José Augusto Torres
Torres in 1963
|Full name||José Augusto Costa Sénica Torres|
|Date of birth||8 September 1938|
|Place of birth||Torres Novas, Portugal|
|Date of death||3 September 2010(aged 71)|
|Place of death||Lisbon, Portugal|
|Height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Playing position||Centre forward|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
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 Portugal 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 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 Benfica.
In the 1962–63 season, in only 21 matches, Torres was crowned the competition's top scorer after netting 26 goals, whilst also helping champions Benfica to the domestic cup final. It was also during this decade that he would be an instrumental figure as the club reached three European Cup finals – losing all – alongside offensive partners José Augusto, Mário Coluna, Eusébio and António Simões.
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 Cup qualifiers, 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.
After leaving Varzim, aged 46, Torres was named national team manager. In the last match of the 1986 World Cup qualifiers in West Germany, Portugal needed a win to qualify. Prior to the game in Stuttgart he uttered "Please allow me to dream", and his side eventually won it 1–0 thanks to a Carlos Manuel goal; the finals in Mexico, however, would be marred by the Saltillo Affair, with Portugal being eliminated after the first round.
|1||29 April 1964||Hardturm, Zurich, Switzerland||Switzerland||0–1||2–3||Friendly|
|2||17 May 1964||Estádio Nacional, Lisbon, Portugal||England||1–0||3–4||Friendly|
|3||17 May 1964||Estádio Nacional, Lisbon, Portugal||England||2–2||3–4||Friendly|
|4||18 June 1966||Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland||Scotland||0–1||0–1||Friendly|
|5||21 June 1966||Idrætsparken, Copenhagen, Denmark||Denmark||0–2||1–3||Friendly|
|6||21 June 1966||Idrætsparken, Copenhagen, Denmark||Denmark||1–3||1–3||Friendly|
|7||26 June 1966||Estádio Nacional, Lisbon, Portugal||Uruguay||1–0||3–0||Friendly|
|8||26 June 1966||Estádio Nacional, Lisbon, Portugal||Uruguay||2–0||3–0||Friendly|
|9||26 June 1966||Estádio Nacional, Lisbon, Portugal||Uruguay||3–0||3–0||Friendly|
|10||3 July 1966||Estádio das Antas, Porto, Portugal||Romania||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|11||13 July 1966||Old Trafford, Manchester, England||Hungary||3–1||3–1||1966 FIFA World Cup|
|12||16 July 1966||Old Trafford, Manchester, England||Bulgaria||3–0||3–0||1966 FIFA World Cup|
|13||28 July 1966||Wembley Stadium (1923), London, England||Soviet Union||2–1||2–1||1966 FIFA World Cup|
|14||12 November 1967||Estádio das Antas, Porto, Portugal||Norway||1–0||2–1||Euro 1968 qualifying|
Later years / Death
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.
- Primeira Liga (9): 1959–60, 1960–61, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1970–71
- Taça de Portugal: 1961–62, 1963–64, 1968–69, 1969–70
- Taça de Honra (3)
- European Cup: Runner-up 1962–63, 1964–65, 1967–68
- "Morreu José Torres" [José Torres has died] (in Portuguese). RTP. 3 September 2010. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
- Vítor Baptista. Não foi o maior mas podia muito bem ter sido (Vítor Baptista. Not the greatest but he could have been); IOnline, 19 July 2010 (Portuguese)
- José Torres – FIFA competition record
- "Bicampeões para a história" [Back-to-back champions for the ages]. Visão (in Portuguese). Portugal: Impresa Publishing. May 2015. p. 49. ISSN 0872-3540.
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