Portugal and its' ex colonies have produced some of the worlds most exciting footballers. From Eusebio to Ronaldo players who have pulled on the shirt for Portugal have electrified crowds and fans of the world's most popular sport.
Here we have assembled information and video chronicling the careers of just a few of the most notable.
Eusébio da Silva Ferreira (born January 25, 1942 in Mozambique - then an Overseas Province of Portugal, popularly known simply as Eusébio, is a Portuguese former football forward of Mozambican origin. He helped the Portugal national team reach third place at the 1966 World Cup, being the top goalscorer of the tournament, and was elected the European Footballer of the Year in 1965. He played for Benfica for 15 years, and is still the team's all-time top scorer.
Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo, (born 4 November 1972 in Almada, Portugal) is, at least for this season, a professional Portuguese footballer. In his homeland Figo is considered by some second only to Eusebio as Portugal’s greatest player ever. He plays as a midfielder and winger, currently for Internazionale (Milan, Italy).
Figo was Portuguese football's original Golden Boy (a name which now belongs to Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo) and gained fame as the main footballer behind Portugal's prominent Golden Generation that consisted of fellow legends like Rui Costa, and was the reason why the term came into use.
At the end of January, 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo marked his 300th professional game with his 100th goal.
Compare that to the career of another great Portuguese footballer. At the same age as Ronaldo is now, 23, Luis Figo had played 181 matches and had scored 25 times. Figo not only recognises the difference, he is gracious and eloquent in describing it: 'Had I been born with Ronaldo's talent,' said Figo. 'I wouldn't have had to work as hard as I did.'
Nuno Gomes was born Nuno Miguel Soares Pereira Ribeiro, on July 5, 1976 in Amarante. He is a striker who plays for the Portugal national football team and currently plays for Benfica although he has announced his retirement. He was given the nickname Gomes during childhood, after Fernando Gomes, who was the top european goalscorer in 1983 and 1985. A striker who works tirelessly for his team-mates, Nuno Gomes's star shone bright at UEFA Euro 2000. He will also participate in the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers, having proved himself crucial after Pauleta retired.