Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia Pereyra (pronounced [ˈɡiddʒa]; 22 December 1926 – 16 July 2015) was an Italian-Uruguayan 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.
Ghiggia in 2011
|Full name||Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia Pereyra|
|Date of birth||22 December 1926|
|Place of birth||Montevideo, Uruguay|
|Date of death||16 July 2015(aged 88)|
|Place of death||Montevideo, Uruguay|
|Height||1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
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 foot." 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."
He managed C.A. Peñarol in 1980.
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.
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. At the time of his death, Ghiggia was the oldest living World Cup champion.
Ghiggia was the last surviving member from either the Brazilian or Uruguayan squads involved in the historic 1950 World Cup game.
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