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Mozambicans Mourn Eusebio In His Birthplace

posted 5 Jan 2014, 12:43 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 5 Jan 2014, 12:44 ]

Mozambique, the birth place of Eusebio, mourns the death of its biggest football legend.

MASALALA SUBURB, MAPUTOMOZAMBIQUE (JANUARY 5, 2014) (REUTERS) -  Mozambique-born Eusebio was mourned on Sunday (January 5) in his birthplace in Maputo, where he is revered as a hero.

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In the suburb of Masalala, children play football just a short distance from the tin shack where the football legend was said by local people to have been born.

One residents said their hero should be returned to his birth home after he died of a cardiac arrest in Portugal in the early hours of Sunday morning at the age of 71.

"We want him here because he is our idol. Our identity in sport. When black men thought that they didn't have the capacity to play sports, he demonstrated blacks were capable of playing together with the white man," said one resident and added, "They took him from here, and he accepted. He went there. Now that he has lost his life, he has to come back to the sky he was born under. That is here inMozambique, in Maputo."

The player known as 'Black Panther', whose full name was Eusebio da Silva Ferreira, was born inMozambique in 1942, but made his name as a fearsome striker for Portugal at the 1966 World Cup in England, where he top-scored with nine goals to help his team finish third, beaten in the semi-finals by the hosts eventual winners.

He won the European Cup with Benfica in 1962 and was named European Footballer of the Year in 1965.

Another Masalala resident, Salva Masivila said the footballer's humble former home should be made into a museum.

"We should do something with this house. We don't need the community to build a fancy building. It's a tin and wood house that should be made into a museum, that marks the history. This would dignify the community," said Masivila.