His monument in front of Estádio da Luz has been covered in scarves and flowers since yesterday, when fans first heard of their legend’s passing. Today Eusébio took his last round of honour and the coffin was placed in the Centre of the stadium, accompanied by applause, chants and pyrotechnics.
The sad news of 71-year-old Eusébio’s death was found by Portuguese on Sunday morning. Since early hours supporters were arriving at Estádio da Luz, where the legendary player has his monument. First flowers and scarves were soon covered by dozens of further souvenirs laid to pay respect. By the evening the statue was flooded with red colours of Benfica and more – also fans of Sporting and other clubs appeared on the site.
Today his mother club fulfilled one of his last wishes. As Eusébio once said, he never knew what was so special about Benfica, but there clearly was something that made him a legend at some point.
His dream was to return to the field of Da Luz, which he considered his home, and so he did. As Benfica invited supporters to occupy the lower tier, the hearse carrying Eusébio took him on his last round of honour around the pitch. Several thousand people (up to 20,000 by some reports) watched the event, applauding him loudly and chanting.
The coffin was also taken out and, covered with club flag, set at the heart of the field. With further applause and various pyrotechnics set off by fans, anthems of Portugal and Benfica were sang in unison, followed by a video about the player on giant screens.