Didi: The Brazilian genuis who made Di Stefano feel insecure


Didi won the last two FIFA World Cups he competed in as a representative of Brazil (1954, 1958, and 1962). For his efforts in the 1958 edition, he was awarded the best player in the competition.

Following his performances at the 1958 World Cup, Real Madrid, a huge Spanish club, acquired him the following year from Botafogo.

He only played in 19 games for Real Madrid during his brief stay there, scoring six goals while helping the team win the 1960 European Cup.

Alfredo Di Stefano, the team’s captain, argued with him and said he wasn’t “embodying the Real Madrid mentality.”

According to reports, Di Stefano stated to him:

“They claim you are here to take my position. You’re not good enough and you’re too old.

Didi, for his part, didn’t seem overly taken with the way Spanish players played, which he thought was overly physical.

What good is a football player who relies entirely on his physical strength when human knowledge and reasoning capacity separates us from the animals?

“They were baffled by the fact that my socks and shirt would still be immaculate after a game. To cover my clothing in mud, I used to have to take a handful of it.”

Didi left for Botafogo in 1960 after spending six months at Real Madrid.

When Di Stefano had the opportunity to play against Didi during the 1962 FIFA World Cup group stage match between Brazil and Spain, the Brazilian Ministry of Sports reportedly accused him of “running away,” claiming he had an injury.

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