BARELY A TON
ERIC CANTONA GARRINCHA MARADONA
MORE than 100 nudist swimmers of all ages are planning a mass ‘Spring Skinny Dip’ at 7pm this Saturday at Brighton’s Prince Regent Leisure Centre. BRAZILIAN wing legend Garrincha was the ultimate bad boy football genius whose life was so bizarre if it was a film you’d struggle to believe it.
He was born with a deformed spine, his right leg was bent and his left one was two inches shorter than the right.
Added to this he was a heavy drinker from the age of 14 but still managed be one of the greatest players ever.
Oh, and he lost his virginity to a DONKEY.
His real name was Manuel Francisco dos Santos but he was given his nickname thanks to his swaying walk, a symptom of his deformities; it translates as ‘Little Bird’.
Less famous now than his fellow countryman Pele, that’s mostly because his finest moments came before satellite television with its “a stain on the game”. Not his finest hour.
Further clues that he was bonkers came during an interview soon after the incident when he announced: “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much.” He then got up and walked out, leaving seasoned hacks speechless.
Currently Director of Soccer for New York Cosmos, Cantona has had a spell of acting in a number of films, and dabbled in politics with a bid for the French presidency.
Totally hatstand. global audiences came into the game.
He is thought by many to be the best dribbler of the game ever, losing just one game for his 50 caps and winning two World Cups, in 1958 and 1962.
But off the pitch his life was as messed up as his weird legs.
He acknowledged being dad to 14 children, one of which he fathered during the 1958 World Cup campaign in Sweden, but was said to have had 26 more.
He had consistent money troubles, not helped by his taste for the drink.
Once, in 1959, he hid £2,500 under a pillow only to forget about it. He later discovered the cash again, but it had all rotted thanks to his alcoholic induced ARGENTINIAN cheat Diego Armando Maradona may have had the Hand of God, but the Lord didn’t do him any favours in the brain department.
Because despite being one of the greatest players in the history of the game, and virtually winning a World Cup single handed, his playing days are best remembered for drugs, the Mafia and shooting journalists.
The descent into drug use began when he was signed to Barcelona for £5million in 1982. While there, he argued with his manager, the board and fans and began his 20-year love affair with cocaine.
After gaining a move to Napoli in Italy his problems escalated. He was hooked on coke, leading to run-ins bedwetting. Booze also got him into trouble with the police – he ran over a 10-yearold boy and his father while drunk, and later killed his mother-in-law in a crash.
It was the demon drink which ultimately killed him. Aged 49, he died of cirrhosis of the liver. His body lay in state in the Macarena stadium where he was mourned by 150,000 people.
Describing the man’s talent his 1958 World Cup winning captain Bellini said: “The news of his death took us by surprise, although we knew his health was not good. He didn’t manage to get over the drink problem,” Bellini said. “Perhaps we won’t see another like him for 100, 150 years.”
Brilliant, but bonkers. with the local Mafia, the Camorra, who he was said to owe millions.
In 1991 he was banned for testing positive for coke, and in 1994 he was spectacularly thrown out of the World Cup in America for drug use.
Later the same year the 51-yearold shot two journalists with an air rifle, which earned him a 10 month suspended jail sentence.
After that he ballooned to 20 stone, suffered heart attacks, was pals with Fidel Castro, and became Argentina’s football team coach.
Top that, Balotelli.
Cantona explains his views to a Palace fan
LITTLE BIT MAD: Garrincha, with pal Pele ( was a donkey shagging