Thousands line streets of Lisbon to pay tribute to Eusebio
Thousands of people turn out in Lisbon to pay tribute to Eusebio, who died on Sunday at the age of 71.
Last Updated: 07/01/14 10:45am
Eusebio's coffin was put on public display and then taken in a cortege through heavily-populated streets ahead of a funeral service at the city hall.
Earlier in the day, dozens of dignitaries and hundreds of fans filed past the coffin at the Stadium of Light, home to Benfica, who Eusebio represented for 15 years from 1960-1975.
Fans flocked to the stadium and draped scarves on his statue at the ground in tribute as three days of national mourning began.
Nicknamed the 'Black Panther', Eusebio was regarded as one of the best players of all time and was top scorer in the 1966 World Cup with nine goals, helping Portugal to third place.
Born in Mozambique, he made his name at club level with Benfica, winning 11 league titles during a 15-year spell there and two Golden Boot awards as Europe's leading goalscorer.
He also scored 41 goals in 64 appearances for Portugal.
Manchester United and England great Sir Bobby Charlton hailed Eusebio as a "true sportsman".
Charlton faced Eusebio in two of the greatest days of his own career, the 1966 World Cup semi-final, when England defeated Portugal at Wembley, and the 1968 European Cup final when United beat Benfica in extra-time at the same venue.
The latter game is remembered for Eusebio applauding United goalkeeper Alex Stepney after a brilliant save that ensured the game went into the additional period, where United eventually won 4-1.
"Without doubt, Eusebio was one of the finest players I ever had the privilege to play against," said Charlton.
"Not only that, he was a true sportsman, as he proved in applauding Alex Stepney for his save in the European Cup final.
"His goals record, for Benfica and overall, is incredible and stands the test of time.
"I met him on numerous occasions after our playing careers had finished and he always represented both his club and his country in exemplary fashion.
"I feel proud to have been both an opponent and friend and am saddened to hear of his passing."
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said: "Eusebio is one of the greatest footballers in the history of football. He's at this level - Eusebio, Charlton, Pele.
"For Portugal he means more than that. No colour, no clubs, no political sides. For Portuguese people Eusebio is Eusebio and for sure you will get some images over the next couple of days and I think you will understand what Eusebio means for our country.
"I knew him since (I was) a kid. He played against my father. He played with my father in the national team. I met him when I was a kid. Our birthdays were separated by one day, his January 25, I'm January 26.
"He enjoyed his life, on the pitch, outside the pitch and I'm not so sad as I was in the morning because I think guys like him they never die. History is there and history doesn't let them die.
"I knew him well. He enjoyed his life. He leaves a great legacy. So rest in peace."