When we talk about the all-time greats of football, names such as Pele, Maradona, Di Stefano etc. get brought up. But what about Garrincha? Why have I dedicated a whole article to this man that many have forgotten about it? Why is he my favourite (and I’m sure a few others favourite) footballer.
Not many players have almost single-handedly won a world cup. First one that comes to mind is Diego Maradona in 1986, and the other is Garrincha in 1962. With superstar Pele injured, Garrincha had to put his side on his back. Known as the greatest dribbler of all time, he had to step up to the plate and now begin to produce age defining goals (at least that’s what I think of them). Ending the tournament with the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball, the FIFA World Cup is yet to see an individual performance like that again. This is all good and well, but it is not reason why I love this man.
The love comes from the love he gave. Known in Brazil as Alegria do Povo, directly translated into People’s Joy. That is what he was about. Giving joy. From entertaining the crowd, taking on 5 defenders in a World Cup final, to playing street football with his mates back home straight after playing in an intense Brazilian derby. In the modern day era, football has become more and more of a business and players are not as free to express themselves as often as they would like (there are obviously exceptions to this claim e.g. Neymar, Coutinho etc.). This is an appreciation post to the GOAT of dribbling and entertaining. Thank you Mané, we hope to see more players play like you.
Acknowledge him. Salute.