By JAMES ORR
Cristiano Ronaldo has led the tributes for the Portuguese football icon Eusebio, who has died at the age of 71. The charismatic forward finished as top scorer at the 1966 World Cup in England where Portugal finished in third place and will be remembered as one of the greatest strikers of all-time, scoring 733 times in 745 professional matches.
“Always eternal #Eusebio, rest in peace,” the current Portugal captain, Ronaldo tweeted today.
The Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, said his countryman Eusebio is ‘immortal’ because of what he did for Portuguese football.
“I think he is immortal. We all know what he meant for football and especially for Portuguese football,” Mourinho told state broadcaster RTP.
“He was not only a great inspiration but also an important figure in upholding the values, principles and feelings of football, even after finishing his career.”
Fifa president Sepp Blatter said on his Twitter page: “Football has lost a legend but Eusebio’s place among the greats will never be taken away.”
Luis Figo, the former Portugal captain added: “The king! Great loss for all of us! The greatest!”
Former England striker Gary Linker wrote: “Sad news that Eusebio has died. One of the greats of his generation. Could play and strike a ball like very few others. #RIP”