Manoel dos Santos Francisco – Garrincha – was born a cripple and the operation that enabled him to walk left him with a distorted left leg, yet he went on to gain two World Cup winner’s medals. Born at Pau Grande in 1933, he joined Botafogo in 1953 and made his international debut in the 1957 South American Championship, but was left out of the first two games of the 1958 World Cup. Teammates begged manager Feola to include him and he created Brazil’s first two goals in the final.
“The Little Bird”, who perfected the “banana” shot, was called up when the injured Pelè quit the 1962 World Cup and he helped Brazil to another final, despite being sent off in the semifinal. He had a cartilage operation in 1963 and was involved in a scandal when he left his wife and eight children to marry a local singer. He was also in dispute with the income tax authorities and with Botafogo over pay. After defeat by Hungary in the 1966 World Cup – the only time he was on a losing Brazillian side – he bowed out.
Garrincha had spells with Corinthians, Flamengo, Bangu and Portuguesa Santista, then brief periods in France and Italy. He had a few games for Brazillian club, Olaria, before being forced to retire. He died in January 1983, aged 49.