Fallen hero: Ex-Portugal captain Coluna dies at 78

BY foxsports • February 27, 2014

LISBON, Portugal -- Mario Coluna, who captained Portugal to a third-place finish at the 1966 World Cup, has died aged 78.

Benfica, which he also led, said in a statement that Coluna died on Tuesday in Mozambique, his birthplace, due to a respiratory illness.

Coluna, a midfielder, was a contemporary of the great Eusebio, another Mozambican-born player who also appeared for Benfica and Portugal and who died last month.

Coluna played almost 700 games for Benfica from 1953. He lifted the European Champions' Cup for the club in 1961 and 1962. He later played for French club Lyon.

Portugual President Anibal Cavaco Silva said in a statement Coluna would be remembered "for his leadership qualities and his will to win."

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