Alcides Ghiggia

Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia Pereyra (pronounced [ˈɡiddʒa]; 22 December 1926 – 16 July 2015) was a Uruguayan-Italian football player, who played as a right winger. He achieved lasting fame for his decisive role in the final match of the 1950 World Cup, and at the time of his death exactly 65 years later, he was also the last surviving player from that game.

Alcides Ghiggia
AS Roma - Alcides Ghiggia.jpg
Ghiggia with A.S. Roma in the mid-1950s
Personal information
Full name Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia Pereyra
Date of birth (1926-12-22)22 December 1926
Place of birth Montevideo, Uruguay
Date of death 16 July 2015(2015-07-16) (aged 88)
Place of death Montevideo, Uruguay
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
Position(s) Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1945–1948 Sud América
1948–1953 Peñarol 169 (26)
1953–1961 Roma 201 (19)
1961–1962 Milan 4 (0)
1962–1967 Danubio 128 (12)
Total 502 (57)
National team
1950–1952 Uruguay 12 (4)
1957–1959 Italy 5 (1)
Teams managed
1980 Peñarol
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


He played for the national sides of both Uruguay and Italy during his career. He also played for the club sides of the Peñarol and Danubio in Uruguay and A.S. Roma and A.C. Milan in Italy.

In 1950, Ghiggia, then playing for Uruguay, scored the winning goal against Brazil in the final match of that year's World Cup (the Maracanazo). Roberto Muylaert compares the black and white film of the goal with Abraham Zapruder's chance images of the Kennedy assassination in Dallas: he says that the goal and the shot that killed the US president have "the same dramatic pattern ... the same movement ... the same precision of an unstoppable trajectory. They even have the dust in common that was stirred up, here by a rifle and there by Ghiggia's left [sic] foot."[1] The match is considered one of the biggest upsets in football history; Ghiggia would later remark that "only three people managed to silence the Maracanã: Frank Sinatra, the Pope, and me."[2]

He managed C.A. Peñarol in 1980.[3]

On 29 December 2009, Brazil honoured Ghiggia by celebrating his decisive goal in the 1950 World Cup. Ghiggia returned to Maracanã Stadium almost 60 years later for this honour and planted his feet in a mould to take his place alongside greats including Brazil's Pelé, Portugal's Eusébio and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer on the Maracanã Stadium walk of fame. Ghiggia was very emotional and thanked Brazil for the warm reception and recognition he received even when the game is considered the most disappointing match in Brazilian football history.[4]

Later yearsEdit

Ghiggia's family was of Ticinese descent originally from Sonvico.[5]

Ghiggia lived out his last years at his home in Las Piedras, Uruguay. He died on 16 July 2015 in a private hospital in Montevideo at the age of 88. Coincidentally, it was the 65th anniversary of the Maracanazo.[6] At the time of his death, Ghiggia was the oldest living World Cup champion.[7]

Ghiggia was the last surviving member from either the Brazilian or Uruguayan squads involved in the historic 1950 World Cup game.[8]







  1. ^ Bellos, Alex (2005). Futebol The Brazilian Way of Life. Bloomsbury, New York and London.
  2. ^ "How Uruguay broke Brazilian hearts in the 1950 World Cup". BBC News.
  3. ^ "Tripod - Not Available For Download". Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Brazil's Tormentor Ghiggia Honoured at Maracana ". The New York Times. 29 December 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia (1926)". Repubblica e Cantone Ticino. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Falleció Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia" (in Spanish). Ovación. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  7. ^ "World Cup 2014: Meet Uruguay's Alcides Ghiggia, the man who broke Brazil's heart". The Daily Telegraph. 15 June 2014.
  8. ^ Soccerama 01, p162
  9. ^ "Legends". Golden Foot. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Hall of Fame" (in Italian). A.S. Roma. Retrieved 27 July 2016.

External linksEdit

World Cup-winners status
Preceded by
Pietro Rava
Oldest Living Player
22 February 2004 – 16 July 2015
Succeeded by
Hans Schäfer