Living and Giving

Best Dribbler in Soccer History: How Garrincha Became One of the Top Players with a Deformed Spine and Curved, Uneven Legs

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It doesn\’t sound so great.  Brazilian Manuel Francisco dos Santos, \”Garrincha,\” was born with one leg pointed outward, the other pointed awkwardly inside, one leg 6 centimeters shorter, and a deformed spine.   Soccer anyone?

How could you even try hit the ball well, manage it, and dribble with acuity?

Yet he was considered the best soccer dribbler in history.

He scored 20 goals in 26 games for Campeonato Carioca, the football league of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.    He played on the 1959 World Cup team for Brazil.  He returned and played 12 years on the Brazilian Botafogo team, helping them with Campeonato Carioca three times.   He scored more than 200 goals in total.

Next time you think you don\’t have a natural body form, or what it takes to succeed, see yourself differently.  Let\’s go do what we\’re supposed to do…..  Don\’t hold yourself back, and others won\’t either. 🙂


Manuel Francisco dos Santos (1933-1983) was an association football right winger and forward who assisted Brazil to win the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. He primarily played for the Brazilian Club Botafogo. \’Garrincha\’ was born with multiple birth defects but none of these hindered his skills in football. He is considered to be one of the best dribblers in football history.