This #TBT post is an excerpt from my book FIFA Favorites…….
……These words are written on the tombstone of our next nicknamed athlete. “Here rests in peace one who was the the Joy of the People.”
Sadly, Manuel Garrincha passed away as a mystery. He was a brilliant footballer, beloved by Brazilians, yet he died as a poor alcoholic.
Many older soccer fans compare FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to Garrincha. They both are of similar height, frame, quickness and skill and possess the ability to put the ball in the back of the net.
Garrincha is also my #5 pick in my book FIFA Favorites.
The Joy of the People exploded onto the world soccer stage after overcoming a challenging childhood in the projects of Rio de Janiero. He originally discovered his passion for football on the city’s playgrounds and streets.
Garrincha played most of his club career for Botafogo in Brazil and quickly captured the attention of the Brazilian national team coaches.
During his time with the Brazilian nationals, Garrincha earned his Joy of the People nickname. Garrincha was an unstoppable right wing who led his country to World Cup crowns in 1958 and 1962.
The swift and powerful Garrincha became famous as one of the best dribblers in the world. He possessed amazing skill with both feet and had a unique ability to quickly and effortlessly change direction against any defender at any place on the pitch.
Garrincha never lost when he played alongside Pele, Brazil’s most popular star. While wearing his country’s colors, he racked up 57 wins, along with 7 draws and just one loss.
Brazilian Soccer Fans Adored Garrincha
Brazilian soccer fans adored the dazzling Garrincha. It was only natural that they would give him the Joy of the People nickname.
Unfortunately, Garrincha did not love himself or value his health. In his post soccer playing days, this star striker suffered physical, emotional, marital and financial troubles.
To those who knew him, this pained man’s life may always remain a mystery. But to the Brazilian fans who loved watching him perform on the soccer pitch, Manuel Garrincha will never be forgotten.
He will always remain the beloved Brazilian soccer symbol simply known as the Joy of the People.
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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!