Friday, March 9, 2007

The tribulations of Brazil’s most flamboyant defender- By Pipita

Francisco Marinho Chagas was only 22 when elected best left-back of the 1974 World Cup. However, in spite of this achievement, he would never again appear for Brazil in that tournament. His legacy as one of his nation’s best ever left-backs, as well as one of the most irreverent, has pretty much faded from the memory of many Brazilian fans, probably due to the manner Roberto Carlos has monopolized that position in the “scratch” during the last decade.

Born in Natal, Marinho rapidly achieved fame when Rio de Janeiro giants Botafogo purchased him from Nautico Recife in 1972. His rise to stardom was immediate. He scored in his debut in a Brazilian championship match against Santos, for whom Pele scored the equalizer, and also became an instant feature of the Rio beaches given his appearance, no doubt enhanced by his long blond hair which he persisted in dying even blonder. A firm favorite amongst many “garotas” during the seventies, Marinho’s playboy image is inevitably referred to in most profiles written about him.

His success in 74 was however partially marred by a much publicized rift with Leao. The brazilian goalie allegedly thumped Marinho and made him directly responsible for the goal by which Poland defeated Brazil in the Third/fourth place game. Marinho’s surging runs forward was a feature of his game that provoked as much admiration as criticism. The left flank of the defense which he so often left unprotected, especially when playing home matches at the mythical Maracana Stadium, merited the sarcastic term of “Marinho Avenue”.

In 1977 Marinho joined Fluminense, the unforgettable “machine” that had obtained both 1975 and 76 Carioca tournaments. However by the time Marinho arrived there, the only stars remaining were Rivelino, Edinho and veteran argentine striker “Gringo” Doval. In spite of not winning any trophies, he scored frequently especially from free kicks and penalties. After two seasons at “Flu”, Brazil’s poor economic situation and an alleged row with Edinho, accelerated Marinho’s departure. His next destination was New York.

Signed in 1979 by a Cosmos team that included Beckenbauer, compatriot Carlos Alberto, Chinaglia and Neeskens among others, Marinho performed decently in his only season there and will especially be remembered for his hat trick in a 3-2 win against Geroge Best’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers with 70000 attending. The following year he played for the latter team in what was to be his last season at the NASL. On returning to Brazil he joined Sao Paulo with whom he obtained the State championship of 1981, the only league medal of his entire career, and was also chosen for the third time as Brazil’s best left back. However, a dramatic decline in his performances forced him to leave Sao Paulo two years later and, after a series of unsuccessful spells in minor clubs, he finally retired in 1987.

Brazil’s 1970 top scorer, Jairzinho, a friend and former team mate of his at Botafogo and the national team, has sustained that after Nilton Santos, there was no better left back than Marinho, and the great defender of the 1958 and 1962 World cup wins, himself once stated “Ah Marinho, como jogava bonito”-“Oh Marinho, how nice he used to play”. Every now and then Francisco Marinho appears in the brazilian media as a football pundit. He recently stunned many Brazilians for his strong criticism regarding his country’s performances in the last world cups, and most particularly that of one of their key defenders……Roberto Carlos.

51 comments:

andrewm said...

Pipita, this is marcela-esque, which is about as high as compliments come from me.

Roberto Carlos is, was and always will be a useless hack. You can quote me on that.

guitougoal said...

Pipita- agree with andrew, it's a great piece. You know, it was not too long ago- I'm old enough to remember.I'm also old enough to remember when he came to the n.y cosmos .

pipita said...

Yeah, compliment indeed andy. Ta mate. Im also fervently critical of RCarlos's robotic style. Marinho was Johann Cruyff in comparison. He had much more class.
Im sure your old enough to remember Guitou, it wasnt that long ago, but Marinho only managed to play one year there and, of all the collection of stars the NY Cosmos amassed, he's not exactly the most remembered.
I wish to thank Ebren and all those who have contributed to the creation of this blog once again, not only for screening the essays rejected by GU, but also for generating a new space of sport debate. I Definetly include myself amongst those who are increasingly feeling more desire to enter this blog than the Gu one. I agree their is no point comparing the two because they are two different concepts, but I celebrate the fact that the one we have here allows for much less rigidness in every respect

MotM said...

