Nicknamed O Bom Gigante (The Kind Giant), most of his 21-year senior career was spent at Benfica, with great individual and team success (13 major titles). With the Portuguese national team he participated in two World Cups separated by 20 years, one as player and the other as manager.
Born in Torres Novas, Santarém District, Torres signed with national powerhouse S.L. Benfica in 1959, from local side Clube Desportivo de Torres Novas. Even though he appeared rarely in his first three seasons combined, he managed to score six league goals in as many games, paving the way for a bright future at the Reds.
Torres left Benfica in 1971 at nearly 33 years of age, being involved in a deal that sent him and two teammates to Vitória de Setúbal, and promising Vítor Baptista in the opposite direction. He scored an average of 13 goals per season for his next club, always in the first division – he also briefly acted as the team's player-coach in 1975 – then ended his career three months before his 42nd birthday after four years at another side in Lisbon, G.D. Estoril Praia, again in the top level, suffering relegation in his last year; in 21 seasons in the competition he amassed totals of 379 games and 217 goals, surpassed the 200 mark for Benfica alone.
In the following years Torres worked as a manager, without much success. His biggest achievement was help modest Varzim Sport Clube to two consecutive mid-table finishes in the first division (1982–84).
Torres gained 33 caps for Portugal, scoring 14 goals. His debut came on 23 January 1963 in a 0–1 loss against Bulgaria for the 1964 European Nations' Cup qualification, a third-game replay. He was selected for the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England – as Augusto, Coluna, Eusébio and Simões – where he played all the matches and scored three goals, including the 2–1 winner against the Soviet Union in the third-place playoff, through his main asset, a header.
Torres' last game was a 2–2 draw, again against Bulgaria for the 1974 World Cupqualifiers, on 13 October 1973 (at the age of 35). It would also be longtime club and national team mates Eusébio and Simões' last international appearance.
Torres settled in Lisbon with his wife after his retirement from the football world, with pigeon racing as his main hobby. On 3 September 2010, just five days short of his 72nd birthday and after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, he died from heart failure.