Mozambique: Overcoming prejudice with sport on the beach
Lusa (File photo) / Eusébio's first nickname was 'Magagaga'
Eusébio, widely considered one of the best footballers ever, was known as Black Panther, but the former Benfica player’s first nickname was Magagaga, as the film “Eusebio – A History of a Legend” makes clear.
In the film, directed by Filipe Ascensão and presented to the press yesterday, former Sporting player Hilário and childhood friend in the Mafalala neighbourhood of Maputo, tells the reason for the nickname.
“Magagaga was the ‘guy’ who climbed,” says Hilario in the 90-minute documentary, alluding to the strength and speed of the still-young Eusébio, always manifested himself in his football.
Ascensão’s film chronicles Eusebio’s sporting career from Mozambique to Lisbon, written in the life of a child with the ball glued to his feet in feuds between the zinc houses in the dusty streets of the Mafalala.
Eusébio is, in his own testimony, the leading figure, both in personal aspects and on the sports field, from the initial doubts to his consecration as best player in 1965 with the Ballon d’Or.
In the documentary presented yesterday, the director Filipe Ascensão follows the chronological life of the former international player, in which he tells of the well-known dispute between Benfica and Sporting to the total affirmation of the former footballer.
His idolatry of Di Stefano, who won the European Cup, his superstitious side, and the moment he learned that he was the best player are all reported in the first person by Eusebio.
The ‘Black Panther’ goes so far as to say that he did not give much importance to the Champions Cup because he got to keep, as he wished, the shirt of his idol Di Stefano, a player who also looked at Eusébio as the only one.
“For me, Eusébio will be the best player of all time,” are the words of the former Real Madrid player, who died six months after Eusebio in 2014.
The many goals (733), the plays, the Salazar phone call, the tears in the defeat at the 1966 World Cup, the knee that was injured, are all dealt with in Ascensão’s film, in a story accompanied not only in Eusebio’s own voice, but also Hilário, Simões, José Augusto and iconic Manchester United player Bobby Charlton.
Luís Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo, the only other Portuguese players who have won the Ballon d’Or, also give their testimony, with the Real Madrid player saying he has the notion that, from what he saw, Eusebio “was a phenomenon”.
In the story there is also the moment when Eusébio, tired of the harshness of opponents, made a goal to finish a free-kick against Manuel Rodriguez, which sent the Belenenses ?? player to hospital senseless, causing Eusébio to lose concentration so much he was unable to continue playing.
The film, which tells the story of Eusebio, will be in theaters on March 23, by which time three years will have passed since the death of the former glory of Portuguese and Mozambican football of heart failure in January 2014.Source: Lusa