Garrincha – The Forgotten Brazilian Hero

One of the greatest yet most underrated players of all time, Garrincha, would have celebrated his birthday yesterday, if not for the fact he died in 1983. If Pele is hailed as one of the greatest of all times, Garrincha sure did his part in helping Pele. He was instrumental alongside Pele in binging the world cup and in-numerous other titles to Brazil.

Garrincha - The angel with the crooked legs
Garrincha – The angel with the crooked legs

Manuel Francisco dos Santos, nicknamed as  “Garrincha” was born in a broken home and had a severe spinal disability, which meant he grew up with one of his legs two inches shorter than the other. He was also an alcoholic by the age of 14 and it is claimed that he lost his virginity to a goat.

In Ruy Castro’s book, “The Triumph and Tragedy of Brazil’s Forgotten Footballing Hero”, it’s claimed that a 12 year old Garrincha lost his virginity to a goat. Allegedly, he would rather have had a prostitute but there were none in Pua Grande at the time.

These things didn’t deter him from fulfilling his dream of being a footballer.

On the field Garrincha went on to be one of Brazil’s greatest ever players, playing 60 times. Of the 60 games he featured in, Brazil won 52 games and drew 7 games. His only loss for Brazil came in his last game, in the 1966 World Cup in England.

Brazil never lost when Garrincha and Pele were playing together, which led them to consecutive World Cups in 1958 and 1962. In ’62 he was named player of the tournament and was the joint top scorer. He played for Botafogo, his first professional team, in 581 games, scoring 232 goals. He was champion of the Carioca League in 1957, 1961 & 1962 and of the Rio-Sao Paulo league in 1962 & 1964

For most people who don’t know about one of the greatest dribblers football has ever seen , here is a small video highlighting his work.

[youtube width=”500″ height=”300″]XvDuAFzKQyY[/youtube]



Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

AVB and Dempsey Reacts to the Controversial Penalty Decision

4 Reasons Why Arsenal Should Have Signed Villa Instead Of Giroud