Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks, buildings and events from bygone days with today.

Our main image this week shows Portuguese football side Benfica after landing at Manchester’s Ringway Airport in November 1963.

They were in the UK to play a friendly match against Stoke City at the Victoria Ground.

Top left in the line-up is the 21-year-old Eusebio with a rather fashionable coat draped over him. He was destined to become Benfica’s greatest ever player.

The gifted striker scored 317 goals for the Lisbon club in just 301 matches from 1961 to 1975 – an extraordinary achievement. He was marginally less prolific for Portugal, notching up 41 goals in 64 appearances from 1961 to 1973.

Eusebio was widely tipped to be the player of the tournament in the 1966 World Cup held in England. He actually played at Old Trafford in Portugal’s 3-1 group-stage victory over Hungary.

Benfica Football Team at Ringway Airport, 1963.
Queues of passengers at the check-in counter at Manchester Airport, ready to board one of the first flights to Portugal
But the World Cup came to an end for Eusebio and Portugal when they were beaten 2-1 by England in the semi-final at Wembley.

Two Manchester United stalwarts played a big part in England’s triumph – Bobby Charlton scored twice and combative midfielder Nobby Stiles marked Eusebio out of the game.

Eusebio still managed to convert a penalty in the 82nd minute to help him become the tournament’s leading scorer with nine goals.

Our modern image, taken in May this year, shows holidaymakers flying the other way from Manchester Airport to Portugal.

Masks are still in evidence as Covid travel restrictions had only just been eased.

*Many more images from Then and Now are featured in The Changing Face of Manchester on sale now at £14.99.

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