Monday, 6 January 2014

Thank you, Eusebio

Portugal is in mourning. This post is 24 hours too late. It took us 24 hours to gather words of friends and family to include in this tribute.

Eusebio was consensually taken as a very good person. We think he really was a very good person.

He was not simply a genius, he was a simple genius.

People pilgrimaged to see him play. All genders. Families. His passion for the game transpired outside all stadiums and national borders. It was about people in general and families. He did cross those borders for everyone to see him as a man first and a sportsman second. He brought football to people who never watch it or has the slightest interest in it. If anyone would tempt anyone to watch football, Eusebio would.

He was driven to the point of sainthood by the regime before 1974. He was one of the 3 “Fs” of the official propaganda: Family, Fatima and Football.

The Football was Eusebio.

Never involved in any sort of scandal. Never a star. Never his name linked to a headline that wasn’t about his greatness, as a man, as sportsman, as a citizen.

The biggest star in a team in which he never stopped calling his captain by “Mr Coluna” and in which he asked permission to take penalty kicks.

His sportsmanship was truly an example. A genuinely humble true sportsman. He couldn’t stand losing but was always, but always, a kind winner. There isn’t one adversary who ever felt anything but honour to be defeated by him.

But it is not only his sportsmanship we would like to highlight.

Eusebio was a Mandela. He lived in two wall less prisons. One, his race, the other the regime who made him an idol.

He was a black man in a white man’s world. In a white man’s time. A time when a black man was only considered human if a sportsman or a singer and even then always manacled to the colour of skin seen like a circus act. Eusebio was never such. Eusebio was a man. Truly loved and respected as such.

The regime made him a symbol. As we said, almost to the point of sainthood. So much so that Salazar clearly and openly determined that he could not be bought by any club in the world, including Real Madrid, a club Eusebio loved.

But Eusebio didn’t become the symbol of Portugal because of the regime. He became by his own right. He was Eusebio. He was Portugal. One couldn’t speak of one without mentioning the other, one couldn’t think of one without thinking of the other.

When the regime crumbled, Eusebio's greatness remained immaculate. The regime used him but he was always superior to the regime.

He was a truly global phenomenon before globalisation. The biggest star in the first televised, thus global, sport phenomenon: 1966 World Cup in Britain.

He never left Portugal and yet he was known all over the world. The world only realised where Portugal was because of Eusebio.

Eusebio was a Mandela because like Mandela he was a uniter. Way, way beyond football.

Portugal loved him and loved to be represented by him.

Today we all love football. We all love Eusebio.

But more than loved, which he will always will be, he will be remembered and respected.


  1. A very good and important post about Eusébio.

    Last night i ear he went to USA? And , shocked, a Man has done all to call him again to Portugal, to Benfica to Young football school.

    Sorry by my no english.

  2. God bless you Eusebio, gone but not forgotten x

  3. Thank you Textusa, you are a very caring website, thank you Eusebio and we thank God for justice for Madeleine that one day this child will rest in peace.

  4. Thank YOU, Textusa! As a portuguese national I thank you deeply and sincerely for this tribute to a truly wonderful human being, Eusébio da Silva Ferreira. In my mind, one word stands out that fits perfectly, a person of integrety and honour, A MENSCH !
    (Yiddish language, mentsh)

    God bless you Eusébio, rest in peace.

  5. Great people bring out the worst in small people:
    Assuncao Esteves, President of the Republic’s Assembly, 2nd State figure after the President of the Republic, says that it might be too expensive to have Eusebio’s body in the National Pantheon. The last body moved there, Aquilino Ribeiro, cost 40.000€. Esteves said that it might be in the hundreds of thousands of euros. How much has Portugal spent on Maddie McCann?
    Mario Soares, former Prime-Minister and former President of the Republic, says that Eusebio was a man of little culture from who he didn’t expect to be a thinker as well as was someone who drank a lot of whisky (from morning until afternoon). Soares was a founder of the Socialist Party, and is its biggest historic figure.
    Jose Socrates, former Prime-Minister, said he remembered very well the game between Portugal and North Korea. That when he left for school, Portugal was losing by 3-0 but when he arrived at school, Portugal was winning by 5-3. The game was on Saturday, July 23 1966. A weekend in the Summer holidays. Socrates was the Portuguese Prime-Minister, heading a Socialist government, when Maddie died.
    Eusebio, even in your death you have done the country a favour by revealing the true nature of these people. Rest in peace, friend.

  6. Entrevista a GA:

    torsdag 9. januar 2014, kl.09:38

    LISBON (DAGBLADET): Gonçalo Amaral (54) is the man who led the early investigation of Madeleine McCann's disappearance - the case that has engaged Europe for nearly seven years.

    In many ways, he is the McCann family's worst enemy.

    - It is hard to accept that I have to live like this just because I did my job, Amaral told Dagbladet.

    - Can't dispose my money
    Amaral met Dagbladet for an exclusive interview in Lisbon just hours before he met in court to defent himself after the McCann's sued him for £1m for his accusations in a 2008 book.

    The conflict between Amaral and the McCann's sparked massive news coverage in the British media. Gerry and Kate McCann have received millions in compensation and have had many journalists and newspapers apologise for their coverage of Maddie's disappearance.

    In 2008, Amaral wrote the book «Maddie: A verdade de mentira» («The Truth of the Lie»), which broke all the records and was translated into eight languages. The McCann's had the book stopped by Portuguese court. They believed it violated their honor and their search for Madeleine.

    The case was later dismissed by the Supreme Court, and the book went back on the shelves.

    In the meantime, as McCann's wished, all Amarals assets were frozen. He now only gets enough money to survive, he said.

    - I can't dispose the money from my book sale. I work a little as a legal adviser for a firm but I am only getting enough money to survive. I live in my dad's flat in Portugal, said Amaral.

    - Too much politics
    He is upset about the flurry of rumours and theories that are still surrounding Maddie's disappearance.

    - This case has involved too much politics and too little police, said Amaral, who said he has had rough years after he left the police.

    In 2007, he called the McCann's in as suspects. After having given their version of events, Gerry and Kate McCann were allowed to leave the police station. Two days later, they returned to England.

    Shortly after, the controversial investigator was taken off the case. This happened after politicians on the highest levels in England and Portugal discussed the case, he claims.

    Recently, Scotland Yard have gone public with material that suggest Madeleine disappeared following a failed burglary.

    The police are calling for three unknown men.

    - We put aside that theory a long time ago. There were no signs of an intrusion. The apartment was in good order - everything was where it should have been. Can thieves really have been frightened by a three-year-old - and taken her with them? Nothing at all suggests so, said Amaral.

    Dagbladet have contacted the McCann's Portuguese lawyer, Isabel Duarte, through her secretary, where Amaral's quotes have been presented. Duarte did not wish to comment.

    Dagbladet has also asked Madeleine's Fund for a comment, but the requests have not been answered.

    • Read the whole interview with Gonçalo Amaral on Dagbladet Pluss (paywall). There, Amaral speaks of what he believe happened to the little girl and the bitter feud with Maddie's parents.


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