Pipita - thank you. Another piece that lifts the standard here away from GU. Why? Because it's well written and paced and tells an interesting story.

You know from an earlier exchange that I was able to identify the man, something to do with the hair I guess, or World Cup sticker collections. So to have the update was great.

This would have led to a great blog about left backs or what the stars of 70s football are doing now. What can blog in response to a piece about American jocks turned pols? There's CIF for that and they're welcome to it.

olivier said...

offsideintahiti said...

Great stuff pipita. I enjoy these blasts from the past. This one took me back to my reading of the French footy magazine "Onze" when I was about onze years old. They had ran a piece on Marinho before the 78 World Cup.

What stuck in my mind is that he was complaining about the Brazilian team coach's attitude to WAGS (already!). Seems like Marinho couldn't stand being sequestered in a male-only environment for the duration of the World Cup and argued that he needed his dose of sex. If I remember correctly, the thrust of his argument was: "We're not animals, you know." Yeah, right.

marcela said...

pipita - maestro!

i'm not sure about marcela-esque... i think your ability to convey football detail is unrivalled. if anything, marcela can be pipita-esque when she does her homework. :)

if the thread continues the theme of whether or not sex before, after or during important matches is an issue, i will definitely be back!

MotM said...

Marcela - The sex questions are not just before, during or after a match, but alone, with one partner, or with more than one!

I feel that I might regret giving more oxygen to this line of postings.

andrewm said...

marcela, you're generous but even Pipita would concede that you are the master of sportswriting. The Scorsese, the Yoda, the Crespo, the Carragher.

I could go on.

But I won't.

olivier said...

offsideintahiti said..

I'm all for sex during games and, during the last Arsenal v Chelsea League game, I thought we were going to get it between Lehmann and Drogba but, disappointingly, it was only foreplay.

guitougoal said...

Now you'r talking..

bluedaddy said...

Pipita. A nice piece, and a neat top and tail with R. Carlos, a good but never great player.
I know you only had 500 words, but I would like to know more about how he fell from grace so swiftly. Was it poor form for his domestic team, a player to take his place for Brazil, or a personality problem? He was young to be at Cosmos, even if for only a year.

Re sex during games. I remember Fowler and LeSaux had a thing going, but the love just wasnt there.

These guys made a little more progress, but romantically it's more Brief Encounter than Gone With The Wind:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6M6nx4SvBg

marcela said...

bluedaddy...

speechless doesn't even begin to cover it.

i am stunned.

and actually laughing out loud.

a lot.

and clicking the watch again right now...

pipita said...

Blimey, I left "my blog" for three hours, to be with the family after work, with three entries, and now I switch back on and find all these new ones and such flattering remarks. Many Thanks to you all.
I'll try and answer as much as I can.
First of all marcela, cha gracia querida, but as andy correctly stated you are the master here and we are, at best, mere disciples.
Motm, that beach-boy reference you made to me last week is much appreciated. My tendency, as you have seen, is to write biographic pieces and in this case going a few decades back. Its a dimension that I think is sadly missing in the GU blogs.
Offside, guitou, bluedaddy
Onze magazine!!!!Id forgotten, it was great, I also used to buy it at around that same time in Baires. Not much pocket money left for the week after that...It was so expensive down here. About Marinho's sex life, there was this gorgeous brazilian girl at my high school in Baires, she was a botafogo fan and marinho crazy. Used to tell us she'd go to the maracana with her friends mainly to watch him. Also told this story that he was found in bed with a nurse at the same hospital where his wife was expecting...Had thought of mentikoning this in the article, but with that bloody 500 word limit found it impossible.His life does indeed make for a fine romantic football biography. I think his turbulent playboy lifestyle, his natural charm and his rebellious attitude towards the football establishment was somehow reflected in his gracious style of play. Very 70's in many ways

pipita said...

