Eusebio Silva
25.01.1942 - 05.01.2014
Nickname: Black pearl
Nationality: Portugal
Stature: 175 см
Position: forward
Number: 13

1957 - 1960Portuguese East Africa Portuguese East AfricaSporting Lourenço Marques4277
1960 - 1975Portugal PortugalBenfica445476
1975 USA USABoston Minutemen82
1975 - 1976Mexica MexicaMonterrey101
1976 USA USAToronto Metros-Croatia2518
1976 - 1977Portugal PortugalBeira-Mar123
1977 USA USA Las Vegas Quicksilvers172
1977 - 1978Portugal PortugalUnião de Tomar103
1978 USA USANew Jersey Americans92
All:Gols in match: 1.01578584
Years performancesNational teamGamesGols
1961 - 1973Portugal Portugal6441
All:Gols in match: 0.646441

Eusebio, one of the best Portuguese players, was not a Portuguese. He was born and raised in Mozambique, which at that time still remained the Portuguese colony. Eusebio was the fourth child in the family. When Eusebio was eight years old, his father died of tetanus. At six, Eiselebio went to school, but the school did not really interest him, but he was interested in football.

Eusebio became the first African footballer to win world fame. The leading Portuguese clubs, such as Benfica, Sporting and Porto, funded "daughters" teams in Mozambique and Angola, and captured the most talented and promised local players in Portugal, where they then shone not only in the strongest clubs but and in the national team. Ironically, the young Eusebio did not grow in "Benfica", and in its longtime rival "Sporting" - another strong Lisbon club.


But when, in 1961, Sporting called Eusebio for a trial viewing in Lisbon, the Benfica management "stole" a football player literally from the plane and hid it in a safe place, until the passions subsided and Sporting did not lose interest in it. At the time, Benfica coache was Bela Guttman, a veteran of Hungarian football. He had a very high opinion of the potential players from Angola and Mozambique. The core of the team, which Guttman that year led to the victory over Barcelona in the European Champions Cup, consisted precisely of Africans: goalkeeper Costa Pireira, center forward and team captain Jose Agaush and two strikers Joaquim Santana and Mario Coluna. But the greatest among them was Eusebio. Guttman included him in the main team at the end of the 1960/61 season.


He was in stock when Benfica lost 0-3. Guttman had nothing to lose, and he let Eusebio onto the pitch. Eusebio made a hat-trick and eclipsed even Pele himself. He was then 19 years old. A year later, in Amsterdam, Eusebio scored 2 goals and thus contributed to the impressive victory of Benfica over Real Madrid in the European Champions Cup final.

For 13 seasons spent at Benfica, Eusebio, along with his club, became the 7-time champion of the country and won the Cup twice.

In 1965, Eusebio was recognized as the best footballer in Europe. At the 1966 World Cup, he scored a total of nine goals and became the top scorer of the championship. Seven times he became the top scorer of the championship of Portugal.


In the autumn of 1999, in one of his interviews, Eusebio said:

In 1966, at the World Cup, I scored everyone against whom I played. Our last match (for the third place) we had to hold against the Soviet Union. And I dreamed of scoring a goal at Yashin's gate, but this was not destined to come true, because his place was taken by another goalkeeper - Kavazashvili.

What? How to explain? Or, for 33 years, Eusebio managed to forget about one of the main events of his life - the goal Yashin? After all, it was he who defended the gate, not Anzor Amberkovich.

Tribunes "Wembley", the team under the roar of fans run out on the field. One chain is headed by Eusebio, another - Lev Yashin. After a handshake, the captain of the USSR stretches the pennant. However, Eusebio, noticing the ball that flew nearby (didn't this longitudinal pass follow purposely?), Jumped after it, showing gestures on the go: then, then. Yashin remains in the middle of the field with a pennant in his hands. What to do next with the pennant? Put on the grass - someone can step on. Take with them - they will think, what good, that the Portuguese (and the USSR has far from simple relations with this country) defiantly refused to accept the gift with Soviet symbols. Western journalists would definitely give this gesture a political color. It takes five, seven, almost nine minutes. For those ten minutes that Eusebio warm up, Yashin never touches the ball. Only a minute before the start of the match, returning from the field, Eusebio comes up, simply claps him on the shoulder and as if by the way takes the pennant.

