Mário Wilson

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Mário Wilson
Personal information
Full name Mário Wilson
Date of birth (1929-10-17)17 October 1929
Place of birth Lourenço Marques, Mozambique
Date of death 3 October 2016(2016-10-03) (aged 86)
Place of death Lisbon, Portugal
Playing position(s) Centre back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1948–1949 Desportivo Lourenço Marques
1949–1951 Sporting CP 36 (37)
1951–1963 Académica 250 (15)
Total 286 (52)
Teams managed
1964–1968 Académica
1968–1970 Belenenses
1971 Tirsense
1971–1975 Vitória Guimarães
1975–1976 Benfica
1976–1977 Boavista
1977–1979 Vitória Guimarães
1978–1980 Portugal
1979–1980 Benfica
1980–1983 Académica
1983–1984 Estoril
1984 Boavista
1984–1986 Estoril
1986–1987 Cova Piedade
1987–1988 Louletano
1988–1989 Torreense
1989 Louletano
1989–1990 Olhanense
1990–1991 Águeda
1993–1995 FAR Rabat
1995–1996 Benfica
1997 Benfica (caretaker)
1997–1999 Alverca
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Mário Wilson ComM (Portuguese pronunciation: ['maɾju]; 17 October 1929 – 3 October 2016) was a Portuguese football central defender and manager.

He appeared in 286 Primeira Liga matches over 14 seasons, mainly in representation of Académica. He also played for Desportivo de Lourenço Marques and Sporting CP.

Subsequently, Wilson embarked in a lengthy managerial career in the country, which lasted more than 30 years and also included two spells at his main club, and a record five at Benfica.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Born in Lourenço Marques, Portuguese Mozambique and the paternal grandson of American trader Henry Wilson and a Mozambican princess, Wilson joined Sporting CP in 1949 aged 19, arriving from local Grupo Desportivo de Lourenço Marques. He started his career as a forward.[2]

After two years at the Estádio José Alvalade, scoring an average of one goal per match,[3] Wilson signed with fellow Primeira Liga side Académica de Coimbra after enrolling at the local university to study (and eventually majoring) geology, remaining there for the rest of his career and retiring in June 1963 at nearly 34 years of age.[4] His best individual season for the Students was 1951–52 when he scored five goals in 24 appearances, helping to a final seventh position (out of 14 teams).

Coaching career[edit]

Wilson began working as a coach one year after retiring, spending his first five years with Académica – which he led to a best-ever second position in 1966–67, as well as that year's Portuguese Cup final – then working three seasons with C.F. Os Belenenses. He first managed S.L. Benfica in the 1975–76 campaign, winning the national championship; during his early spell with the latter he coined the phrase "Anyone who coaches Benfica risks being champion", having been dubbed whilst still a player O Velho Capitão (Portuguese for "The Old Captain").[2]

In the late 70s, Wilson accumulated duties at Vitória de Guimarães and the Portuguese national team, being in charge of the latter during the unsuccessful UEFA Euro 1980 qualifying campaign. From 1980 to 1983 he again worked with Académica, two of those seasons being spent in the second division; until the end of the decade he would be in charge of no fewer than six clubs, coaching Louletano D.C. and G.D. Estoril Praia in two different spells.[5]

Wilson replaced fired Artur Jorge at the helm of Benfica after the third round in 1995–96, leading the team to the second position and the season's domestic cup. As an interim he also managed the team in four matches in two different campaigns (1996–97 and the following), winning two, drawing one and losing one.[5]

Wilson's last coaching job was in 1998–99 at the age of 69, with another Lisbon-based club, F.C. Alverca, helping lead the team out of the relegation zone in the top level alongside his successor José Romão, following which he continued to work there in directorial capacities.[6] Subsequently, he worked with the Portuguese Professional Footballers' Union, organising actions for unemployed players,[7] and also opened up his own football school, Mr. Wilson, in the Portuguese capital area.[8]

Personal life and death[edit]

Wilson's son, also named Mário (born 1954), was also a footballer. A midfielder, he too played for Académica and Benfica (only 11 matches in three seasons combined with the latter), competing professionally from 1973 to 1986.[9][10]

Wilson, whose idol was Eusébio,[11] died on 3 October 2016 in Lisbon aged 86.[12][4] His daughter Ana was crowned Miss Portugal in 1982, while his grandson Bruno played youth football for Sporting.[13]









  1. ^ Pereira, Luís Miguel (November 2009). Bíblia do Benfica [Benfica Bible] (in Portuguese) (7th ed.). Portugal: Prime Books. p. 130. ISBN 978-989-655-005-9.
  2. ^ a b "In A Bola: Capitão Mário Wilson já tem 80 anos" [In A Bola: Captain Mário Wilson is already 80] (in Portuguese). Pardalitos do Choupal. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  3. ^ Pataco, Miguel (3 October 2016). "Morreu Mário Wilson" [Mário Wilson has died]. Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b García, Carlos (5 October 2016). "El fútbol dice adiós a Mário Wilson, el creador del "tiki-taka" portugués" [Football bids farewell to Mário Wilson, the creator of the Portuguese "tiki-taka"]. La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Perfil: uma carreira com 548 jogos no primeiro escalão" [Profile: a career with 548 matches in the top flight]. Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 3 October 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Mário Wilson com novas funções no Alverca" [Mário Wilson with new job at Alverca]. Record (in Portuguese). 5 June 1999. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Estágio para futebolistas sem clube" [Training camp for footballers without a club]. Correio da Manhã (in Portuguese). 25 June 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  8. ^ Raínho, Pedro (3 October 2016). "Morreu Mário Wilson, o capitão do futebol português" [Death of Mário Wilson, the captain of Portuguese football]. Observador (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Mário Wilson, filho, viu uma Académica transfigurada" [Mário Wilson, son, saw Académica with extreme makeover] (in Portuguese). Rádio e Televisão de Portugal. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Mário Wilson". ForaDeJogo. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Faleceu Mário Wilson" [Mário Wilson has died] (in Portuguese). S.L. Benfica. 3 October 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Morreu Mário Wilson, ex-futebolista, treinador e seleccionador" [Mário Wilson, former footballer, coach and national team manager, has died]. Público (in Portuguese). 3 October 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  13. ^ Peniche, Luís (10 October 2016). "Mário Wilson – Recorde o "velho capitão"" [Mário Wilson – Remember the "old captain"] (in Portuguese). VIP. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d Pedro, Fernanda (3 October 2016). "Morreu Mário Wilson, o primeiro técnico português campeão pelo Benfica" [Mário Wilson, the first Portuguese coach champion for Benfica, has died]. O Jornal Económico (in Portuguese). Retrieved 5 October 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Rias, Carlos (May 2012). Mário Wilson, o velho capitão [Mário Wilson, the old captain] (First ed.). Prime Books. ISBN 978-989-655-131-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links[edit]