On October 28, 2023, the football world celebrates the 90th birthday of one of the best forwards of all time – Garrincha. The two-time world champion burned himself out on and off the pitch and, therefore, simply had no chance of living to see his venerable anniversary.
The memory of the greatest Wizard of Dribble lives in the hearts of fans worldwide. Today, 1xBet remembers the great football player who proved by his example that nothing is impossible.
Manuel Francisco dos Santos should not have become a footballer. Moreover, he did not even have to lead a lifestyle familiar to most healthy people. Since childhood, Mané suffered from severe lameness – his left leg was six centimeters shorter than the other. In addition, the boy suffered from strabismus, spinal deformity and displacement of the pelvic bones.
Doctors believed that the child would be happy to just walk and live without the help of a nurse. Such a set of diseases could have been a death sentence for a weaker person, but Garrincha did not give up.
From early childhood, he became interested in football and was transformed on the pitch. He turned his shortcomings into advantages and acquired amazing equipment. The boy’s favorite pastime was coming up with new tricks and defeating his peers. He also loved to catch birds of the wren family, also known as “garrinchas.” “You catch so many birds that you yourself will soon become a garrincha,” his sister once said. This is how Mané got his famous nickname.
From factory team to Botafogo
In 1947, at 14, Garrincha got a job at one of the factories in his native Pau Grande, where he began playing for the factory team. Soon, he was noticed in the city amateur team and was invited to join it.
For the next two years, Mané combined work at the company with playing for Pau Grande and other low-level teams. Gradually, the young technical guy began to attract the interest of football scouts, and big clubs started to invite him.
There, he quickly encountered the football bosses’ prejudiced attitude towards his physical disabilities. Garrincha was rejected by Flamengo, Fluminense, Vasco da Gama and even the humble Sao Cristovao. The clubs did not want to mess with the sickly, lame young man, even despite his phenomenal technique.
A ticket to big football was given to him by Botafogo and personally by the defender of the club and the Brazilian national team, Nilton Santos. During the tryout, young Manuel repeatedly left his eminent opponent in the cold, throwing the ball between his legs 3 times. Santos turned out to be not vindictive, and after training, he went to coach Gentil Cardozo to put in a good word for the talented 20-year-old guy. “If this guy ends up in another club, I won’t be able to sleep well,” Nilton said. “If he stays with us, then the defenders of other clubs will not sleep.”
“Garrincha will be in the lineup”
500 Cruzeiro paid by Botafogo for Garrincha’s transfer to the Pau Grande club can easily be considered one of the best transfer deals in the history of football. In terms of the current exchange rate, this is not much more than the amount of the minimum deposit on 1xBet. What is the minimum deposit on 1xbet? From 1 EUR!
In 12 years at Botafogo, the right winger scored 85 goals and led the team to three state titles and two Rio-São Paulo tournament titles. When the club was invited to tour abroad, the inviting party had one single condition: “Garrincha must be in the lineup.”
Tough conversation with Feola and triumph with Seleção
Things were going well for the national team as well. The player debuted in the Seleção in 1955 and gradually made his way into the team. For the decisive qualifying matches for the 1958 World Cup, Garrincha was the starting player but missed the first games of the main tournament by the coach’s decision – like the younger Pele. Coach Feola considered the couple too immature for serious play.
Here, Garrincha demonstrated his character for the first time. After the second match, he approached the mentor and gave an ultimatum. “Either I play against the USSR, or I will no longer play in the national team.”
Feola was a wise man and did not punish the young man for his insolence. Until the end of the tournament, on the right of Seleçao’s attack was no longer Joel but Garrincha.
By the way, in the same match, Pele, for whom Manuel put in a word, debuted at the tournament. The Brazilians triumphantly completed the World Cup, knocking out the hosts, the Swedes, in the final with a score of 5-2. At the same time, the whole world learned about the new 4-2-4 football formation, where Garrincha played on the right in attack.
Over the next 8 years, the Brazilian national team did not lose a single match with Pele and Garrincha on the pitch. Moreover, in 1962, the Seleção won the World Cup with almost no help from Pele, who was injured in the second game.
Garrincha led the team and became one of the tournament’s top scorers with 4 goals. His popularity and authority were so great that before the final against Czechoslovakia, FIFA canceled the red card that was erroneously shown to the player in the semi-final.
How the 1xbet bonus works? It’s simple: top up your account and receive a welcome bonus of up to 100 EUR. Garrincha also always brought his teams a bonus in the form of goals, assists and excellent technique, with which he destroyed his opponents. And Garrincha was so fast that legends were made about his speed. They say that once the coach of the USSR national team, Konstantin Beskov, asked Vicente Feola how long it took Garrincha to run the 100-meter dash. “You know, señor Beskov,” replied the world champions coach, “I think that Garrincha will not run 100 meters.”
Regime violation, debts and leaving football
Alas, Garrincha never missed an opportunity to break the regime and was always ready to celebrate another victory with friends and samba dancers. Gradually deteriorating health and injuries meant that at the age of 32, he was no longer needed by Botafogo and went to Corinthians.
However, in Sao Paulo and the 1966 World Cup team, Mané was already a shadow of his former self. Over the next few years, he appeared in several clubs, but all this was just an attempt to make money before leaving football.
Garrincha never knew how to make savings and get lucrative contracts. Both Botafogo and other clubs took advantage of his gullibility and naivety.
In 1973, his farewell match took place at Maracanã, in which the national teams of Brazil and the world played. The income from the game helped Garrincha pay off his accumulated debts, but the funds were not enough for long.
Unfortunately, the great player and a real fighter on the pitch was never able to pull himself together off the pitch. After his career ended, he continued to abuse alcohol and died on January 20, 1983 from liver cirrhosis.
Garrincha lived a colorful life and entered the football history of Brazil with the honorable nickname Joy of the People. Mané was ranked 12th in FIFA’s poll for the best footballer of the 20th century. Not bad at all for a boy from Pau Grande, to whom fate had given no chance since birth.