Portuguese football is mourning the death of former national team defender Artur Correia, who has passed away aged 66 following a stroke last week.
Correia, capped 34 times with one goal in Portugal colours, played for both Lisbon giants but was forced to retire after suffering a first stroke at the age of 30.
Born on 18 April 1950, Correia started out with Académica Coimbra before spending six years at Benfica from 1971 – winning five Liga titles and a Portuguese Cup – and then three seasons until 1980 with Sporting, where he landed another Liga championship and cup. He also played in the United States for the New England Tea Men.
His career ended prematurely when a stroke left him partially incapacitated. In 1981 he was honoured at Sporting's Estádio José Alvalade with a testimonial match between Sporting and Benfica.
Artur Correia made his international debut in March 1972 as Portugal won 1-0 in Cyprus in a FIFA World Cup qualifier. His farewell appearance came in a 2-1 EURO qualifying defeat by Italy in 1979.
Federação Portuguesa de Futebol (FPP) president Fernando Gomes said: "He was always an optimistic and positive voice who represented Portuguese football with honour at home and abroad. To the bereaved family, friends and colleagues, I sent my condolences on behalf of the FPF."
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