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Eusébio heads Portuguese legends list

Published: Tuesday 11 May 2004, 14.53CET
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Published: Tuesday 11 May 2004, 14.53CET

Eusébio heads Portuguese legends list

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Eusébio da Silva Ferreira
Date of birth: 25 January 1942
National team(s): Portugal
Club(s): Sporting Clube de Lourenço Marques, SL Benfica, Rhode Island Oceaners, Boston Minutemen, CF Monterrey, Toronto Metros-Croatia, SC Beira-Mar, Las Vegas Quicksilver, União de Tomar, New Jersey Americans

Eusébio was actually born in Mozambique before he moved to Portugal as a 19-year-old to join SL Benfica. He was actually lined-up to join Sporting Clube de Portugal, but following a plan hatched by then Benfica coach Béla Guttmann, Eusébio was whisked away to Lisbon and actually had to be hidden in an Algarve fishing village while the directors of Benfica and Sporting argued over his signature. Within a year, Eusébio scored two cannonball goals in their 5-3 victory against Real Madrid CF in the European Champion Clubs' Cup final. In 14 seasons, he helped Benfica win the league 11 times and the cup five times; he was European Footballer of the Year in 1965; top scorer with nine goals in the 1966 FIFA World Cup finals, and scorer of 41 goals in 64 internationals.

Germano Luís de Figueiredo
Date of birth:
18 January 1933
National team(s): Portugal
Club(s): SL Benfica

Germano was one of the world's finest central defenders in the early 1960s but was unfortunate with injuries. He earned high praise for his role in organising SL Benfica's defence while the team's goalscoring exploits were grabbing greater attention. Injury cost Germano his place at the heart of Portugal's defence at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. He won the European Champion Clubs' Cup twice with Benfica in 1961 and 1962 but third time proved unlucky. He even had to go in goal in the 1964/65 final after Costa Pereira was injured in the 1-0 defeat by Internazionale FC in Milan. Also won the Portuguese league seven times and the cup on four occasions.

Alberto da Costa Pereira
Date of birth: 12 December 1929
National team(s): Portugal
Club(s): SL Benfica

Costa Pereira was one of Portugal's great discoveries in the African colonies. Born in Nacala, Mozambique, he joined SL Benfica in 1954. He was a tower of strength in their biggest triumphs, though prone to the occasional unpredictable error. Costa Pereira won seven league titles with Benfica and played in four European Champion Clubs' Cup finals - the victories of 1961 and 1962 and the defeats of 1963 and 1965. In the latter game, against Internazionale FC in the rain in Milan, Costa Pereira was injured early in the game and had to leave the pitch. He played 24 times for Portugal.

Mário Esteves Coluna
Date of birth: 6 August 1935
National team(s): Portugal
Club(s): Desportivo de Lourenço Marques, SL Benfica, Olympique Lyonnais

Coluna was a key figure in the Portuguese national team which reached the FIFA World Cup semi-finals in 1966 and was midfield fulcrum of SL Benfica's outstanding club side of the 1960s. Born in Mozambique, he was the local long-jump record-holder when he was lured away by Benfica to play football in 1954. Originally a centre-forward, he was converted to inside-left and then midfield and won 57 caps for Portugal, scoring on eight occasions. He scored with typically spectacular long-range efforts in both Benfica's European Champion Clubs’ Cup final victories in 1961 and 1962. Won ten Portuguese championships and seven Portuguese cups. Coluna later turned to coaching and became sports minister in Mozambique.

José Pinto Carvalho dos Santos Águas
Date of birth: 9 November 1930 (died: 11 December 2000)
National team(s): Portugal
Club(s): SL Benfica, FK Austria Wien

Born in Angola, legend has it that Águas was a famed local lion-hunter when SL Benfica persuaded him he could enjoy a more lucrative existence hunting goals. He flew to Portugal in 1950 and scored 290 goals in 281 matches for Benfica as well as finishing top league scorer on five occasions. Águas was captain and centre-forward of the Benfica side which succeeded Real Madrid CF as European champions in 1961. In 1960/61, he was also top scorer in the European Champion Clubs' Cup. He was winning captain again in 1962 before transferring to FK Austria Wien in 1963, in what proved to be his final season. For Portugal, he scored eleven goals in 25 appearances.

Paulo Jorge dos Santos Futre
Date of birth: 28 February 1966
National team(s): Portugal
Club(s): Sporting Clube de Portugal, FC Porto, Club Atlético de Madrid, SL Benfica, Olympique de Marseille, Reggiana AC, AC Milan, West Ham United FC

Futre was only 17 when he made his international debut and his star continued to shine brightly after FC Porto signed him from Sporting Clube de Portugal to inspire their European Champion Clubs' Cup victory of 1987. A few weeks later Futre was signed by Club Atlético de Madrid. Futre stayed at the Spanish club until the start of 1993 when he set off an journey around Italian, Portuguese and English football. A serious knee ligament injury on his Serie A debut with Reggiana AC marred the closing years of his career.

Last updated: 23/05/04 13.33CET

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