"Garrincha, which planet are you from? "El Mercurio, Santiago newspaper, during the 1962 World Cup.
Garrincha – Brazilian football legend
Manuel Francisco dos Santos is born in Pau Grande, a small city near Rio de Janeiro, on October 28, 1933. He is an angel with twisted legs. The one striving for X, the other for O. Despite an operation as a child, the left leg remains six centimetres longer. As a footballer, he always stays that small child, which makes him a alegria do povo, the joy of the people. The adult little bird measures 1.69 metres.
The world gets to meet Garrincha thanks to his fellow players. They order their coach to include him against the USSR at the 1958 World Cup. His thank you: two gemstones in the final make Vava score twice. His falling leaf free kick drives goalkeepers mad.
Scoring and winning is inferior to the beauty of play. Yet he does not lose a single match with Brazil while playing together with Pelé. Without Pelé he makes his country world champion in 1962. He knows neither nerves nor duty. Tactics? Makes him fall asleep. Opponents? Defenders are all named João (even the Soviets), and then again, always behind him. Women? He loves. Booze? Even more.
Already deep in the gutter, he plays his last match at Christmas 1982. He smells of brandy. On January 20, 1983, he passes away.
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