Latin America & Caribbean

Uruguay 'Maracanazo' football hero Alcides Ghiggia dies

Former Uruguayan soccer player Alcides Ghiggia, famed for his role in the final 1950 World Cup match between Uruguay and Brazil, poses with the Fifa World Cup trophy during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour in Montevideo in this January 16, 2014 file picture Image copyright Reuters
Image caption When the Fifa World Cup trophy came to Uruguay during the 2014 tournament, Ghiggia was the first to want to hold it

Legendary Uruguayan forward Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia, who scored the winning goal against Brazil in the World Cup in 1950, has died at the age of 88.

Ghiggia scored the deciding goal 10 minutes before the end of the match in Rio's newly built Maracana stadium.

The match, known as the "Maracanazo" - is considered one of Brazil's biggest footballing defeats.

The last surviving Uruguayan player from the match, Ghiggia died on its 65th anniversary.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The winning goal in the final game of the 1950 World Cup gave Uruguay a stunning 2-1 victory over Brazil.

"It was beautiful what happened," Ghiggia said. "It filled me with pride and was unforgettable. The biggest moment of my life was the Maracana."

When he turned 80 he was honoured by the Uruguayan congress.

"Only three people have silenced the Maracana," Ghiggia once said, "the Pope, Frank Sinatra, and me".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption In 2009 he was asked to leave his footprints in a plastic mould at the Maracana to sit alongside the prints of other great players like Pele, Eusebio and Franz Beckenbauer.

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