Mourinho: Eusebio one of the greatest in history

The Chelsea manager hailed the late Portugal striker as immortal, while UEFA president Michel Platini said he was so much more than a soccer player.

Jose Mourinho has labelled Eusebio "one of the greatest in the history of football" following the legendary striker's death Sunday due to a cardiac arrest.

Eusebio, nicknamed the "Black Panther" in his playing days, is one of Benfica’s all-time iconic players after he scored a staggering 319 goals in just 313 league appearances for the club from 1960 to 1975.

He boasted a similarly spectacular strike rate for his adopted country Portugal, scoring 41 times in 64 appearances, and had been the country’s top scorer for more than three decades until Cristiano Ronaldo broke his record in 2012.

Following Chelsea’s 2-0 FA Cup victory over Derby County, Mourinho praised his fellow Portuguese for being a huge influence on the sport during his playing days and afterwards.

"He’s one of the greatest in the history of football, but for our country he’s much more than that," he told BT Sport. "He was an important reference, in what he achieved in football, with his values, his principles and his feelings even after finishing his career.

"Eusebio is immortal. His death leaves a great void."

UEFA president Michel Platini also expressed his sadness at "legend" Eusebio’s passing and says the former striker - whom he describes as "a true ambassador" - will be missed.

"Today football has lost one of the greatest players ever," he told UEFA's official website. "On the field, Eusebio was a true legend, both in the colors of Portugal and Benfica. But also off it, he was a true ambassador for Portuguese football on the international stage. He was more than a footballer. Eusebio will be sadly missed."