The Portuguese Parliament has approved unanimously the motion to grant international footballer Eusébio the honor of burial at the National Pantheon.
Eusébio, who died last year, was one of the greatest soccer players of all time. He will rest alongside the most distinguished national heroes. The motion was introduced in Parliament in January of 2014.
One of the top 10 best footballers in the world, Eusébio was born in the former Portuguese colony of Mozambique. He left home in 1961, aged 18, to play for Benfica one of the major Portuguese soccer leagues.
Known to his fans as the “Pantera Negra” [Black Panther], during his professional career Eusébio scored 733 goals in 745 matches, playing for Portugal’s Benfica and internationally for the Portuguese national team. With Benfica, he won 11 Portuguese league titles and 5 Portuguese Cups.
In 1975, Eusébio moved to North America, where played for the Boston Minutemen, the Toronto Metros, the Las Vegas Quicksilver and the Buffalo Stallions. He finished his career at New Jersey Americans in the American Soccer League.
Eusébio da Silva Ferreira was awarded the Ballon d’Or in 1965 as Europe’s player of the year and twice won the Golden Boot in 1968 and 1973. While one of his earliest great accomplishments was winning the European Cup for Portugal in 1962, he led Portugal to a third-place finish at the 1966 World Cup. In 1968 and 1973 he was named the top scorer in Europe, scoring 679 goals in 678 official games. In 1998, FIFA named him for its International Football Hall of Fame.