Soccer-Profile of Benfica legend Mario Coluna


Feb 26 (Reuters) - Factbox on former European Cup winner Mario Coluna, who died at the age of 78 on Tuesday:

* Mario Coluna was born on Aug. 6, 1935 in Maputo, Mozambique.

* The son of a Mozambican mother and Portuguese father, Coluna started his soccer career at local club Desportivo Lourenco Marques in 1952.

* In his younger days Coluna was also a keen boxer, basketball player and athlete, and once held the Mozambican high jump record with a leap of 1.82 metres.

* The midfielder, nicknamed 'Monstro Sagrado' (Sacred Monster/Giant), moved to Benfica in 1954 and was part of their European Cup-winning sides of 1961 and 1962.

* He won 10 Portuguese championships with Benfica, playing in 525 games and scoring 127 times.

* Coluna played for Portugal in the colonial days, making his debut against Scotland in 1955 and captaining the team to third place at the World Cup in England 11 years later.

* He was capped 57 times for Portugal and scored eight goals before ending his international career against Greece in 1968.

* Coluna also spent a year at French club Olympique Lyonnais.

* After his short spell in French football, he ended his career as player-coach with Estrela de Portalegre in 1972 before returning to Mozambique to become their national coach after the country gained independence in 1975.

* He later became sports minister and president of the country's football federation.

* He died after suffering a pulmonary infection on Tuesday with the nation of his birth stating it would provide Coluna with a state funeral.

* Passed away a little more than a month after Benfica and Portugal team mate Eusebio, who was also born in Mozambique. (Compiled by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by John O'Brien)

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