Brazilian association football player (1933-1983)

Manuel dos Santos (28 October 1933 – 20 January 1983) was a Brazilian football player. He played for the Brazil national team. Garrincha, the nickname, "little bird", he got from his sister. He won the 1962 World Cup in Chile with Brazil after Pelé was injured. He is regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time and considered one of the best dribblers and by many the greatest dribbler ever.[1]

Garrincha in 1962
Personal information
Full name Manuel Francisco dos Santos
Date of birth (1933-10-28)28 October 1933
Place of birth Magé, Brazil
Date of death 20 January 1983(1983-01-20) (aged 49)
Place of death Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 6+12 in)
Position(s) Right-winger (retired)
Youth career
1947–1952 Pau Grande
1949–1950 Cruzeiro do Sul FC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1951 Serrano 22 (5)
1953–1965 Botafogo 238 (84)
1965–1966 Corinthians Paulista 13 (2)
1967 Portuguesa 33 (7)
1968 Atlético Junior 1 (3)
1969–1970 Flamengo 20 (4)
1971 Red Star Paris 10 (1)
1972–1973 Olaria 7 (7)
Total 344 (113)
National team
1955–1966 Brazil 50 (12)
Men's Football
Representing  Brazil
FIFA World Cup
Winner 1958 Sweden
Winner 1962 Chile
Copa América
Runner-up 1957 Peru
Runner-up 1959 Argentina
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Garrincha's best talent consisted in his very particular dribbling, a game that he performed in making two different types of movements: cutting towards the inside of the field or, typically, widening to the right, always starting with the ball placed near the sideline of the pitch. Garrincha, after receiving the ball on the wing, aimed at the direct opponent and then stopped, causing the marker to stop in turn, after which he threw himself to the right, subsequently folding on the opposite side. He repeated the play more than once, when he decided to overtake the now disoriented defender with a definitive acceleration again on the right. Dribbling was made particularly effective by the explosiveness of the shot and the unpredictability of the movements due to the asymmetry of the lower limbs. Garrincha often abused this skill, as he used to dribble opponents and wait for them to retrace their steps so as to overcome them a second time, for pure pleasure; in a match for the Rio-San Paolo tournament that Botafogo played against América, the referee threatened to expel him due to the excessive number of dribbles carried out at the expense of full-back Ivan.

Despite having been afflicted with several birth defects (he had strabismus, an imbalance of the pelvis, six centimeters of length difference between the legs; the right knee had valgus and the left varus), Garrincha, "The Anjo de Pernas Tortas", was one of the main players in the 1958 FIFA World Cup and the 1962 FIFA World Cup, when, after Pelé's injury, he became the main player of the Brazilian team. Of Brazil's 14 goals in the competition, six (42%) went through his feet (he scored four and provided two assists for goals). In this tournament, he became the first player to win the Golden Ball (best player in the tournament), the Golden Boot (the competition's top scorer) and the World Cup trophy. Because of this, the 1962 World Cup is known in Brazil as "The Garrincha Cup".

Included in the World Team of the 20th Century by 250 of the world's most respected football writers and journalists, he was selected in 1994 for the FIFA World Cup All-Time Team and ranked seventh in a vote among FIFA experts. about the best player of the 20th century.[2]



Garrincha was born in 1933 in Pau Grande, a small town near Rio de Janeiro. At birth, it was found that his left leg was turned outwards and that his right leg was six centimeters shorter and turned inwards. Despite, or perhaps because of this handicap, Garrincha went on to become a highly technical footballer and one of the greatest dribblers of all time. Garrincha was a great footballer, but in his private life he had a lot of problems. He was a heavy drinker and was involved in a car accident several times. In 1969, his mother-in-law was killed in one of these accidents.

Garrincha married twice. The first time with Nair Marques, a factory girl from his hometown of Pau Grande, and the second time with Elza Soares, a well-known samba singer. But in addition, Garrincha had several other affairs and in total he left behind thirteen children after his death, one of which was in Sweden. In the spring of 1959, Garrincha had an affair with a waitress from the players' hotel in Umeå, after a Botafogo friendly match in Sweden. Nine months later, a letter was delivered to him in Rio de Janeiro saying that Garrincha had fathered a son. His Swedish grandson, Martin Lindberg, also had an aptitude for football and played as a right winger as a youth player for Halmstads BK, but had to finish football at level after he tore his knee ligament in 2009.

