The birth of a Brazilian king
December 25, 2016
This day in football history
On 25 December 1944, Brazil star Jairzinho was born in Rio de Janeiro. He helped lead them to World Cup victory in 1970, becoming only the third person in history to score in every one of his team’s matches in the tournament.
He spent the majority of his career with his hometown club, Botafogo, first joining their youth team, then playing in the first team from 1959 to 1974. There, paired with his idol Garrincha, he won the 1964 Rio State Championship. After Garrincha left in 1965, Jairzinho took his place, moving from the left wing to his preferred position on the right, where he excelled, winning numerous trophies with Botafogo.
Jairzinho joined the national team in 1964. After a disappointing first-round exit in the 1966 World Cup, he got off to a roaring start in 1970, scoring twice in Brazil’s 4–1 opening win against Czechoslovakia. He proceeded to score in every match as Brazil won the tournament, joining Uruguay’s Alcides Ghiggia (1950) and France’s Just Fontaine (1958) as the only players to score in every match for their country in a World Cup.
He left Botafogo in 1974 for a short stay with Marseille, starting a journey that included stints at a number of clubs, including a second term at Botafogo from 1981–82. He retired in 1983 after a brief period with 9 de Octubre in Ecuador.