maxaquene, he was signed by Benfica in 1960, starring for them until 1975, scoring 317 league goals in 301 matches. He won 11 league championships with the team, 5 Portuguese Cups and one European Cup (1962). He scored twice in that final, as Benfica beat Real Madrid 5-3.
He was awarded the European Footballer of the year award in 1965, winning the European Golden Boot twice (1968, 1973) and led the scoring in Portugal 7 times.
For the national team, he played 64 times, scoring 41 goals. His biggest moment came in the 1966 World Cup, leading his side to the semifinals and leading the tournament in scoring with 9 goals.
He spent most of his post-Benfica years playing in the North American soccer league or the Portuguese second division. He never led Portugal to another World Cup, and hasn’t managed anyone after his retirement, sticking to promotional stuff and some technical advising to the national team.
Eusebio wasn’t in peak condition in recent years having being treated for quite some time due to a severe and worsening heart problem that had him rushed to the hospital more than once.