José Torres (footballer, born 1938)

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José Torres
José Augusto Torres (1963).jpg
Torres in 1963
Personal information
Full name José Augusto Costa Sénica Torres
Date of birth (1938-09-08)8 September 1938
Place of birth Torres Novas, Portugal
Date of death 3 September 2010(2010-09-03) (aged 71)
Place of death Lisbon, Portugal
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Centre forward
Youth career
1953–1957 Torres Novas
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1957–1959 Torres Novas
1959–1971 Benfica 172 (151)
1971–1975 Vitória Setúbal 91 (52)
1975–1980 Estoril 111 (14)
Total 374 (217)
National team
1963–1973 Portugal 33 (14)
Teams managed
1975 Vitória Setúbal
1979–1981 Estoril
1981–1982 Estrela Amadora
1982–1984 Varzim
1984–1986 Portugal
1987 Boavista
1988–1989 Portimonense
1994–1995 Portimonense
1996 Desportivo Beja
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

José Augusto Costa Sénica Torres OM (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒuˈzɛ ˈtoʁɨʃ]; 8 September 1938 – 3 September 2010) was a Portuguese football centre forward and coach.

Nicknamed O Bom Gigante (The Kind Giant),[1] 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.

Club career[edit]

Born in Torres Novas, Santarém District, Torres signed with S.L. Benfica in 1959, from local Clube Desportivo de Torres Novas. Even though he appeared rarely in his first three seasons combined, he managed to score six Primeira Liga goals in as many games, paving the way for a bright future at Benfica.

Torres (left) with Eusébio in 1969

In the 1962–63 season, in only 21 matches, Torres was crowned the competition's top scorer after netting 26 goals, whilst also helping the league champions to the Taça de Portugal final. It was also during this decade that he would be an instrumental figure as they reached three European Cup finals – of which they won 2 (in 1961 and 1962) – alongside attacking partners José Augusto, Mário Coluna, Eusébio and António Simões.[2]

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.[3] 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 374 games and 217 goals, surpassing the 200 mark for Benfica alone.[2]

Torres worked as a manager in the following years, without much success. His biggest achievement was help modest Varzim S.C. to two consecutive finishes outside the relegation zone in the first division (198284).[4]

International career[edit]

Torres earned 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.[5]

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).[6] It would also be longtime club and national teammates 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;[1] the finals in Mexico, however, would be marred by the Saltillo Affair, with Portugal being eliminated after the first round.

José Augusto Torres: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
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[edit]

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.[1]








  1. ^ a b c "Morreu José Torres" [José Torres has died] (in Portuguese). Rádio e Televisão de Portugal. 3 September 2010. Archived from the original on 25 January 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Morreu José Torres – "um jogador que não jogava em piloto automático", diz autarca torrejano" [Death of José Torres – "a player who did not play in auto pilot", says Torres Novas council] (in Portuguese). O Ribatejo. 3 September 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  3. ^ Vítor Baptista. Não foi o maior mas podia muito bem ter sido (Vítor Baptista. Not the greatest but he could have been); i, 19 July 2010 (in Portuguese)
  4. ^ Simões de Abreu, Alexandra (22 July 2018). "Manuel José, parte II: "Nos anos 90 compravam-se árbitros como se compram tremoços. Trios de arbitragem, não era só o árbitro"" [Manuel José, part II: "In the 90s you bought referees like you bought peanuts. Refereeing teams, not just the referee"] (in Portuguese). Expresso. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  5. ^ "A lenda dos Magriços começou há 50 anos" [The legend of the Magriços started 50 years ago] (in Portuguese). Expresso. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  6. ^ José TorresFIFA competition record
  7. ^ "Especial 'Tetra'" ['Tetra' special edition]. Mística (in Portuguese). No. 33. Portugal: Impresa Publishing. April–June 2017. p. 73. ISSN 3846-0823.
  8. ^ a b "Bicampeões para a história" [Back-to-back champions for the ages]. Visão (in Portuguese). Portugal: Impresa Publishing. May 2015. p. 49. ISSN 0872-3540.

External links[edit]