Eusebio in good spirits as Portugal legend celebrates 70th birthday

Recovering Eusebio in good spirits as Portugal legend celebrates 70th birthday

Portugal legend Eusebio toasted his 70th birthday on Wednesday with a glass of wine after recovering from a recent health scare.

The former Benfica striker was rushed to hospital on December 21 suffering from pneumonia.

Health scare: Eusebio was rushed to hospital last month

Health scare: Eusebio was rushed to hospital last month

Eusebio was released a few days later but readmitted on January 4 after he complained of neck pains.

He has now been given the all-clear.

'I never thought I would make it to 70, but thank God here I am and I hope to spend many more years in shape,' Eusebio said.

'My health is impeccable now. I am happy because I did some exams two weeks ago and my doctor told me that I could even have a glass of wine now and then, as long as I don't abuse it.'

Eusebio played for nine clubs in a 22-year professional career but it was at Benfica where he forged his reputation as one of the game's greats, turning out for the club 614 times between 1960 and 1975 and scoring an astonishing 638 goals.

Real deal: Eusebio and compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo

Real deal: Eusebio and compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo

During his time at Benfica Eusebio won 11 Portuguese league titles, five Portuguese Cup titles and the European Cup in 1962.

Despite being born in Mozambique, Eusebio was eligible to play only for Portugal as his homeland was a dependency of the European nation. He scored 41 goals in 64 international appearances between 1961 and 1973, and finished as the top scorer at the 1966 World Cup in England.

'That tournament was my best moment ever,' he said.

'I wish that Benfica were crowned champion this year, I am proud to reach this age and that would be the best gift I could have.'