His debut with the red sweater was on May 23rd, 1961, still in the reserves, against Atlético CP. Shortly after, on June 1st, he debuted in the first team, in a match for the Cup of Portugal, against Vitória de Setúbal. That same year he played his first match for the national team, on October 8th, against the team from Luxembourg. Eusébio spent fifteen seasons with Benfica, between 1960/61 and 1974/75, where he played 614 matches and scored 638 goals, being the highest scorer in the club. He was a Portuguese international player for over a decade, playing 64 games and scoring 41 goals, and helped the national team achieve third place in the World Championship in 1966, being the top scorer of the championship.
He was a powerful player in the world of football of the ‘60s and one of the best in the history of this top sport. He was unpredictable with the ball and a ruthless goal-scorer; owner of a very distinctive kick, he would attempt a goal from any area of the field and score whichever way. He had a deep respect for his opponents, for referees and for spectators. He is considered the best footballer ever in Benfica and became, by his popularity, a symbol and a flag of Portugal in the world.
While playing for Benfica, he conquered eleven National Championships, five Cups of Portugal and one European Champion Clubs' Cup. At the European level, he won a Golden Ball for best player in 1965 and the Golden Boot for top scorer in 1968, a feat that he repeated in 1973. As top scorer of the National Championship, he won seven Silver Balls, a record he still holds today.
After leaving Benfica, he represented several clubs in the United States, Canada and Mexico and even played two seasons for two Portuguese clubs: Beira-Mar and União de Tomar.
He ended his football career in 1977/78 but remained connected to the sport. Between 1983 and 1999 he took on various positions in the technical teams of Benfica and until the end of his life he was the ambassador of Sport Lisboa e Benfica and of the Portuguese Football Federation. The numerous awards, distinctions and honours he received over the years are an expression of the recognition by the sport, the Portuguese government and the world.
He married Flora in 1965 and had two daughters, Carla and Sandra. He died on January 5th, 2014, a few days before turning 72. Tributes and condolences multiplied throughout the world, for the loss of one of the legends of world football.
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Eusébio da Silva Ferreira was born on January 25th, 1942 in the Mafalala neighbourhood in Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), Mozambique. He started his football career at Sporting de Lourenço Marques, where he won the District Championship and League of Lourenço Marques in Mozambique. His talent raised the interest of several clubs of the metropolis (Sporting CP, FC Porto, SL Benfica and Belenenses), and in December 1960, Eusébio arrived in Portugal to play for Benfica.
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 02.05.2014
Designer: Atelier Design&etc - Helder Soares
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 30.6 x 40 mm