Mário Wilson

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)
Playing position Centre back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1948–1949 Desportivo Lourenço Marques
1949–1951 Sporting CP 36 (0)
1951–1963 Académica 250 (15)
Total 286 (15)
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 da 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 (17 October 1929 – 3 October 2016) was a Portuguese football central defender and manager.

He played in 286 Portuguese first division games over the course of 14 seasons, mainly in representation of Académica.

Subsequently he 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 several more at Benfica.

Playing career

Born in Lourenço Marques, Portuguese Mozambique, Wilson joined Sporting Clube de Portugal in 1949 aged 19, arriving from local Grupo Desportivo de Lourenço Marques. He started his career as a forward.[1]

After two seasons with the Lions, Wilson signed for fellow top division side Académica de Coimbra, where he would remain for the rest of his career, retiring in June 1963 at nearly 34 years of age. His best individual season was 1951–52 when he scored five goals in 24 games for the Students, who finished in seventh position (out of 14 teams).

Manager career

One year after retiring, Wilson began working as a coach, spending his first five years with Académica – which he led to a best-ever second position in 1966–67, as well as the season'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 Eagles 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").[1][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.

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 club in three matches in two different campaigns (1996–97 and the following), winning two and losing one.

Wilson's last coaching job was in 1998–99 at the age of 69, with another Lisbon-based club, F.C. Alverca, eventually leading the team out of the relegation zone in the top level. In the following years he worked with the Portuguese Professional Footballers' Union, organizing actions for unemployed players, and also opened up his own football school, Mr. Wilson, in the Portuguese capital area.

Personal life and death

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

Wilson's idol was Eusébio.[3]

Wilson died on 3 October 2016, aged 86.[4]









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