After his football career, things quickly went downhill for Garrincha. He didn't know how to handle the fame and started drinking more and more. In 1983, at the age of 49, he died of cirrhosis. His funeral procession, from Maracanã Stadium to Pau Grande, drew thousands of people and after his death people wrote on the wall: "Thank you, Garrincha, for living".

In the capital Brasilia, a stadium is named after him: Estádio Mané Garrincha, and the stadium of Esporte Clube Pau Grande also bears his name.

Club career


Garrincha played in his youth for a local club from Pau Grande. At the age of nineteen, in the summer of 1953, he reported for the first time for a trial training, at Botafogo in Rio de Janeiro. He played as a right winger against international Nílton Santos (later elected by FIFA as left back in the twentieth century world team). Garrincha passed him immediately. Nilton Santos thought he could tame this young lad, but Garrincha also left him behind for the next five moves. The trainer had seen enough and after three training sessions, Garrincha was allowed to try in the first team of Botafogo and immediately scored a hat trick.

He played for the club for twelve years and scored 232 times in 581 matches. With Botafogo he won the Campeonato Brasileiro once and the Campeonato Carioca three times. In his last years at this club, Garrincha's body started to work against him and his broken knees started to hinder him more and more. After his stint with Botafogo, he played a number of matches for Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, Flamengo and Colombian Atlético Junior. In 1969 there was talk of him being sold to the French Red Star Paris, but he never signed a contract. In 1972 he finished his career with Olaria.

On tour through Europe, with Botafogo, he played in the Netherlands in 1959 against Willem II (win), Fortuna '54 (win) and Feyenoord (loss).

International career

Garrincha in 1960

Between 1955 and 1966, Garrincha played 50 games for the Brazil national team with 12 goals and played in the 1958 World Cup, 1962 World Cup and 1966 World Cup. Brazil became world champions in 1958 and 1962. He also won the Oswaldo Cruz Cup five times in 1955, 1956 but he didn't play any matches, 1958, 1961 and 1962. He became champions in 3 O'Higgins Cup tournaments in 1955, 1959 and 1961. He also won the Roca Cup in 1957, 1960 and 1963 but he wasn't able to play any matches in that year's tournament. And he also won the Taça Atlântico Cup in 1956 but he couldn't play any matches and he won the 1960 tournament. Garrincha was omitted to play for the 1954 FIFA World Cup and 1956 South American Championship.

1958 FIFA World Cup


This was the first World Cup for both Pelé and Garrincha. In the first two games, Garrincha and Pelé were stubbornly ignored by Feola. After a collective plea from the selection, they were finally included in the base against the Soviet Union. In that match, Garrincha tried the left post and Pelé the right within two minutes. Garrincha turned right back Kuznetsov completely mad and already in the third minute Vavá. scored the 1-0. The Soviet Union was not given a moment's rest by Brazil. Yet it only became 2-0 thirteen minutes before the end, again with Vavá as the finisher. The spectators in Gothenburg still marveled at a comical bouncer by Garrincha. As if on a string, he had as many as five Russians dance in a circle around the ball. Brazil's demonstration justified a much higher score than the 2-0. But the world had become acquainted with the Pelé and Garrincha phenomena. Brazil eventually reached the final, in which they beat Sweden by no less than 5-2. He was being recognized as one of the best players of the tournament and was included in the Team of the tournament. Garrincha won the first world title.

