Stoke legend Banks: Eusebio a great guy. A gentleman

Stoke City and England legend Gordon Banks has paid tribute to Eusebio, who passed away yesterday.

Stoke City and England legend Gordon Banks has paid tribute to Eusebio, who passed away yesterday.

The Mozambique-born striker was a star for Benfica and Portugal in the 1960s, scoring 733 times in 745 professional games in all.

Banks told The Sentinel: "He was a great, great player and I was extremely saddened to hear that he had died. When you think that he played in the Portuguese team that was 3-0 down to Korea in the World Cup and they came back and won 5 – 3.

"I'm not sure how many goals he scored in that game but Eusebio was a special talent.

"Alf Ramsay certainly made sure we all knew what he was about when we faced them in 1966. He was one of those players who could do things with that heavy ball that very few in this country could do.

"He could hit it with the inside of his foot, the outside. It made me quite pessimistic when he was taking free kicks.

"For a man of about 6ft, boy could he climb in the air.

"He scored a penalty past me that day, it was the first goal I had conceded in the World Cup – he sent me the wrong way.

"I wouldn't say he was quite as good as Pele but he was certainly up there are would be in the best 11 I've ever faced.

"He was a gentleman. A real nice guy and he shook my hand after the World Cup semi-final and wished us all the best.

"I was honoured that he came to play in my testimonial game at Stoke in 1973. He was a great guy, it is very sad."

 
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