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Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, GCIH, GCM ( ; born 25 January 1942), commonly known simply as Eusébio, is a Portuguesemarker former football forward of Mozambicanmarker origin, considered one of the best footballers of all-time. He helped the Portuguese national team reach third place at the 1966 World Cup, being the top goalscorer of the tournament with nine goals (six of which were scored at Goodison Parkmarker) and was elected the European Footballer of the Year in 1965. He played for Sport Lisboa e Benfica for 15 years, and is the team's all-time top scorer.

Nicknamed "The Black Panther", or "The Black Pearl", Eusébio scored 727 goals in 715 games. He is also known for his speed and his powerful, accurate right-footed strike. He is considered Benfica's and Portugal's most renowned player and the first world-class African striker. He was elected the 9th best footballer of the 20th century in a poll by the IFFHS.Pelé named Eusébio as one of the 125 best living footballers in his 2004 FIFA 100 list. In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, he was selected as the Golden Player of Portugal by the Portuguese Football Federation as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years.

Club career

Eusébio was born in Lourenço Marques (now Maputomarker), Portuguese East Africamarker (now Mozambiquemarker). He moved to Lisbonmarker in his late teens, and in 1961, Eusébio joined Sport Lisboa e Benfica as an 18-year-old from his local club, Sporting Club of Lourenço Marques, for £7,500. The move was controversial however: Sporting Lourenço Marques was a subsidiary of Sporting Clube de Portugal and the two rivals disputed him. Benfica discovered Eusébio due to the former Brazilian player José Carlos Bauer, who saw him in Lourenço Marques in 1960. Bauer indicated Eusébio first to his former club, São Paulo FC, but the Tricolor denied. After this, he talked about Eusébio with his former coach in São Paulo, Béla Guttmann, who was coaching Benfica at the time.

In 1962, he won the European Cup with Benfica, scoring two goals in the final against Real Madrid. Benfica won 5–3. Benfica were also European Cup runners-up in 1963, 1965, and 1968.

He was the 1965 European Footballer of the Year and in 1968 was the first winner of the Golden Boot Award, as Europe's leading scorer, a feat he repeated five years later. The Portuguese First Division's top scorer seven times from 1964 to 1973, he helped Benfica to 11 league championships (1961, 1963–1965, 1967–1969, 1971–1973, 1975) and five cup wins (1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1972). He scored 727 goals in 715 matches wearing Benfica's jersey, including 317 goals in 301 Portuguese league matches.

In 1976–77 and 1977–78, Eusébio played for two minor Portuguese teams, Beira-Mar, in I Division, and União de Tomar, in the II Division.

He also played in the North American Soccer League (NASL), for three different teams, from 1975 to 1977: Boston Minutemen (1975), Toronto Metros-Croatia (1976), and the Las Vegas Quicksilver (1977). His most successful season in the NASL was in 1976 with Toronto Metros-Croatia. He scored in their 3–0 victory at the 76 Soccer Bowl to win the NASL title. The same year, he played ten games for Monterrey in the Mexican league.

The following season (1977), he signed for the Las Vegas Quicksilver. This was to be a very disappointing end to Eusébio's career. By this time, injuries had taken their toll on The Black Panther, and he was constantly receiving medical treatment whilst playing for the Quicksilver. During the season he only managed to score two goals.

Although his knees robbed him of his ability to continue in the NASL, Eusébio wanted to continue to play soccer. He found a home in 1978 with the New Jersey Americans of the second-tier American Soccer League (ASL). He was forced to retire for good at the conclusion of the season.

Career statistics

International career

Eusébio was the all-time leading scorer for his country, with 41 goals (in 64 matches), until forward Pauletasurpassed his record against Latviaon 12 October 2005. He made his debut for the Portuguese national teamagainst Luxembourgon 19 October 1961, a match his country lost 4–2.

He was the leading scorer in the 1966 World Cupwhere he scored nine goals, including four against Korea DPRin quarterfinals, a match in which Portugal came back to win 5–3 after trailing 3–0.

In the semi-final match against England, Eusébio scored Portugal's only goal on a penalty in the 82nd minute.

In addition to winning the Golden Boot award for the 1966 FIFA World Cup, Eusébio also set a record that year for the most penalties scored (shoot-out not included) with four. Eusébio's four goals against Korea DPR in the quarter-final match also helped Portugal tie the record for largest deficit overcome in a win (three goals, equaling Austriain 1954). The English were so impressed by Eusébio's performances that he was immediately added to the Madame Tussaudsmarker collection of waxwork.

Eusébio, however, never played in another World Cup finals tournament, though he took part in the 1970 and 1974 qualifiers. His last game for the national team was a 2–2 draw against Bulgariaon 19 October 1973 in a World Cup qualifier.

Despite being retired, Eusébio is a constant presence among the Portuguese national team.



Sporting Clube Lourenço Marques

  • League Moçambique
  • 1960
1960–61 Benfica Portuguese Liga 13 3 - -
1961–62 17 12 6 5
1962–63 24 23 7 6
1963–64 19 28 3 4
1964–65 20 28 9 9
1965–66 23 25 5 7
1966–67 26 31 4 4
1967–68 24 42 9 6
1968–69 21 10 5 1
1969–70 22 21 4 4
1970–71 22 19 3 7
1971–72 24 19 8 1
1972–73 28 40 4 2
1973–74 21 16 4 1
1974–75 9 2 4 0

1975 Boston Minutemen North American Soccer League 7 2

1975–76 Monterrey 10 1

1976 Toronto Metros-Croatia North American Soccer League 21 16

1976–77 Beira-Mar Portuguese Liga 12 3

1977 Las Vegas Quicksilver North American Soccer League 17 2


  • Cup of Honour (Taça de Honra)
    • 1962–63, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1974–75

  • Ribeiro dos Reis Cup (Taça de Ribeiro dos Reis)
    • 1963–64, 1965–66, 1970–71

Toronto Metros-Croatia


Individual honours


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