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Interesting and fun facts about Brazil's football legend Garrincha

33 years ago on this day, the football fraternity lost one of its beloved legends - Garrincha. On the Brazilian football hero's 33rd death anniversary we give you interesting facts about the striker.

Garrincha
Garrincha (L) during a match in 1958. Pic/ AFP

>> Garrincha's full name is Manuel Francisco dos Santos. Garrincha means 'little bird'.

>> Garrincha endured a rough childhood as his father was an alcoholic.

>> He had various defects during birth - deformed spine, left leg curved inwards and was 6 cm shorter, right leg bent outwards. He was relatively shorter than the other kids his age - hence, the nickname.

>> Garrincha was a talented footballer but had no interest in pursuing a career in it.

>> Garrincha has been part of the FIFA World Cup winning team twice - 1958 and 1962.

>> During the 1962 quarter final between England and Brazil a stray dog ran onto the pitch creating a commotion, up until Jimmy Greaves managed to get a hold of it, This incident was so amusing to Garrincha that he went on to keep the dog as his own pet. He named him 'Bi'.

>> In 1962 World Cup, Garrincha was red carded during the semi final match but was still allowed to play in the final after the Brazilian government took up the issue with FIFA. Brazil went on to win the cup that year.

>> He is sometimes known as the 'Forgotten Hero' in football, simply because his rise was simultaneously followed by the entry of another football great - Pele.

>> FIFA described Garrincha as 'The Chaplin of Football'.

>> Garrincha has played 50 international games for Brazil and scored 12 goals.

>> His awards include the Golden Ball and Golden shoe at the 1962 World Cup, FIFA World Cup All Star team in 1958 and 1962.

>> He is ranked at number 20 on the list of World Soccer's Greatest Players of the 20th century in 1999.

 

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