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Manuel Francisco dos Santos “Garrincha”


Manuel was one of the greatest dribblers in the football history who played as a right winger. With his right leg being shorter than his left, Garrincha was called Bent-Legged Angel. Yet, he managed to become a legend in football.

Another thing that made him so special was that Garrincha had a childish spirit. He entertained people by making fool of opponents, so the fans called him the Joy of People.

Club Career

Manuel was born in Rio de Janeiro on October 28, 1933. He was interested in football, but never applied for any professional clubs until the age 19.


In 1963, Garrincha joined Botafogo, where he spent the most part of his career. He scored a hat-trick in his 1st appearance on July 19, 1953.

After leading Botafogo to the Campeonato Carioca 1957 victory, scoring 20 goals; Garrincha went on winning the 1961 and 1962 editions.

Garrincha played for Botafogo until 1965 and scored a total of 84 goals in the domestic league.

He played for many teams like Corinthians, Atlético Junior, Flamengo and Olaria until 1972. However, his spell at Botafogo turned out to be his best; since Garrincha couldn’t keep up with any of these teams.

Despite the big teams’ interests to sign him, Garrincha announced that he decided to retire while still playing for Olaria.

He left football after starring in his farewell match on December 19, 1973.

Brazil National Team

Garrincha played in his 1st game in 1955, since he didn’t get selected for the World Cup 1954 squad.

However, Garrincha prove his talent in the Campeonato Carioca success and managed to get named in World Cup 1958.

Before the World Cup, he appeared 2 times in Copa América 1957, which Brazil finished runners-up. Garrincha also starred in 4 matches of Copa América 1959 as they finished runners-up again.

World Cup 1958

Garrincha didn’t score any goals during World Cup 1958, but set up many goals and drew attention with his dribbling.

As Brazil won the competition 5-2 over Sweden, Garrincha got named in the All-Star Team as a forward.

After the tournament he started having problems in his life, which affected his career. Since Garrincha was drinking too much, he gained weight and got left out of a friendly match squad. He then lost his father, who was an alcohol addict, on October 10.

However, Garrincha managed to recollect himself quickly and showed a spectacular performance during World Cup 1962.

He scored 2 goals in the 3-1 win over England in the quarter finals with his 2nd goal being a perfect “curl”. Doing so, Garrincha carried the team to the semi-finals.

In their semi-final game against Chile, Garrincha scored 2 more goals and contributed to the 4-2 victory.

Although Garrincha had a fever in the final, Brazil managed to won the game 3-1 over Czechoslovakia.

Garrincha earned the Golden Boot with 4 goals, also the Golden Ball being the best player of the match.

He joined World Cup 1966, only international competition that he lost. Garrincha played in the group stage match against Bulgaria and scored a goal as they won 2-0.

On July 15, 1966, he played in his last game for the national team; in which Hungary beat them 3-1. After the 3-1 defeat by Portugal, Brazil got knocked out of the tournament.

Manuel Garrincha earned 50 caps for the national team and ended his international career after the World Cup 1966.

Having both Garrincha and Pelé on the pitch, Brazil didn’t lose any competition.

The Joy of People died on January 20, 1983 of cirrhosis due to his alcoholism.

#Brazil,#forward,#dribbling,#Botafogo,#Flamengo,#golden-ball,#Campeonato-Carioca-1957,#World-Cup-1958,#Copa-América-1957,#Copa-América-1959, #World-Cup-1962,#World-Cup-1966

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