Fio Maravilha

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Fio Maravilha
Personal information
Full name João Batista de Sales
Date of birth (1945-01-19) 19 January 1945 (age 72)
Place of birth Conselheiro Pena, Brazil
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1960–1965 Flamengo
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1972 Flamengo 272 (73)
1972 Avaí FC
1972–1973 Flamengo 16 (6)
1973–1975 Paysandu Sport Club
1975–1976 CEUB
1977–1978 Desportiva
1979–1980 São Cristóvão
1981 New York Eagles
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

João Batista de Sales (born January 19, 1945 in Conselheiro Pena, Minas Gerais), better known as Fio Maravilha, is a former Brazilian football player. In Brazil he played for Flamengo, Paysandu Sport Club, CEUB, Desportiva and São Cristóvão. Later he moved to the United States, where he played for the New York Eagles, the Monte Belo Panthers and San Francisco Mercury.

He is perhaps most famous for the hit single "Fio Maravilha" that was written about him in 1972 by Jorge Ben (later known as Jorge Ben Jor). The musician attended a friendly game between Flamengo and Benfica in the Maracanã stadium. Fio Maravilha was left out of Flamengo's starting lineup by coach Mário Zagallo, but after a chorus of fans demanded that he play, he was brought in as a substitute. After 33 minutes in the second half he scored the goal ("the goal of an angel") that was immortalized in the song:

...driblou o goleiro
Só não entrou com bola e tudo porque teve humildade.
("...he dribbled past the goalkeeper but did not enter the goal with the ball because he had humility.")

As the result of a legal dispute between Jorge Ben and Fio Maravilha the title of the song was later changed to "Filho maravilha". In 2007, Fio gave the musician permission to use the name Fio in the title.

Fio Maravilha currently lives in San Francisco, where he worked as a pizza deliverer. He now coaches youth soccer.

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