Bluedaddy

Didnt really get to answer your question. From what Ive read, apparently that Leao incident was the turning point in his career. It kind of alerted Brazil's national team coaches, after 74, about the convenience of relying on a left back who, although tremendously skillful and generator of many attacks from the back, could not be much relied for the defensive work. The fact that he was also considered irresponsible in his private/public life, created a consensus that it was too risky to have him as one of the back four for the national team. Why he only lasted a year at Cosmos is also puzzling given that he scored 9 or 10 goals for them, think he was basically the homesick type

honolulu said...

This was great- I'm so glad you posted it here, and no clue why it didn't get selected for BigBlog.


Note for Ebren: a way to accompany pictures with articles would be great. I'd love to see the pictures Pipita would have us consider when thinking about Marinho.

MotM said...

Nice to get some additional material from Pipita in the comments. Soon we'll be free of the 500 word limit (but that's not a bad target unless there is really strong material) so we won't need these addendums in the comments. Which will be a shame, as they are rather like a couple of pieces of very decent cheese after a meal.

Playboy footballers from around the world? Now there's a series.

guitougoal said...

pipita, in the old days there was a brazilian player from palmeiras, yeso amalfi, who played in Argentina for Boca. Later he went to france and played for nice and then for racing de paris. He made an impact in each team he played and in France, Amalfi is a true legend, I did read great stories about him when I was in Paris. Have you heard of him by any chance?

pipita said...

Honolulu

That's really kind of you to say, but I think your exaggerating a bit. Thanks. I was about to include a photo site of him, especially this one I found which contains some pictures of Marinho which Im sure some of his fans will particularly appreciate.
http://www.gazetapress.com/acervo/fotos.php?CodPauta=03734

Motm

Essays on playboy footballers or any sports personalities is a brilliant idea, Im all for it as well. Okay, its understandable that GU had to put some kind of limit, but I find it really hard to properly develop any idea in such short space.

Guitou

Im intrigued about this amalfi you mention. Never heard of him. Im sure he was around during the 50's or early 60's, otherwise I find it really strange that Im so ignorant about him. I will definetly have to check this out. By the way, there was a French played who played in the late 50's for River P called De Bourgoing, also played for France in the 66 World Cup. Ring a bell?? Think he mainly played in the French league

olivier said...

offsideintahiti said...

pipita,

motm just called your comments cheesy. Want me to go around and sort him out?

MotM said...

Offside - Don't throw me to those sharks that I imagine you feeding like Blofeld fed his piranhas!

pipita said...

Cheesy, eh?? Given that Im presently enjoying my fifteen minutes of fame as football journalist here, Think I'll let him off this time offside. Next time, I think a joe pesci-casino type treatment may be required...Think "cheesy" would be "pastelero" here, no marcela?? whenever you get back, please

Tony Ellis said...

I love your autobiograhical pieces, Pipita and agree that it'd be nice to see more here. I also agree that some photos would be nice. Right that's enough agreeing for one day. Andrew, are you mad? I can accept 'flawed' as an description of Roberto Carlos but 'useless hack'?!! Are you a secret culé?

guy anthome said...

Pipita 15 min. are you kidding, it's been 24hrs non stop and it was worth it.
Amalfi must be the early fifies-de Bourgoing yes he played in France for Nice and was a factor.
Y River vuestro club que se enorgullece de ser el que mas jugadores aportara al conjunto national.
5 players in the national team:congratulations.

marcela said...

pipita, I'm not sure how to say 'cheesy' in Spanish.
sorry.

and thank you for the pedestal you're trying to make me climb onto, but i refuse. much of the best stuff that has informed my football writing career has come from you, always, as you well know.

this piece is excellent, and I'm sure there will be many more to come.

olivier said...

offsideintahiti said...

