Portuguese football legend Fernando Chalana dies

Portugal playmaker in the 80s, the player with the famous mustache died at the age of 63.

«Our Pequeno Genial” (“little genius”) has passed away“. On its website, Benfica Lisbon pays tribute to Fernando Chalana, who died on Wednesday at the age of 63. The former Portuguese striker had worn the Eagles jersey for thirteen seasons (1974-1984, 1987-1990) with six Portuguese championship titles and three Portuguese cups. He was voted Portuguese Footballer of the Year in 1976 and 1984.

“It is a very sad day for the Benfiquista nation and for all football lovers. Our ”Genius” is gone, one of the greatest and eternal symbols of the club. I will ensure that the memory of Fernando Chalana is always present in all Benfiquistas”, reacted the president of Benfica, Rui Costa, in statements to BenficaTV. Chalana had joined the Lisbon club at the age of 15, in 1974, and had become on March 7, 1976, at 17 years and 25 days, the youngest player in history to play in Portuguese D1.

Called up for selection 27 times, he lit up the 1984 European Championship in France where the “Selection of corners“had reached the semi-finals, beaten by the Blues after a crazy match in Marseille (3-2 after extra time).

A few weeks later, the player with the famous mustache signed up for the Girondins de Bordeaux for a record sum of 18 million francs. Plagued by injuries – he only played twenty-two games in the Bordeaux jersey – his time in D1 (1984-87) was still marked by a title of champion of France in 1985.

«The Club learned with sadness of the death of Fernando Chalana. The Football Club Girondins de Bordeaux sends its deepest condolences to his family and loved ones“wrote the FCGB on social networks.

He remained famous in the hearts of Bordeaux supporters for his shot on goal which sent the Girondins to the semi-finals of the Champions Cup in 1985. On the field of Dnipropetrovsk, Chalana, last shooter and pure left-hander, had scored… right foot. “Why law, Fernando? Why ? You scared us so muchasked Alain Giresse. “But what is the problem?“, had replied the Portuguese nonchalantly.

The Portuguese international with the famous mustache ended his career with two short stints at Belenenses (1990-1991) and Amadora (1991-1992). He then retrained as a coach in his favorite club, mainly as an assistant or coach in the youth categories.

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