AskBiography Logo   Latest News  Follow Us on Twitter  Follow Us on Google Buzz  Became Fan - Facebook  Subscribe to RSSRSS   Bookmark and Share

Valdir Pereira

Valdir Pereira
Personal information
Full nameWaldyr Pereira
Place of birthCampos dos Goytacazes, RJ, Brazil
Place of deathRio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Playing positionCentral Midfielder

     Home | Football | Valdir Pereira

Waldyr Pereira (8 October 1928 12 May 2001), nicknamed Didi (-ptdʒiˈdʒi), was a Brazilian footballer who played midfielder. He played in three World Cups: 1954, 1958, and 1962, winning the latter two. He is considered to be one of the greatest midfielders in the sport renowned for his range of passing, flawless technique and "folha seca" ("falling leaf") freekicks.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, he nearly had his right leg amputated when he was 14 due to a severe infection. He recovered and played for some clubs in Campos dos Goytacazes. He became professional playing for Americano de Campos. He came to prominence when he joined Fluminense in 1949. During seven seasons with the club he won the Campeonato carioca in 1951 and Copa de Rio in 1952. He became famous for being an intelligent player and for his "folha seca" ("falling leaf") kicks, where the ball would swerve seemingly downwards at the right time resulting in a goal.

During the 1954 World Cup he scored goals against Mexico and Yugoslavia, before Brazil's defeat to the favorites Hungary. This match was known as the Battle of Berne; Didi was involved with the brawl that followed this bad-tempered match.

At club level, he moved to Botafogo, winning the Campeonato Carioca (Rio state championship) in 1957. Didi had previously promised to walk from the Maracanã to Botafogo's clubhouse in his kit if Botafogo won the championship; 5,000 Botafogo fans joined him as he did so.

His greatest achievement came at the 1958 World Cup where he was player of the tournament. From midfield, he masterminded the first of his two World Cup successes for Brazil. In 68 international matches he scored 20 goals, including a dozen using his trademark free-kicks.

In 1959 he was signed by Real Madrid of Spain. Despite his great reputation after the 1958 World Cup he played only 19 matches (6 goals) for the Spaniards and often clashed with the team leader Alfredo Di Stéfano, who felt offended by the divide in the fan’s attention with this newcomer; this situation precipitated his exit from the club. After success at the 1962 World Cup, he decided to become a coach.

Warning: simplexml_load_file( [function.simplexml-load-file]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Warning: simplexml_load_file() [function.simplexml-load-file]: I/O warning : failed to load external entity "" in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Fatal error: Call to a member function children() on a non-object in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 260