Produced on October 28, 1933, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Garrincha beat a set of physical defects to become among his nation’s best soccer players. He starred for the 1958 World Cup winning team, and was named the top player of the tournament when Brazil repeated as champs four years after. His body ravaged by the consequences of alcoholism, Garrincha was only 49 when he died in 1983. Regardless, the child got the better of the physical chances to turned into one the impoverished region’s most talented soccer players.
Although he was passed over for a place on the Brazilian team for the 1954 World Cup, he immediately became known for his dazzling dribbling shows and confounding moves that left defensemen weak. His amusing style of play earned him more nicknames, including “Alegria do Povo” Enjoyment of the People. Four years after, when Pel was injured early throughout the World Cup in Chile, Garrincha took center stage.
Due in large part to Garrincha’s challenges having a knee injury, the Brazilians did not progress from the initial round of the 1966 World Cup in England. Garrincha’s final match in the tournament was a 3-1 loss to Hungary; unexpectedly, it was his only loss in 50 livelihood international appearances. He won one more Rio So Paulo Tournament with Corinthians before moving forward to stints with Atltico Junior and Flamengo, and concluding his career with Olaria in 1972.
Garrincha was known for his hard-partying lifestyle. He married multiple times, with Brazilian samba singer Elza Soares among his wives, and is considered to have fathered at least 14 kids. A star in his home country, he was honored together with the dedication of Estdio Nacional Man Garrincha, an all purpose stadium constructed in Braslia in 1974. Nevertheless, Garrincha lost control over his life as he gyrated into alcoholism. He killed his mother in law in an auto crash in 1969, and divided from Soares in 1977 after assaulting her in a drunken fury.
Penniless and afflicted by liver cirrhosis, Garrincha expired on January 20, 1983, after lapsing into an alcoholic coma. Despite his late-life troubles, thousands of supporters came to see his body at Estdio do Maracan and to pay their respects to the guy who once inspired so much pleasure on the soccer pitch. With Brazil named the host state of the 2014 World Cup, administrators set about fixing Estdio Nacional Man Garrincha in time for tournament matches. Renovated to hold more than 70,000 fans, the arena had its official inauguration in May 2013.