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Portuguese soccer legend Eusebio has died

Nicknamed the ‘Black Panther’ or ‘the Black Pearl’, the Mozambican-born frontman was widely considered to be have been one of the greatest players of all-time.

Eusebio in his Benfica days.
Eusebio in his Benfica days.
Image: S&G/S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

THE PORTUGUESE soccer legend Eusebio has died. The former Benfica striker was 71.

Portuguese national broadcaster RTP is also reporting the death, saying that Eusebio had suffered heart problems in recent years.

The LUSA news agency said that Eusebio da Silva Ferreira, to give him his full name, died of cardio-pulmonary arrest at 4.30am.

Nicknamed the ‘Black Panther’ or ‘the Black Pearl’, the Mozambican-born frontman is widely considered to be have been one of the greatest players of all-time.

His speed, technique, powerful right foot and strength were just some of the attributes which made him one of the best strikers of his generation.

He came to prominence at the 1966 World Cup in England where he finished as the tournament’s top scorer with nine goals, four of which he scored in one incredible 5-3 win over North Korea at Goodison Park.

Eusebio played for 15 of his 22 years as a professional footballer at Benfica, scoring an incredible 317 goals in just over 300 games and winning 11 league titles and one European Cup.

He won the Ballon D’Or, European football’s most prestigious individual honour, in 1965.

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Hugh O'Connell

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