pipita,

do you do requests? Can I ask for a piece on Osvaldo Piazza one of these days?

pipita said...

tonyellis
cant remember your pseud, many thanks.
Guitou
No doubt Im very happy this blog is still going on, was only trying to give a warholian twist there. Not very original that, Im well aware. Havent done my homework on Adolfi yet. Had my dad at hand just a few minutes ago, but forgot the surname. However, he did tell me he had seen De Bourgoing play and reminded me that this he had actually started his career at Tigre, now in the second division
Marcela
May have supplied you data a few times, but you have "la pluma" as we say
Offside
We can write that one together, I'll do the part on Piazza's career in Argentina and you on his time at ST Etienne. Think about it. Not as exciting a character as Marinho though. Really good looking bloke before he turned fat and bald, my wife saw an old picture of him in his playing days in france and thought he was stunning, but not a playboy as far as I know

marcela said...

osvaldo piazza, you say:

the man whose absence from the 1978 squad meant mario kempes was picked?

the missing link between St Etienne and Talleres?

http://www.bide-et-musique.com/song/4512.html

kokomo said...

really enjoyed this one, and all the chat that went with it.

Marinho does indeed look like he could have been a beach boy, but he is more denis wilson than brian or carl (though that keeper sounds like murray wilson). In fact, the more i think about it, left back, flamboyant, never quite praised enough, playboy.

Now then, did he ever make friends with a notorious serial killer?

on sex before, during and after games, i'm all for it, and i think there is definately some sexual tension between mike newell and that lineswoman.

tony ellis said...

marcela re 'cheesy' - how about 'cutre'?

MotM said...

KK Marinho as Denis is good. How about Socrates as Brian, Ronaldinho as Carl and Serginho as Mike Love?

andrewm said...

tony, if I was a pro and I turned up for training to hear we'd signed RC I would demand a transfer. In fact, I'd have it written into my contract that I could leave if he arrived. He's just not very good at football.

kokomo said...

mouth - not forgetting bebeto as al jardine.

wagner love as bruce johnson

MotM said...

KK Garrincha as Glenn Campbell?

Wanderley Luxembourg as Eugene Landy?

Maradona as John Phillips? Wayne's Colleen as Michelle Phillips?

Better stop.

pipita said...

Guitou
Gracias, pero River estuvo muy mal la semana pasada. Espero que hoy le ganen a Arsenal...de Sarandi

Marcela
Menotti asked for 3 players who where playing abroad then: Piazza, Wolff and Kempes. Only Kempes came, but not because Piazza was left out.

Kokomo
Dunno if Marinho was friends with a serial killer, but not that long ago he was detained by Brazilian police because of some seedy stolen car business in which apparently weapons were found. He does in fact look pretty much like denis wilson in the early 60's

Motm
Yeah, you'd better stop...Go and get me some roquefort

MotM said...

Roquefort - Is that the one where Apollo Creed was in his corner as Balboa took on the Russian?

pipita said...

Motm

I'll have to quote Mr.T on this one, "Apollo who??????" By the way, are Everton not playing today because of the fa cup??. Just saw chels-spurs, cracking game

MotM said...

Pipita - No Premiership games with the FA Cup. I think there were last year but that was to squeeze everything in to allow Sven more time to prepare for Germany 2006 - so that worked well.

Good games by all accounts, and splendid to see Man Utd and Chelsea have to replay their matches. All that money spent on players and they'll be whinging about the replays!

guy anthome said...

I am watching plymouth-watford , probably a replay ,
just learned about england vs fr. 26-18,
otm, I was right to ask for 8 to 10 points handicap?didn't I.Congratulations, I heard it was a no contest.I am readind about louis Theroux"call of the weird" and it is about weirdos everyone wanted his own outfit,evryone was looking for community,but on his own strict terms."
sounds like the gu blog.
guitougoal

honolulu said...

I'm not exaggerating- I thought the content was interesting and techniqually it was tight- and you are not a native speaker, are you?

