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Portugal mourns Jaime Graça

Published: Tuesday 28 February 2012, 21.43CET
Portuguese football is mourning the death of Jaime Graça, who scored in the 1968 European Champion Clubs' Cup final two years after helping his nation to FIFA World Cup bronze.
Portugal mourns Jaime Graça
Jaime Graça (left) celebrates equalising against Manchester United in the 1968 European Cup final ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 28 February 2012, 21.43CET

Portugal mourns Jaime Graça

Portuguese football is mourning the death of Jaime Graça, who scored in the 1968 European Champion Clubs' Cup final two years after helping his nation to FIFA World Cup bronze.

Portuguese football is mourning the death of Jaime Graça, who made his mark on both the European Champion Clubs' Cup and the FIFA World Cup.

The former Vitória FC, SL Benfica and Portugal midfielder died at the age of 70 after a long battle against illness. Born in Setubal, he debuted for his local club aged 17 and in 1965 scored in their Portuguese Cup final defeat of Benfica.

Ever-present in Portugal's third-place finish at the 1966 World Cup in England, Jaime Graça then moved to Benfica, where he was to win seven league titles and three more Portuguese Cups. He was a key player in their run to the 1968 European Cup final against Manchester United FC at Wembley, equalising on 79 minutes only for Benfica to eventually lose 4-1 in extra time.

In all, he earned 36 caps for Portugal between 1965 and 1972, three years before he ended his career having returned to Setubal with Vitória. He went on to coach and assisted José Torres at the 1986 World Cup, only Portugal's second finals appearance after their bronze-medal placing 20 years earlier.

Jaime Graça was also famous for saving the life of Eusébio and other Benfica team-mates in December 1966. The players were having a hydro massage session when an electrical malfunction caused a short circuit. As a former electrician, Jaime Graça was able to disconnect the current, not in time to prevent the death of Luciano Fernandes but averting an even greater tragedy.

Last updated: 29/02/12 12.26CET

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