Mário Esteves Coluna
Mário Esteves Coluna (born August 6, 1935 at Inhaca, Portuguese East Africa) is a former Portuguese and Mozambican footballer. His nickname is "O Monstro Sagrado" ('The sacred monster').
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In 1999, he was voted 60th in the European player of the Century election held by the IFFHS ahead of Gunnar Gren.
Coluna was first noticed in Mozambique, playing at Desportivo of Lourenço Marques, where he was assigned to Benfica in 1954/55, the team he played until 1969/70. He won 10 National Championships, in 1954/55, 1956/57, 1959/60, 1960/61, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1966/67, 1967/68 and 1968/69, and 6 Cups of Portugal in 1955, 1957, 1959, 1962, 1964 and 1969. He won the European Cup twice with Benfica, in 1961 and 1962, and also played in the finals of 1963, 1965 and 1968, this last time as the captain.
He played 57 times for the Portugal national team, scoring 8 goals. His first appearance was in a friendly match with Scotland on May 4, 1955, losing 0-3, and his last on December 11, 1968, in a 2-4 defeat to Greece, in a World Cup qualifying match.
Coluna captained the legendary team of the "Magriços" in all, except the first, of the games of the World Cup 1966 finals, were Portugal reached third place.
He also played for Lyon, in France, in 1970/71 and 1971/72, before retiring.
Strong at midfield, Coluna was known for the way he played on the field because of his elegant and efficient style. Coluna was also known to score long distance goals with ease. With one of these surprising kicks, he marked a historical goal. It was against Barcelona, where at the time played Czibor and Kocsis. It was a goal that assured Benfica its first title as champions of Europe, in 1961.
After Mozambique became independent in 1975, Coluna held the post of President of the Football Federation of Mozambique. He also served as the country's Minister of Sports, from 1994 to 1999.
Mário Esteves Coluna
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: Aug/6/1935
Interests: Art, Sport, Musique, Politique
Place of Origin: Mozambique