Yashin, Eusebio 1966
Yashin and Eusebio before the game

It was later suggested that the course of Eusebio was previously calculated and planned. They noticed that the Soviet captain gave the pennant for each game, so they decided to wrap this sign of partnership for the good of their team. It can not be argued that Yashin was able to reflect a penalty after the "Hurtsilov hands." He guessed the direction of the impact of Eusebio, rushing to the bottom right corner, only a few centimeters were not enough to get the ball, only the tenth, more precisely, one hundredth of a second. And if he warmed up before the game? Anything can be, anything can be.

And Eusebio said a third decade later: "I never scored Yashin"... Anyway, the Portuguese national team took the third place, having won the USSR team in a dispute for him - 2:1. At that time, the Portuguese had never climbed so high (and the next time, they were able to get closer to this record only 40 years later, under the direction of Luis Felipe Scolari at the 2006 World Cup). Bronze medals were brought to his team by Eusebio, who realized a penalty for the game by hand Murtaza Hurtsilava, who the day before the game had a dream that he was fouling that way. “All the time I pressed my hands to my torso in order not to accidentally hit the ball. But some unknown, alien and evil force made throw up their hands,” Hurtsilava later said. The fight turned out to be sharp, implacable, nervous. Several defense attacks Eusebio SSSR defense, led by Hurtsilava, eliminated steadfastly. And suddenly ... something unimaginable happens in the penalty area of ​​the USSR. In a harmless situation, when the threat to the goal was not even a fraction of a percent - the ball flew high above the heads of other forwards - central defender catches it with his hands and as if enchanted puts it to the ground. Or maybe it was hypnosis, the witchcraft of one of the Mozambican shamans?

Whatever it was, this world championship was called the "Eusebio championship", and a new exhibit appeared in Madame Tussauds: the wax counterpart of the famous Portuguese striker.

Yashin, Eysebio 1966
Yashin saves his gate from hitting Eusebio
in the match for third place in the 1966 World Cup.

In 1968, at Wembley, Eusebio nearly won for Benfica the European Cup in the final match with Manchester United. In the final minutes of the main time, he could have scored the decisive goal, but Alex Stepney somehow miraculously tore off his attack, acting more by intuition. And what was the reaction of Eusebio? He patted Stepney on the back, recognizing that the opponent played with dignity. The Wembley Stadium played an important role in the formation of Eusebio’s career. It was here, in 1961, in the qualifying match for the World Cup - even in case Portugal lost to England - the strength and skill of the young footballer stunned even recognized meters of football. With all his actions, Eusebio argued that he can rightly be considered not only a Great Gentleman on the field, but also a recognized King of Football.


On December 5, 1966, the midfielder of the national team of Portugal and the club “Benfica” Fernandez Luciano tragically died in the pool of the Benfica stadium in Lisbon. In a serious condition, seven players were sent to the hospital: the best footballer of Europe in 1965 Eusebio, Cavem, Graça, Santana, da Silva, Camolas and Pais. After the assistance provided and a thorough medical examination, six of the victims were prescribed home bed rest, Silva was left in the hospital. The tragedy occurred at the moment when the Benfica players, having finished the training, entered the pool. Usually after training they went to a masseuse. This time they had to try out the newly acquired hydromassage machine of the American company Jacuzzi. The machine at the entrance of the players in the water were two equipment company. They turned on machine and ... suddenly the Jacuzzi machine turned into an electric chair. Due to damage to the wire, an electrical discharge got into the water. Three players - Luciano, da Silva and Pais lost consciousness from an electric shock and sank to the bottom. Luciano, completely immersed in the water, was killed instantly. Eusebio and the others were saved only by the fact that at that moment they had not yet had time to sink into the water, as well as the instantaneous reaction of Gras. An electrician by profession, Graça managed to turn off the current and immediately fainted.


At 32, he was forced to stop playing due to a serious knee injury. However, Eusebio could not imagine life without football. When the still very young North American Football League (NASL) offered him a career in America, he immediately accepted the invitation and moved overseas. First, he played for Boston Minuteman (with his friend from Benfica Antonio Simoesch), then for the Toronto Metro-Kroatia, then Las Vegas Quicksilver. Faithful Benfica fans had the most conflicting feelings about Eusebio’s voluntary expulsion to North America.

