His parents were Laurindo António da Silva Ferreira, a white Angolan railroad worker from Malanje and Elisa Anissabeni, a black Mozambican woman. Raised in an extremely poor society, he used to skip school classes to play barefoot football with his friends in improvised pitches and using improvised footballs.
His father died from tetanus when Eusébio was eight years old, so Elisa almost exclusively took the parental care of young Eusébio.
Shortly after Eusébio's death, Alfredo Di Stéfano stated: "For me Eusébio will always be the best player of all time".
Eusébio was born in the Mafalala neighborhood, Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), Portuguese Mozambique on 25 January 1942.
In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, he was selected as the Golden Player of Portugal by the Portuguese Football Federation as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years.
From his retirement until his death, Eusébio was an ambassador of football and was one of the most recognizable faces of his generation.
He was seventh in the online poll for UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll.He played for Benfica for 15 out of his 22 years as a footballer, thus being mainly associated with the Portuguese club, and is the team's all-time top scorer with 638 goals scored in 614 official games.There, he won eleven Primeira Liga titles, five Taça de Portugal titles, a European Cup (1961–62) and helped them reach three additional European Cup finals (1963, 1965, 1968).Benfica only registered him in May the next year and Eusébio made his first appearance for them against Atlético Clube de Portugal in a friendly game on . His debut in an official match was on 1 June 1961, against Vitória de Setúbal, in the third round second leg of the 1960–61 Taça de Portugal.The game was controversially scheduled for the day after the European Cup final against Barcelona and the Portuguese Football Federation did not postpone it.
He is the eighth-highest goalscorer in the history of the European Cup and the second-highest, behind Alfredo Di Stéfano, in the pre-Champions League era with 48 goals.