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Football: Eusebio fans say 'thank-you, not goodbye'

Published on Jan 6, 2014 6:14 AM

LISBON (AFP) - The bronze statue of Benfica legend Eusebio in front of Lisbon's Stadium of Light was covered with flowers, scarves and messages as Portugal mourned the iconic striker's death on Sunday.

Widely regarded as Portugal's greatest player before the meteoric rise of Cristiano Ronaldo, Eusebio's death touched a nation beyond just the team he graced with such distinction throughout the 1960s and beyond.

Since his death was announced, a steady stream of fans made their way to Benfica's home stadium to pay their respects to the Mozambique-born star known as the 'Black Panther'.

"Eusebio is simply the king," said a young supporter, his voice cracking with emotion and a red Benfica scarf wrapped around his neck.

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