|Full name||Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia|
|Date of birth||22 December 1926|
|Place of birth||Montevideo, Uruguay|
|Height||1.69 m (5 ft 6 1⁄2 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia (Italian pronunciation: [ˈɡiddʒa]; born 22 December 1926 in Montevideo, Uruguay) is an Italian Uruguayan former football player. He achieved lasting fame for his decisive role in the final match of the 1950 World Cup. He is also the only surviving member of the Uruguayan team that defeated Brazil in that particular game.
Ghiggia, an excellent dribbler on the right wing, 1,69 m tall and 62 kg light, is considered one of the best wingers of the 1950s. He played for the national sides of both Uruguay and Italy during his career. He also played for the club sides of the Peñarol and Danubio in Montevideo and AS Roma and AC Milan in Italy.
In 1948 Ghiggia got the opportunity to play for the Uruguayan top side CA Peñarol where was soon regarded indispensable. By 1949 he won his first national championship. A second one followed in 1951.
He reached a low point in his career in 1952 when he attacked a referee and subsequently was barred for about a year.
At the beginning of the European 1953/54 season Ghiggia moved to AS Roma in the Italian Serie A, where he was even team captain in 1957/58. With Roma he won the 1961 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, the precursor to the UEFA Cup, albeit he took no part in the finals against Birmingham City. With almost 35 years of age he was then the oldest player of his team.
In eight seasons he played 201 Serie A matches for Roma scoring 15 goals. The best league ranking in this period was third place in 1955.
In 1961 he moved to AC Milan for a year and won the Scudetto, the Italian championship, with the rossoneri, albeit only playing four league matches in the whole season. After this he left Milan to return to his home country.
After his return to Montevideo Ghiggia joined the then minor first division club Danubio FC. Without adding to his collection of titles he eventually retired from the game in the late 1960s, aged 41.
The right winger of CA Peñarol of Montevideo became a legend of Uruguayan and world football when he scored the decisive goal in the de facto final of the World Cup 1950 in the Maracanã Stadium of Rio de Janeiro in front of a crowd of about 200,000 against the highly fancied home side Brazil.
The hosts only needed a draw to secure the world title and well into the second half led the match 1–0. After about an hour Uruguay managed to equalise through a goal by Juan Alberto Schiaffino, but it was Ghiggia ten minutes before the end who sent South America's largest nation into collective misery when he overcame Brazil's goalkeeper Barbosa, who in the eyes of some, looked not at his very best in this situation.
In Brazilian folklore this match remains alive as the Maracanaço.
Roberto Muylaert, the biographer of the Brazilian goalkeeper, compares the black and white film of this goal with Abraham Zapruder's chance images of the Kennedy assassination in Dallas. The goal and the shot that killed the US President have "the same dramatic pattern… the same movement… the same precision of an unstoppable trajectory…. They even have the dust in common that was stirred up, here by a rifle and there by Ghiggia's left foot."
Moacir Barbosa, who was blamed for the defeat and especially Ghiggia's goal was to suffer for a long time in the aftermath of this match. Life became a torture for him. In 2000, shortly before his death, he said in an interview: "The maximum punishment in Brazil is 30 years imprisonment, but I have been paying, for something I am not even responsible for, by now for 50 years."
Ghiggia was amazed when he travelled to Brazil half a century after the event and a female customs officer in her twenties asked him if he was the Ghiggia. Ghiggia answered, "yes, but all that happened 50 years ago". She replied: "we in Brazil still feel this moment as if it were today".
In the course of the 1950 World Cup tournament Ghiggia scored a goal in each of his matches. Those four goals remained the only ones scored in his total 12 matches played for Uruguay between 1950 and 1952.
After Ghiggia became a naturalized Italian citizen in 1957 he played between 1957–1959 for the national side of his adopted country. Three matches he played in the course of the ill-fated qualification for the World Cup 1958 in Sweden when Italy failed for the first time to make it to the final tournament of a World Cup. In his altogether five matches for Italy he scored one goal.
Also Ghiggia's Uruguayan team mate from 1950, Juan Alberto Schiaffino who scored the 1–1 equalizer in the famous match versus Brazil, played after his move – for a world record transfer fee – to AC Milan in 1954 for the Italian national team,
In 1996, Uruguayan band Casa de Jardinería recorded a cover of Los del Rio smash hit Macarena. The lyrics were changed for the song, which was entitled "Maracanaã Macarena" and featured Ghiggia himself putting together a short scat singing final verse. The song has a cult popularity in Uruguay, though is relatively difficult to come across internationally.
When all former winners were invited to the opening of the World Cup 2006 in Munich, Germany, Ghiggia was the oldest.
At his 80th birthday at the end of the same year he was honoured in the parliament of Uruguay and a special postage stamp bearing his image and the words "Ghiggia moved us to tears" (Ghiggia nos hizo llorar) was released.
On 29 December 2009, Brazil honoured Ghiggia by celebrating his decisive goal in the 2–1 Uruguay victory over Brazil in the final match of the 1950 FIFA World Cup. So Ghiggia returned to Maracanã Stadium almost 60 years later for this honour and planted his feet in a mould to take his place alongside greats including Brazil's Pelé, Portugal's Eusébio and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer at the Maracanã Stadium walk of fame. Alcides Ghiggia was very emotional and thanked Brazil for the warm reception and recognition even when the game is remembered as the most disappointing match in Brazilian soccer history known as "Maracanazo."
2012 Car Crash
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (November 2012)|
Friday, 15 June at around 7:45 pm Alcides Ghiggia suffered a severe car crash going back home from Montevideo to Las Piedras, Canelones which is the city he resides in. His car was struck head-on by a semi-truck and he was severely injured with a severe head injury as well as a broken leg, arm, and dislocated shoulder. He spent two weeks in the ICU listed in critical condition in a coma, and was placed on an artificial respirator in a local hospital in Montevideo. As of 1 August 2012 he is still in the hospital recovering and listed in stable condition.
The truck driver which allegedly hit him was taken into custody by the Uruguayan Highway Patrol (Policia Caminera) and charged with a felony. He is currently serving his sentence.
After the crash people have protested that in that certain intersections there needs to be a stop light to help prevent accidents such as this one.
Goals for Uruguayan national team
|1.||2 July 1950||Estádio Independência, Belo Horizonte, Brazil||Bolivia||8 – 0||8–0||1950 FIFA World Cup|
|2.||9 July 1950||Estádio do Pacaembu, São Paulo, Brazil||Spain||1 – 0||2–2||1950 FIFA World Cup|
|3.||13 July 1950||Estádio do Pacaembu, São Paulo, Brazil||Sweden||1 – 1||3–2||1950 FIFA World Cup|
|4.||16 July 1950||Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Brazil||2 – 1||2–1||1950 FIFA World Cup Final|
- Bellos, Alex (2005). Futebol The Brazilian Way of Life. Bloomsbury, New York and London.
- "Brazil's Tormentor Ghiggia Honoured at Maracana ". The New York Times. 29 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-29.[dead link]
- "A deafening silence". FIFA. 21 January 2010.
|AS Roma Captain