Heleno de Freitas

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Heleno de Freitas
Heleno de Freitas Boca Juniors.jpg
De Freitas when playing for Boca Juniors
Personal information
Date of birth (1920-02-12)12 February 1920
Place of birth São João Nepomuceno, Brazil
Date of death 8 November 1959(1959-11-08) (aged 39)
Place of death Barbacena, Brazil
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1939–1948 Botafogo 235 (209)
1948 Boca Juniors 17 (7)
1949–1950 Vasco 24 (19)
1950 Atlético Junior 15 (9)
1951 Santos 0 (0)
1951 América 1 (0)
Total 292 (244)
National team
1944–1948 Brazil 18 (19)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Heleno de Freitas, nicknamed Prince Cursed, (12 February 1920 – 8 November 1959) was a Brazilian footballer.

A forward, he spent most of his career with Botafogo, scoring 209 goals for the club, most with his head. In 1948 he transferred to Boca Juniors in Argentina, but returned to Brazil the following year, winning the 1949 Campeonato Carioca with Vasco. He ended his career with América in Rio, after a very short stint at Santos;[1] he played only one match for America and it was his first and last game in the Maracanã. He died from complications related to late-stage, untreated syphilis in 1959 in a sanatorium in Barbacena.

De Freitas scored 19 goals in 18 appearances for Brazil (a rare goal average over 1) as the team finished runners-up in both the 1945 and 1946 Copa América championships. He was joint top goalscorer in the 1945 tournament.

Heleno de Freitas was biographed by Marcos Eduardo Neves in the book Nunca houve um homem como Heleno (meaning "There was never a man like Heleno" in Portuguese). The title of this book is a reference to his mocking nickname Gilda. He was nicknamed after Rita Hayworth's iconic character in the eponymous film due to his good looks and hot temper.[2][3][4] In Colombia a Colombian writer and sports reporter Andrés Salcedo wrote a Book namely "El día en que el Fútbol Murió: Triunfo y tragedia de un dios" (meaning: "The day when soccer died: Triumph and tragedy of a god") including Heleno de Freitas as the main character.[5][6][7]

In 2012, Brazilian filmmaker José Henrique Fonseca released a film based on the life of Heleno de Freitas. The film was titled Heleno and stars Rodrigo Santoro as Heleno de Freitas.[8] The film's focus is more on Heleno de Freitas' personal life, particularly his decline into ether addiction and mental illness, rather than presenting his achievements on the soccer field.




  • Torneio Inicio: 1947
  • Campeonato Carioca de Aspirantes: 1944, 1945
  • Campeonato Carioca de Amadores: 1944, 1943, 1944
  • Copa Burgos: 1941
  • Taça Prefeito Dr. Durval Neves da Rocha: 1942

Vasco da Gama


  • Quadrangular de Belo Horizonte: 1951




  1. ^ "A passagem relâmpago de Heleno pelo Santos" [The express stint of Heleno for Santos] (in Portuguese). O Curioso do Futebol. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  2. ^ "As luvas pretas da Gilda" (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2012-07-20.
  3. ^ "Que fim levou? Heleno de Freitas" (in Portuguese).
  4. ^ "Entre a glória e a tragédia" (in Portuguese).
  5. ^ "'El día en que el fútbol murió', un relato sobre Heleno de Freitas" (in Spanish).
  6. ^ "Amazon link of the book" (in Spanish).
  7. ^ "Spanish blog review of the book" (in Spanish).
  8. ^ "Professional review about the film "Heleno"" (in Portuguese).

External links[edit]


  • Marcos Eduardo Neves: Nunca houve um homem como Heleno, Ediouro Publicações, 2006