1962 FIFA World Cup


Four years later, Garrincha shone at the World Cup in Chile, where Pelé was injured in the second game. It would be Garrincha's tournament. The Brazilians, with largely the same team as in 1958, missed the brilliance of four years before. Garrincha led them to a second world title. In the quarter-final against England, he stepped out of the shadow of the absent Pelé in full glory for the first time. He could even head straight away. At the 1-0 he reached, 1.68 meters short, higher than the 1.86 meters long Maurice Norman. After the 1-1, Garrincha inspired the Brazilians as pacesetter. He awarded Vavá the 2-1 and closed the show himself with 3-1. In the semi-finals, home country Chile was then defeated 4-2, partly thanks to Garrincha's 1-0 and 2-0. In the final phase, Garrincha was kicked in the shins for the umpteenth time. The star was so tired of the pounding that he kicked back. The expelled Garrincha fled to the locker room to cheers and whistles. On the way another bottle popped on his head. Bleeding, he made it to the catacombs. He was allowed to be used in the final against Czechoslovakia. After the intervention of the Brazilian Prime Minister Tancredo Neves, his suspension was converted to an official warning. Garrincha played the final with a fever of 39 degrees, so he had to leave the leading role to others. After trailing 1-0, the Czechs, with Josef Masopust as director, were defeated 3-1. Garrincha became this tournament's top scorer and player of the tournament.

1966 FIFA World Cup


The 1966 tournament in England was not a great experience for Brazil. Garrincha had long ceased to be the star of four years earlier, but no one dared to keep him out of the squad. The first match at the World Cup was won, but the second, against Hungary, was lost. It was Garrincha's fifteenth and final game for the Brazilian national team. It was the first time that the Brazilian team lost with Garrincha in the squad.

End of professional football and the 1973 farewell match


Garrincha said goodbye to football on December 19, 1973 at the age of 40, when a friendly match between the Brazilian national team and a selection of players chosen by FIFA, called FIFA XI, took place at the Maracanã stadium. In addition to Garrincha, the first team was made up of players who had won the World Cup three years earlier, including Carlos Alberto Torres, Brito, Rivelino, Jairzinho and Pelé; the second was made up of ten elevenths by Argentines and Uruguayans. The match ended 2-1 for the Brazilian selection, thanks to goals from Pelé - who dribbled all the opposing defense - and Luís Pereira. The proceeds were donated to Garrincha himself, who at the end of the match, during which he did not shine, moved on a field tour to say goodbye to the one hundred and thirty-one thousand spectators who came to the stadium.

Garrincha still played for more than ten years at an amateur level. Among the teams with which he played in this period it is worth mentioning that of the Milionários, a formation made up of ex-professionals who used to play friendly matches around Brazil. With this team he played almost five hundred games between 1974 and 1982, alongside famous names such as Nílton Santos, Hilderaldo Bellini, Djalma Santos, Vavá, Rivelino and Serginho.

He also played in the Sacrofano football team, being paid 100,000 lire per game, then a militant in the First Category championship and coached by Dino da Costa, his former teammate in Botafogo, dragging her to victory in the Mignano Monte Lungo quadrangular tournament. His last appearance on a football field was at a charity match held on Christmas day 1982, during which he played for twenty minutes (forty-five according to other sources). The match was held at Planaltina, near Brasilia against Londrina, with Garrincha, and the representative of the Associaçao de Garancia ao Atleta Profissional (AGAP), a team that won 1-0.

Garrincha died on January 20, 1983, at the age of 49 from the consequences of liver cirrhosis and pulmonary edema in conditions of poverty and degradation. and was buried in the Raiz da Serra cemetery in Rio de Janeiro.

International career statistics



Brazil national team
1955 1 0
1956 0 0
1957 6 0
1958 5 0
1959 4 0
1960 5 2
1961 4 1
1962 12 6
1963 0 0
1964 0 0
1965 6 0
1966 7 3
Total 50 12




  • International Quadrangular Tournament: 1954[source?]
  • State Championship: 1957, 1961, 1962[source?]
  • Interclub Tournament Pentagonal Mexico: 1958[source?]
  • International Tournament of Colombia: 1960[source?]
  • International Tournament in Costa Rica: 1961[source?]
  • Tournament Home: 1961, 1962 and 1963[source?]
  • Pentagonal the International Club of México: 1962[source?]
  • Interstate Cup Champions Club: 1962[source?]
  • Rio-São Paulo Tournament: 1962 and 1964[source?]
  • World Champion Clubs (Paris Intercontinental Championship): 1963[source?]
  • Golden Jubilee Tournament Football Association of La Paz: 1964[source?]
  • Ibero-American Tournament: 1964[source?]
  • Panamaribo Cup: 1964[source?]


  • (Rio-São Paulo Tournament): 1966[source?]




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