A-Z of World Cup super stars – J is for Jairzinho

by Dexy Longshot

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

We go Brazil nuts with the J’s this week starting with a smoggy fave. Titchy Osvaldo Giroldo Júnior was more commonly known as Juninho. The former Middlesbrough darling scored 5 in 50 for them and did the business in 2002.

Josimar deserves a shout for his wicked longshot for Brazil in 86 and the Cheshire catlike joy as he celebrated arms aloft, one of my early memories of the world cup.

Jorginho, was pukka in defence for Brazil in the 90’s and played in both Italia 90 and USA 94 where he struck gold. Pretty handy further up the field too, he whipped in a few assists including the Romario goal that got them to the final with Italy. Unfortunately, in the final he got injured in the first half but he probably wasn’t that bothered when Baggio missed the spot kick! (I remember that night well, I was in Magaluf with my Brazil 70 top on, shagaluf me up!!!)

Rio’s very own Jairzinho who became known as “Furacão da Copa” (World Cup Hurricane) was simply the nuts in arguably the greatest team of all. Swift & strong down the right wing, left or even up front on occasions, he played in 3 world cups, 66, 70 and 74 was a key player for 1970 winners, scoring in every game the Seleção played, one of only 3 players to ever do so at a World Cup final. Unfortunately, Gerd Muller stole the show in 70 with his goal tally hitting 10 winning the German the Golden Boot. Jairzinho apparently won best prize for Athleticism though so no sour grapes there. Scoring 33 in 82 games, he would have probably got more caps if it weren’t for the magnificent Garrincha who kept him out of the side earlier in his career. In fact, Garrincha was top dog on the right wing so in 66, Jairzinho had to make do with his unfavoured left flank until his hero retired from the international set-up. Jairzinho himself retired in 1982 but is remembered as one of the World Cup greats.

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