"One day he came home with a little bird in his hand and I
said to him: 'Look, it's just like you. It flies around a
lot, but it's no good for anything. It's a garrincha
(little bird)'. The name stuck for the rest of his life."
Rosa dos Santos, garrincha's elder sister
"When he came to Botafogo for a trial, he put the first
ball he touched straight between my legs. A lot of people thought I
would be offended but they were wrong. I told the directors there
and then that they had to sign him. Fortunately, they listened to
Nilton Santos, Garrincha's team-mate for Botafogo and Brazil
"I had some preconceptions when it came to Garrincha. The
psychologist told me he had a few problems, but I just accepted
them and discovered that players very often see what's
happening out on the pitch better than the coach."
Vicente Feola, Brazil coach at the 1958 FIFA World Cup TM
"Garrincha was a phenomenal player. Without him by my side, I would never have won three World Cups over the course of my career."
Pele, Garrincha's team-mate at the 1958 and 1962 FIFA World Cups
"Garrincha was too unpredictable, even for us his team-mates. But there was no doubt he was the key to winning games for us. Of course he had a great team around him, but you simply can't ignore his incredible talent."
Mario Zagallo, Garrincha's team-mate at the 1958 and 1962 FIFA World Cup finals
"Garrincha, who is still regarded as the best right-sided
forward in the history of the game, said I was the tightest marker
he played against. You can't imagine how happy it makes me to
think that the best player in the world said I was the best at
marking him out of the game. It's a real shame he's no
longer with us."
Coronel, Vasco player in the 1950s
"Garrincha is an extremely important figure in popular
Brazilian culture. I always explore popular figures in my work. He
was a romantic with a passion for football, Brazil and women."
Milton Alencar, director of the film Garrincha -Estrela Solitaria (Lone Star)
"When he was out there, the pitch was a circus ring, the
ball a tamed animal, the match a party invitation. Garrincha
nurtured his pet, the ball, and together they created such mischief
that people almost died laughing. He jumped over it, it gambolled
around him, hid itself away, skipped off and made him run after it.
And on the way, his opponents ran into each other."
Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan writer, in his book Fútbol a Sol y Sombra (Football in the Sun and Shade)