RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil’s double World Cup-winning rightback Djalma Santos has died at 84.
Santos, no relation to World Cup fullback partner Nilton Santos, was born on February 27, 1929. He played his club football for Portuguesa, Palmeiras and Atletico Curitiba and made his World Cup debut at the 1954 finals in Switzerland.
He played in all Brazil’s three games and scored their first goal, from a penalty, in the 4-2 quarter-final defeat by Hungary which became known as the ‘Battle of Bern.’
Four years later Santos was a reserve at the tournament in Sweden and was only selected for the final in which Brazil won the World Cup for the first time by defeating their hosts 5-2 in Stockholm.
Manager Vicente Feola had decided, on the eve of the match, that Santos’s football brain and positional sense would be more effective against Swedish winger Lennart Skoglund than Nilton Da Sordi.
Four years later Santos played right through the finals in Chile and was a World Cup-winner again after the 3-1 victory over Czechoslovakia. He made one of Brazil’s goals with a towering lob into the penalty box which was dropped, fatally, by the Czechoslovak goalkeeper.
Santos thought his international career had reached an honourable climax when he was selected for a World XI against England at Wembley in a match to honour the 100th anniversary of the Football Association.
Instead, to his own surprise, he was recalled by Feola for the doomed Brazilian World Cup defence back in England in 1966.
Santos scored three goals in 98 internationals for Brazil.