Garrincha: The Triumph and Tragedy of Brazil’s Forgotten Footballing Hero, by Ruy Castro.

GarrinchaOff the field, Garrincha’s life was a mix of triumph, comedy, soap opera and tragic farce. A winger for Botafogo who spent most of his life married to one of Brazil’s most famous samba stars, Garrincha died aged just 50 from complications caused by acute alcoholism. The book is absolutely packed with stories from that immense life and the entertainment is doubled with stories of his footballing glories. And there were many. Garrincha was the equal of Pelé to many Brazilians – certainly he was more beloved as a personality – and he won two World Cup winner’s medals. The highs and the lows are all here and they make for sensational reading. (Full disclosure: I translated it from Portuguese to English.)

Buy it here.