27 – Eusébio: Portugal v Brazil 1966 – 90 World Cup Minutes In 90 Days

WFI‘s Adam Brandon counts down to Russia 2018 with 90 World Cup goals in 90 days, scored in the minute corresponding to the day in the countdown.


Portugal had high hopes entering the 1966 World Cup, despite never having played in one before. The reason for this was that they had one of the best players in the world at the time — his name was Eusébio.

Eusébio was the European Footballer of the Year and was fresh from leading Benfica to another Portuguese championship.

Portugal were drawn in the same group as Eastern Europeans Bulgaria and Hungary, as well as favourites Brazil who had won back to back World Cups with Pele and Garrincha still pulling the strings. 1966 was a tough tournament for the Brazilians though with sides looking to kick Pele out of the cup and Garrincha a shadow of his former self.

Portugal impressively beat Hungary 3-1 and Bulgaria 3-0 in their opening two games of the World Cup, which meant they just required a draw against Brazil to top the group. The Brazilians had injury concerns and had to do without Garrincha, while Pele hobbled through the game.

Portugal would go on to take full advantage. Tight and tough marking on Pele gave their midfield the chance to dominate the middle of the park and get the ball to Eusébio.

After 14 minutes they took the lead and it was soon doubled…


The Goal

Portugal win a free kick out wide…


What Happened Next?

Portugal beat Brazil 3-1 in the end with Eusébio getting another.  They then played an epic quarter final against tournament darlings North Korea.

Portugal found themselves three goals down after just twenty-five minutes but Eusébio soon reached top gear and then, he was simply unstoppable – scoring 4 goals to seal a thrilling 5-3 victory.

Their free scoring and winning run came to an end against hosts England in the semi-final, but Eusébio claimed the Golden Boot and Portugal finished in third place.

Eusébio’s career in Portugal continued until 1975. That year he made the trip across the Atlantic to play in the North American Soccer League.

He finally retired from the game in 1979 and spent his post-career in media and as an technical advisor to the Portuguese national team. On 5thJanuary 2014, Eusébio sadly passed away.