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Eusebio (1963) .jpg
Eusebio (1963)
Surname Eusébio da Silva Ferreira
birthday January 5 or January 25, 1942
place of birth Lourenço MarquesPort. East Africa
date of death 5th January 2014
Place of death LisbonPortugal
size 175 cm
position Center Forward
Years station
OS Brasileiros
1957-1959 SC Lourenço Marques
Years station Games (goals) 1
1957-1960 SC Lourenço Marques 42 0(77)
1960-1975 Benfica Lisbon 301 (317)
1975 Boston Minutemen 7 00(2)
1975 CF Monterrey 10 00(1)
1975-1976 Toronto Metros-Croatia 21 0(16)
1976 SC Beira-Mar 12 00(3)
1976-1977 Las Vegas Quicksilvers 17 00(2)
1977-1988 UFCI Tomar 12 00(3)
1978 New Jersey Americans 9 00(2)
1979-1980 Buffalo stallions 5 00(1)
National team
Years selection Games (goals)
1961-1973 Portugal 64 0(41)
1 Only league games are given.

Eusébio da Silva Ferreira [ ewˈzɛbiu ðɐ ˈsiɫvɐ fɨˈʁɐjɾɐ ], Eusébio for short (born  January 5, 1942 or January 25, 1942 in Lourenço Marques, today's Maputo , Mozambique ; † January 5, 2014 in Lisbon ), was a Portuguese professional footballer of Mozambican origin.

In reference to his “cat-like” style of play, the English journalist Desmond Hackett called him “Pantera Negra” (Black Panther) . Eusébio was one of the most dangerous strikers in football history and was the greatest sports idol in Portugal . In 1965 he was named European Footballer of the Year and came 9th in FIFA's Player of the Century election. Eusébio wore the Benfica jersey of Lisbon for a total of 15 years and shaped the most successful era in the club's history (including ten championship titles , five cup wins and one European Cup winner ). With 474 competitive goals, he is Benfica's record scorer.

At the 1966 World Cup , Eusébio was the outstanding player of the tournament. With nine goals he was the top scorer and thus had a significant share in third place in Portugal .


Eusébio was born in 1942 in Lourenço Marques (now Maputo ), the capital of Portuguese East Africa . He was the fourth child of a white railroad worker and his dark-skinned wife. The exact date of birth is controversial because at the time of his birth the data collection by the colonial administration was not always precise and both January 5th and 25th are given as birthdays.

The family lived in the slum Mafalala in extremely poor conditions. After the early death of her father in 1950, mother Elisa had to raise nine children alone. Little Eusébio was an avid footballer and regularly neglected school to "play barefoot on the street with a ball of tied rags."

Club career

Sporting Clube de Lourenço Marques (1957 to 1960)

At the age of 15 he joined the Sporting Clube de Lourenço Marques and was trained in the youth team for the next two years. He was already so good that he came to sporadic missions with the seniors early on. The young striker's scoring qualities were evident, in 1960 he scored 36 goals in the Campeonato Provincial de Moçambique and thus made a significant contribution to winning the national championship.

Benfica Lisbon (1960 to 1975)

The club from the Portuguese colony was closely associated with Sporting Lisbon , which had a right of first refusal on all players. However, those responsible for Benfica Lisbon , the great arch-rival Sportings, recognized Eusébio's talent. On the advice of the former Brazilian national player José Carlos Bauer , Benfica transferred 350,000  Escudos (around 25,000  euros ) to the 18-year-old Eusébio, thus securing one of the greatest talents in African football. In December 1960 he left his home country and went to Portugal, where after his arrival he was initially hidden in a small village in the Algarve in a "night and fog" operation . It should be ruled out that he could switch to Sporting at the last moment and only after the final signing of the contract did Eusébio return to Lisbon. Since he was only allowed to play in the spring of 1961 anyway, Eusébio was initially carefully introduced to the professional squad by coach Béla Guttmann . In those days, Benfica Lisbon was preparing to win the European Cup. With outstanding individual players like José Águas , José Augusto and Mário Coluna Star team defeated in the final to FC Barcelona with 3: 2 and the first time secured the coveted trophy. Eusébio was still banned from international games and made his debut on May 23, 1961 in the friendly against Atlético Clube de Portugal , where he succeeded in a hat trick . At the subsequent preparatory tournament in Paris , he played himself in the foreground with a breathtaking performance. In the game against FC Santos (with Pelé, among others ) he was substituted on when the score was 0: 5 and scored three more goals to make it 3: 6. The international press celebrated the unknown striker exuberantly as the "new Pelé".

