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The Pitch Invading Dog That Won The World Cup

The 1962 FIFA World Cup was the seventh edition of the international competition, and it will long be remembered as the most brutally violent.

An injury to Pele, a match between Chile and Italy that became known as the Battle of Santiago and the inspiration for the use of yellow and red cards to clearly define offenses are some of the lasting legacies of the '62 World Cup in Chile.

There is, however, one story that transcends those ugly scenes — involving the tournament’s best player, Brazilian Garrincha, and a pitch invading dog.

Brazil, who’d won the previous 1958 World Cup in Sweden, were among the favorites to repeat their success in Chile. Pele was at the height of his powers at this time, but he was injured in Brazil’s second group match against Czechoslovakia, ruling him out for the rest of the tournament.

The player that stepped up in his absence was the 28-year-old winger Garrincha, who’s now widely considered the greatest dribbler to have ever played the sport. 


After finishing atop Group 3, Brazil met an English side that could only manage a runners-up finish in their own group. It promised to be the match of the quarter-finals: the soul of football versus the inventors. 

England, according to FIFA, were well drilled in stopping the genius of Garrincha, but all their training ground work went for not. Johnny Haynes, an English forward that won 56 caps for the Three Lions, famously asked, “How do you set about stopping the unstoppable?”

Garrincha bewitched the England defense, scoring two of Brazil’s goals in their 3-1 victory. 

Like Garrincha’s elusive display, the match had another individual on the pitch that confounded all efforts to contain him. In the midst of the match, a dog managed to get on the pitch and avoid all attempts to corral him.

In the end, England striker Jimmy Greaves managed to scoop up the pup but not before the stray dog was able to make another mark upon the match.

“The referee had stopped the game and no-one could get hold of this dog,” said Greaves. “I got down on my hands and knees, being a dog a lover anyway, and called it over. It got a massive cheer and I picked the dog up and cuddled him. But as I cuddled him, he peed all down my shirt!

“You never had changed strips in those days, you just had the one shirt, so I had to play on with it. I smelt so bad, it was awful. But at least it meant the Brazilian defenders stayed clear of me!”

1962 FIFA World Cup dog

Run away! Photo: @Art_of_Football | Twitter

Reportedly, Garrincha found this so amusing that he was almost unable to play on. 

Brazil would go on to triumph in the final, winning their second World Cup with Garrincha finishing as the tournament’s top scorer and best player. 

Following the tournament, the dog was brought to Brazil and raffled among the Brazilian squad. Garrincha won the raffle and named the dog Bi, short for bicampeonato (two-time championship) in homage to Brazil’s second World Cup triumph.

The dog returned with Garrincha to his hometown of Pau Grande, Rio de Janeiro. Bi had effectively won the World Cup. 

1962 World Cup dog

Garrincha meets his future pup. Photo: @andreolifelipe | Twitter


Follow me on Twitter: @ConmanFleming

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