Nílton Santos

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Nílton Santos
Nilton Santos - 2004.jpg
Nílton Santos in 2004.
Personal information
Full nameNílton dos Santos
Date of birth(1926-05-16)16 May 1926
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 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Playing position Left back
Youth career
Senior career*
19481964 Botafogo 723 (11)
National team
19491962 Brazil 75 [1] (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Nílton dos Santos (Brazilian Portuguese:  [ˈniwtõ ˈsɐ̃tus] ; 16 May 1925 – 27 November 2013) was a Brazilian footballer who primarily played as a wingback. [2] At international level, he was a member of the Brazil squads that won the 1958 and 1962 World Cups.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's association football. Brazil is administered by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), the governing body for football in Brazil. They have been a member of FIFA since 1923 and member of CONMEBOL since 1916.

1958 FIFA World Cup 1958 edition of the FIFA World Cup

The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final in the Stockholm suburb of Solna for their first title. The tournament is also notable for marking the debut on the world stage of a then 17-year-old Pelé.


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. [3] In 2009, he was the recipient of the Golden Foot Legends Award. [4] He was unrelated to his frequent defensive partner Djalma Santos.

In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals.

The World Team of the 20th Century was chosen in 1998 to comprise the best association football players of the 20th century CE. The team comprises an eleven-member side, with one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders, and three forwards.

Pelé Brazilian retired footballer

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a forward. He is regarded by many in the sport, including football writers, players, and fans, as the greatest player of all time. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award. That same year, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. According to the IFFHS, Pelé is the most successful domestic league goal-scorer in football history scoring 650 goals in 694 League matches, and in total 1281 goals in 1363 games, which included unofficial friendlies and is a Guinness World Record. During his playing days, Pelé was for a period the best-paid athlete in the world.

Club career

Born in Rio de Janeiro, he was a pioneering attacking left back, being one of the first full backs to make runs down the wing 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". [5] He played all his professional club career for Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas.

Rio de Janeiro Second-most populous municipality in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, or simply Rio, is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.

Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas association football team from Rio de Janeiro

Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas, also known as Botafogo and familiarly as A Estrela Solitária, is a Brazilian sports club based in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro. Although they compete in a number of different sports, Botafogo is mostly known for its association football team. It plays in the Campeonato Carioca, the state of Rio de Janeiro's premier state league and in the Brasileirão Série A, the first tier of Brazilian football league system. In 2000, Botafogo finished 12th in a vote by subscribers of FIFA Magazine for the FIFA Club of the Century.

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.

Encyclopedia type of reference work

An encyclopedia or encyclopædia is a reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge from either all branches or from a particular field or discipline. Encyclopedias are divided into articles or entries that are often arranged alphabetically by article name and sometimes by thematic categories. Encyclopedia entries are longer and more detailed than those in most dictionaries. Generally speaking, unlike dictionary entries—which focus on linguistic information about words, such as their etymology, meaning, pronunciation, use, and grammatical forms—encyclopedia articles focus on factual information concerning the subject named in the article's title.

International career

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). [6]

1954 FIFA World Cup 1954 edition of the FIFA World Cup

The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average number of goals scored per game. The tournament was won by West Germany, who defeated Hungary 3–2 in the final, giving them their first title.

1962 FIFA World Cup 1962 edition of the FIFA World Cup

The 1962 FIFA World Cup was the seventh FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football championship for men's national teams. It was held from 30 May to 17 June 1962 in Chile. The qualification rounds took place between August 1960 and December 1961, with 56 teams entering from six confederations, and fourteen qualifying for the finals tournament alongside Chile, the hosts, and Brazil, the defending champions.

FIFA World Cup association football competition for mens national teams

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

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. [1]


Santos died of a lung infection on 27 November 2013, aged 88, in Rio de Janeiro. [7] 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.







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  1. 1 2 75 days to go. FIFA.com
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Brazil and Botafogo's pioneering wingback". FIFA. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  3. "Pele's list of the greatest". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  4. "Legends". Golden Foot. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  5. "Nilton Santos (1925-2013)". LECHAMPIONS.it. 28 November 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  6. Chiesa, Carlo F. (December 1999). "We are the champions – I 150 fuoriclasse che hanno fatto la storia del calcio," [The 150 champions that made football's history]. Calcio 2000 (in Italian). Action Group S.r.l. p. 62.
  7. "Brazilian World Cup winner Nilton Santos dies aged 88". Chicago Tribune. 27 November 2013. Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  8. "ERIC BATTY’S WORLD XI – THE SIXTIES" Retrieved on 26 November 2015
  9. IFFHS' Century Elections
  10. "The Best of The Best" Retrieved on 17 November 2015