Thursday 21 July 2016, 14:39

The pitch invader who upstaged Garrincha

  • Chile 1962 quarter-finals witnessed Garrincha at his best

  • ​Tournament’s outstanding player scored twice, one a long-range curler

  • Brazil's meeting with England also known for appearance of a four-legged friend

The 1962 FIFA World Cup™ quarter-final between Brazil and England, witnessed Garrincha at his brilliant best.

The tournament’s outstanding player scored twice, one a brilliant long-range curler, in a dazzling virtuoso performance. Even his victims were wowed, with one English newspaper lauding Brazil’s entertainer supreme as “Stanley Matthews, Tom Finney and a snake charmer all rolled into one”.

The Three Lions had been well aware of Garrincha and the threat he posed, with manager Walter Winterbottom having spoken at length to his players about the importance of stopping him. That would prove easier said than done. As Johnny Haynes, an England star of that era, would later ruefully reflect: "How do you set about stopping the unstoppable?"

Yet for all Garrincha’s wizardry, this last-eight tie is often remembered for another, far less likely star. The cheeky pitch invader, captured in the image above, proved just as elusive as Brazil’s star winger, slipping on to the pitch before skipping away from England goalkeeper Ron Springett and Garrincha himself. It was then that Jimmy Greaves took matters into his own hands, pulling off a capture that he would immediately live to regret.

“The referee had stopped the game and no-one could get hold of this dog,” recalled the Three Lions legend. “I got down on my hands and knees, being a dog a lover anyway, and called it over. It got a massive cheer and I picked the dog up and cuddled him. But as I cuddled him, he peed all down my shirt!

“You never had changed strips in those days, you just had the one shirt, so I had to play on with it. I smelt so bad, it was awful. But at least it meant the Brazilian defenders stayed clear of me!”

It was an episode that secured this Chilean stray a place in World Cup folklore. And his story was not yet over. Having captured the national imagination, the dog was brought to Brazil by magazine O Cruzeiro and raffled among the victorious A Seleção squad. Fittingly, Garrincha won the draw. The dog was named Bi, short for bicampeonato - a nod to Brazil’s second successive world title – and returned home with the tournament’s star player to his beloved village of Pau Grande.

Did you know? One of Garrincha’s original match-worn shirts features in the 1962 World Cup showcase at the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich.