Former Portugal midfielder Fernando Chalana has died at the age of 63, his former club Benfica announced. Chalana was among the stars of the Portugal team that reached the semi-finals of the 1984 European Championship in France.
Fernando Chalana, o nosso Pequeno Genial, faleceu, aos 63 anos, na matruda desta quarta-feira, 10 de agosto. pic.twitter.com/uWUGZzgWVe
— SL Benfica (@SLBenfica) August 10, 2022
“Fernando Chalana, our little genius, left this world at the age of 63 in the early hours of Wednesday, August 10. One of the great and timeless names in the history of Benfica, he joined the club at the age of 15 and represented them first as a player for 13 seasons (1874-1984 and 1987-1990) and then, for many years, as a technical element , related to football. In this moment of sorrow, the Benfica flag is at half-mast at the Estadio da Luz and at the team’s campus,” the two-time European club champions said in a statement.
In 1976, aged 17 years and 25 days, he became the youngest player in the Portuguese elite. He was a six-time national champion with Benfica, had two titles and two French Cups with Bordeaux before returning to Benfica. He ended his career at the age of 33 after brief spells at Belenenses and Estrela Amadora. Shalana was also known by the nickname Shalanix due to his mustache, which resembled that of the comic book character Asterix.