Before Pelé, before Ronaldo, before Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Jairzinho, before all of their and the Brazilian national team's successes, the Selecao had a goalscoring phenomenon within their ranks. A player so talented that it is almost criminal that his immense capabilities were not to be recompensed with any international titles, a man they called 'Queixada' such was his prominent jawline: Ademir Marques de Menezes.
Ademir, as he was more simply known, was one of the earliest traces of the now iconic flair and flamboyance commonly associated with those who have donned the symbolic colours of Brazil, and was such as inspirational footballing figure that he is even said to have been a player that Pele looked up to.
Queixada - which simply translates to 'jaw' - was a slight, delicately built player who almost seemed not to be built for football; but to say his physique was misleading and illusive would be an understatement. Ademir, with his slicked back hair and almost pubescent moustache, played with a swagger and embracement of a 'samba' style of play that set the tone for the nation's footballing identity, but he was not just a fruitless trickster.
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The man who started his career at Sport Recife - based in the town of his birth - made his first team debut for the club at just 18 years of age, and it was not long until the nation's biggest clubs had eyes on the young forward.
After racking up a tally of 98 goals in 75 appearances for Sport Recife, Ademir spent time at Vasco da Gama and Fluminense before ending his career back at Sport Recife; where he scored 364 goals in 359 games and won six state league championships. Amidst his excellent club career, however, the 'Jaw' made his maiden appearance at a World Cup in 1950, and how he took his chance to shine.
At this point it must be said that Ademir's popularity was atmospherically high. So high in fact, that one local from the forward's hometown of Recife made the unfathomably long trip to Boa Vista where the Brazil national team were based for the tournament, seeking to speak to the Selecao boss Flavio Costa.
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The local asked Costa if Ademir would be allowed to leave the Brazil camp and accompany his son throughout a significant surgical operation, as the child was refusing to undergo the procedure without his hero being by his side. Costa gave the forward permission to leave the camp to accompany the youngster throughout his procedure, and Ademir returned to Boa Vista after supporting the child through his surgery and awaiting the surgeon's diagnosis.
Aside from his empathetic acts, however, Queixada had a World Cup to attend to. The Brazilians began their tournament with a resounding 4-0 win over Mexico in what was the first ever game at the
#DidYouKnow: Duplo T used in the 1950 World Cup was the first of its kind – inflated with a pump and needle through a tiny valve. #SaturdayMotivation #RussianRoulette #Russia2018 #WorldCup2018 #FootTheBall #Russia2018WorldCup#WorldCup pic.twitter.com/Gf6X710z8N— FootTheBall⚽ (@FootTheBall) January 27, 2018
5.#1 - 199,854 people watched the @FIFAWorldCup in Rio. The game was played at Estadio do Maracana. Uruguay defeated Brazil by a score of 2–1 on 16 July 1950.#Brazil #Uruguay #RiodeJaneiro #FIFA #Pele #WorldCup #SouthAmerica #Football #CopaAmerica pic.twitter.com/XkxLOzxDWx— #One (@Hash1tag1) January 31, 2018
Pele was just 9 years old when Brazil lost the 1950 FIFA World Cup™ to Uruguay. “It was the first time I ever saw my father cry, and all because of that defeat,” “I remember saying to him: ‘Don’t cry, Papa. I’ll win the World Cup for you.’ ” And He did it in 1958, 62 and 70 pic.twitter.com/U7LjfrXlld— WorldSoccerTV (@PanamaSoccerTV) December 21, 2017