He is best known for his exploits in the 1950 World Cup held in his native Brazil. Playing in an outstanding forward trio involving Zizinho and Jair he won the Golden Boot as the top scorer in the competition. He was the scorer of the first competitive goal at the Maracanã stadium There is some disagreement in the records as to how many goals Ademir scored, with some sources citing seven and others, including the authoritative RSSSF, nine. Despite this feat, he could not bring victory to Brazil in the decisive match against Uruguay – a national tragedy which was later dubbed the Maracanazo.
Ademir also enjoyed success in the Copa América. He played in the 1945, 1946, 1949, and 1953 editions of the tournament, scoring 12 goals in 18 appearances in the competition, including a tournament-winning hat-trick in the final play-off against Paraguay in 1949. He also won the Panamerican Championship with Brazil in 1952. In total, Ademir played 39 times for his country, scoring 32 goals (according to RSSSF) between 1945 and 1953.
He began his club career with Sport Recife before moving to Vasco da Gama. He played for Vasco for two spells, 1942–1945 and 1948–56, broken by a spell at Fluminense. In total, Ademir made 429 appearances for Vasco, scoring 301 goals, winning five Rio State League championships (1945, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1956). He won another with Fluminense (1946). He was the league's top scorer in 1949 with 30 goals and again in 1950 with 25 goals. Ademir finally retired from playing in 1956, going on to work as a commentator, coach and businessman.
A fast and powerful striker, with a strong shot in both feet, Ademir began his career as a left winger before moving to the centre, causing havoc in opposing defences with his skill and sublime finishing. People at the time considered him an unequalled ball juggler who knew every trick in the book. He used to wreak havoc among defences with his quick changes in tempo, fooling his opponents with deceptions carried out almost at lightning speed, his mastering of the ball in all situations and the ability to accelerate rapidly.
Ademir Marques de Menezes’s 1950 World Cup statistics
The scores contain links to the article on the 1950 FIFA World Cup and the round in question. When there is a special article on the match in question, the link is in the column for round.