Eusebio da Silva Ferreira, nicknamed “Black Panther”, is considered to be one of the best footballers of all time. The Mozambican-born Portuguese striker was known for his speed, technique and an unstoppable right foot that made him a prolific goal scorer.
Debut and World Cup performances
In 1961, at 19 he made his debut for Benfica and a year later was scoring two goals against Real Madrid helping his team win the European Cup. In 1965 he won the Ballon d’Or as the European Footballer of the Year. He also won the award for top scorer of the Portuguese league every year from 1964 to 1973, leading Benfica to 10 championship titles and 5 cup victories.
However he is best remembered for his performance during the 1966 World Cup in England. After scoring twice and eliminating defending champions Brazil, he singlehandedly defeated the North Korean team by scoring four incredible goals and overcoming a 3-0 deficit, making the final score to be 4-3 in favor of Portugal.
Prestigious awards and amazing scoring performance
In 1968 and then again in 1973 Eusebio won the Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer. He finished his playing years in North America where he led Toronto Metros-Croatia to victory in the 1976 Soccer Bowl before retiring in 1979. During his career he scored and astonishing 749 goals in 745 matches at club level and 41 goals for his national team, with a total of 790 goals.
In 2008 Benfica honored the legend creating the Eusebio Cup, an annual match between the club and a highly regarded international opponent.
On January 5 2014, the world of football lost one of its greatest legends and one of the greatest strikers that Europe has ever had.