During the 1961/62 season, Eusébio became a regular and was gradually built up by coach Guttmann as the successor to old star José Águas . With twelve goals in 17 league games and a double in the final of the Association Cup (3-0 against Vitória Setúbal ), he achieved the breakthrough he had hoped for and this marked the start of a unique career. In May 1962 he became famous across Europe: In the final of the European Cup against Real Madrid , Eusébio scored the decisive goals to 4: 3 and 5: 3, paving the way for his team to defend their title. After this overwhelming victory, the match winner suffered a nervous breakdown in the dressing room with joy and hysteria . The final went down in the history of the European Cup games as "one of the greatest football performances in sports history". In the same year, the only 19-year-old striker took second place in the European Footballer of the Year election. Within a few months, the unknown boy from the African province had made the leap to become an internationally celebrated star. Benfica was by far the best club team in Portugal in the 1960s and dominated the domestic league almost at will. Until he left in 1975, Eusébio had ten championships with the club (1960/61, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1970/71, 1971/72, 1972/73 and 1974 / 75) and five cup wins (1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1972). Internationally they were still among the absolute best and reached the final of the European Cup three times, but lost all three games ( 1963 1: 2 against AC Milan , 1965 0: 1 against Inter Milan , 1968 1: 4 against Manchester United ). Despite numerous national players, Eusébio was the undisputed star of the team. Equipped with a powerful, explosive kick (100 meters in eleven seconds!) As well as a tough shot, he always looked for the direct route to the goal and developed into one of the best strikers in the world. Because of his agile, cat-like suppleness when dribbling, the press nicknamed him "Pantera Negra" (Black Panther) . He was the top scorer in the Portuguese league a total of seven times (1963/64 to 1967/68, 1969/70 and 1972/73) and in 1968 he was named Europe's best goalscorer ( Golden Boot ) with 42 goals , which he succeeded again in 1973 (40 Gates). As the first Portuguese player, Eusébio was voted Europe's Footballer of the Year in 1965.

Although Eusébio was the figurehead of his club, despite all the successes, titles and awards, he was kept financially on a short leash (Benfica paid him an entry fee of the equivalent of EUR 1,200 per month). Those responsible persuaded him to play the role of the black, naive boy from the African bush and put him under pressure. Benfica demanded astronomical transfer fees that no interested party could afford, and so Eusébio had no choice but to sign the contract offers submitted by the club on its terms. The authoritarian Portuguese head of state António de Oliveira Salazar even declared him unsaleable and in this way it was possible to bind the star striker permanently through long-term contracts. It was not until 1975, after 15 years in the red jersey, after having passed its zenith, that Eusébio received approval. He played his last game for Benfica on June 18, 1975 against Raja Casablanca .

In 715 games for Benfica, he scored 727 goals, including 59 in 78 UEFA club competitions.

Late years (1975 to 1979)

After leaving Lisbon, the now 33-year-old Eusébio went to North America for the NASL , where he played for various clubs over the next few years. In 1976 he wore the jersey of the Mexican first division club CF Monterrey for ten games . At the end of his career he returned to Portugal twice for short guest appearances ( SC Beira-Mar 1976/77 and second division UFCI Tomar 1977/78). Eusébio's “years of wandering” were mainly characterized by his knee injury, which he hardly exercised and usually only caused him to accumulate in pain. Because of these chronic knee problems, he ended his active career in 1979.

National team

After a few months in professional football, the 19-year-old Eusébio was a candidate for Portugal's national team and on October 8, 1961, he made his debut in the 2-4 defeat against Luxembourg .

