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Mane GarrinchaBrazil's Little Bird

£20.00

Manuel Francisco dos Santos was born in Pau Grande, a district of Magé, in the state of Rio de Janeiro (October 28, 1933 – January 20, 1983). He was known by the nickname 'Garrincha' (Portuguese for 'little bird'). His nickname is thought to have derived from his love of hunting small wrens 'garrinchinhas' and the fact that he was as small as a little bird, which prompted his eldest sister to call him garrincha. He had several birth defects: his spine was deformed, his right leg bent inwards and his left leg six centimeters shorter and curved outwards. None of which impeded his ability to play football at the highest level. He was immensely popular in Brazil, and was also called Alegria do Povo (Joy of the People) and Anjo de Pernas Tortas (Angel with Bent Legs). A right-winger and twice World Cup winner he is widely regarded as the best dribbler in football history. Pelé is the most instantly recognisable player for those outside Brazil but Garrincha is the one with whom most Brazilians associate. Unlike Pelé, Garrincha was unable to pull himself out of poverty. His tragic story is not much known outside of Brazil, but after a series of financial and marital problems, he died of cirrhosis of the liver.

'Pele was an athlete and Garrincha was an artist. Put them together and you had a perfect, unstoppable combination.'
Brazilian journalist Armando Nogueira

'Here rests in peace the one who was the Joy of the People - Mané Garrincha.'
Manuel’s Epitaph

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