Santos with the Jules Rimet Trophy in 2008
|Full name||Djalma Pereira Dias dos Santos|
|Date of birth||27 February 1929|
|Place of birth||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Date of death||23 July 2013 84)(aged|
|Place of death||Uberaba, Brazil|
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Playing position||Right back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Djalma Pereira Dias dos Santos known simply as Djalma Santos (Brazilian Portuguese: [diˈʒawmɐ ˈsɐ̃tus]; also spelled Dejalma Santos, (27 February 1929 – 23 July 2013) was a Brazilian footballer who started for the Brazil national team in four World Cups, winning two, in 1958 and 1962. Santos is considered to be one of the greatest right-backs of all time. While primarily known for his defensive skills, he often ventured upfield and displayed some impressive technical and attacking skills.
Along with Franz Beckenbauer and Philipp Lahm, he is one of only three players to be included into three FIFA World Cup All Star teams (in 1954, 1958 and 1962). He was unrelated to his frequent defensive partner Nilton Santos. He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004. He is also one of the few footballers to have made over 1,000 professional appearances in his career.
Santos started his career in his hometown with Portuguesa. He initially played in the centre of defence, but was later moved to the right side of defence. In 1959, he moved to Palmeiras. He played almost 500 games for the club, winning several league and cup titles. He left the club in 1968, joining Atlético Paranaense for a short spell before retiring in 1970.
Santos made 98 official appearances for Brazil between 1952 and 1968, and was in the squad for four consecutive World Cups between 1954 and 1966. He made his first appearance against Peru in the Panamerican Championship. The match was drawn 0–0. He also made two unofficial appearances for Brazil.
1954 World Cup
Santos made his World Cup debut in a 5–0 win against Mexico, and played in all of Brazil's matches during the tournament. He scored his first goal for Brazil from the penalty spot in a 4–2 defeat against Hungary (also known as the "Battle of Berne").
1958 World Cup
Santos had lost his place in the side after being dropped in favour of De Sordi, and did not play until the final against Sweden. Brazil won the match 5–2, with Santos being one of the outstanding performers. As a result, despite only playing one match in the tournament, he was included in the tournament's All-Star Team.
1962 World Cup
Santos was once again a regular in the starting lineup, playing in all of Brazil's games. In the final against Czechoslovakia he set up the final goal for Brazil. Noting that the Slovak goalkeeper Viliam Schrojf was somewhat off his line, Santos lofted a long, massive, high arcing ball, into the goalmouth aided by the glare of the afternoon sun. Schrojf mishandled the cross, and Brazilian striker Vavá hammered the ball into goal.
1966 World Cup
Santos, now at the age of 37, was selected for a fourth consecutive World Cup. The inclusion of Santos in the squad was a surprise to some, with Carlos Alberto expected to be selected instead. Santos played the first two games, but was dropped after the 3–1 defeat to Hungary. Brazil were knocked out of the tournament in the next game against Portugal.
Style of play
After beginning his career in midfield, Santos found much success as a defender due to his composure, as well as his excellent and consistent displays in this position, and is regarded as one of the greatest right-backs of all time; he was also capable of playing as a centre-back. Santos was a quick and physically strong defender, who was known for his stamina, marking, and tackling ability; he was also effective in the air. In addition to his defensive ability as a right-back, which earned him the nickname Muralha (the wall) from the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, Santos was also known for his excellent technique and offensive capabilities, which saw him contribute to the development of the role; being gifted with excellent ball control, good dribbling skills, creativity, and accurate distribution, he often took on opponents with the ball when under pressure in one on one situations, even in risky situations his own penalty area, and he was also one of the first full-backs to venture forward and make overlapping attacking runs down the flank in order to contribute to his teams' offensive plays. Santos was also an accurate penalty kick and set-piece taker, and was known for his ability to take long throw-ins. In addition to his ability as a footballer, Santos was also known to be an extremely fair and correct player, as well as an exemplary professional, who stood out for his work-rate, longevity, discipline in training, and correct behaviour; throughout his entire, extensive career, he was never once sent off.
Santos died on 23 July 2013 in hospital in Uberaba, where he had lived for two decades. He died due to pneumonia and severe hemodynamic instability, culminating with cardiac arrest, having been hospitalized since 1 July 2013.
- Torneio Rio – São Paulo: 1952, 1955
- FIFA World Cup: 1958, 1962
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