In Bar­bosa’s Story, There’s a Les­son for Stokes

The Economic Times - - Sports -

and yel­low of the cur­rent team.

Ghig­gia later claimed that just three peo­ple had ever si­lenced the Mara­cana, Pope John Paul II, Frank Si­na­tra and him­self and went back to Uruguay as a hero, cel­e­brated and loved for the rest of his life. And Moa­cyr Bar­bosa was re­viled and hated for the rest of his. His played just once more for Brazil, and strug­gled to get work or coach­ing as­sign­ments. And while all eleven Brazil­ians on the field should have been held re­spon­si­ble, it was the three black play­ers, par­tic­u­larly Bar­bosa, who took the brunt of pub­lic anger. Even twenty years later, in 1970, the year that Pele’s Brazil won it’s third World Cup in Mex­ico, Bar­bosa was still hated by the Brazil­ian pub­lic. A woman in a mar­ket pointed him out, telling her child: ‘Look at him, son. He is the man that made all of Brazil cry.” A few weeks be­fore he died, Bar­bosa said: “Un­der Brazil­ian law, the max­i­mum sen­tence is 30 years. But my im­pris­on­ment has been for 50.” Iron­i­cally, he spent the fi­nally years work­ing at the very same Mara­cana sta­dium, and once served his close friends a steak made by burn­ing the goal­posts of that fate­ful day. He claimed it was the best steak he had ever tasted. Sixty six years on, when Ben Stokes won­ders how he will ever re­cover from giv­ing away that match at the Eden Gar­dens, he would do well to re­mem­ber the story of Bar­bosa and re­alise that there are worse things in sport than los­ing a World Cup fi­nal with four bad balls.

The en­tire sta­dium was stunned when Uruguay de­feated Brazil

Moa­cyr Bar­bosa

Ben Stokes

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