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In Memoriam: A Look Back At The Soccer Stars Who Died In 2014

2014 saw the deaths of some prominent figures in the soccer community. We here at The18 thought it would be a good idea to honor those who passed away this calendar year with mini bios on each of the departed. The soccer community already misses these individuals. 

Eusebio 1942-2014

Eusebio is one of the greatest Portuguese soccer players in the history of the sport. The "Black Panther" won the Ballon d’Or in 1965 and was the top-scorer of the 1966 World Cup, scoring 9 goals while leading Portugal to the semifinals. According to FIFA, he scored 733 times in 745 professional matches. He won 10 league titles and five Portuguese cups while playing for Benfica and was the top goal-scorer in the country for 9 years in a row. The legend died of a heart attack.

Alfredo Di Stefano 1926-2014 

The Real Madrid star, nicknamed the "Blonde Arrow" never have the privilege of playing in a World Cup, but the Argentine had an exceptional career for Los Merengues. In 11 seasons with the club, he won five European Cups and was named the European player of the year twice. Di Stefano scored 216 goals in 284 appearances for Real Madrid and he had success as a manager as well, leading Boca Juniors and Valencia to league titles. ”Alfredo Di Stefano changed the history of this club and he changed the history of football," said Real's chairman Florentino Perez. He also died from a heart attack that put him in intensive care. 

Tito Vilanova 1968-2014

The Barcelona manager and assistant to Pep Guardiola won an outstanding 14 trophies over four seasons. Vilanova took over for Guardiola in the 2011 season and managed the team for half of the year en route to not only the best start in FC Barcelona's history, but a league title with a record 100 points. Vilanova had to miss two months of the season while he was undergoing chemotherapy in New York. He tried to return to the team, but the cancer returned, forcing him to step down.  

RIP Tito Vilanova (Photo:

Albert Ebosse 1989-2014 

The Cameroonian forward was tragically killed after being struck in the head by a projectile thrown from angry JSK fans, the team Ebosse played for. The team lost the match 2-1 against USM Alger with Ebosse scoring the only goal for JSK. He was the top goal-scorer in the Algerian Championship with 17 goals.  

RIP Albert Ebosse. (Photo:VICE Sports | 

Tom Finney 1922-2014 

Loyalty was in the blood of Tom Finney. The winger scored 210 goals in 473 appearances for his club Preston North End. He also served his country in three World Cups, in which he scored 30 goals. Finney never won any major honors during his footballing career, but the legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly who played with Finney at Preston said, "Tom Finney would have been great in any team, in any match and in any age...even if he had been wearing an overcoat." His cause of death was never released. 

The Preston North End legend Tom Finney. (Photo: The Scotsman)

Senzo Meyiwa 1987-2014

This South African goalkeeper made over 100 appearances for his South African club, the Orlando Pirates. Senzo also became the starting keeper for South Africa and starred on the National Team in the last couple games during the 2015 African Cup of Nations. Senzo was shot by intruders at his girlfriend's house in Johannesburg. He was only 27. 

Senzo Meyiwa was a keeper on the rise in South Africa. (Photo: 

Klas Ingesson 1968-2014 

The Swedish star was an imperative part of the country's run to the semifinals in the 1994 World Cup. He played for Swedish side IFK Göteborg, who won the 1987 UEFA Cup and was known for his physical ball winning skills. He died after a five year battle with myeloma.

Klas Ingesson was a major part of Sweden's 94' World Cup run. (Photo: Daily Mail) 

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