No 26 and No 27 (in a series of several): Eusebio (1942 – )
Eusébio Ferreira Da Silva, or just plain Eusébio as he is better known, was born in Mozambique, then a Portuguese territory. Although he went on to star for Benfica he started his career with Sporting Lourenco-Marques, a nursery side of Benfica’s rivals Sporting Lisbon. He was the leading scorer in the Portuguese league seven times between 1964 and 1973 and topped the European charts in 1968 and again in 1973 with 42 goals and 40 goals respectively. Capped 64 times by Portugal he excelled at the 1966 World Cup in England (where he was leading marksman with 9 goals).
He was back in England – at Wembley – for the 1968 European Cup Final where, had in not been for a crucial Alex Stepney save toward the end of normal time, may well have clinched the trophy for Benfica. As things worked out Bobby Charlton, Brian Kidd and George Best all scored in extra time to give Manchester United a 4-1 win.
Two statues have been erected in his honour. The first outside Benfica’s Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal and the second, an identical copy, outside the Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts, home of MLS side the New England Revolution. Foxborough is a suburb of Boston and the now defunct Boston Minutemen were a number of NASL clubs that Eusébio played for towards the end of his career.