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When Cliff met Eusebio...

Posted on 21 March 2014  - 10:00

There was one main topic of conversation when Cliff Jones met Eusebio for the last time back in 2010.

Cliff back at the Estadio da Luz this week with fellow legend, Pat JenningsEusebio in 2010

Our legendary, double-winning winger returned to Lisbon four years ago as a guest of the former Portugal and Benfica striker, one of the game's all-time greats, as we took on the Eagles in the 'Eusebio Cup'.

The pair came up against each other in a famous European Cup semi-final back in 1962, when Eusebio helped Benfica just edge Bill Nicholson's men over two legs. They went on to beat Real Madrid 5-3 in the final.

Always remembered in England for his goals in the 1966 World Cup - he was top scorer with nine as England triumphed - and netting twice in that 1962 European Cup Final, Eusebio ended his career with a staggering 733 goals in 745 professional matches, including 41 in 64 internationals. He was named European Footballer of the Year in 1965.

He passed away in January, aged 71.

"You talk about Pele, George Best and the all-time greats and he’s right up there alongside them, he’s in that company,” said legendary double-winner Cliff, who was back in Lisbon with the first team this week for our Europa League clash at the Estadio da Luz.

"But when we met again in 2010, the one player he wanted to know all about was Dave Mackay.

"Eusebio told me he was the most feared player he ever came up against.

"I still say Dave was the most influential player I’ve ever played alongside. He could change teams, change games, he did it at Hearts and after Spurs, he went to Derby and took them to to the title. He was an absolute winner.

"It was great to see Eusebio again in 2010, he was a real gentleman and we spoke about the old times. It was a special time to share those memories with him.

"Of course, he thought the best side won back in 1962, but I wasn’t having any of that!"