Despite Benfica's international successes, the national team was in deep crisis, but an upswing began over the next few years. Portugal qualified for a World Cup finals for the first time (1966 in England) , with Eusébio paving the way for his country to the tournament with seven out of nine goals. Eusébio traveled to England in top shape and should become the big star of the tournament. With spectacular long-range shots and fine dribbling, he became an exception. Portugal survived the first round (Eusébio had scored three goals) and defeated it even defending champion Brazil with 3: 1 . In the quarter-finals that followed, Eusebio made World Cup history: surprisingly, the Portuguese were 3-0 down against the blatant underdog North Korea at Goodison Park , but then the Seleção started a glorious race to catch up, in which Eusébio contributed four goals to their 5-3 victory . With this game he secured a place in the hall of fame of world football. But in the semi-finals, hosts England proved to be too strong and Portugal lost 2-1 (Eusébio had taken the next goal). Eusébio said until the end that the Portuguese association had sold the game to the hosts. Finally, Portugal secured third place and Eusebio later declared: “The 1966 World Cup was the highlight of my career. We lost the semi-finals, but Portuguese football was one of the big winners. "

The 1966 World Cup was to be the only tournament Eusébio took part in, and it wasn't until 1986 that Portugal qualified for a World Cup again. After missing the World Cup qualification for the 1974 tournament , he announced his resignation from the national team. The 2-2 draw against Bulgaria on October 19, 1973 was Eusebio's last international match. In total, he scored 41 times in 64 international matches and was Portugal's record scorer until 2005 before he was overtaken by Pauleta .

Further life

Eusébio (2001)

In 1979 Eusébio ended his career and returned to Lisbon to work in Benfica's youth division. From 1985 to 1992 he acted as assistant coach of the professional team and worked a. a. on the staff of Sven-Göran Eriksson .

In Portugal, Eusébio was revered as an idol, becoming a symbol of pride and loyalty. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of UEFA 2004, the Portuguese football association FPF declared Eusebio the “Golden Player” for the past 50 years. He enjoyed the respect of the public and represented the Portuguese Football Association. In this role he visited the national team at international tournaments.

In his last years Eusébio had health problems; he had to be treated several times in the hospital (among other things for pneumonia ). He died of cardiac arrest on January 5, 2014 at around 4:30 a.m. at the age of 71 . A three-day state mourning was then declared in Portugal. In July 2015, the remains were transferred from the Lumiar cemetery in Lisbon to the Lisbon Pantheon in the Santa Engrácia Church .

Titles and awards

Eusébios statue in front of the Estádio da Luz


National team



  • Matthias Weinrich: The European Cup. Volume 1: 1955 to 1974. AGON Sportverlag, Kassel 2007, ISBN 978-3-89784-252-6 .
  • Michael Horn: Lexicon of international soccer stars. Verlag Die Werkstatt, Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-89533-466-9 .

Web links

Commons : Eusébio  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Eusebio is 70: The "Black Panther" from Portugal. ( Memento from January 6, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) On: January 24, 2012, accessed January 5, 2014.
  2. Sport-Bild from December 23, 1997, p. 88.
  3. Mourning for Eusebio. Obituary in Kicker Sportmagazin on January 5, 2013, accessed on January 5, 2013.
  4. Pantera Negra morre aos 71 anos. On: 5th January 2014.
  5. FIFA Hall of Fame Eusebio, the legend leaves. On: 5th January 2014.
  6. Inexpensive resource as a living legend. On: of January 24, 2012
  7. ^ Max Gehringer (Especial Placar ): A Saga da Jules Rimet. “Os vice-campeões.” Fascículo 4, 1950 Brasil, decembro de 2005, Editora Abril, pp. 46–47.
  8. ^ Matthias Weinrich: The European Cup 1955 to 1974. Volume 1, AGON Sportverlag, 2007, p. 110.
  9. ^ Matthias Weinrich: The European Cup 1955 to 1974. Volume 1, AGON Sportverlag, 2007, p. 203.
  10. a b Superstar in the 1960s. On: 5th January 2014.
  11. ^ Matthias Weinrich: The European Cup 1955 to 1974. Volume 1, AGON Sportverlag, 2007, p. 203.
  12. Benfica and Portugal mourn Eusebio (Portuguese)
  13. Portugal's star striker: football legend Eusébio is dead. On: January 5, 2014, accessed January 5, 2014.
  14. The grave of Eusébio
predecessor Office successor

Portugal's Footballer of the Year

Tamagnini Nené
Humberto Coelho