But all the insults were immediately forgotten when he returned to Lisbon, where he began working as a football commentator on television, second coach and in general became an honorary "face" of "Benfica". Fans all over the world fell in love with Eusebio not only for his outstanding game, but also because he always played fair, not allowing himself even hints of unsportsmanlike behavior on the field.

monument to Eusebio
At the entrance to the stadium "Benfica" "Estadio da Luz"
a statue of Eusebio was installed in 1992

During the celebration of the 50th anniversary (2004), UEFA conducted a survey to identify the 50 best players in Europe over the past half century. Readers of the official site was offered a list of 250 athletes. The nominees were selected on the basis of their performances in domestic and European club tournaments, as well as at the European and World Championships as part of their teams. Here are the top twenty players with the highest number of votes: Baresi, Beckenbauer, Best, Charlton, Cruyff, Di Stefano, Ecebio, Gullit, Keegan, Maldini, Matthaus, Muller, Platini, Puskas, Rossi, Rumenigge, van Basten, Yashin, Zoff. In 2004, Eusebio, as part of the same celebration of the 50th anniversary of UEFA, was named the best player in Portugal over the past half century.

Eusebio and Figo
One of the best players of the national team of Portugal Eusebio and Luis Figo


Eusebio died on the night of January 5, 2014, at the age of 72, as a result of acute heart failure. The Portuguese authorities declared a three-day mourning in the country in connection with his death. Flags were lowered at all state institutions in the country. Various entertainment events were canceled, and television companies were recommended to remove entertainment programs from the program. Life of Eusebio was commented on by many politicians, football players and coaches both in Portugal and abroad. In particular, Real Madrid’s striker Cristiano Ronaldo called Eusebio everlasting alive, and Chelsea’s London coach José Mourinho - one of the greatest Portuguese in football history. He is at the level of Charlton or Pele. "Football has lost the legend," FIFA President Zepp Blatter tweeted. "Portugal today lost one of its most beloved sons, Eusebio da Silva Ferreira. The country mourns his death," said President Anibal Cavaco Silva. In Mozambique, in the homeland of the football player, President Joachim Chissano said that he personally lost a friend. “Portuguese football has lost one of its greatest idols,” Chissano continued. "Football brought Mozambique and Portugal together, and in Mozambique everyone is proud of Eusebio."

On January 6, a procession with Eusebio’s coffin draped in the colors of the Benfica club’s flag proceeded through the streets of the Portuguese capital, after which the body was displayed at Eshtadíu da Luz, the home arena of the deceased’s native club. At the stadium, the coffin stood for only five minutes, after which it was taken in a farewell circle, as Eusebio himself bequeathed, carried out and taken to the church where the funeral took place. Give the last honors football player came tens of thousands of people. Eusebio was buried the same day in the Lumiar cemetery in Lisbon.

Based on:,

Award nameYearAmount
1 Silver ball 1962, 1966 2
2 Gold ball 1965 1
3 Footballer of the year in Portugal 1970, 1973 2
4 Best scorer of the World Championship (9 goals) 1966
5 Best scorer of the Championship of Portugal (28, 28, 25, 31 , 42, 21, 40 goals) 1963/64, 1964/65, 1965/66, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1969/70, 1972/73 7
6 The best football player of Portugal for the period 1954-2003, 2004 = 1
7 The best scorer of the European Champions Cup (9, 7, 6) 1964/65, 1965/66, 1967/68 3
8 Golden boot (42, 40 goals) 1968, 1973 2
9 Record holder of the Portuguese national team in the number of goals at the world championships (9 goals)
10 9th place in the list of the best football players of the 20th century according to the version of the IFFILE
11 6th place in the list of the best footballers in Europe of the 20th century according to the version of the IFFILE
12 10th place in the list of the greatest football players of the 20th century according to World Soccer
13 In the FIFA 100 list
14 2nd place in the list of top scorers in the Portuguese championship of all time (320 goals)
15 Winner of the Portuguese "golden ball" 1991 1
16 Included in the symbolic team of the World Cup 1966 1
17 Foreign athlete of the year according to BBC 1966 1

Club "Benfica "
Award nameYearAmount
1 Champion of Portugal 1960 / 61, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1968/69, 1970/71, 1971/72, 1972/73, 1974 / 75 11
2 Portugal Cup 1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1972 5
3 European Cup 1961 / 62 1

Club " Toronto Metros Croix "
Award nameYearAmount
4 Champion of the North American Football League 1976 1