He may have been born with a crooked left leg and scoliosis of the spine, lost his virginity to a goat at the age of 14 and died a penniless drunk, but Garrincha definitely pulled it together for long enough to become, for many, the greatest player to have ever taken to a football pitch.
A two-time World Cup winner with Brazil, Garrincha also spent the majority of his club career at boyhood side Botafogo where, in the space of 12 seasons, he won just about everything there was to win.
Apropos of precisely nothing, here’s 18 fabulous photos pulled from the archives of the Little Bird in his pomp.
Clutching his boots in his hand, a barefooted Garrincha reports for training at Botafogo, 1957
Dressed in full kit, Garrincha relaxes after a training session by mingling with a group of local children, 1957
O Vaqueiro: Garrincha mounts his steed and takes his trusty shotgun along for the ride, 1957
Garrincha gets stuck in against Sweden in the 1958 World Cup final
Garrincha waits to be awarded the World Cup trophy as Brazilian teammates Gilmar and Zito are overcome with emotion.
The Selecao beat Sweden 5-2 in the 1958 final in Stockholm.
Two of Brazil’s greatest ever footballers, Garrincha and Pele, come face to face before a league match between Botafogo and Santos, 1959
Garrincha sings in the shower after a hard-fought game, 1960
Flat Out: After being flattened by a burly defender, Garrincha receives attention for an injury, 1960
After complaining of a tight thigh muscle, Garrincha receives a massage from the club specialist, 1960
Brazil teammates (left to right) Nilton Santos, Garrincha, Didi and Gilmar enjoy a nice hot bath, 1962
The Lone Star: Garrincha proudly sporting his Botafogo colours once again, 1962
Garrincha in buoyant mood in the dressing room after victory at the 1962 World Cup in Santiago, Chile
All That Glitters: Garrincha gets his hands on the Jules Rimet trophy after Brazil beat Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the final
Garrincha receives a hero’s welcome after winning the 1962 World Cup
The Little Bird checks in on his little bird, 1962
Garrincha attempts to find room on his mantelpiece at home for his replica of the Jules Rimet trophy, 1962
Garrincha attempts a kickabout with six of his seven daughters, 1965
The King of the Maracana, then aged 33, takes his rightful place on Brazil’s most hallowed turf, 1967