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Cristiano salutes ‘eternal’ Eusebio

Calcutta: Portuguese great Eusebio, acknowledged as one of football’s greatest ever strikers, has died aged 71, on Sunday.

Nicknamed ‘Black Panther’, Eusebio da Silva Ferreira 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.

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

Rightly regarded as one of the greatest players to ever play the game, tributes started pouring in via Twitter after the news of his death broke.

Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo rued the loss and said that Eusebio will be ‘always eternal’ while Fifa president Sepp Blatter said that said that ‘football has lost a legend’.

Here are some of the reactions from the Twitter world (alphabetically):

Xabi Alonso: RIP Eusebio (1942-2014). One of the greats.

Franz Beckenbauer: One of the greatest football player ever has passed away. My friend Eusebio died last night. My thoughts are with his family.

Joseph Blatter: Football has lost a legend. But Eusebio’s place among the greats will never be taken. Eusebio was a football & FIFA ambassador. He’ll be sorely missed. Rest in peace Black Panther.

Samuel Eto’: Africa, Portugal, the WORLD just experienced a great lost. Eusebio was not only a tremendous player..but also a exceptional man. RIP big bro.

Luis Figo: The king! Great loss for all of us! The greatest!

Ruud Gullit: A great footballer left us and I want to say thanks to Eusebio for all his greatness and beautiful football moments that he gave us.

Gary Lineker: Sad news that Eusebio has died. One of the greats of his generation. Could play and strike a ball like very few others. #RIP

Jose Mourinho: I think he is immortal. We all know what he meant for football and especially for Portuguese football...

Michael Owen: Sad to hear that Eusebio has passed away. 733 goals in 745 appearances will always mark him down as a true legend of the game. R.I.P.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Always eternal #Eusebio, rest in peace.

Peter Schmeichel: Sad news that Eusebio has passed away, he was a true legend, a fantastic ambassador to football, a gentleman to the core. R.I.P. Sir.