Eusebio da Silva Ferreira passed away at 4:30 am local time this morning due to a heart failure, just days ahead of what would have been his 72nd birthday on January 25, Portuguese media reported.
Commonly called the ‘Black Panther’ for his speed and the fear he instilled in opposition defenders, Eusebio helped Benfica reach four European Cup finals, the most famous one in 1968 which Manchester United won. He won the European Cup in 1962.
Widely regarded as one of the best footballers of all time, his greatest moment was leading his country to third place in the 1966 FIFA World Cup which is Portugal best performance till date. He was also the top scorers in that edition of the World Cup.
He lies third on the highest goalscorers list for Portugal with only Pauleta and Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of him.
Eusebio had been suffering from heart problems for a while.
He scored 733 goals in 745 competitive games over his career and in a poll conducted for UEFA’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2004, he was voted as the 7th best European footballer to have played the game.Published 05 Jan 2014, 14:20 IST