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