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Garrincha

Written by Sebastien on 31 March 2013. Posted in World Cup Legends

Garrincha’s real name is Manuel Francisco dos Santos and he was known by his friends as Mane. He is a former Brazilian footballer who was highly popular in his years of glory. Brazilians also named him Alegria do Povo (Joy of the People) and Anjo de Pernas Tortas (The Angel with Bent Legs). Garrincha was born in 1933 and played for the national team between 1955 and 1966. He spent most of his career with the Brazilian club Botafogo.

The career of Garrincha started in 1953 at Botafogo and he scored a hat-trick in his first official game. He proved his natural talent in football and helped the team win Campeonato Carioca three times. He stayed with Botafogo for the majority of his career (12 years) scoring 232 goals in 581 matches. In the last years he spent on the field, Garrincha played for several other teams including Corinthians, Portuguese Carioca, Atletico Junior, Flamengo and Olaria. He retired in 1972 but had a few more appearances in occasional matches. Garrincha was nominated the Best Player of the Carioca Championship three times in 1957, 1961 and 1962, Best Player of the Brazilian Championship in 1962 and Best Player of the Rio-Sao Paolo Tournament in the same year.

Despite his brilliant performance, Garrincha was not selected for the 1954 World Cup squad. However, he participated in the next three editions in 1958, 1962 and 1966. The national team of Brazil lost only one match with Garrincha on the field and none when he and Pele had played both. The match against URSS in 1958 World Cup remained famous and its start is known as “the best three minutes of football of all times”. Garrincha played a very important part for Brazil at the 1962 World Cup especially because Pele was injured. He contributed immensely to the Brazilian success especially in the matches against England and Chile in which he scored four goals. The 1966 World Cup was less spectacular for Brazil and Garrincha played his only game in which his national team lost.  However, Garrincha is still famous for his achievements in 1962 when he was World Cup top scorer and World Cup Player of the Tournament.

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