Brazilian footballer (1922-2003)

Bigode (4 April 1922 – 31 July 2003) was a former Brazilian football player. He has played for Brazil national team. He was widely regarded as one of the finest Brazilian football players. He was known for marking opponents, tackling and his long range of passing and he was a quick defender and he is considered to be one of the best left-backs ever.

Personal information
Full name João Ferreira
Date of birth (1922-04-04)4 April 1922
Place of birth Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Date of death 31 July 2003(2003-07-31) (aged 81)
Position(s) Defender (retired)
Youth career
1937–1939 Sete de Setembro
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1939–1940 Sete de Setembro 15 (0)
1940–1943 Atlético Mineiro 60 (6)
1943–1949 Fluminense 234 (16)
1949–1952 Flamengo 66 (0)
1952–1956 Fluminense 396 (1)
Total 771 (23)
National team
1949–1953 Brazil 16 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club careerEdit

Bigode started his career with Sete de Setembro in 1939, where he showed himself well, after which he was taken to the team of one of the leaders of Brazilian football. Soon he made the move to Atlético Mineiro because of his good skills as a defender, winning the state championship in 1941 and 1942. In 1943 he moved to Fluminense and played there for six years, winning the state championship in 1946 and he was a key player for the club. He then went on to play for arch-rival Flamengo in 1949 where he formed a formidable defensive duo with Juvenal which was regarded as one of the best defences of all time, and returned to his old love Fluminense in 1952, where he also ended his career in 1956.

International careerEdit

Bigode played 16 matches for the national team and scored 1 goal. In 1949 he made his debut for the national team and he became South American champion with his team and in 1950 he was in the World Cup selection that was played in his own country. They reached the final, known as the Maracanaço. Nobody expected Brazil to lose at home to Uruguay, Bigode played a bad game, Alcides Ghiggia dribbled past him on both goals and he was blamed for the defeat along with Barbosa and Juvenal. After the match he was no longer called up for the national team, but in 1952 he returned to the Brazilian national team after his absence for 2 years. In 1953 he was selected to play for Copa América, He made a formidable midfield trio with Bauer and Danilo and showed one of his best performances during that tournament as a tough tackler and a ball-winner after the tournament he retired from the Seleção for good.

International career statisticsEdit


Brazil national team
1949 2 0
1950 10 1
1951 0 0
1952 1 0
1953 3 0
Total 16 1






After retirementEdit

After his retirement in 1956, Bigode opened a radio repair business in Belo Horizonte.


In 2003, Bigode died from respiratory problems in his native city of Belo Horizonte, aged 81.


  1. "João Ferreira "Bigode" - International Appearances and Goals".[permanent dead link]

Other websitesEdit