4 de July de 2018

Hello, my friends! Ready for another Dica about Brazilian Football? Today, we will talk about the great football player Garrincha. For many people, the second best Brazilian player after Pelé. In this Dica you’ll learn about his life, about Mane Garrincha Stadium, his greatest achievements in the years of 1958 and 1962, and of course Garrincha’s goals, clubs, his famous dribblings, and, his most famous thing lol: his foot and leg! Are you ready? Let’s go!

Garrincha: one of the best dribblers in football’s history

Manuel Francisco dos Santos was born on October 28th, 1933, and is known by the nickname Garrincha. He was a great, notable and famous Brazilian footballer who played right winger and forward and is regarded by many in the sport as one of the best dribblers in football and footballers’ history.

This footballer was a star playing for the carioca club, Botafogo, one of the most popular football teams in Rio de Janeiro. He could kick and dribble in his own style, something very different at that time, since football in Brazil was more physical than technical. Garrincha helped developing the Brazilian football style that is very popular in the present days.

The Angel of the Crooked Legs

Did you know that his father was a young man of the Fulniôs tribe? Well, it was an Indian tribe from Pernambuco, in Brazil and that’s why people used to call him “Garrincha, the Fulnio’s arrow ” (a flecha Fulnio).  And Garrincha is a bird from South America!

He was also commonly known by the nickname of “The joy of People” (A alegria do povo), “Mané”, a shortening of his name, and the most famous of all of them:  “The angel of the crooked legs”, “O anjo das pernas tortas”.

One of the most famous things about Garrincha is his legs and feet, and that he had a congenital formation of the knee due to the poliomyelitis. But even with his crooked legs, that were bent to the left side he was still able to run and playing football. Garrincha’s dribllings are still present in the historic memory of Brazilians, and Garrincha’s YouTube videos are very famous, but this one that we will show you is one of the most famous! Check it out:


Garrincha with the Brazilian Team

Garrincha. Brazil's Garrincha dribbling the ball in a friendly match against Portugal, May 6, 1962.
photo taken from the website:


Garrincha footballer was as successful with the Brazilian team as in a club level. He played at the 1958 World Cup and also at the 1962 World Cup. Along with Pelé, who was really young at that time, Garrincha was more like an inspiration for him, guiding through the football way.

They won these two world cups together, but in 1962 it was special. Pelé got seriously injured during the tournament and could not play anymore, so the Angel of the crooked legs stood as a leader and took the team to its second title putting his name at the football history books, mentioned a lot nowadays.

Most Important Titles of Garrincha

Well, like we said, Garrincha footballer was 2x World Cup winner in 1962 and1958, he also participated in the 1966 World Cup, in witch England was the champion. Garrincha scored four goals in the 1962’s World Cup. Great, right?! 😉

Garrincha’s clubs: do you know any of them?

Well, Garrincha didn’t just played at the Brazilian Team, he also played in a lot of famous Brazilian national teams! The first one was Botafogo (1953-1965), then he went to the paulista team called Corinthians (from São Paulo, in 1966), in witch he played for just one year. After that, he went to Colombia to play at the Atlético Junior team (1968). Also for one year (1968-1969) he played at the Flamengo team, one of the most famous in Brazil and he scored four goals (nah, not that much, uh?). In the South of Brazil, Garrincha played at two teams, firstly in the Esporte Clube Nova Hamburgo, and then at the  Foot ball Clube Rio-Grandense, in the year of 1969. His last team was Olaria, in which he played in 1972.

Garrincha’s Funeral

Unfortunately he died at the of 49 years old, really young, in Rio de Janeiro due to consequences of drinking problems. Having died prematurely and with little money, a famous Brazilian singer and a fan of our Angel of the crooked legs, Agnaldo Timóteo paid for his funeral.  An early loss for Brazilian football and its fans, but he is one of the greatest in football history.

His legacy

The football player leaves a great legacy for those who love football, even young people and children who have not even watched their games. in 1974 the Mané Garrincha Stadium was inaugurated and was renovated between 2010-2013 for the 2014 World Cup. Today it is the second largest stadium in Brazil, only behind Maracanã (this one I think you know, huh?!) 😉

Now it’s your turn!

Now that you know a bit more abou Garrincha’s history, practice a bit with an exercise. So, are the statements below Verdadeiro (true) or Falso (false)?

  1. (   ) Garrincha é considerado o segundo melhor jogador da história do futebol no Brasil.
  2. (   ) Ele jogava pelo Flamengo.
  3. (   ) Garrincha ajudou a desenvolver o estilo de futebol que temos hoje no Brasil.
  4. (   ) Garrincha participou das Copas de 58 e 62.
  5. (   ) Pelé é irmão de Garrincha.


That’s it my friends! I hope you enjoyed! If you want to know more about Brazilian players, go to A Dica do Dia for more information, you can also follow us on Facebook.

See you soon, guys!
Hugs from Rio de Janeiro!

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Click on the links below and see more related Dicas
Most important football teams in Rio
Football Vocabulary in Portuguese
1958 World Cup
1962 World Cup



  1. (V) Garrincha é considerado o segundo melhor jogador da história do futebol no Brasil.
  2. (F) Ele jogava pelo Flamengo.
  3. (V) Garrincha ajudou a desenvolver o estilo de futebol que temos hoje no Brasil.
  4. (V) Garrincha participou das Copas de 58 e 62.
  5. (F) Pelé é irmão de Garrincha.