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Eusebio
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Soccer Player
    (January 25, 1942-January 5, 2014)
    Born in Lourenco Marques, Mozambique
    Full name was Eusebio da Silva Ferreira
    Played for Sporting de Lourenco Marques (1957-60), Benfica (1960-75), Boston Minutemen (1975), C.F. Monterrey (1975), Toronto Metros-Croatia (1975-76), S.C. Beira-Mar (1976), Las Vegas Quicksilvers (1976-77), Uniao de Tomar (1977-78) and New Jersey Americans (1978-79)
    Competed internationally for Portugal (1961-73)
    Two-time winner of the European Golden Boot as top scorer in league matches (1968,1973)
    Received the Ballon d'Or for European Footballer of the Year (1965)
    He frequently skipped school to play soccer.
    A dispute between Benfica and Sporting Clube de Portugal over who had the right to sign him became so heated that Benfica hid him in a hotel room under an assumed name for twelve days to avoid a possible kidnapping by the other club.
    He was one of several aging international stars who extended their careers by signing with the North American Soccer League, with mediocre results.
    He went by a pretentious single name.
    He was nicknamed 'the black panther' and 'the black pearl.'
    Growing up, he would play soccer with balls stuffed with socks and newspapers.
    He had great speed, running 100 meters in 11 seconds.
    He was praised by opponents for his sportsmanship.
    When he was named one of the ten best players of all time by FIFA (1998), he said, 'I regard that as a great responsibility, because I am representing Africa and Portugal, my second homeland.'
    When he died, the Portuguese government ordered three days of national mourning.

Credit: C. Fishel


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