20 January 2011

Elis & Mané

Two great Brazilians who died young, almost exactly a year apart: Elis Regina (d. 19/1/1982):





[and because every MPB singer seemingly had to do a football number ... (this one was written by Gilberto Gil):]



*

and Garrincha (d. 20/1/1983):





After Garrincha was released from hospital once more at the start of November [1982], the football magazine Placar arranged what was to be his final encounter with Pelé. The meeting took place at the luxurious Copacabana home of Pelé's friend Alfredo Saad and brought together the two living legends of Brazilian football, one of them healthy, prosperous and glowing, the other bloated, poor and lacklustre. A whole sea had passed under the bridge since that unforgettable Brazil-USSR match in Gothenburg 24 years earlier.

The two chatted about football and had their photo taken together (Pelé playing the guitar, Garrincha pretending to play the cavaquinho), but one of the most memorable aspects of the reunion was the way in which Garrincha cheekily insisted on teasing Pelé by calling him 'King'. 'Hey, King,' he said at one point, 'don't you have a few coins to spare? You've got loads of greenbacks.' He wasn't being serious, and Pelé knew it.

To the surprise of many the two of them got along famously. Though they had never been friends off the park — they were too different — those who had thought that Garrincha might be bitter about Pelé's success were wrong. He was not, and Pelé did not attempt to patronise him, even though it would have been natural to.

When the meeting ended, they hugged affectionately and went their own ways — Pelé, off down the yellow brick road, and Garrincha straight towards the last bottle.

from Garrincha: The Triumph and Tragedy of Brazil's Forgotten Footballing Hero (orig. Estrela solitária: Um brasileiro chamado Garrincha) by Ruy Castro; translation by Andrew Downie.

4 comments:

Webbie @ Football and Music 21/1/11 4:46 AM  

Ah I was going to do something on Garrincha, one day. In about two years time. Beat me to it.

Fredorrarci 21/1/11 8:48 PM  

I don't know of any songs about Garrincha, but I bet there's at least one somewhere.

Anonymous,  27/2/12 3:54 AM  

@ Fredorrarci:

Ary Sanches: "Balada no. 7"

OAlexander

Fredorrarci 12/3/12 12:33 AM  

Thanks, Alexander!

Here's a link for anyone who's interested.

I wonder if there are any more Garrincha songs out there. (Did Elza Soares ever sing about him?)

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