Portuguese football great Eusebio dies at 71

Last updated 23:00 05/01/2014

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Portuguese football great Eusebio has died aged 71.

The striker, who scored 733 goals in 745 matches won the Ballon d'Or in 1965 and is perhaps best remembered for his performance at the 1966 World Cup in England, where he scored nine goals and helped Portugal to a third-place finish, which remains the nation's best result at the game's showpiece.

Born in 1942 in what is now Mozambique, Eusebio spent 15 seasons at Portuguese giants Benfica before stints in Canada and the US. 

He finished his playing career in 1979 with the New Jersey Americans.

Benfica made four European Cup finals during his time with the club, scoring twice in the 1962 win over Real Madrid before losing to AC Milan, Inter Milan and Manchester United in 1963, 1965 and 1968 respectively.

Current Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo led the tributes on social media on Sunday, tweeting a photo of the two with the words 'Always eternal #Eusebio, rest in peace'.

The cause of death was reportedly heart failure.

Eusebio's biographer, Joao Malheiro, told Portuguese state television that ''having followed his life close up and on a daily basis, I was a witness to his health having become very fragile and there were clear signs of this in recent years.''

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- Reuters

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