Portuguese government declares three days of mourning for Eusébio

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A 1968 Ajman stamp commemorating Eusébio.
Image: Ajman Post Office.
Eusébio and Brazilian footballer Neymar in 2012
Image: Stevebridges35 .

As news broke today of the death of legendary Portuguese footballer Eusébio, the government of Portugal declared three national days of mourning.

The 71-year-old died this morning at at 4:30am Portuguese time (0430 UTC) in Lisbon of a heart attack. Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, known at the Black Panther, scored 41 goals in 64 appearances for the Portuguese men's national football team, was voted the best player in the world in 1965, and won the World Cup Golden Boot in 1966 after scoring nine goals. He led the country's national domestic competition in scoring in seven seasons, guided S.L. Benfica to eleven league championships, won the European Cup in 1962, finished second to Real Madrid in the European Cup in 1963, and finished his professional career with 739 goals in 745 games.

Born in Mozambique in 1942, he arrived in Portugal incognito using a woman's name when he was 18 years old. Soon after, he joined Benfica where he went on to win the European Cup two years later.