Eusebio da Silva Ferreira, the Portuguese soccer star who delighted fans with his ability during the late fifties, sixties, and seventies has died at the age of 71.
The sad news quickly spread through social media as one of the best players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo pays homage to the fallen hero on Twitter, and fans mourn his passing.
Soccer –or football, as it is known outside the US– is the most popular sport in the world, and Eusebio was one of the great stars who helped make the sport what it is today.
Fellow Portuguese player and a superstar of our times, Ronaldo is leading the way in expressing his sorrow at the passing of the legendary player.
During the 1966 World Cup –hosted by England– Eusebio was the top scorer with nine goals, and he helped Portugal reach third place in the tournament after seven failed attempts to qualify in previous years.
Four of his nine goals came during the historic match against North Korea, which was not known for being a soccer superpower.
“That was the best game of my life in a Portugal jersey,” Eusebio said later. “It left its mark on me.”
Eusebio’s high scoring World Cup earned him a Bronze Ball award. He also received the prestigious Ballon d’Or award in 1965 and was a runner-up in 1962 and 1966.
Not only that, but he ended his illustrious career with 737 goals in 745 games. He was considered to be one of the greatest footballers in the history of the game on a level with his good friend, Pele.
Eusebio, who was born in Mozambique, was known to soccer fans as the “Black Panther” for his athleticism, speed, and incomparable technique.
On Twitter, the memorials and remembrances continue. Photos of Eusebio’s coffin laying in state at Estadio de la Luz, home to Benfica, his team for most of his career, are being shared by fans.
Eusebio’s body lies in state at Benfica’s Elstadio De Luz. This was his wish. pic.twitter.com/xRV78LslNr
— Sir Kgaugelo M. (@De_Imperial) January 6, 2014
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) January 6, 2014
Benfica fans saying goodbye to the club’s legend, Eusébio. pic.twitter.com/S9Xd8q5T7M
— Football Away Days (@awaydays_) January 6, 2014
The team during the minute of silence for Eusébio. pic.twitter.com/qiaiSaUfqQ
— WeAreMadrid10 (@WeAreMadrid10) January 6, 2014
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) January 5, 2014
Real Madrid –where Cristiano Ronaldo currently plays– observed a moment of silence during their match this weekend, and Portugal has declared three days of mourning following the news of Eusebio’s death. He will be buried in Lisbon.