Nílton Santos

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This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Reis and the second or paternal family name is Dos Santos.
Nílton Santos
Nilton Santos - 2004.jpg
Nílton Santos in 2004.
Personal information
Full name Nílton Reis dos Santos
Date of birth (1925-05-16)16 May 1925
Place of birth Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date of death 27 November 2013(2013-11-27) (aged 88)
Place of death Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Left Back
Youth career
Botafogo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1948–1964 Botafogo 723 (11)
National team
1949–1962 Brazil 75 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Nílton Reis dos Santos (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈniwtõ ˈsɐ̃tus]; 16 May 1925 – 27 November 2013) was a Brazilian footballer who primarily played as a wingback.

Regarded as one of the greatest defenders in the history of the game, Nílton Santos is a member of the World Team of the 20th Century, and was named by Pelé one of the top 125 greatest living footballers at a FIFA Awards ceremony in 2004.[1]

Club career[edit]

Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was a pioneering left back, being one of first full backs to participate in the offensive game. Once he said: "I have never envied today's players the money but the freedom they have, to go forward"[2] . He played all his professional club career for Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas.

He was called "The Encyclopedia" because of his knowledge of the sport of football. He was world class both at defending and attacking and possessed very good technique.

International career[edit]

Nílton was a key player in defence during the 1954, 1958 and 1962 World Cup finals (he was also in the Brazilian squad for the 1950 finals, but made no appearances) and became famous for scoring a magnificent goal in the 1958 tournament when Brazil played Austria. Dribbling his way through the whole field, he finished with a superb shot, driving his coach Vicente Feola crazy (he kept on insisting for Nílton to retreat to the defensive field, but was ignored until the goal was scored).

Nílton Santos played for only two teams in his professional career; Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas and the Brazilian national team collecting 75 caps and scoring 3 goals.

Death[edit]

Santos died of a lung infection on 27 November 2013, aged 88, in Rio de Janeiro.[3] He was the fourth 1958 World Cup champion to die in a few months, after Djalma Santos died in July 2013, Gilmar and De Sordi both in August 2013 and all of them within a year of the 2014 World Cup in their native Brazil.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pele's list of the greatest". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Nilton Santos (1925-2013)". LECHAMPIONS.it. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Brazilian World Cup winner Nilton Santos dies aged 88". Chicago Tribune. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 

External links[edit]