Portugal soccer legend Eusebio dead at 71 of heart attack

Jan. 5, 2014 at 12:52 PM

LISBON, Portugal, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Portuguese soccer star Eusebio da Silva Ferreira died of a heart attack at the age of 71, his former club Benfica said on its Website Sunday.

Known as the "Black Panther" or simply "Eusebio," was the leading scorer of the 1966 World Cup tournament and spent 15 years with Lisbon's Benfica.

Eusebio's exploits in the World Cup elevated him to elite status among soccer fans, particularly in Portuguese-speaking nations such as soccer-mad Brazil, CNN said. He scored nine goals and helped Portugal reach the semifinals where he scored the only goal in a 2-1 loss to host and eventual champion England.

The Mozambique-born Eusebio also led Benfica to 10 league titles and the 1962 European Cup. He also made his mark in the United States in the later years of his career by playing for three North American Soccer League teams, CNN said.

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