UEFA President Michel Platini has paid tribute to "one of the greatest players ever and a true ambassador for Portuguese football" after learning of the death of Eusébio.
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UEFA President Michel Platini was saddened to learn of the death of Eusébio – ambassador, legend and one of the game's all-time great players.
"Today football has lost one of the greatest players ever," said Mr Platini. "On the field, Eusébio was a true legend, in the colours of both Portugal and Benfica. But also off it, he was a true ambassador for Portuguese football on the international stage. He was more than a footballer. A good and charming man, Eusébio will be sadly missed."
The former SL Benfica and Portugal forward was the third recipient – after Alfredo Di Stéfano and Sir Bobby Charlton, and followed by Raymond Kopa, Gianni Rivera and Franz Beckenbauer – of the UEFA President's Award.
Speaking at the award ceremony in February 2010, the UEFA President said of Eusébio’s early career: "That fine Benfica team was the only team that could measure up to the great Real Madrid in the early 60s. That team had a hero – his name was Eusébio, he came from Mozambique and he became famous as the 'Pantera Negra' [Black Panther].
"Eusébio's worldwide reputation began in May 1962 in the European Champion Clubs' Cup final against Real Madrid. Eusébio scored two goals and gave a superb exhibition, showing all the skills which made him popular – astonishing speed and a powerful shot."