The only thing in its way for BB would be the timeliness of it- they might prefer current subjects to historical ones, although what sticks out most in my mind is the criticism Marinho suffered for getting forward too much- especially since the modern game takes such movement by a fullback for granted.

By the way, I've never done one of these things before- how do we upload articles?

And thanks for the encouragement about the synchswimming- all I had wanted to do was defend the athleticism of the sport. If I finsh my homework, I'll write more on it!

Ebren said...

honolulu - To enter the main competition email 500 words of your finest prose to sports.editor@guardianunlimited.co.uk

to get something on here, email whatever your musings are (as long as they are not illegal or unintelligable) to pseudscorner@hotmail.co.uk.

pipita said...

Honolulu

Im well aware that historic pieces, unless related to a current theme, are not very much a feature of GU sport articles. And re language, yes English is not my native language, so Im also aware that Im pretty much in disadvantage in that respect as well. Glad to hear you'll be sending something over soon. Wish you all the best with that

kokomo said...

pipita - i think that, regardless of whether it's your first or second language, you write with a really nice voice. It has an autority and an affinity with its subject, which is as important as anything else for me, when i read something.

I am hoping they like the historical perspective, as the piece i have entered this week is about the most historical you can get in football!

One thing i am sure of, you will not get a piece on the glittering history of liverpool fc published on the blog

pipita said...

Thanks again Kokomo, and honolulu, thats very re-assuring as Im always a bit insecure about my written English. I await your historic piece with much expectation. By the way, in spite of being an evertonian, wouldnt mind at all to read something of yours on liverpool

MotM said...

Pipita - It's a brilliant feature of this wonderful site to have so many writers bringing the perspective of working in another language.

As KK says, it is infinitely more important to have something to say and say it beautifully (as you do here) rather than being entirely correct in your English - us native speakers aren't that good anyway!

More please! I'd love a piece on supporting Everton in a faraway land.

pipita said...

Thanks, yet again, Mouth but It seems evident to me that the "humour element", or call it "wit", that is such a key element in most of the GU articles, and that many of you guys also utilize so well, is clearly lacking from my written stuff given my limitations with the language.
Re supporting Everton so far away, dont think I havent actually thought about this as a posible subject for a future article. Only drawback would be, as you may well have guessed, the high degree of frustration that would emanate from that text...One has to be careful with so many Liverpool fans around

MotM said...

There's room for articles that aim to be poignant or absurd or plain old bloody interesting, so you stay at it Pipita!

The Liverpool fans love reading about those of us born to the team without the 5 European Cups! So - off you go!!!

50KaWeekSub said...

Pipita, excellent stuff - you could have written about any number of Brazilian full-backs -such has been their collective brilliance. Brazil are surely the true inventors of wing-backs or second wingers as the likes of Carlos and Cafu have been for decades. I loved the "Avenue" metaphor - on the money.

pipita said...

Mouth

Nice to receive that encouragement. I'll see if I can come up with anything interesting for an Everton piece

50k

Thats very true, Brazil is the capital of the full backs. The "avenue" reference is great stuff, its exactly what I felt I was guilty of creating the few times I was made to play in that position...

bluedaddy said...

Amen to that Pipita. I hate playing at fullback. Libero is the role for me.

pipita said...

Bluedaddy

Its a nightmarish position no doubt. I used to play libero in high school, but now Ive lost all sense of timing. Ive been drifting in different parts of the midfield ever since.
That was a tremendous observation of yours on gg's behavior!!!!

Elizabeth said...

Hello all

YES Francisco was a HUGE playboy,,,,he loved high school girls...that was a big problem for his teams,,,,he was a good person but he loved young girls...he use to pay for me to go in a taxi to his condo sea ranch lakes in lauderdale by the sea...he was a great lover i must say! He had a sweet charning way about him...i use to cook him breakfast..too funny! All and all he was a nice man but loved the girls..i remember him very fondly!

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